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And so the game playing begins

Community Leader
Julie T Member Since: Sep 29, 2011
1 of 8

So, I accept a contract, client does a bit of bait and switch, but I have a couple of accounts off this platform that makes up the different in price, so I do the work. Client is happy...offers more work.


NOW, after doing 50 short intro blurbs, he wants some free custom samples, like immediately if not yesterday... mind you,the original fixed contract is still open as he just adds milestones.


Pre Job Success score, I would have set the boundary with the client by telling him no and take a hit on the star rating. Now, I get a double or triple penalty if I do this.


So, how is this job success score helping my professional growth? Time to get some crowdfunding to finish my website and market.


Thanks Upwork .  

Community Guru
Setu M Member Since: Jan 26, 2014
2 of 8
Hi Julie,

What do you mean by

"the original fixed contract is still not open as he just adds milestones."
---- easy like Sunday morning ----
Community Leader
Julie T Member Since: Sep 29, 2011
3 of 8

I meant still open ....Freudian slip with the "not"... as in my subconscious wants NOT to do free samples. 

Community Guru
Setu M Member Since: Jan 26, 2014
4 of 8
Sorry to hear it turned out that way. The client is getting great work done at a minimal cost so he/she is abusing it. I know all too well how that goes. Just see how quickly you can get the contract closed while keeping your pending private review in tact.

Good luck.
---- easy like Sunday morning ----
Community Guru
Suzanne N Member Since: Aug 15, 2012
5 of 8

I think it is really hard to work for someone who hires for one thing and then changes what the want done, and then to have a take a hit. It really irks me that the client side of things they have no accountability on bait and switch, changing their mind, having you do other things you were not  hired for and then we try to back out of the job and we take the hit on it.


I think some of the clients playing dumb about stuff know most are to worried about the JS so they take advantage of it. I really wish Upwork would make clients equally as responsible for a job success as we are made to be.


It takes two too tango and I can't see in some situation why freelancers are having to the take the brunt end of a client who changes job descriptions, changes the job or even gives you work you have no skills in but you are the one who gets the negative feedback and hit on JS because you didn't have the skills or didn't want to do a job you were hired for that changed.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
6 of 8

The client is adding things to a contract or asking for new work beyond what was originally agreed upon before paying out the previous milestone?


Okay, Julie, you're dealing with an hourly-only client.


Some clients are not capable of using fixed-rate contracts. That doesn't necessarily mean they're bad people. They may even become good clients. I have good clients who I don't mind working for who I simply discovered were hourly-only clients.


As the contractor, it is your job to let a client know if he is an hourly-only client. You do this by only agreeing to work hourly contracts with them.


A client CAN NOT decide for you whether his contracts will be hourly or fixed-price contracts. You, as the contractor, have the ultimate decision-making authority regarding which contracts you agree to work on.


I realize that you are stuck in a difficult situation right now.


Regardless of the possible impact on your job score, this is what you need to do:


You need to carefully review the original agreement for your current fixed-price milestone.


Complete the work stipulated in that agreement. Not a bit more, and nothing less. Do not respond to communications about OTHER work outside that agreement other than with generic replies stating that you can look at that after your current work is finished.


Once you have finished the work stipulated by the milestone, submit the work using the Upwork milestone submission button. Then DO NOT DO ANY MORE WORK until the client pays for this milestone and closes the contract.


It is very important that the client CLOSE THE CONTRACT.


Now matter what the client asks of you, whether he asks you a question or asks you do to something else, etc., explain that you can answer or do that work after the contract is closed.


Be unflappably polite.


Then, if the client closes the contract, answer the questions he had, and if he wanted some little adjustment or something, go ahead and do it. Leave the client happy.


Now... the contract is closed. You don't have to work for this client any more. He can't give you negative feedback any more. If the client still wants you to do work on his project, you can do so, as long as the client offers you an hourly contract that pays you enough per hour to make it worth your time and energy to work with this high-maintenance client.


You stipulate the hourly rate. Be sure to mention that the client must allow manual time. The client may choose to pay your rate or not hire you.


If you accept the hourly contract, be sure to log all time, including time spent emailing the client, talking to him via phone or Skype, or time spent doing research required to do the job.

Community Guru
Setu M Member Since: Jan 26, 2014
7 of 8
Nice reply Preston, but she probably will still end up with a negative feedback. Well at least she would have tried tried.

@ Suzanne

On a recent contract I ended up logging in as admin, writing HTML, and embedding a form on a WordPress site - I have before even seen the back-end of WordPress prior. This was for a job to write some Excel formulas by the way. This is the bs we have to endure to protect our JS score. So I fully understand.
---- easy like Sunday morning ----
Community Leader
John T Member Since: Mar 19, 2015
8 of 8

As is so often the case, I find myself in fierce agreement with Preston on this one.


I'll add this: I think there's not much point fretting about the ins and outs of Upwork stats systems. As a professional, you're better off playing the longer game. Do good work, conduct yourself professionally, and know when to let go of negative relationships with clients. Whatever Upwork does, that approach will work in the long term.