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5a9bbfc0
Community Member

Freelancers! What annoys you about clients?

Hi everyone!

 

As a client here on upwork, I'm curious to know what freelancers find annoying about clients. What behaviors do you dislike, what should clients improve to make your job easier etc.?

 

Please also mention the kinds of jobs you apply to (writing, programming, design etc.), maybe there are interesting differences.

47 REPLIES 47
luce-neidert
Community Member

Hi Andreas, 

 

This forum is a mine if you are interested in finding out what behaviour annoys freelancers!

 

What annoys me the most is when a client doesn't close a contract, which can affect a freelancer's JSS, and then doesn't react when he is sent messages begging him to close the contract.

 

Other than that, I find that when a client doesn't communicate enough, it can be a bit depressing. I guess it's because we are very lonely behind our screens and need some interaction. 

rnracheal
Community Member

I apply for writing jobs and I have found what annoys me the most since starting on here, and I am still relatively new-ish, is the lack of response time. They headline their postings with URGENT, NEED NOW and then take their time responding. 

 

I'm always grateful for the work I receive, but I tell you what, it can be frustrating waiting for responses and they seem to go for quantity over quality. 

Welcome to the community, Racheal (Is this pronounced the same as Rachel? or more like "Rah-Sheel"?)

 

Keep at it and don't give up. It always takes time in the beginning. After meeting the right people they'll keep you busy so you don't even have to worry about those who never revert back to you.

It's pronounced like Rashell :). And thank you, I appreciate that. I've been a nurse for six years, and just really want a career change!

completely true, the URGENT ones are often a bit sketchy.... I recently accepted a very small job (translation), client said in job offer: need it in 15 minutes!! So I accepted because it was a really charming childrens story text, and when I did, he replied: will be off my computer now for an hour... I: no!!! then he didn't, and we had some fun exchanges. 

so, that was a nice experience. 

But otherwise, requesting something very urgently, and then disappearing is really a torture device....

m_terrazas
Community Member

Hi Andreas,


I am dedicated to animation and design.
What bothers me most when I see a job advertisement is that, many, many times, the explanation of what the client needs is non-existent.
Many do not take the trouble to give an explanation and only find phrases like:
"I need an animation for my company"
"I would like the design of a pamphlet"

 

No information about the material that he/she can provide, what the animation is about, what duration, format of output, and so on.

Maddening!

shohel121
Community Member

Hi Andreas,

With one word, I can tell the story: Communication! 

When communication doesn't go well, the projects become annoying. 

Thank you.

Shohel

Hi Andreas, for a job to run smoothly and achieve the desired results there must be a collaborative effort by both client and freelancer.  Communication is essential b/c no one is a mind reader.  Couple both with honesty and transparency from both parties > you'll have a long -term partner who cares as much about the project's success as the owner.

 

I'm a writer and branding person.

knwlzahid
Community Member

Same here.

The most annoying thing of a client is not closing the contract. There are clients those regulalry respond to message during the course of projtc but as soon as the work is done, They stop responding to the messages  especially when requesting them to end the contract. 

 

I work for business consulting domain. 

Kanwal

why do they do that? I am assuming that ending the contract is just one klick that the client has to do.... it is disrespectful to the freelancer. After all, this is a partnership, both parties contribute. 

millermelanie
Community Member

I'm a writer. My pet peeve is when the client tells me he will give me the information I need in order to get started "first thing in the morning," then I don't hear from him for another 10 days, and he gets annoyed when I tell him I am no longer available.  Of course, he's put out, because now he has to start the process of finding a freelancer all over again, or he can just wait until I can work him back into my schedule. Some of them don't seem to understand that we work for multiple clients and actually have to juggle a schedule to get everyone in.  If he had simply told me up front it would be another 10 days, there would have been no problem, as I would have held a time slot open 10 days hence. Meanwhile, I may have turned down an earlier job, thinking he was going to be ready to start when he originally told me he was!  Makes me want to do what doctors do -- charge for missed appointments without at least a 24 (48?) hour prior notification!

 

That open contract thing, too, although I kind of blame Upwork for that. I'm sure clients have no idea that freelancers are penalized for inactive/open contracts. UPWORK NEEDS TO REMOVE THAT PENALTY FEATURE FROM THEIR ALGORITHM, UNLESS THEY ARE GOING TO ACTIVELY PURSUE OUR CLIENTS TO ENCOURAGE THEM TO CLOSE THEIR CONTRACTS. Freelancers should not have to annoy clients about it, as an annoyed client may take that out on us in their feedback. It's a no-win for freelancers, either way.  Furthermore, I have several clients who are website "hobby-ists" and only require my services once in a blue moon when the mood hits them. They like to keep the contract open as a convenience so they don't have to hunt for me. I don't blame them; I'd do the same, but, again, they have no idea that I am hurt professionally by that, even though it is no fault of mine. I'm not sure why it's considered a "fault," at all. If a contract is inactive for a while, isn't that entirely on the client? Isn't the fact that a client wants the contract kept open with me "just in case" a good thing? He obviously likes me, if he wants to keep me around until he's ready. Why it lowers rather than raises a JSS has me puzzled!

 

I got off topic. Sorry!


@Melanie M wrote:

That open contract thing, too, although I kind of blame Upwork for that. I'm sure clients have no idea that freelancers are penalized for inactive/open contracts. UPWORK NEEDS TO REMOVE THAT PENALTY FEATURE FROM THEIR ALGORITHM, UNLESS THEY ARE GOING TO ACTIVELY PURSUE OUR CLIENTS TO ENCOURAGE THEM TO CLOSE THEIR CONTRACTS.


No need to shout.  Provided "some" money was paid at some point and the freelancer does not have a significant percentage of such contracts, "No feedback" contracts and inactive contracts do NOT affect the JSS (they may or may not have done at some point in the distant past,but at this point in time they do not.)

 

What hurts is "No money paid and no feedback" - whether open or closed.

 


@Petra R wrote:


No need to shout.  Provided "some" money was paid at some point and the freelancer does not have a significant percentage of such contracts, "No feedback" contracts and inactive contracts do NOT affect the JSS (they may or may not have done at some point in the distant past,but at this point in time they do not.)

 

What hurts is "No money paid and no feedback" - whether open or closed.

 


Has this changed? Because the only time my JSS has dipped is when an open contract hit 90 days of inactivity - and that was the only thing that changed in that calculation period. On the official JSS page, they list "contracts without activity" and "excessive lack of feedback" as negative factors right in the explanatory graphic.

"Has this changed? Because the only time my JSS has dipped is when an open contract hit 90 days of inactivity - and that was the only thing that changed in that calculation period. On the official JSS page, they list "contracts without activity" and "excessive lack of feedback" as negative factors right in the explanatory graphic."

 

That has been my experience, as well.

it does not seem fair, if it reflects negatively on JSS when a contract is closed with no deliveries and no money paid. 

Maybe some party has changed their mind, does not need the work anymore, so it seems one gets punished for changing their mind. 

I did recently reject an offer for a small additional text, sent the text for free, in hopes of getting the very annoying client off my back.... not sure if that affects JSS? I never accepted the offer. It shouldn't, right?

resultsassoc
Community Member

Clients who do not review milestone one, then tie me up in four to six hours of conversation each of the following six to eight weeks, and get offended when I bill them for my wasted time.

 

Narcissists. I explore for narcissism but sometimes miss it.

 

Clients who agree to a specified scope of work, such as edit the existing business book manuscript, and then reject the work because he expected the content to be tripled.

 

Clients who believe this is a tiered relationship with the freelancer being on a lower tier.

 

Clients focused principally on price. Business strategy, $7,500. "But I can get someone in China to do it for $200." You can also get brain surgery in a dark alley for $9.95

scientistbhoot
Community Member

Hello everyone,

 

Mainly I am a Graphic Designer but I can do some other things too.

 

The question is: "What annoy me most about the clients?"

The answer is: "Nothing!"

Explanation: My upwork journey is not that long but I have gone through some really bad experience and some really good experience with the clients. And some are too professional and some are like "Really?"...

In my experience, I think (maybe | not sure) I am okay with all typs of client behaviors (so far).

Because I believe, client is always right, even when they're not!

If anything annoy us, we can't do anything about it, we just have to say " How can I help you Sir?  " ...!!

 

...a condescending attitude...

 

But then, that p&ss#s me off with anybody.

 

And the more I get....peeved...the more really big words I start using. *I have a very extensive vocabulary that I seldom use...*


@Irene B wrote:

...a condescending attitude...

 

But then, that p&ss#s me off with anybody.

 

And the more I get....peeved...the more really big words I start using. *I have a very extensive vocabulary that I seldom use...*


 I do too; especially my Afrikaans vocabulary. It just rolls off the tongue... 

Clients who lie about their location. I've just been invited to a job  by a client in Belgium. I answered first before seeing the massive time difference. As far as I am aware Belgium is in Europe - not in the Far East.

 

The client has not even bothered to look at my profile as they have asked for a CV. 

 

 

 

 


@Md. Morshed A wrote:

Hello everyone,

 

Mainly I am a Graphic Designer but I can do some other things too.

 

The question is: "What annoy me most about the clients?"

The answer is: "Nothing!"

Explanation: My upwork journey is not that long but I have gone through some really bad experience and some really good experience with the clients. And some are too professional and some are like "Really?"...

In my experience, I think (maybe | not sure) I am okay with all typs of client behaviors (so far).

Because I believe, client is always right, even when they're not!

If anything annoy us, we can't do anything about it, we just have to say " How can I help you Sir?  " ...!!

 


Having worked with clients on a face to face basis for most of my adult life, I have never believed that the client is always right- and I have no problem with telling them so. Telling a client he is wrong right from the get-go is a valuable skill all freelancers should learn very early on in their careers, because bending over backwards all the time can give you a crooked spine, and nobody wants that.  


@Reinier B wrote:
Telling a client he is wrong right from the get-go is a valuable skill all freelancers should learn very early on in their careers.

 Thank you Reinier...

I will roger that.

I politely disagree.

The client is not always right.

That you should stay professional at all times is without question. 

But you will hopefully not work with a nasty client again, or you might be suspected of being masochistic.

I recently read in a bad feedback to a translator, her reply: client questioned capitalizing of nouns in German. Thats why he gave her a bad review? We don't know the whole story, but it is really bad if your correct work gets questioned because of lack of knowledge by the client....

colleenezzell
Community Member

I'm not sure if this annoyance is caused by clients or Upwork. I'm an editor/proofreader and those are the kinds of jobs to which I apply. What annoys me is that I rarely hear when/if the job is filled by another editor/proofreader, whether I missed the deadline for applying, or whether the job was closed. Surely Upwork could program something into a proposal that would allow the client to just click the reason why the unsuccessful candidates were unsuccessful. "Selected another candidate," "didn't meet requirements,"job withdrawn," or whatever other reason. Just for kicks, I left a proposal in my file since November, 2017, with no response. If I don't hear from a potential client in a week, I assume I'm out of the running.

actually, they do have that. 

Just like you can close an offer in your feed with a number of reasons, the client can do that also. It says, will not be delivered to client, but I got some of these by e-mail, must have been a glitch in the matrix. 


@Martina P wrote:

actually, they do have that. 

Just like you can close an offer in your feed with a number of reasons, the client can do that also. It says, will not be delivered to client, but I got some of these by e-mail, must have been a glitch in the matrix. 


 

Hi Martina. Could you please help us tell which comment you're replying to, by quoting that comment. Even if you click the Reply button on the comment, your reply won't necessarily appear immediately after that comment. (It seems to me that sometimes comments are shown in "threaded" order and sometimes they're not.)

 

To quote a comment in your reply, click that comment's Reply button, and then in the editor click the quote symbol (") above the toolbar.

booksist
Community Member

Nothing in particular. I chose my clients carefully, and most of them prove to be a joy to work with.

But I sometimes feel uncomfortable when I work with someone for the first time. That's what annoys me, but I'm getting over it ๐Ÿ™‚

madamep
Community Member

I get particularly annoyed when a job post states "Expert Level", offers a proofreading job of a machine translated doc, and pays less than 0,01$ per word... when it would actually need rewriting altogether !

 

 

allergywriter
Community Member

Andreas:

I am a writer and editor.

I can't stand a client that says things along the line of "it's just a small job" or "it won't take long for someone that knows what they are doing". The absolute worst is a client that doesn't value my skillset.

 

When I see phrases like this in a job description I don't even apply. It shows me the client doesn't kow what is involved in a job and doesn't value the skill set it takes to do it well.

 

After all, if it is just a small job and is so easy that it won't take any time at all..then why not just skip your lunch hour today and do it yourself? Oh wait, you can't do it..that's why you are hiring me :o)

calvo_juan
Community Member

Lately I have noticed this trend of clients feeling entitled to become successful authors at Amazon, despite their talent or budget.  I imagine there must be some sort of motivational blog out there encouraging them to spam this site.

silw
Community Member

The only thing that annoys me is if a client wants to share the story of his life before talking about the budget, even if I asked for it straight forward.

In 100% of all cases that's a waste of time for everyone.


@Juan C wrote:

Lately I have noticed this trend of clients feeling entitled to become successful authors at Amazon, despite their talent or budget.  I imagine there must be some sort of motivational blog out there encouraging them to spam this site.

 

 


 I see this a lot, "you need to have the skills to make me a bestselling author!" and I think a) if being a bestselling author was so easy and predictable, we'd all do it or, b) if there were people with that exact skill, to guarantee a bestseller, they would be drowning in money. 

 

Anyway, my peeves:

 

- Clients not closing contracts. I never used to get this, but recently it is happening a lot. The majority of them seem to have disappeared from the site completely, maybe only wanting one-time jobs, but others are still here posting job offers but apparently just refusing to answer my messages. 

 

- Clients who take forever to answer messages or release payment. When people are loose with their deadlines, it doesn't bother me so much, because I assume they're laid-back, or not very busy, or just aren't in any type of panic to receive the work, so don't bother checking Upwork that much. Some, though, get the work and then don't answer messages (I always message to check that everything is fine with the work) or, worse, just don't seem to want to release payment. 5 days to receive is already a while, I don't want to wait weeks. 

 

madison-russell
Community Member

I work in data entry and admin support, and the two things that annoy me most about clients are receiving limited instructions and being ghosted.

Just today I had a call with a client to discuss several mistakes made in some files. Yes, a couple of those mistakes were genuinely mine, but most were due to limited instructions given by the client.

I also have at least five open contracts from the last 2 or 3 months from clients who promised work, told me what they wanted, and then disappeared. Extremely frustrating, especially since I wasted so much time speaking with them.

Job posts containing: "I will specify the task after assigning the freelancer".

 

Clients saying: "It shouldn't take more than 5-10 minutes" when they have specifically asked for high quality work.

 

Clients complaining about your fee, explaining in detail why they can't afford it, that it's too high and that you need to lower your fee by 20-35% because they don't want to "overpay".

 

In general, I don't like people who are not able to say/write just simple "thanks". It can be "thx" as well, I wouldn't mind!

I don't like people who keep open projects for something that was defined as a fixed-price one-time thing (and was over and done), and then grade you down on availability because you were not available to work on something else later on. I don't like people who treat  business as a love relationship and get all sour and vindictive when you decide to move on. (I'd understand it somewhat if you leave them in them lurch, but otherwise no.) 

 

r2streu
Community Member

Somebody mentioned vagueness in the job post. I second that! I'm a voice talent. There no way I can put together a proper bid without knowing the scope of the project. Word count or length... What it is... The TYPE of read (do they need a straight voice over, characters, etc?)

The other is lack of communication at all points. I'm sitting on a contract right now because the client was considering changing the scope. They went back and forth a bit and were very communicative.... But after settling on what they wanted and getting my final price, still haven't gotten back or started the contract. And I just KNOW I'll be getting an email asking about the status before they ever submit the offer...
chickenupwork
Community Member

Clients that aren't clear about what they want are a pain. Going back and forth between a single requirement multiple times because it wasn't communicated properly is about the worst thing I can imagine. Especially with fixed price projects; I don't care nearly as much for hourly projects.

 

So basically, know what you want before you ask anyone to do it. Don't change your mind halfway every single time just because you can.

sergio-soria
Community Member

If there is one thing that's really annoying is clients looking for experts (they like to call them "rockstars", "ninjas" or some other laughable names like that) and saying that the bid should be between $3 and $10, otherwise they will not even take a look at the proposal. What kind of nonsense is that? Sometimes they do this in a way that can't be filtered in the search engine. Some newcomers will eventually take a job like that in order to land a first gig, but most likely clients will not get any "rockstar." It's looking for a needle in a haystack.

 

Clients posting a job and disappearing for good is another annoying thing. Because if you are a good freelancer you look carefully, think and write a good proposal, send samples, etc. It's time you spend doing it to win. I have seen tons of job posts with several proposals and they don't hire nor interview anyone. I think that Upwork should automatically close idle job posts after 1 week and reimburse connects.

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