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A client of mine edited/added milestones to the contract after we'd already agreed upon it.

holymell
Community Guru
Melissa C Member Since: Jul 22, 2017
1 of 22

Hello!

 

I'm a bit new here, so please forgive any errors I may make within this post.

 

So far, I love Upwork. I love having the opportunity to meet/work with new people, and hopefully provide my clients a valuable service. I've had a wonderful time utilizing the platform.

 

I just have a question about one thing:

 

Is it typical for a client to edit and add milestones and break the payments up halfway through the project?

 

I just had a client do this, and it confused me a bit.

 

The original contract contained three milestones. Halfway through the project, my client added another. Then, once I had completed the milestones from the original contract, the client edited them to add another one that included a revision of the entire project (in this case, I am an editor and he had given me his manuscript to edit). No extra money was added- he had just broken up the payments into smaller increments.

 

I was just wondering if this is typical, because if so, it seems that extra work can easily be added without paying the freelancer any extra money. 

 

Of course I'm going to do what he's asked of me. I want to ensure that he's happy with the final product, but all of this was done for $100. I just want to know if you might have any tips for me as to how I can prepare for this type of thing in the future.

 

Thank you for reading. I appreciate it!

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
BEST ANSWER
2 of 22

Why would you do whatever he wants if he's adding milestones that weren't a part of the original deal? Did you tell him how much the new milestone would cost? He needs to fund it first. 

View solution in original post

holymell
Community Guru
Melissa C Member Since: Jul 22, 2017
3 of 22

Thanks for the reply. I really appreciate it.

 

I'm doing it because I want to make sure he's happy, and so that I don't get a negative review, I suppose.

 

He broke up the original agreed upon price into more milestones. They're all funded, just broken into smaller amounts that equal the original posted price.

 

So I take it that this is not typical behavior? And also I'm allowed to ask for more money?


I'm sorry for my ignorance here. I've not encountered this before.

oranus
Community Leader
Abderrazzak B Member Since: Mar 23, 2017
4 of 22

-Since you're new, He (your client) is making sure that you do every part of the job required and paid for it after verifying it by himself. that might be the raison he broked the initial price to Milestones.

-And maybe by doing this he's kind of organising the work...

-He is not making any mistakes or some sort of extra freework for you if the total amount of the funded milestones equal to the total original agreed upon hiring price... (does this make sense?)

-But all of this is up to you actually, you have to TALK to your client(s) about everything, and share your concerns...
anyway that's what I do everytime with a new client...

holymell
Community Guru
Melissa C Member Since: Jul 22, 2017
5 of 22

Thank you for your reply.

 

It's just confusing being new here. I just wanted to make sure this was okaySmiley Happy

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
6 of 22

@Melissa C wrote:

Thanks for the reply. I really appreciate it.

 

I'm doing it because I want to make sure he's happy, and so that I don't get a negative review, I suppose.

 

He broke up the original agreed upon price into more milestones. They're all funded, just broken into smaller amounts that equal the original posted price.

 

So I take it that this is not typical behavior? And also I'm allowed to ask for more money?


I'm sorry for my ignorance here. I've not encountered this before.


 Is he breaking up milestones for work that was agreed on? Is he doing it right? I do writing and 50% escrow for a draft is a no-go because 95% of the work is in the draft. I would make sure he's funding things because unfunded milestones are how noobs get screwed out of money. And also make sure he's not going out of scope. 

holymell
Community Guru
Melissa C Member Since: Jul 22, 2017
7 of 22

Oh, yeah, they're definitely funded. It was just initially broked up into two $50 payments. Then there were two $5.00 milestones, then a $40, which then changed into two $20 milestones.

 

He did add a couple of things that weren't there originally. That's why I was asking. 

 

I haven't run into this yet because the other clients I've worked with usually follow the milestones outlined in the contract.

 

It's sort of extra work in that it was not agreed upon in the original contract.

 

Luckily it's a really short book, so it shouldn't take me long to finish it.

 

I don't think it's too far out of the scope of an editor's responsibilities. I just found it odd that we started with three and he added a few extra (milestones). Originally, the last one was a 'final submission' until it changed to 'chapters 6-10 edited,' and after that was another 'final review/revision of the whole product.'

 

I was mostly wondering if this is something that's common or not, as I've only had five clients so far.

 

And I definitely understand your input from the writer's perspective! Thank you! I'm a writer, too, though not a decent enough one to charge for it, haha.

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
8 of 22

@Melissa C wrote:

Oh, yeah, they're definitely funded. It was just initially broked up into two $50 payments. Then there were two $5.00 milestones, then a $40, which then changed into two $20 milestones.

 

He did add a couple of things that weren't there originally. That's why I was asking. 

 

I haven't run into this yet because the other clients I've worked with usually follow the milestones outlined in the contract.

 

It's sort of extra work in that it was not agreed upon in the original contract.

 

Luckily it's a really short book, so it shouldn't take me long to finish it.

 

I don't think it's too far out of the scope of an editor's responsibilities. I just found it odd that we started with three and he added a few extra (milestones). Originally, the last one was a 'final submission' until it changed to 'chapters 6-10 edited,' and after that was another 'final review/revision of the whole product.'

 

I was mostly wondering if this is something that's common or not, as I've only had five clients so far.

 

And I definitely understand your input from the writer's perspective! Thank you! I'm a writer, too, though not a decent enough one to charge for it, haha.


 Melissa, just be very careful about how much work you submit at each stage. If the milestone is $5 out of $100, that client should not be seeing more than roughly 5% of your work. Clients who set a tiny milestone for a first draft or a chunk of the work often have no intention of paying for the whole project.

 

What percentage of the budget has the client moved into that "final review" category? What if no revision is necessary after you submit the last piece?

tj1972
Community Guru
Tamaz J Member Since: Nov 4, 2014
9 of 22

Personally I don't think Melissa that this is a good/professional behavior from client. Usually, everything is agreed before the contarct starts in the proposal (at least this is how I do it).

Yes, sometimes my clients and I also do some chages along the contact executaion (usually in the long term contracts). But, all these chages are mutually agreed and based on particular situations.

Moreover, I never ask my clients to increase the agreed budget unless there is a dramatic change in the designs initiated by the client. What's important, I clearly state this in the proposal.

My advise somewhat similar to Jennifer's one - keep an eye client is not asking for something beyond what is already agreed. Otherwise, client needs to pay for any extra work. And, all milestones has to be funded.

holymell
Community Guru
Melissa C Member Since: Jul 22, 2017
10 of 22

Thank you!

 

I will just chalk it up to a newbie freelancer's grey area, and learn from the experience. 

 

Personally, I haven't seen it before, so if I do happen to see it again, I will make sure that more communication is involved. That was the only thing that sort of bothered me- he simply added new milestones for smaller amounts that he didn't seek to inform me of.

 

You guys are really nice here. Thanks for taking valuable time from your day to help me.

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