So, my freelancer told me the project would take a maximum of 60 hours. He hit that time 7 days ago and requested for 2 days extension. I hired him 2 weeks ago on hourly contract.
I gave him the extension and up till now he is still working on the project and requested additional 2 days yesterday, it's not even half done yet. It seems like he's delaying time so I can't open a dispute.
What will happen if I were to dispute or he cancels the project, is my first payment to him guaranteed to be gone?
Please help, thanks!
I checked your contract and your account and I can see that you`ve already talked with one of our agents and has advised you about what actions to take.
If you have any additional questions feel free to post them here. Thank you.
I want you and your project to succeed.
Unfortunately, I think you may have confused some elements of the fixed-price and hourly contract models.
You are using an hourly contract, which means you may dispute blocks of time that the freelancer logged if the work dairies show the freelancer doing things OTHER THAN working on your project. Or if the memos are insufficient. OR if the freelancer was using manual time instead of using the time-tracker application.
But you can't file a dispute for not receiving a specific deliberable, as can be done with fixed-price contracts.
re: "What will happen if I were to dispute or he cancels the project, is my first payment to him guaranteed to be gone?"
Pretty much all of your payments to him are guaranteed to be gone unless you have some basis for disputing his hours (see above).
If you are not satisfied with this freelancer's work, then you may pause the contract or close the contract AT ANY TIME. You do NOT need permission to do so. Just do it. You are under no obligation to continue working with this freelancer.
If this is the ONLY FREELANCER who hired to work on this project, then you really can't compare his work to how other people would work. So you don't know if you're saving money or losing money by working with this freelancer.
You should probably hire additional people to work on the project. See if they can move things along faster and better. Continue working with only the freelancers whose work you value the most.
You could keep the current freelancer's contract open, but pause the contract while you get help from some other people. If you find that those people can replace the current freelancer while saving you money, great! You might end up un-pausing the current freelancer's contract and have him work in a more limited capacity, providing some consultation for the project, but having other people do the bulk of the work.
Thanks for the replies. I have paused my contract with the freelancer, he told me the project will be completed tomorrow.
How would I know if he's working on my project or not, most of the screenshots are a page of code and my website's home page. I do not understand code at all so have no way to see if he's doing actual work from the work diary. The only thing I'm seeing is my website having none of the functions or designs I have requested.
Am I not able to win the dispute if barely any work has been done on my site but work diary shows freelancer "doing things"?
Also please refer to the screenshot below, he seems to have used an autotyper but dispute period has passed for that.
re: "How would I know if he's working on my project or not, most of the screenshots are a page of code and my website's home page. I do not understand code at all so have no way to see if he's doing actual work from the work diary. The only thing I'm seeing is my website having none of the functions or designs I have requested."
When I work on a project like this, then I regularly send messages to the client to update him about what I'm doing. I include LINKS to the new pages and tools, and screenshots showing what I'm doing.
These are links that the client can click on and test new functionality for himself.
I send updates every few hours of working time, or when significant new pieces are viewable and testable.
It is completely unnecessary for the client to look at work diaries, although he is welcome to do so.
The client doesn't need to understand code. He understands that something he runs in his own browser on his own computer works or doesn't work. No project like this should wait to test things when it's done. Things should always be delivered and tested in a modular manner.
re: "Am I not able to win the dispute if barely any work has been done on my site but work diary shows freelancer 'doing things'?"
I can't say for certain. Probably not.
But this is not a question that successful clients ask, because for successful clients, the dispute process does not exist. In their minds, there is no possibility of filing a dispute or getting a refund. They manage their projects proactively, secure in the knowledge that Upwork will not bail them out, and that if they paid money to a freelancer, that money is gone permanently.
That is real projects actually get completed.
The USEFUL power that clients have is the ability to close or pause a contract at any time, for any reason. If they're not satisfied with the work that one of the freelancers on their team is doing, they quickly stop working with that freelancer and continue working only with the freelancers whose work they value the most.
Thanks for the detailed reply Preston.
My freelancer has not shown me any of the functionalities, I've tested them on my own.
When I asked him why they weren't working he said it's because of another functionality he's working on that's conflicting.
Today, he told me functionality is working but not design and once design is complete my website will be working properly. Also I should mention that he is designing a client dashboard and payment system/purchase forms for me.
re: "When I asked him why they weren't working he said it's because of another functionality he's working on that's conflicting."
I have no way of knowing if this freelancer is brilliant, or if he is leading you on.
But that's NOT the way I work. It sounds like a very goofy way to work.
I'm not available to work on your project, but there are plenty of freelancers available who will create working functionality one demonstrable piece at a time rather than promise everything will work "at the end."
As a client, how are you supposed to work with that way of doing things?
re: "Today, he told me functionality is working but not design and once design is complete my website will be working properly."
If the functionality is working, then show it to me.
Normally, for a project of this size, a client wouldn't even be having the same person do the functionality and design. These should be un-coupled, as separate tasks handled by separate people.
Ok thanks for the info, I had no idea different freelancers could work on my website.
So if he was leading me on from the start, Upwork will not intervene since it was up to me to spot scammers?
re: "I had no idea different freelancers could work on my website"
With any major website you have ever used, it is likely that multiple people worked on it. And it is likely that the functionality and design is handled in separate "layers". It is likely programming/functionality was done by different people.