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An invite based client - halted the project in between and i've worked more than the amount received

Active Member
Saad S Member Since: Apr 7, 2021
1 of 4

Good Morning Everyone, 


Hope you all doing great. I am addressing an issue that i have been facing here for the first time and wanted to know how to go about this situation. I will try to take thorugh the all and the events happened so far. 


To begin with. I knew the client personally and he had a work to do. I asked him to make an upwork profile make a project over there and invite me over the task. Initailly, we had all our conversation on our personal emails, skype and whatsapp because I knew him personally even before coming to upwork. It was all project related discussion, timelines and even payment terms.


He made the account on upwork for the very first and invited me. I accepted the invite and work started after a lot of disscussions. He included some art work, a doucment and my quotation document in the invite that I accepted. Quotation document had all the important terms related to payments.


Work started in october 2020. It was going fine. I submitted the first mile that was actually for upfront payment and submitted the functional specification document in it. I received the amount some less than the decided in the payment document but carried on with the work and didnt disturbed the work.


I used to give updates every friday or the other week about the progress on emails. It was going all fine. Then on one fine day it gave him the updates via email and it was all smooth. That was a friday. On the Saturday he texted me that we need to halt this work as his team is not willing to continue stating a totally abrupt reason that is 'There's a new governement in US now and they are not willing to promote oil and gas drilling'. Project was related to this industry. 


I tried to accomodate him in different ways but he insisted on halting. I was seeing a huge loss on my end because I havent committed on any other project for this duration of time. Things began to even more ugly when he started shifting the blame on my side that you werent giving me updates so I had to do this because I was asking for the money for the worked I had already done and wasnt paid for.


He began unresponsive and I wrote this final email. You can find all the important dates and events in this email I am attaching below. He never responded to this email and all always beated about the bush to avoid the point. Note: I have the actual email with all the email addresses not attaching it here to defame anyone.


*Email Starts*

**Edited for Community Guidelines**


Now, its a been a while with all this chaos and off course I had to get back to my work to cover those losses. I have all the details with me regarding the project ID and all from where officials can look into this matter.


At this point I need proper suggestion how to go about this situation. Secondly, I dont want to take any step that effects my reviews and JSS. I have been working really hard to keep this up so not looking mess with it. 


Thanks in advance..

Community Guru
Mikko R Member Since: Dec 26, 2015
2 of 4
Saad, just a couple of (rather obvious) points.

You're a freelancer. To make sure you always have something going on that pays solid cash, you must have several clients at any given time. Doing full-time for just one client is very risky. Too bad you had to go through this experience to realize this.

Those of us who do freelance for the long term diversify. I, for instance, started with IRL clients but I built a new sales channel every year on average (faster than that the first 2 years). Now: 7 years, 7 sales channels. Any one (or several) of them get killed for any reason, I'm covered. And in terms of clients, the numbers are much bigger, so I can keep my business going. I suggest you do something similar. No business of any kind works with just one paying customer. 😁

Second point is that when you go online, the main advantage is that you can reach a large number of new clients (people you don't yet know) very quickly and very cheap. And Upwork is one of the best platforms to do exactly that!

You did the wrong way round, I think, bringing an IRL business relationship to the online world. There is absolutely no benefit in doing that. (Or maybe you thought you get a good 5-star review to kick off your Upwork profile, but gaming around the review system might get you banned for good.)

Keep your IRL clients in the real world. The online world is different. IRL is much easier with client-specific arrangements and deals, like upfront payments, communication media, etc. Online platforms have strict rules that keep things from falling apart. (Here, for instance, you should not exchange messages via anything else than the tools Upwork provides before you have an active contract.)

Third, you seem to have a strange way of doing a service-based business. You don't seem to be very customer-oriented as you push your own needs above your client's. This approach will rarely produce the happiest clients.

Those clients who truly need you will be happy to have you and will definitely pay you. Those who don't need you (for whatever reason, including govt. policies they might or might not depend on) will do everything in their power NOT TO PAY you. Because the need is not there.

Understand the dependencies and your place in the value chain, and things go smoothly.

What to do now? You should support your client, make sure they win big time, and maximize their impression on your customer-orientedness. Help your client! 👍 If that means waiting, you should wait. Share the tough time with them. Imagine how happy they are once things eventually go forward? They might even reward you with a bonus for sticking by their side. 🤑

As a coincidental example, I have one of my best-ever projects on halt because of Covid-19 (a VR installation inside a shopping mall which was closed for a good long while). I've been waiting for a year now. Because my client is worth it. Really good guy, and a fantastic project! We'll finish our project when the time is right and there is a chance my client can turn my results into his business. Sweet business, I'm sure. 😉

I hope this helps. All the best, Saad.

PS. Please don't copy-paste messages or name the clients on this forum. Check the guidelines first, OK? 👍
Active Member
Saad S Member Since: Apr 7, 2021
3 of 4

Thanks for the advice and suggestions. I agree to some and disagree to some. Appreciate it. lastly I havent included names or emails in the text. 

Community Guru
Mikko R Member Since: Dec 26, 2015
4 of 4
OK I hope it turns out well.

I just fear you're spreading your business and your future too thin.

Best of luck. 👍