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A Problematic Client

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Active Member
Maryia K Member Since: Jun 23, 2017
1 of 11

Hello,

I have a problematic client and I need an advice on how to deal with them.

Recently we had a contract, I had to create 10 illustrations for their book, after completing the first milestone the client refused to fully fund the next milestone while demanding me to continue working. I refused and suggested to end the contract if they won't fund the milestone as agreed. They say they won't and I ended the contract and left an honest feedback describing the client's unprofessional attitude. They didn't leave their feedback and I suspect it's because they are afraid I left a negative feedback (in their history you can see either excellent feedback or no feedback).

Now they are writing me again asking to continue working (and I was considering that for a while because they finally funded properly for their new offer but I had my doubts and couldn't accept it for a while because my schedule was full) and acusing me of not accepting their offer and "making things complicated". I don't want to block them because then I am afraid they will leave a negative feedback on that ended contract (it's only 10 days left after it was ended, it should be 14 for the client not to be able to leave a feedback anymore). Their "no feedback" already affects my score negatively, I don't want it to be affected even more. What should I do? And what I described may be enough to report the client? Because I think their attitude is highly unprofessional at least.

Thank you!

P.S. I am top rated but couldn't find top rated freelancer community that is supposed to be somewhere here, so I hope it's okay that I'm asking here.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2 of 11

Maryia K wrote:
 I refused and suggested to end the contract if they won't fund the milestone as agreed. They say they won't and I ended the contract and left an honest feedback describing the client's unprofessional attitude. They didn't leave their feedback and I suspect it's because they are afraid I left a negative feedback (in their history you can see either excellent feedback or no feedback).

Now they are writing me again asking to continue working (and I was considering that for a while because they finally funded properly for their new offer but I had my doubts and couldn't accept it for a while because my schedule was full) and acusing me of not accepting their offer and "making things complicated". I don't want to block them because then I am afraid they will leave a negative feedback on that ended contract (it's only 10 days left after it was ended, it should be 14 for the client not to be able to leave a feedback anymore).


 1. The client has proven to be difficult and life's too short to work with difficult clients.

2. Your feedback to the client WILL show once the 14 days are up. I think accepting that 2nd contract will lead to revenge feedback on the 2nd contract for sure.

 


Maryia K wrote: Their "no feedback" already affects my score negatively,

 No, it doesn't.

 


Maryia K wrote: What should I do?

 Here is what I would do: I would tell the client very sweetly that you unfortunately have absolutely no spare time this week, you schedule is already overbooked, can they get in touch again beginning of next week to see if things got easier. Then wait out the 14 days, and then decline and block the client.

No, there is nothing to "report" the client for. Trying to hire you is not a violation of the terms of service Smiley Wink

 

 

Active Member
Maryia K Member Since: Jun 23, 2017
3 of 11

2. Your feedback to the client WILL show once the 14 days are up. I think accepting that 2nd contract will lead to revenge feedback on the 2nd contract for sure.

Oh, I thought my feedback won't show unless they leave one to me. Omg, good to know!


 Here is what I would do: I would tell the client very sweetly that you unfortunately have absolutely no spare time this week, you schedule is already overbooked, can they get in touch again beginning of next week to see if things got easier. Then wait out the 14 days, and then decline and block the client.




That is what I am already trying to do (and even considered working with them but now I see that's a very bad idea) but it's getting exhausting, they are trying to argue even when I say that my schedule is full (which is true) asking me to work little by little in spare timeSmiley LOL I thought that may be there could be a better solution, but I guess I will just try to make my replies slower and slower or something and just brace myself 4 days long haha.

Thank you for your reply, it was very helpful!

 

 

 

 

Community Guru
Martina P Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
4 of 11

Maryia K wrote:

Hello,

I have a problematic client and I need an advice on how to deal with them.

Recently we had a contract, I had to create 10 illustrations for their book, after completing the first milestone the client refused to fully fund the next milestone while demanding me to continue working. I refused and suggested to end the contract if they won't fund the milestone as agreed. They say they won't and I ended the contract and left an honest feedback describing the client's unprofessional attitude. They didn't leave their feedback and I suspect it's because they are afraid I left a negative feedback (in their history you can see either excellent feedback or no feedback).

Now they are writing me again asking to continue working (and I was considering that for a while because they finally funded properly for their new offer but I had my doubts and couldn't accept it for a while because my schedule was full) and acusing me of not accepting their offer and "making things complicated". I don't want to block them because then I am afraid they will leave a negative feedback on that ended contract (it's only 10 days left after it was ended, it should be 14 for the client not to be able to leave a feedback anymore). Their "no feedback" already affects my score negatively, I don't want it to be affected even more. What should I do? And what I described may be enough to report the client? Because I think their attitude is highly unprofessional at least.

Thank you!

P.S. I am top rated but couldn't find top rated freelancer community that is supposed to be somewhere here, so I hope it's okay that I'm asking here.


 What would you want to report the client for? I don't see anything in your description. 

Why are you even thinking about working with a client who would likely during your contract become aware of the bad feedback you left for him? Very unwise. 

No feedback does not hurt your JSS unless its excessive. 

Active Member
Maryia K Member Since: Jun 23, 2017
5 of 11

Thank you!

Now I see considering working for that client again was a very bad idea (I thought my negative feedback won't ever show up if they don't leave a feedback to me so they will never know), now I know better, phew.

Ace Contributor
Emmanouil G Member Since: Sep 9, 2016
6 of 11

As Petra said, life's too short to work with difficult clients. Also, not working with hard clients leaves you with more time to devote to people who you are having a great time working with. However, what I wanted to add is don't be afraid to receive negative feedback. Even the best professionals can get negative feedback which may be due to a plethora of reasons.

Active Member
Maryia K Member Since: Jun 23, 2017
7 of 11

Thank you Emmanouil, these are wise words and a good advice! (considering bad feedback, last half a year I had a number of challenging clients and I am afraid to loose my top rated status; what is upsetting me the most is that it doesn't matter how hard I work there still might be a number of problematic clients that will act unprofessional and then blame unsuccessful projects on me and lower my score.)

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
8 of 11

Maryia K wrote:

 ... I am afraid to loose my top rated status; what is upsetting me the most is that it doesn't matter how hard I work there still might be a number of problematic clients that will act unprofessional and then blame unsuccessful projects on me and lower my score.)


 You need to make sure you vet your clients very carefully. Usually there are red flags / warning signs before you even accept the contract if you've interviewed them right.

 

You are aware that as a top rated freelancer you can remove one contract every 3 months max and once every 10 contracts max from your JSS calculation using your top rated perk, yes?

 

Active Member
Maryia K Member Since: Jun 23, 2017
9 of 11


 You need to make sure you vet your clients very carefully. Usually there are red flags / warning signs before you even accept the contract if you've interviewed them right.

 


I guess because I was lucky and had a lot of good sweet clients in my first year on UpWork I let my guard down/never learned to properly interview and now am paying for itSmiley LOL As for that exact client there were red flags with them before I accepted the contract, but they had a good work history and finally accepted my quote they were negotiating about a lot (even though I stated from the beginning it is my minimum quote and had to repeat it multiply times) and it was a long-term project that I struggled to get so I decided to give it a shot. Well that would be a lesson for me.


You are aware that as a top rated freelancer you can remove one contract every 3 months max and once every 10 contracts max from your JSS calculation using your top rated perk, yes?


Yes I am aware of that and it makes me feel better but still I want to do my best to not have to use this perc! May be I need to lower my expectations and don't stress out so much about all of this score thing though.

Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
10 of 11

In most instances, a client who is reluctant to pay your fee before a contract is entered into will be no happier about paying it later. And some will attempt to renegotiate after the fact through abuse of the feedback system. 

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