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.
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
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.
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!