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Community Member

Freelancer cancelled contract

Hi everyone,
I need help with a situation. A freelancer cancelled the contract and reason he left was 'job not as described'.

I clearly stated on the job description and also through private messaging what needed to be done. All files were also sent to the freelancer before he could accept the contract. Turns out he didn't read or look at the documents and misunderstood the job.

I was wondering if this will affect the client's rating/review in any way and if so, how can I resolve it? Conversation is all through upwork messaging.

Thanks in advance
Community Member

IMO the freelancer saved you from lots of trouble.  People decline for various reasons:


1. They misunderstood.

2. Once they understood the full scope they realized that they can't perform the task.

3. Once they understood the full scope they realized that the price was too low.

4. Once they learned about the job they were uncomfortable doing it.


I wouldn't put too much weight on the box.  Upwork has standard check boxes to choose from and probably they found the check box that was close to their reason.  I have read it somewhere that if no money was exchanged it would be a wash.

Community Member

Earlier this week I fired a client. There was no box to check saying "Narcissist with overwhelming hand-holding needs, who can't settle on a direction or meet his own agreed deadlines, who views a scope of work as subject to his whim of the day, and who has wasted many of my hours." I just checked, I think, "other."


It is incumbent on the provider to explore a fit with the client, and to be certain he/she understands and agrees to a finite scope of work. Even with doing that, several years ago I fired a client who withheld the key document from a piece of work I had estimated at just over twenty hours; the document blew it up into more two thousand hours. I offered to complete the work at the original price (1% of the real work), but told her to inform the client it would be eighteen months. She replied "Just do it quickly and simply, and deliver it in two weeks."

Absolute Must Haves: 

1. Accurate and complete job parameters.

2. Skype call to confirm exact job needs, etc. and to make sure buyer and provider 'mesh'.

3. Proper budget for scope of work.  FYI, this is NOT a decision based on any freelancer's location.

4. Communications in a timely manner.


These 4 items are crucial to making your project come alive. In actuality, they are no different than in the brick and mortar world.

Adding to all replies. Don't be too hard on the freelancer in your feedback. As Prashant says, he/ she probably saved you a bundle of grief.


Community Member

When you say "cancelled the contract" do you mean the freelancer rejected your job offer, or that they accepted your offer, started work, and then cancelled? If the latter, did you pay them anything? Is there an actual contract you can leave feedback about the freelancer on?


If not, they can't leave feedback for you, either.

Hi Jennifer, I came across your post here and appreciate you replying to us freelancers. I had a question, I got invited to interview, accepted and started the job. It's a fixed price, although I did use the time tracker on most of it. The job was not described correctly as the 40-page book needed to be retyped from scratch. This added 3-3.5 hours to the job. I went ahead and started and have pretty much completed the job. The client hasn't been given final files but seems to contact me less and less. And has asked for additional work to be done, work not covered in the initial job description. He as stated he's willing to pay me my hourly rate for the additional work, which I think is very fair. I think my going ahead with the project and asking about charging for the retyping was my mistake, as when I asked it set the client off as the tone of his message has changed dramatically. I pride myself in finishing what I start and making sure the client gets what they need. But at some point, I need to say enough is enough and cut my losses. I'd like to cancel the job as no money has been paid to me and just keep the files. The client has stated that he has gone through this same scenario with the first freelancer he hired. I'm starting to see a pattern that seems to be a losing situation for freelancers he hires. I do feel his job description was extremely deceptive and not at all what the job needed. Sorry for the lengthy message, but could you tell me if I cancel this job for stated reason, what does this do to my JSS? Thanks, Peter

Peter A.

If you cancel a contract and haven't received any money from it, that becomes a job with no money earned. And a job with no money earned, whatever the reason was, Does affect your JSS. How much, is anyone's guess. 


You've said that you've pretty much completed the job, but the client is contacting you less and less. IMO. I think that you should be paid for the time and effort you put in so far. Send what you have through the Submit Work/Request Payment button and take out the amount that would be equal to the amount of work you've done. If you've completed 85% of the work, take out 85% of the funds in escrow (assuming the milestone was Fully funded.)


You mentioned that this was a fixed rate job but you use the Tracker on it. Recording hours using the tracker on fixed rate jobs, is only for your and the client to reference. Don't rely on it should a problem or dispute arise. On fixed rate jobs it's only what the client deposits into escrow that is important. If you want to continue with this job and do the extra work, then the fixed price contract should be closed by the client (and escrow released) and a new Hourly contract should be created. THEN the tracker comes into play and what you'll be paid hourly will be determined by the number of hours the Tracker records. 

Peter A wrote:

It's a fixed price, although I did use the time tracker on most of it.

No point.


Peter A wrote:

if I cancel this job for stated reason, what does this do to my JSS?

It will ding your JSS but if it dings it a lot you can use your perk (if you have not used it in the last 3 months and 10 contracts.)


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