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Am desperate!

p_serechenko
Ace Contributor
Polina S Member Since: Mar 1, 2019
1 of 20

Any advice is appreciated.
I am working with a client a month now. The project is for translating and adding subtitles for 17 hours videos in total, different length each.
In the beginning we agreed on 30 dollars per video (btw it was my 1st experience in subtitling). After a first video, we had a long conversation about changing the rates, I gave him an option to pay per hour, per video minute etc.

He was trying to tell me about some bonuses that I might have, but there is no discussion about bonuses when the work is paid lower any acceptable limit.
Suddenly and not agreed in advance, the deadlines became very tide, so I've been working literally like a slave, 12 hours per day, in order to deliver the job when he wanted it, for 3 days in the raw, for payment of 30 dollars(-20% fees) for each video IMAGINE! I convinced him to hight the price up to 40 d only few times.
He acts like am **Edited for Community Guidelines** asking him for extra money, he also acts like he own people for 30 bucks and he have been very rude today!

Am only holding on this this project because this is my 5th job, am "rising talent" and I want my score to be perfect.
But now, it doesn't even worth that.
My hands are shaking, I have really broke down about it, am not even sure if this message makes any sense the way am writing at this stage.

Thank You for any word in advance.

colettelewis
Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
2 of 20

Polina S wrote:

Any advice is appreciated.
I am working with a client a month now. The project is for translating and adding subtitles for 17 hours videos in total, different length each.
In the beginning we agreed on 30 dollars per video (btw it was my 1st experience in subtitling). After a first video, we had a long conversation about changing the rates, I gave him an option to pay per hour, per video minute etc.

He was trying to tell me about some bonuses that I might have, but there is no discussion about bonuses when the work is paid lower any acceptable limit.
Suddenly and not agreed in advance, the deadlines became very tide, so I've been working literally like a slave, 12 hours per day, in order to deliver the job when he wanted it, for 3 days in the raw, for payment of 30 dollars(-20% fees) for each video IMAGINE! I convinced him to hight the price up to 40 d only few times.
He acts like am **Edited for Community Guidelines** asking him for extra money, he also acts like he own people for 30 bucks and he have been very rude today!

Am only holding on this this project because this is my 5th job, am "rising talent" and I want my score to be perfect.
But now, it doesn't even worth that.
My hands are shaking, I have really broke down about it, am not even sure if this message makes any sense the way am writing at this stage.

Thank You for any word in advance.


__________________

 

Polina,

 

Back up a bit, take a deep breath and start from the beginning again. 

 What exactly did this job entail and what did you agree with the client? Was the job on a fixed-rate or hourly basis? 

If it was fixed rate did the client fund the milestones into escrow? 

 

Those are just the first questions and I am sure more of us will come on and ask other questions. Just try and stay calm and remember that the client is only a person, not some ogre who is going to kill you. You can close this contract at any time you want, but before you do, give us the full story (without directly quoting or giving  any links to the job).  

 

p_serechenko
Ace Contributor
Polina S Member Since: Mar 1, 2019
3 of 20

Hello Nichola L,

I got very stressed about it, i'm sorry. I know no one is going to kill me, but it was a moment of my break down.
Anyhow, the job is on fixed price - 500dollars. Post was for 24 videos from 25-90 min 17 hours total. He said, that he would pay me 30d per 1 hour video. The clients is paying the milestones. It's just that he is trying to get this work done for peanuts.
After 1st video, we had conversation and agreed to charge 45d per 1hour video.

I also accepted sudden tight deadlines, I mean, to deliver 60 min video in 2 days. This is when I was working 12 hours/per day for 2 weeks.
I kindly explained him, the deadlines are very tide and the price is paying is below any lower limit. He didn't deny it and he said: "what do you prefer, 10 dollars more now, or great bonuses we didn't agreed about, you might get later" - basically, he is a Multi Level marketing coach, so he has a way to confuse your brains and go around conversation.

He is always trying to add little unofficial work in between. I am very strict about it, and always telling him to activat milestone in order for me to begin. Now he is "playing" with the raw of milestones, that is ok, he is releasing the payment.

But now again, he placed 30 d for an hour video in previous milestone, and he was supposed to add the difference to the next one, but it didn't happen. I don't want to mention to him again about it, because he just make me feel stupid, like my work and my time is not worth more.

He gives me more work that he is paying me for and I don't know how to deal with this anymore, besides stopping the contract with him.

Am not thinking to quote him yet, but I really need an advice on how to execute this "story" smoothly, ideal would be to make better agreement if there is a way, but if closing the contact, how I will protect my unpaid job?

 

Thank you in advance.
The way thing are now, is like, am working for his good review.

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
4 of 20

You agreed to it, so you should probably just see it through. But if you are having meltdowns over it, then just tell him you can't do it anymore and you're out.

colettelewis
Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
5 of 20

Polina S wrote:

Hello Nichola L,

I got very stressed about it, i'm sorry. I know no one is going to kill me, but it was a moment of my break down.
Anyhow, the job is on fixed price - 500dollars. Post was for 24 videos from 25-90 min 17 hours total. He said, that he would pay me 30d per 1 hour video. The clients is paying the milestones. It's just that he is trying to get this work done for peanuts.
After 1st video, we had conversation and agreed to charge 45d per 1hour video.

I also accepted sudden tight deadlines, I mean, to deliver 60 min video in 2 days. This is when I was working 12 hours/per day for 2 weeks.
I kindly explained him, the deadlines are very tide and the price is paying is below any lower limit. He didn't deny it and he said: "what do you prefer, 10 dollars more now, or great bonuses we didn't agreed about, you might get later" - basically, he is a Multi Level marketing coach, so he has a way to confuse your brains and go around conversation.

He is always trying to add little unofficial work in between. I am very strict about it, and always telling him to activat milestone in order for me to begin. Now he is "playing" with the raw of milestones, that is ok, he is releasing the payment.

But now again, he placed 30 d for an hour video in previous milestone, and he was supposed to add the difference to the next one, but it didn't happen. I don't want to mention to him again about it, because he just make me feel stupid, like my work and my time is not worth more.

He gives me more work that he is paying me for and I don't know how to deal with this anymore, besides stopping the contract with him.

Am not thinking to quote him yet, but I really need an advice on how to execute this "story" smoothly, ideal would be to make better agreement if there is a way, but if closing the contact, how I will protect my unpaid job?

 

Thank you in advance.
The way thing are now, is like, am working for his good review.


___________________

 

It is early days for you, so don't worry too much about your feedback. Has the client funded the full amount that you initially agreed to in escrow?  Or are you doing this by milestones? 

p_serechenko
Ace Contributor
Polina S Member Since: Mar 1, 2019
6 of 20

Nichola L,

We are doing this by milestone, but I was stupid enough to get fooled and do 2 milestones at the same time, one of them is the "next", not the active. Because during the Eastern, he asked me to do an extra task, so I mentioned about milestone, he asked me to deliver inactive milestone faster than the active. So, here I am now, but am almost finished both, and probably by tomorrow night, will complete them both (If manage to work about 12-14 hours, again)

feed_my_eyes
Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
7 of 20

Nichola L wrote:

It is early days for you, so don't worry too much about your feedback.  


Nichola, I respectfully disagree. If it's early days, then that's when a bad feedback rating will hurt you the most.

feed_my_eyes
Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
8 of 20

Polina S wrote:

I kindly explained him, the deadlines are very tide and the price is paying is below any lower limit. He didn't deny it and he said: "what do you prefer, 10 dollars more now, or great bonuses we didn't agreed about, you might get later" - basically, he is a Multi Level marketing coach, so he has a way to confuse your brains and go around conversation.

He is always trying to add little unofficial work in between. I am very strict about it, and always telling him to activat milestone in order for me to begin. Now he is "playing" with the raw of milestones, that is ok, he is releasing the payment.

He gives me more work that he is paying me for and I don't know how to deal with this anymore, besides stopping the contract with him.


Polina, you're confusing me now. It is up to you to manage your business and decide how much work you are willing to do, and for how much money, and tell the client how long it'll take. Then he can either agree or disagree. You do not have to take on additional work, and you certainly should never agree to work for the vague promise of bonuses at some point in the future. But again, if you don't want clients to take advantage of you, then don't let them. 

 

If you want to continue with the project, you need to speak clearly and frankly with the client. Be honest - tell him that you didn't know how long the project would take because it's your first job of this type, and apologize (because it's not his fault that you agreed to the low pay and tight deadlines; that's your own fault). Say that you think that $X would be a fairer price and that you can deliver by X date, but you do not have the availability to do any additional work. If he agrees to that, then get him to set up new milestones with the new prices and new deadlines before you do anything else. If he doesn't agree, then tell him he can cancel the project and you'll refund his money.

 

I'm sorry, but I think that those are your best options. Try to look at this as a learning experience. On the plus side, now you have experience in translating videos, so you'll have a better idea of how much to quote next time. It's very tricky knowing how long a project will take so that you can give a proper estimate to clients, and this is something that you will get better at with more experience. 

feed_my_eyes
Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
9 of 20

Hi Polina - I saw the job that you're referring to. You agreed to translate 17 hours of video footage for a fixed price (and actually, it sounds like you're already getting paid more than the client's stated budget). It's a shame that the pay is so low, but you DID agree to work for this amount, yes? Clients post projects for ridiculously low pay on Upwork all of the time - sometimes they're trying to take advantage, sometimes they genuinely don't understand how long a project will take - but freelancers aren't forced to bid on them. You can't make a deal with a client and then change your mind and ask for more money after the project has begun, unless he has changed the amount or the nature of the work. 

 

The deadlines are a different matter; you must have said in your original bid how long it would take you to do the project? He can't just change the terms of the contract like that. Or are you behind schedule?

 

If the project is really a mess and you're completely stressed out about it, I would recommend that the next move should be to apologize and offer to let the client cancel the job, and refund his money. Otherwise, he would be within his rights to post a bad review for you, unfortunately. 

p_serechenko
Ace Contributor
Polina S Member Since: Mar 1, 2019
10 of 20

Hello Christine,

So, it sounds like I already getting paid more than the clients budjet, but I didn't eve got the half, to be exact I got 185 dollars (-20%) for 12 videos, approximate length 4+ hours + over 20,000 words written translation in word files. Am sharing this job with more freelancers, not necessarily from upwork. Maybe he meant 500dollars between all freelancers who will work on this project.

He did agreed on 45 dollars per 1 hour video, after the 1st video I've done. 

But every time he would try to drop me an extra work and I would mentioned money and milestones, he is getting offended about it.

Am not behind the schedule, I was doing him a favor, working extra hard for two weeks. He didn't mentioned about such deadlines in the begining, I did it on my good will. 

 

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