I am a client working with a freelancer that is beyond what I would call ethical. In a nutshell, the freelancer agreed to a total of 80hours and $880 to build a wp website. He had said because of his companies policies he could not do fixed price. Long story short he ended up going over to $1300 and said he would refund and work for free from hear on out. However, his work ethic and my needs are obviously not high priority. He has dragged this and me out over 2 months longer than what was agreed to complete.
How do I get at least part of this money refunded since he agreed and I have chat and job description documenting?
You may hire freelancers using an hourly contract.
Or a fixed-price contract.
But you can't mix them.
You tried to mix them.
No disputes on this.
Your choices are to continue working with this freelancer, or to stop.
If you feel like the freelancer is not making forward progress, then you should either:
a) Thank the freelancer for his work and continue working only with new freelancers, or the other freelancers on the team
b) Ask the current freelancer to continue working on this project, but insist that previously you did not fully understand how Upwork works. Tell him you understand the system better now, and you want him to work on the project using the hourly contract, and be sure to log all of his time. To emphasize your new understanding, ask him if you may close the current contract, give him a good review, and begin a new contract with a higher per-hour rate.
This isn't complicated. Here is what I imagine this freelancer's subconscious mental calculus is:
The client wants me to continue working on this project.
But doesn't want me to get paid for my time.
What's my motivation?
Todd: Your main mistake may have been in working with this freelancer for more than an hour or two.
How do you know this was the best freelancer out of the candidates who applied to the job?
If you only hired one person, you really don't know.
You should have hired about 6 of them, and had the project manager evaluate all of their work after a couple hours. And then continued only working with the individual (or individuals) who provided you the best value.
@Todd H wrote:
Motivation should be to complete the agreed contract terms. Ethically he knew what was expected of him. It's frustrating that no one is held accountable anymore these days...
There are plenty of tools available for a client to hold a freelancer accountable. If they are working on an hourly contract and using the time tracker, you can a) limit the number of hours they're allowed to bill in a week, and b) review the screenshots of the work diary to make sure they're doing what they say they're doing.
The hourly contract model on Upwork is designed to pay freelancers on time spent, regardless of the outcome. The fixed price model is designed to pay freelancers per deliverable.
If you have a fixed, clearly defined deliverable and want to pay a fixed price, then you should use the fixed-price model. If a freelancer says "sorry, I don't do fixed price", then you say "okay no problem, thanks for your proposal" and find a different freelancer.