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holymell
Member

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

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!

ACCEPTED SOLUTION
lysis10
Member

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. 

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21 REPLIES 21
lysis10
Member

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. 

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.

-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...

Thank you for your reply.

 

It's just confusing being new here. I just wanted to make sure this was okay:)


@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. 

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 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
Member

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.

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.

tlbp
Member

Is extra work being added without extra payment or it is just the same work and pay being split into smaller increments? 

The only one that was added work was the last one. 

 

 

I am not sure what you are seeing, because what you are describing is actually not even possible.

 

It is not possible for a client to change the amounts of funded milestones.

It is not possible to add funded milestones without releasing existing milestones first.

Color me confused too. I don't know what is going on but it doesn't sound good. Doesn't sound like the project is big enough for multiple milestones.

I don't think that I am explaining this right.

 

The client initially had three milestones on the project that added up to $100. The first one was for $5.00. The second was working through the first half of the book and was $50. The third was working through the second half, which was $50.

 

He did not fund the next one until the current one upon which I had been working had been surpassed.

 

Then, he would basically add a milestone yet again. 

 

Intitally, there were three: 1. Understanding the Project (which was $5.00). I informed him that I was more than familiar with what he expected of me. At that point, the next milestone said: 2. Re-work intoduction and transition into chapter one (which was also 5.00). After that another one appeared that said 3. Finish chapters 5-7, which was for $50. Okay. I did that. At that point, the very last one read: 4. Chapters 7-9, and those were $40.

 

So I did chapters 7-9. When I go to submit them, I suppose I must have missed that he'd changed the amount to $20. I guess I should have ensured that the money was there and that it was funded. He had funded the previous milestones, so I assumed that these were funded as well. Maybe I was wrong about that. I don't know.

 

Anyway, after I submit those last two chapters, I wait four days in which I hear nothing from him. Then, I'm alerted that there is one more milestone that is #5: Review entire book for any missed errors. That was $20.

 

 

Honestly, I was fine with going back through it. I want my work to be as close to error-free as possible. The thing that bugged me a bit was how the milestones changed and the amounts were broken up into smaller amounts. This was not in the original contract. He could have asked me, and I would still have completed them.

 

Anyway, I apologize if I'm not providing the right information. I must have made some kind of error somewhere along the line. I'm still becoming familiarized with how all of this functions. Which is why I wanted to ask you guys if this kind of thing happens frequently. Because if so, I would love to learn how to avoid it.

 

you're not getting paid

 

you need to tell people to fund all upfront. $100 is not enough to fund partially. 

 

he smelled your weakness and capitalized on it

 

next time, fund it all or sod off is what you tell them

 

the good news is that you said you'd do whatever to make him happy, and I'm sure not paying you has made him very happy

Really?

 

Oh god.

 

So, what did I miss here? We agreed to a contract of $100.

 

He awarded me two of the milestones...does that still mean that I'm not getting paid? 

 

I've had so many good experiences here that something like this never ocurred to me. 

 

Great. Well, I guess I've learned a 40-hour lesson. Should have been more knowledgeable about the way the site works. This is on me.

 

And yeah, I'm sure not paying me will make him super happy!

 

 

Edit- actually, it says he's paid $75 of the $100. I'm just waiting on the last $25...

 

So I'm even more confused than I was before. 

 

Are you saying that what likely ocurred what that he only provided money to fund the project as those previous milestones were completed? 

 

So... I'm still very confused about what's happened here. But I feel better that he didn't rip me off!

40 hours? good lord for $100? lol

 

For $100 they need to fund it all upfront. Just 1 milestone and $100. I don't care what any bleeding heart says. It's $100 and it needs to be funded upfront because it's only $100. Anyone who tries to pay half or separate it into ridiculous $5 increments is a loser. I don't care about their 1000 personal problems Their problems are not mine. $100 or they can /wrists for all I care.

 

I can tell you that legit clients don't do this. I did have one who just hit the $10000 mark and tried the first few jobs. I am pretty sure she would have paid me anyway but even so she had to escrow everything upfront. That's the way it works.

 

You need to throw as much of the risk on the client as you can to protect yourself. Ignore these people with their nonsense of trust. These are the people who don't get paid. This is the Internet. You think if I go to Amazon and want product they will be all "oh you are such a great customer sure you can have this really nice 60" TV just give us $5 and we're sure you'll pay us later." Please. You're not a bank, are you? You don't offer lines of credit do you?

 

If you just get them to escrow everything, then 95% of the risk is removed.

 

Anyway, that's my rant. Be smart. That's all it is. Be smart. It's $100 freakin dollars. It doesn't have to be complicated. He played you and you need to be an ahole or be swallowed alive in this place.

Thank you.

 

I legitimately thought that the money would just... be there. That the client would fund all of it in the first place.

 

Knowing that this isn't the case is very helpful for me.

 

Everything you've said is spot-on, and I really appreciate that you took the time to give me all of that very, very useful information.

 

You're right. I was letting him kind of take advantage, but the key word there is 'letting.' If I didn't know better, I should have. 

 

Next time, I will do exactly as you've instructed and ensure that the money is funded up front. 

 

I felt that, as a new freelancer, breaking the job up into milestones would help potential clients trust me more. 

 

I have known for a long time that i need to recognize my own worth, and that it's okay to act as though I am worth at least more than $100.

 

Thank you so much. I really, really appreciate this. I hope that you realize that you literally just saved me from getting repeatedly screwed over until I just threw my hands up in the air.

 

Next time I'll be more aware, and if I'm unsure of the integrity of the client- I will not take the job.

 

I hope you have a great night. That was fantastic, really. Thank you so much!

Jennifer, it's a very good thing you took up jogging. 


@Tiffany S wrote:

Jennifer, it's a very good thing you took up jogging. 


 lol I got a little ranty there didn't I?

 

I really hate when scumbags take advantage of naive people.

holymell
Member

Well, thanks to you, I will no longer be naive. It's a terrible weakness that I'm just as responsible for as the scumbag is their scummy-ness.

You really did me a huge favor. This is why I came here. This is a fantastic community full of people who actually help. I'm so happy that I made this post. I cannot thank you enough. That rant was just the kick in the butt that I needed!