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sheheryarkazi
Community Member

A small advise needed regarding a current contract.

So I need a little advice as I am confused. I was approached by a client who insisted that I do a job for him, he was paying extremely little and told me that the job just requires simple cuts and placing the footage together - sounded reasonable to me, a project where I just have to prepare simple cuts.

After taking the project, he proceeded to send me files around 300+ GB, and when I saw the timeline was obviously not a simple task. 

Considering I already, accepted the contract - it would be now obviously unethical of me not to deliver or to complete the first milestone. 

What I would like to know, in this situation - would it be okay, that I deliver the first milestone and renegotiate with him and in case we don't reach common ground, I cancel the contract from my side?

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a_lipsey
Community Member

Okay first: in the future NEVER accept the contract until you see the material so you can avoid situations like this. 

 

I think your best bet is to discuss with the client now, before beginning work that what he has sent is far more than what was discussed. It is not unethical for you to choose to end the contract bc the client misrepresented the project. I would explain to the client that they have sent over far more work than was agreed upon, and explain exactly, to the letter, what you will be able to complete for that first milestone and how much the other work will cost as an additioanl milestone. If he is okay with that deliverable, then proceed with doing that work and that alone. Do not work ahead without a funded 2nd milestone. 

 

If he balks, if it were me, I would apologize for the miscommunication and explain that I cannot do the amount of work for the milestone, and end the contract myself, and wish him all the best. Bygones and all that. This may indeed mean the client will leave poor feedback (most clients who want work for cheap will be that way), but with clients like that I doubt you'll have a good experience anyways, so best just get out of it now. I would bet money that if you do this work for the original milestone, this client will continue to ask for more and more for free. 

 

Of course, you may choose to tough it out and try and protect your JSS. Everyone has to weight that decision. But personally I think it's already going to be a not good contract anyhow, considering how it's started. 

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a_lipsey
Community Member

Okay first: in the future NEVER accept the contract until you see the material so you can avoid situations like this. 

 

I think your best bet is to discuss with the client now, before beginning work that what he has sent is far more than what was discussed. It is not unethical for you to choose to end the contract bc the client misrepresented the project. I would explain to the client that they have sent over far more work than was agreed upon, and explain exactly, to the letter, what you will be able to complete for that first milestone and how much the other work will cost as an additioanl milestone. If he is okay with that deliverable, then proceed with doing that work and that alone. Do not work ahead without a funded 2nd milestone. 

 

If he balks, if it were me, I would apologize for the miscommunication and explain that I cannot do the amount of work for the milestone, and end the contract myself, and wish him all the best. Bygones and all that. This may indeed mean the client will leave poor feedback (most clients who want work for cheap will be that way), but with clients like that I doubt you'll have a good experience anyways, so best just get out of it now. I would bet money that if you do this work for the original milestone, this client will continue to ask for more and more for free. 

 

Of course, you may choose to tough it out and try and protect your JSS. Everyone has to weight that decision. But personally I think it's already going to be a not good contract anyhow, considering how it's started. 

martina_plaschka
Community Member

1. Never let anybody pressure you into accepting a contract. 

2. Just because you accepted it, doesn't mean you have to do it. 

3. This can only turn into a nightmare. End the contract, refund the escrow, and be done with it. I wouldn't renegotiate. This is already starting badly. 

4. The client can leave negative private feedback even if no money is paid, but there is no reason to worry about your JSS. 


Martina P wrote:

1. Never let anybody pressure you into accepting a contract. 

2. Just because you accepted it, doesn't mean you have to do it. 

3. This can only turn into a nightmare. End the contract, refund the escrow, and be done with it. I wouldn't renegotiate. This is already starting badly. 

4. The client can leave negative private feedback even if no money is paid, but there is no reason to worry about your JSS. 


Definitely agree with not re-negotiating. I'd have to get a good feel for the client to do that, but in most instances, it's a bad start to things. 

Thank you for your reply, Martina, yes I guess when he started to insist that I do this job for him, I could not say no - later when I saw the real task, I just wanted to hit my head with a brick haha. 

I will also consider your advice, thank you so much.

a_lipsey
Community Member

Just adding: I see you're top-rated. You can probably afford to take the hit from the JSS feedback if you cancel the contract yourself, since it will likely be weighted very low with no earnings. But also, if you needed to, you could use your Top-Rated perk to remove the feedback from your JSS (which I doubt you'd have to do since you'are at 100% and this likely won't drop you below 90%, which is what you really want to worry about). 

Thank you, Amanda, I really appreciate your reply. Yes, next time I will be extra careful. The problem was the way he explained the task and later started to deliver the files - I was shocked that I have to edit 5 videos per milestone with that much amount of download, edit and upload only for that promised amount.  

The client is really nice and friendly, I will try renegotiating with him as soon as I edit him one video and if he likes my work and agrees to pay how much I am asking then I will continue.

Thank you again.

 


Sheheryar K wrote:

 

The client is really nice and friendly, I will try renegotiating with him as soon as I edit him one video and if he likes my work and agrees to pay how much I am asking then I will continue.

Thank you again.

 


I highly recommend discussing with the client now so you manage his expectations and aren't surprising him with what feels like a bait and switch after you finish the first video. If they are nice and friendly, then explaining the difference in the situation now that you have the files should be okay.

I would be really careful with that. If you try to renegoiate after the first part, it can feel like bait-and-switch to the client. Now it's much harder for him to find a different freelancer, that would cost him more, and he might not look at that kindly. He will think - why didn't you tell him sooner? He might have tried to find somebody else. 

If you want to negotiate, do that now, before you start. Not mid-contract. 

Yes Martina, you are right I just canceled the contract - mid-contract it would have just created a mess for me and him. 

roberty1y
Community Member

You shouldn't go ahead just to protect your job success score. The client came up with a bigger project than he promised. I bet he's going to have more surprises for you down the line, and they won't be pleasant ones. 

Yes, Robert, I agree with you - it will just give him hope for future projects at a low cost. I canceled the contract, he literally threatened me that he will now leave a really bad review, I did not reply - I am like dude do whatever you want. 

He wrote, that we agreed since the start - I am like, dude you told me it's a small quick edit and sends me huge files of data. wasted my time and his time and even in the start, I told him not once but twice to look for another freelancer.

But anyways - I guess in the future I will be a bit more careful. The second time this happened to me, did not want to make the mistake like the first time.


Sheheryar K wrote: I canceled the contract, he literally threatened me that he will now leave a really bad review, I did not reply - I am like dude do whatever you want. 

As nothing was paid, the client can't leave any visible feedback anyway. They *could* have left poor private feedback, but as you are top rated, you can use your top rated perk if you find it affected your JSS too much (provided you haven't used it for one of the last 10 contracts and in the last 3 months).

Hi Petra, thank you for making me aware of that - nope I never used it, never really needed to use it. But if it affects my JSS then I will use it. 

Thank you once again Petra, really appreciate it ๐Ÿ™‚

wlyonsatl
Community Member

Sheheryar K.,

 

It would absolutely NOT be unethical for you to not do work that you never agreed to do. It's a shame that the tyranny of the Job Success Score makes any freelancer think this way.

 

If you can re-negotiate the terms of your contract, that would be the best solution. Unless you just don't think you can work with this client.

 

In the future, you can sometimes avoid this sort of problem by insisting that your clients provide you details of all of the work they want you to do before you agree to a contract and make it crystal clear to them that any additional items they provide you for additional work are not part of your contract and you may or may not agree to work on them, subject to the client's agreement to increase your pay for the work done.

 

As others here have said, if the client insists on trying to force you to provide free work you should end the contract and leave factual, accurate and professional feedback so other freelancers will know how this client operates. If you eventually see the client has left inaccurate feedback, don't respond immediately, giving yourself some time to reflect and leave succinct feedback that lets other clients know you are the kind of freelancer they want to work with.

 

Good luck!

Thank you for your reply, Will

I will definitely consider your advice ๐Ÿ™‚

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