Hello guys, This is the first time for me that I put questions to a community to get help and the first time I try to use a platform like Upwork to get a job I need. First resort to Upwork because a person I hired for a job that disappointed me , I could not resolve the dispute , and I was with no money and no work , which is a bit traumatizing . So I have some questions regarding the Upwork I thank anyone who can help me. 1. What kind of contract protects more the customer? Fixed price or hourly rate ? 2. If the customer has to pay first and before work starts, what guarantee or protection the customer has that he gets back the money if the work is not carried out , not carried out according to specifications ? 3. What precautions should the customer have to be repaid ( if this is possible ) or get the job done right and within the agreed time ? Many thanks all Miguel
First of all, your post is *really* hard to read because you formatted it in a weird way (as code or something?) so people have to scroll across to read it. You might wanna change that to get more responses.
Now, on to your actual questions... I don't know anything about your own issue so all I can do is answer your questions in a general way. If you add more detail about your issue, people may be able to give you more specific answers. But anyway:
1) The difference between contract types is not a matter of which one protects the client more. They are for completely separate types of jobs and both offer protection in their own way:
a) Hourly contracts are for projects that require ongoing support, or regular work, or are large projects that can't be accurately scoped. You are paying for the freelancer's *time*, not a specific outcome. The protection the client gets is being able to review the work diary of the freelancer (assuming you make them use it and don't allow manual time) and to dispute hours you don't think relate to the task the freelancer is supposed to be working on for you.
b) Fixed price contracts are for projects that require a specific outcome, or large projects that can be broken down into specific deliverables. You are paying for what the freelancer *delivers*, not their overall time. The protection the client gets is the option to not pay until a deliverable is actually delivered, and to request changes to the deliverable to meet the project requirements.
2) The client does not have to pay first before work starts. Some freelancers may request an initial up-front payment (this is more common in some fields, I don't know what field you are in), but this should be negotiated by both parties before the contract is finalised. Usually this would be on a fixed price contract and it would be set up as your first milestone. You could do it on an hourly contract with an initial bonus also. If you don't want to pay in this way, don't. Choose a different freelancer. If you *choose* to make an up-front payment (it is a choice you make, you are not required to do this), then you have no guarantee of anything. You are making a payment with no specified deliverable so Upwork cannot "protect" you because you have chosen to pay for nothing.
3) The precautions you should take are:
a) Pay a reasonable price. Don't pay really low rates. If you are paying for cheap you will get cheap.
b) Choose a freelancer with a long and successful history on Upwork with lots of previous satisfied clients. (This is more relevant if you are new to hiring freelancers. If you're more experienced you can "take a chance" on a new freelancer but for new clients I always recommend working with experienced freelancers.)
c) Clearly specify the requirements of your project in your initial job posting and in your contract discussion your shortlisted freelancers.
d) Interview a few different freelancers to find the one that you communicate with best.
e) Depending on the size and cost of your project, you may wish to hire initially 2-3 freelancers for a *paid* trial. Ask them to do a small amount of work for a small fixed price (or limit them to 1 hour of time). Review the work they did and choose the one you like best for the rest of the project. This isn't always practical but it can save you time and money long-term if you have a large project.
f) If you project is large, consider hiring a project manager.
g) Whether your project manager is you or someone else, that person should regularly review the work diary (for hourly contracts) or the submitted milestones (for fixed price) to make sure you are happy with the work being done. If you're not happy, cancel the project and get a new freelancer. You're not obliged to stick with the same one.
Upwork is great for clients if they use the tools provided to them to manage their freelancers.
Jennifer has (as always) done a very thorough job of responding to your questions.
I just want to add that I think maybe when you say "if I have to pay up front," you are talking about the escrow requirement for fixed price jobs. That payment does not go to the freelancer when you pay, but is deposited with Upwork and only released to the freelancer when you have either approved the work or let the two week period in which to request revisions lapse without action.
If the freelancer does not deliver on the project, you request a refund from Upwork. At no time prior to your approval or the end of that 14-day period after submission does the freelancer have access to the funds you've deposited.
maybe he means that the freelancer asked for payment before work which a lot of them do ask for. i don't believe that upwork would protect you in that case and i would never do that unless trust had developed (but the if there were a relationship the freelancer should trust you too and not request that payment).
Successful contractors do not rely on "guarantees" or "protection."
Successful clients do not rely on "guarantees" or "protection."
It's not complicated:
Work with people who demonstate they can be trusted. Don't work with the other kind.
Start out small. Go bigger with people you can trust.