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Accidentally closed contract

Hey guys!

I'm still learning things on upwork as I've just started working on projects here. Recently I worked on a fixed price project (20 USD). The fund was in escrow & I submitted the work in regular way. The client kept asking for correction & I provided accordingly. But he was really unsettling with his design decisions & never satisfied. But I spent almost 48 hours with his project.


At last, he said he's satisfied & was gonna close the contract but he didn't. He kept me hanging & didn't reply my messages even though he was online. Moreover, he posted the same project again with the image I've delivered to him!! Seeing this, I closed the contract myself hoping the payment will come to my account. But now I can see the payment hasn't come to my way.

Is there anything I can do to get the payment back?


Thanks in advance.


We can't expect modesty from this type of clients, can we?

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Community Member

re: "Is there anything I can do to get the payment back?"



This is over.

You will not get paid the $20 you had hoped for.


And that's OKAY!


You are new. You made a lot of mistakes. That is part of learning new things.


But the knowledge you gained is worth far more than $20.


One thing you learned is that when YOU (as a freelancer) close a fixed-price contract, all money in escrow is returned automatically to the client.


But you learned a more important lesson:

Some clients don't understand or respect the fixed-price contract model.

You worked 48 hours to try to earn $20.

That works out to about 42 cents per hour.

Clearly you were using the Upwork platform incorrectly.


In the future, do this:
Don't accept fixed-price contracts. Until you actually know how to use fixed-price contracts properly, only work using hourly contracts.


When you DO start accepting fixed-price contracts, you should be more like me:


I accepted a fixed-price contract for $20.

"John" hired me.

It was a relatively simple task.

I did the work. I clicked the submit button.

John released the $20 payment and closed the contract.


The next day, I accepted a fixesd-price contract from "Fred" for $20.

I did the work, and clicked the submit button.

Fred send a lengthy list of changes that he wanted done.

Um... No.

I'm an expert. I say when the task is done. Not the client.

For a $20 payment, I will do the work, and I will do it right, and you will pay me.

I don't have time to waste with people like Fred.

I sent a POLITE note to Fred.

I said: "Fred, thank you for your note. This was a fixed-price contract, for a specified task, as described in writing in the original task agreement. The task we agreed to is now done. If you want me to do additional work on the project, you may release the escrow payment, close the contract, and create a new hourly contract."

Fred released the $20 payment. He closed the contract, giving me a great review. He set up an hourly contract. He asked for a lot of new work, and ended up paying me $500.

What would I havde done if he had NOT agreed to release the $20 and continued to ask for new work and changes?
I would have immediately CLOSED the contract myself and blocked him. I have better things to do than spend 48 hours working for a $20 payment.

So many thanks for your help, Preston...I've really learned a lot from you. 

But I'm afraid of one thing, when I ask the client to close the contract....let's say he does that & gives me a 1 star review!! The damage is done to me, isn't it?

If a client values your help and wants more help from you, then the client is not going to give you a 1-star review.

We can't expect modesty from this type of clients, can we?

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