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Freelancer logged way too many hours

Active Member
Robert C Member Since: Feb 2, 2018
11 of 25

Yes, courting trouble. I'm hopeful Upwork sides with me on the 10 hours he billed this week manually. The 14 last week are gone, but at least I can save a bit. I won't make any money finishing the project for this client. So my hope is they like what I build for them, and will hire me to do more. Software is great in that way. People get something they like and they always want more. That is why I call software addictive. Smiley Happy

Community Guru
Scott B Member Since: Nov 20, 2015
12 of 25

@Petra R wrote:

@Scott B wrote:

Next, do not allow manually entered hours. With this the freelancer cannot bill above your max and if they are using the timer you are able to see the hours in 10 minute segments including screen shots. So if you are paying attention, you will know the hours used and what they are doing before a pile shows up. This tale illustrates perfectly the importance of weekly max hours.


 Actually manual hours are 100% safe for the client because any dispute for manual hours (if disputed in time) will be automatically decided in favour of the client.

 

Furthermore, neither manual nor tracked time in excess of the set weekly limit is EVER charged to the client. There seems to be a common misconception among freelancers and clients alike that somehow manual time in excess of the set weekly limit "counts" or is billed or paid. This is not the case.

 


 Yes, we are saying the same thing with the difference being that my sentence structure sucked. Smiley Happy. In my first paragraph I indicated that UW wouldn't cover the manual time. In the part you quoted I was trying to bring both thoughts together in that setting max time prevents "overcharging" and turning off manual time means you can see what they were doing, for the time they are charging, via the screen shots. 

 

Appreciate the clarification because the "max time" setting is - in my view - a vital tool for clients and I wind up educating nearly 100% of mine because they are unaware.

 

 

Active Member
Robert C Member Since: Feb 2, 2018
13 of 25

I had max hours at 20 which was a mistake. I should have allowed 5 per week but I left the defaults. That won't happen again. Knowing that manual time is disputable is very helpful. I'll consider shutting down manual time in the future. For now though, I want to thank everyone for their help. I'm hopeful that the 10 hours this week can be disputed even though I closed the project.

Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
14 of 25

Petra R wrote:

@Scott B wrote:

Next, do not allow manually entered hours. With this the freelancer cannot bill above your max and if they are using the timer you are able to see the hours in 10 minute segments including screen shots. So if you are paying attention, you will know the hours used and what they are doing before a pile shows up. This tale illustrates perfectly the importance of weekly max hours.


 Actually manual hours are 100% safe for the client because any dispute for manual hours (if disputed in time) will be automatically decided in favour of the client.

 

Furthermore, neither manual nor tracked time in excess of the set weekly limit is EVER charged to the client. There seems to be a common misconception among freelancers and clients alike that somehow manual time in excess of the set weekly limit "counts" or is billed or paid. This is not the case.

 


I believe it is not even possible to log manual hours in excess of the weekly limit. I accidentally tried once, by erroneously entering hours on teh wrong project, and hit a wall.

Active Member
Robert C Member Since: Feb 2, 2018
15 of 25

I'll be attempting to dispute the hours Monday. Hopefully, I didn't mess that up by closing the project. I don't think so, but Upwork might have required that I kept it open. I'm hoping not.

 

The hours were added manually so it is good to know that I have a chance on the dispute.

Community Guru
Prashant P Member Since: Sep 29, 2015
16 of 25

IMO you are being petty.  If the freelancer wanted to scam you they could have put the max 20 hours allowed.  If you were a B&M place and you hired an employee who did not perform.  Of course you would fire him, but would you garnish his wages?

Community Guru
Scott B Member Since: Nov 20, 2015
17 of 25

@Prashant P wrote:

IMO you are being petty.  If the freelancer wanted to scam you they could have put the max 20 hours allowed.  If you were a B&M place and you hired an employee who did not perform.  Of course you would fire him, but would you garnish his wages?


I think you may be a little too far the other way, but the reality is that neither of us knows the full story so we can only take what's written.

 

I do not see a time based project with a freelancer here as analogous to an FTE in the B&M world. That just doesn't work for me on numerous levels. I do think clients hiring software developers should expect that the developer may have to use some time to get acquainted with a new framework or to deal with a problem that will arise. However, what's been described seems to me much more fundamental than that. If the client spent 2 hours going over all of this on the phone with the freelancer, and then freelancer proceeded as if the conversation never took place, I can certainly see the reason for being upset. There is a difference between previous code not working and me needing to take the time to get it in order, and me not being in control of my toolset or the toolset required. The latter is the way in which it is being described here.

 

Additionally, no one is saying the freelancer is trying to scam him. It might just be that the freelancer got himself in over his head. Seems like he would have kept going as well if the client didn't stop him by pausing the contract.

 

There is obviously another side here we aren't hearing. There is also the need on the client side to use the tools the platform requires and to monitor things closely especially at the beginning. However, if the client feels like he gave the freelancer everything he needed to be successful, and the freelancer still went sideways while on the clock, then seeking for some level of shared accountability feels fair to me. It wouldn't be for me to tell the client when the amount of hours rises to the level worthy of seeking a compromise. 

 

Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
18 of 25

@Prashant P wrote:

IMO you are being petty.  If the freelancer wanted to scam you they could have put the max 20 hours allowed.  


Certainly, but the freelancer not maxing out the hours does not prove innocence, if the intent is to skim money over the course of a contract by padding hours. In that case, maxing out the hours is likely to attract attention, so a crafty cheater might make the time logged more plausible by not doing that.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Community Guru
Prashant P Member Since: Sep 29, 2015
19 of 25

@John K wrote:


Certainly, but the freelancer not maxing out the hours does not prove innocence, if the intent is to skim money over the course of a contract by padding hours. In that case, maxing out the hours is likely to attract attention, so a crafty cheater might make the time logged more plausible by not doing that.


 Of course that is a possibility.  We really don;t know the whole story.  Based on OP's explanations and other people's responses.  I draw the picture as:

 

OP the freelancer wanted to be a farmer by getting the contract done at a cheaper price or he himself didn't know how to do it. Had no idea how long things would take -  So he hires - mostly based on price (remember he is subcontracting) - may be the freelancer was a scammer and idiot - may be OP did not know how to differentiate quality freelancers becasue he was trying to make a buck on the deal - may be OP did not communicate well or was using outdated technologies and infrasturcture that freelancer did not know.

 

So now the OP is in a bind he realized that he can not make money on the job he wanted to farm out so may be he is trying to stiff the freelancer. 

 

What I believe if you are a freelancer stay with what you know, don't aspire to be a farmer.  If you do want to be a farmer be prepared to go in a loss - learning experience.

 

I had few interviews where buyers wanted websites and logos.  I don't do logos, but if I wanted to I could subcontract.  But I didn't as it is not a skill set I am familiar or even know how to go about recruiting qualified logo makers. (I have seen people offering their services for $10 and my private client paid $150 for their logo). 

 

Where is Preston?  He has a very distinct take on situations like this.

Active Member
Vanessa B Member Since: Feb 6, 2018
20 of 25

Hello 

 

I was just wondering if Upwork managed to refund you these hours?

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