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90049362
Member

Need help and advice please!

Hi guys.
This is my first time hiring a freelancer in upwork.

Recently we hired a visual designer to do some logos for us. He was proffessional and met deadlines on time. Now we are on a fixed proposal. He has not reached the 1st milestone in which agreed milestone was that we choose an identity logo he produces for us. The thing is we have gone through 3 rounds and we notice on the first round he has used the same logos and or has taken components from other logo and put it together. He did admit that one of the logos he produced was actually used for a company already. After the 3rd round it seemed like we were giving more instructions to him rather then him finding the design. We were not happy with his work as there seemed to be no thought behind it. We messaged him in our intention of not further perusing his services.

He now wants to be paid in full for the first milestone. But for comming up with already used designs and very uninspiring ones we feel like it's not fair for us to give him the 1st milestone, which is half the total amount.

Need advice do we have the right not to pay since the first milestone agreed is us choosing one of his design?

Thank you
19 REPLIES 19
prestonhunter
Member

re: "Need advice do we have the right not to pay since the first milestone agreed is us choosing one of his design?"

 

Do you have a right to NOT pay?

 

Not really. You should not have made a contract like that in the first place.

 

You CAN ask him if he will refund the amount in escrow to you. Or you can ask him to agree to a compromise, such as 50%.

 

But if you really want to do the best thing for YOU? If you want to put your project first and not worry about helping him?

 

Go to the contract now, release the full escrow amount to him. Then close the contract. Then send a message:

 

"Craig, thank you for your work on this project. We're going a different direction and don't need anything else now."


Then block him so he can't contact you.


If you waste more of your time working with him, whether it is to use his designs or try to set his karma right by helping him get less money for uninspiring work, then you are are working for him, instead of working for your project's success.

I would think a dispute here is possible. The milestone was not achieved and at least from the story given, the freelancer did not seem to do what was necessary. Of course there are two sides to every story and we are only hearing one, but if the client feels a milestone was not met, I don't see why payment would be required no matter what. I would assume the freelancer will submit against the milestone and the client can then dispute this and go from there. I am not commenting on the worthiness of the dispute process mind you, but it is the client's right.

Scott, I agree that the client could file a dispute.

 

Like you, I have no idea if the client would eventually be able to prevail in not paying.

 

My view is that a client who cares primarily about their project would just close the contract unilaterally and stop wasting time on someone who they no longer want to have as part of the team.

 

This is something I see a lot - a client who wants to put forth time and effort to make sure the freelancer is paid a "fair" amount.

 

But I say: Making sure the freelancer is paid "fairly" doesn't help your bottom line. You don't owe the freelancer fairness. Release escrow unilaterally and be done with him.

Hi Preston..

 

I would agree in paying with the first milestone (Half of the agreed amount) its alot of money for very little quality of work he proposed to us. 

If it was high quality work I would be happy to pay the first milestone and it just came down to us finding a different direction.

 

But the thing is we gave him a document full of images, colors and shapes we want to see. But after each round we would see the same designs he used in his portfolio. Its like he didnt care for research and creativity on our brand and instead gave us his generic logos. 

 

 

If the designer  actually designed something - then  the client should pay  - if the quality of work is not good - then the payment can be 20% of the original milestone payment...
but  if the designer just recycled old stuff  or used something from the internet - I'm not sure anything should be paid...

atreglia
Member

Neil B wrote:

After the 3rd round it seemed like we were giving more instructions to him rather then him finding the design.

 

Without knowing all the details, this is what you should have been doing from the beginning. It sounds to me like the freelancer had nothing to go on and started grasping at straws trying to find something as a starting point. I mean, you’ve had three “rounds” and still haven’t even reached the first milestone. Could be your freelancer doesn’t have any direction.

Well - if he's a designer, he should  give a (graphic) direction... it sounds like  he's  just recycling his  old designs (judging by OP comments)

90049362
Member

Hi 

Thank you for all your reply. My argument is that:

 

1. First milestone proposed by the freelancer was payment of half the total amount agreed would be paid once we choose a design and identity.

 

2. Out of the first round we saw that out of the 6 he proposed 3 of it was already used from previous jobs (I have screenshots). We asked him why and he said he recycled designs if necessary. We were not happy with this and though we would give him the benefit of the doubt so we asked him for a second round of designs. We had assigned a design brief to him and after the first round we gave him direction and sent him our own mood boards in terms of shapes we wanted to see colors etc.

 

3. It became that we felt like we were comming up with the design in which we felt that it was him we hired to research and design.

 

Its really dissapointing we were very excited and he came across very proffesional. But it seems like he was looking at us as quick job in which we would settle with his recycled design. We had given him alot of directions as one logo ended up being our old logo (which we requested if he can see what he can do with it ) with the same configuration of color and shapes behind our logo with the very logo he said was already taken. This logo was also one of his proposed logos in the 1st round.

 

We feel like we were looked at quick job for him with no real care of truly finding our brand and just throwing us his already premade components and templates. 

Neil, I am afraid you have a much higher opinion of this freelancer than I do.

 

I would have already ended things.

 

If you want to get some money back, even if it means spending more time with him, then just message him:

 

"Carlton, we will not be able to use your work. We need to hire someone else to do this. We are willing to compromise and release half of the money in escrow to you, immediately, and you won't need to do any more work. If you can not agree to that, we will need to dispute all payment, which could mean you would not be paid anything."

Hi Preston 

 

Thank you for your advice. We are looking for a full refund as we feel the work put in does not equal the amount his asking for his first milestone. 

 

Fair enough if it was something spectacular but we didnt go with that direction. 

 

 

mtngigi
Member


Neil B wrote:
Hi guys.
This is my first time hiring a freelancer in upwork.

Recently we hired a visual designer to do some logos for us. He was proffessional and met deadlines on time. Now we are on a fixed proposal. He has not reached the 1st milestone in which agreed milestone was that we choose an identity logo he produces for us. The thing is we have gone through 3 rounds and we notice on the first round he has used the same logos and or has taken components from other logo and put it together. He did admit that one of the logos he produced was actually used for a company already. After the 3rd round it seemed like we were giving more instructions to him rather then him finding the design. We were not happy with his work as there seemed to be no thought behind it. We messaged him in our intention of not further perusing his services.

He now wants to be paid in full for the first milestone. But for comming up with already used designs and very uninspiring ones we feel like it's not fair for us to give him the 1st milestone, which is half the total amount.

Need advice do we have the right not to pay since the first milestone agreed is us choosing one of his design?

Thank you

 

 

From what I've read, quickly skimming your post ... I would suggest you take some (or all) of the mock-ups he's sent, and do a Google reverse image search to make sure what he's sending to you are actually his designs. Reading between the lines, I'm thinking there's a good chance they're not. This may give you a way to proceed.


Should I cancel the contract now? Or wait for his response? He already responded to us sayinig we will no longer need his services. He has replied saying he would need full payment of the first milestone which is half the total of the project

So an update guys. 

 

After waiting 2 days for his response (3 if you count the day we messaged him that we would not be engaged with his services anymore) we had decided to pull the contract. On the same day we pulled the contract he had of course dispute of us requesting full refund of the first milestone. 

 

My question is we are gathering documentation, screenshots and writing an account of our engagement objectively. So, on the dispute page there's the part in which you leave the comment. My question is do we have another chance to present our case later down the process? Or is this the final part in which we have the only chance to plead our case along with any documentation?

 

We have gathered all the recycled logos he presented us. Seems like some of those logos were already taken for a company he had done a job for. Also, his comment is that it was 3 days of work. But for using old logos and the same concept we don't feel, for the quality of output did not warrant 3 days. Again we have not reached an agreement on logo design in which would fulfill milestone 1. He has not even submitted anything on the system for our approval.

 

Do we have another opportunity to present our case? Because at the moment he has written very little in the comment and I feel like if I come guns blazing his just waiting for what I would say so he can dismiss it.  

 

It is such a shame this was my first time using up work and it shook from the experience. 

 

Also if you guys want to see the recycled designs to better know my situation is a good idea?

 

Thank you again for your time

 

Neil

Also it is interesting to note he has taken down links to pdf files of his previous work designs form his profile. But we were lucky enough to save them before engaging his services

The first phase of the dispute process is mediation. In this phase an Upwork mediator will basically tell both of you to try and come up with a solution, to negotiate an agreement that both of you would be happy with. The mediator can not choose who should get the escrowed funds. They are not allowed to do that. Them may also tell you to pay the freelancer all of the escrowed amount. If no compromise can be made the next phase is arbitration. 

 

During the arbitration phase the freelancer pays a fee of $291 AND the client pays a fee of $291. You present your case (as does the freelancer) to the arbitrator. The arbitrator then determines who should get the funds in escrow. The arbitrator's ruling  is binding. It can not be reversed, it can not be changed. 

 

Now, during that phase a few things can happen.

1. The client initiates the the dispute and pays the fee as does the freelancer. Neither of the two will get that fee back, not even if the ruling is in your (client's) favor. or the freelancers. All that will happen is the return/payment of whatever is in escrow.

2. The client pays the fee, the freelancer doesn't. Client gets back the escrowed fund, AND the fee.back.

3. The freelancer pays the fee, the client doesn't, Freelancer gets the escrowed funds AND the fee back.

 

Two things stand out in my mind. If in the past you offered an hourly job, but this time the contract was a fixed price, perhaps the freelancer wouldn't have made as much money therefore he didn't feed like he had to put in the time and effort as in the past with an hourly contract.

and

If one of the designs/logos was the same as another site that could cause problems because even if you paid for that design, you do NOT have the rights to that design. And I'm assuming, even if it were not the same, but similar enough for you to notice it could still present a problem with copyrights. 

Suggest you follow this advice:

"...take some (or all) of the mock-ups he's sent, and do a Google reverse image search to make sure what he's sending to you are actually his designs. Reading between the lines, I'm thinking there's a good chance they're not. This may give you a way to proceed."

 

If the submitted work is not his (and I agree the odds are slim to nonexistent) you will definitely win a dispute and get all your money back.

Hi Wendy 

 

Thank you for your reply. I think theres a good chance the deisigns are his. But what the issue was he was trying to pass out recycled logos he had before to us. On his portfolio pdf file, which the links on his profile has now been taken down, he gave us numerous design which had the same design and whats worst on his portfolio it is written as to which company the design has been picked up from. My argument is that he wants the first milestone payment for 3 days of work in which if you are just taking recycled design I doubt that you had spent 3 days designing. There was no research or effort on his behalf.

Thanks for the advice Kathy!

So what I can loose if I go to the arbritation is that I loose 291 dollars from the fee and if I loose the hearing I will also loose 300 dollars from my escrow? On the freelancers side he only stands to gain 9 dollars after paying the fee and winning the 300 escrow amount.

 

Thank you for your time. I have reached out to the freelancer in hopes of comming to a settlement but so far he has not replied to any of my messages. 

Thank you guys for your input I really appreciate it

 


Neil B wrote:

Thanks for the advice Kathy!

So what I can loose if I go to the arbritation is that I loose 291 dollars from the fee and if I loose the hearing I will also loose 300 dollars from my escrow?

Yes, If the freelancer ALSO pays the $291 fee and you lose the hearing you will lose the arbitration fee of $291 and whatever is in escrow will be awarded to the freelancer. That's if the freelancer also pays the $291 fee. Also, if you win the hearing you'll get the escrowed funds returned to you, but you will not get the $291 fee. 

If the freelancer doesn't pay,the fee you get your fee back AND the escrowed funds. 

 

On the freelancers side he only stands to gain 9 dollars after paying the fee and winning the 300 escrow amount.

Corect, if the freelancer wins he'll only get what's in escrow. He won't get the fee back. (assuming you also paid the fee.) If you don't pay the fee, and he does, he'll get the fee back plus the escrowed funds.

 

It's a gamble. (whether or not he'll go to arbitration and bay the fee or if he'll back down.

 

 

Thank you for your time. I have reached out to the freelancer in hopes of comming to a settlement but so far he has not replied to any of my messages. 

Thank you guys for your input I really appreciate it

 


 

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