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Freelancer not responding

9c6a6372
Active Member
Jeswin R Member Since: Apr 11, 2021
1 of 16

Hi, I have been going through Upwork support and I don't see much that can help me. I have contacted the freelancer multiple times for 3 weeks and he has yet finished the work with no errors which was meant to be done 2 months ago, the contract is fixed and he is always late to milestone completion. Constantly asking for an extension, I have been very patient but I am currently stuck with the freelancer not responding for weeks. Not sure what to do in this situation, as I can not see a support service for Upwork. 

 

If I am on the wrong community discussion page let me know.

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 16

re: "If I am on the wrong community discussion page let me know."

 

Jeswin:
This IS the correct place for you to discuss this matter.

 

re: "I have been going through Upwork support and I don't see much that can help me."

 

Upwork Customer Support is NOT the place to go about this matter. I recommend that you don't talk to them at all about such matters, but use the Community Forum in order to obtain the information and advice that you need.

 

re: "I have contacted the freelancer multiple times for 3 weeks and he has yet finished the work with no errors which was meant to be done 2 months ago, the contract is fixed and he is always late to milestone completion. Constantly asking for an extension, I have been very patient but I am currently stuck with the freelancer not responding for weeks. Not sure what to do in this situation, as I can not see a support service for Upwork."

 

The situation that you are describing: It is definitely NOT a matter for Upwork Customer Support to deal with.

 

Upwork is a service that allows you to find, hire and pay freelancers.

Upwork is NOT a service that provides project management.

However, because Upwork allows you to find, hire and pay freelancers, you may use Upwork to FIND and HIRE a project manager.

 

Just don't expect Upwork to provice you with free project management. That's not something that they do.

 

You think that you have a problem with a freelancer.

Maybe. A little bit of a problem, perhaps.

But your bigger problem is project management.

 

A project such as yours needs a project manager.

But YOU are not acting as a project manager.

And you have NOT hired an independent project manager.

And the freelance developer you hired is NOT acting as a project manager.

 

So... who is the project manager?

A development project such as this always has a project manager. Because you aren't performing that role, and you haven't hired a PM, by default the lead developer is the project manager. But only 20% of lead developers are capable of acting as their own project manager. Your problem is that you hired one of the 80% who aren't. So your project will fail.

 

What do you need to do?

Your options are:

a) hire a lead developer who IS capable of acting as his own project manager

b) act as the project manager yourself

c) hire an independent project manager

 

If you do not choose one of these options, then your project will fail.

This has nothing to do with the nature of your project or with the nature of this specific freelancer. These are "universal principles."

 

The details of your project? They're just symptoms of the greater problem of not having a project manager. If you had a project manager (even if that project manager was yourself), then your project manager would understand that you should not expect Upwork to manage the project for you.

 

Your PM would understand that your PROJECT is what comes first. Right now you are putting the needs of the freelancer first. As if the freelancer was your nephew or apprentice or something. You need to stop doing that. A project manager would hire more than one freelancer for a project of this size and scope. And a project manager would assign tasks to the most productive members of the team. If an individual freelancer on you team wasn't working out, then the project manager would END the contract. Right now it sounds like you only have one freelancer on your team (?!). If you have only one, then how do you compare the work he does to anything? You can't. But if you had 3 or 4 team members, you could compare. You could give more work to the ones who do quality work, without errors, and deliver on time. And you could give less work to those who aren't so reliable. Or simply fire them.

9c6a6372
Active Member
Jeswin R Member Since: Apr 11, 2021
3 of 16

Hi,

 

Thank you for your input, but none of these solutions are feasible as of now as I have had no contact with the freelancer, and I have only some files from the project. Without the full files, I can't just cancel the contract. Yes of course I understand Upwork is the middle man, but I currently have not got what I paid for, and all money is still going through Upwork as they are a service provider.

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
4 of 16

You said that you hired this freelancer using a fixed-price contract.

 

When a client uses a fixed-price contract, the freelancer provides deliverables (files), then the client reviews and archives the files, and then the client releases payment.

 

So right now there are only two possibilities:

a) You already are in possession of all of the files that you have paid the freelancer for

[or]

b) You were using the Upwork tool incorrectly.

 

You already know that Upwork does not have your files.

 

How much money have you paid to this freelancer in total at this point?

 

You said that the freelancer is not responding to you right now?

And you said that you can't cancel the contract?

You CAN end the contract right now.

You can end the contract and you can edit the amount of escrow money to be released to zero dollars. Then close the contract. This will cause an automatic refund request to be sent to the freelancer. If the freelancer is truly not around and not paying attention to Upwork matters, then after 7 days, the refund request will go through automatically, and you will receive all of the money in escrow back into your account.

9c6a6372
Active Member
Jeswin R Member Since: Apr 11, 2021
5 of 16

I have paid the person 90% already. As he is creating a site, the review of the work he has done has been through him showing the site online, and me checking the functionalities. I am currently only in possession of the front-end of the site. 

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
6 of 16

re: "I have paid the person 90% already. As he is creating a site, the review of the work he has done has been through him showing the site online, and me checking the functionalities. I am currently only in possession of the front-end of the site."

 

The appropriate way for a client to use fixed-price contracts is to pay a freelancer to do a task, and for that task to include specified deliverables. In your case, you were supposed to specify that all source code files were to be delivered to you before the release of escrow funds.

 

For future reference:

It is GOOD for you to check things on the front end.

You ALSO need to obtain the files.

Your PROJECT MANAGER is supposed to obtain the files, review the files and independently test that she can post them on another site and successfully use them.

 

Your main problem is not with the freelancer you hired.

Your main problem is that your project manager failed to obtain and archive the soure code fies.

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
7 of 16

Jeswin R wrote:

I have paid the person 90% already. As he is creating a site, the review of the work he has done has been through him showing the site online, and me checking the functionalities. I am currently only in possession of the front-end of the site. 


That is very unfortunate but Upwork can't get the files/code/backend for you.

 

If you approved the last milestone less than 30 days ago or there is money currently in escrow, you would have the ability to dispute the contract. Is that the case? 

 

I would suggest you give the freelancer one last chance to get the remaining 10% done and get everything that has been done to you within a reasonable deadline. Tell the freelancer that you have no choice but to dispute the entire contract (not just what is in escrow) otherwise.

 

Preston H wrote:

Your main problem is not with the freelancer you hired.

Of course it is.

Please stop pretending otherwise.

Victim-blaming is ugly.

 

Instead of page after page of lectures on project managers and explaining to him how incompetent you think he is, a simple paragraph where to go from here might have been a good idea, no?

 

 

9c6a6372
Active Member
Jeswin R Member Since: Apr 11, 2021
8 of 16

Thank you both for the input, I was not aware of the system. Preston, I have only explained part of my situation, there is alot more to the story than just this situation. Not to put a bad name onto the freelancer but there has a lot that has happen, just to put it all in a small context, this job was supposed to be finished in late decemeber 2020, but understanding that it would take longer I had changed the ending over 5 times. 

 

Hi Petra,

 

Could you explain to me how I am able to dispute the whole contract if it comes to this? As the 10% of the work enholds the other 90% as the site works but for it all to sync few important things need to be fixed. 

 

Many thanks

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
9 of 16

Jeswin R wrote:

Could you explain to me how I am able to dispute the whole contract if it comes to this? As the 10% of the work enholds the other 90% as the site works but for it all to sync few important things need to be fixed. 


Is there currently money in escrow OR did you release the last milestone less than 30 days ago? That is vital, as it determines if you can dispute at all.


Roughly, how much money are we talking about? Hundreds? Thousands? Many thousands?

 

9c6a6372
Active Member
Jeswin R Member Since: Apr 11, 2021
10 of 16

There are still 2 more milestones, which are in the 100s but this was meant for when the site was up and running. One is in escrow currently, the other was due 7th April but ofc he is not responding to either milestones. The big milestone (1000s) was released in February when the work was ideally supposed to be finished but due to me trusting him and him saying he would fix all errors. Currently been around 2months and still a few more to fix, this is due to him going offline for days or weeks and not responding. 

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