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eric5037
Community Member

And the clever client strikes again! What do, what do?

Hi, 

 

Yes, even after 2 years, dozens of clients and more than a hundred jobs, I still cross path with "clever" clients and I fall in the trap. 

 

What is the client technique: 

- make a simple proposal, an attractive one

- contact me, we talk and everything is fine

- create a contract very fast with the same amount 

- add a new task in it or even better create 2 milestones with a generic name "part 1" and "part 2"

 

part1 is what was in the initial proposal

part2 is the surprise, the new task. 

 

That time, I read well the contract but tought that those 2 generic milestones had something to do with the proposal. 

 

Basically it is the same as saying, I pay the same price for double work

 

So, I've taken a contract, iI've been duped and now the guy just ends the contract. 

 

The endless question is:

 

will it hurt my JSS?

what can be done with that kind of behaviour? I mean: this is clearly a technique to get more for the same price and it is simply something that shouldn't exist.

 

what will happen with his fundings?

 

As I see it, he can do that over and over again, playing to freelancers. 

 

11 REPLIES 11
eric5037
Community Member


Eric B wrote:

Hi, 

 

Yes, even after 2 years, dozens of clients and more than a hundred jobs, I still cross path with "clever" clients and I fall in the trap. 

 

What is the client technique: 

- make a simple proposal, an attractive one

- contact me, we talk and everything is fine

- create a contract very fast with the same amount 

- add a new task in it or even better create 2 milestones with a generic name "part 1" and "part 2"

 

part1 is what was in the initial proposal

part2 is the surprise, the new task. 

 

That time, I read well the contract but tought that those 2 generic milestones had something to do with the proposal. 

 

Basically it is the same as saying, I pay the same price for double work

 

So, I've taken a contract, iI've been duped and now the guy just ends the contract. 

 

The endless question is:

 

will it hurt my JSS?

what can be done with that kind of behaviour? I mean: this is clearly a technique to get more for the same price and it is simply something that shouldn't exist.

 

what will happen with his fundings?

 

As I see it, he can do that over and over again, playing to freelancers. 

 


Some answer will be highly appreciated for that "progressive scammer" or "unexperienced freelancer" (let's give him the benefit of the doubt)

abinadab-agbo
Community Member



Hey.

Have you left feedback for the client?

If not, be sure to leave honest feedback on your experience with the client.

That's the most you can do to help other freelancers exercise extra caution when working with such client.

Thanks!


Abinadab A wrote:


Hey.

Have you left feedback for the client?

If not, be sure to leave honest feedback on your experience with the client.

That's the most you can do to help other freelancers exercise extra caution when working with such client.

Thanks!


Sadly, I couldn't.

 

I'd pretty much like to have some answer for some moderator.

Thank you.

aocumen
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Eric, 

I'm sorry to learn about your experience with this client. Both parties are obligated to abide by the terms agreed at the onset of the job, unless they agree to change the terms at a later date. If a client asks for additional work that you and the client never agreed to, the freelancer has the option to decline the work and close the contract. Additionally, a freelancer is not required by ToS to work on a milestone if he/she didn't agree to it. The client needs to get the freelancer's consent first before adding a new milestone. If the freelancer doesn't accept the added milestone, they can reject it by terminating the contract.

 

I checked your account and it looks like the client is requesting to refund the money in escrow. On this page, you should be able to decline the client's request to refund, and this will then automatically move to a dispute. You may learn more about disputes in this Community post, and this help article for more information. 


~ Avery
Upwork
petra_r
Community Member


Avery O wrote:

. The client needs to get the freelancer's consent first before adding a new milestone. If the freelancer doesn't accept the added milestone, they can reject it by terminating the contract.


That's not good enough, and the client does ***NOT*** "need" to get the freelancer's consent. The client can simply go to the contract and set up a new milestone. No "need" for any consent, in any way, shape, or form.

 

Because the creation of even the tiniest new milestone immediately and entirely removes the 30 day limit to dispute a contract, freelancers must get the opportunity to decline the creation of a new milestone as has been requested for years.

 

Ending the contract is not a good or elegant option as mostly we'd happily work with the client, just not on THAT milestone for some reason or the other.

petra_r
Community Member


Eric B wrote:

 

- make a simple proposal, an attractive one

- contact me, we talk and everything is fine

- create a contract very fast with the same amount 

- add a new task in it or even better create 2 milestones with a generic name "part 1" and "part 2"

 

part1 is what was in the initial proposal

part2 is the surprise, the new task. 

 


Why  did you accept the contract if it was not set up and funded the way you had agreed?

 


Eric B wrote:

 

will it hurt my JSS?


It depends on what feedback the client left. Was the contract ended after paying milestone 1?

 


Eric B wrote:

 

what will happen with his fundings?


That depends on whether you agree to or dispute the return of the escrow funds.

 


Avery O wrote:

. The client needs to get the freelancer's consent first before adding a new milestone. If the freelancer doesn't accept the added milestone, they can reject it by terminating the contract.


That's not good enough, and the client does ***NOT*** "need" to get the freelancer's consent. Maybe you meant "should"...? The client can simply go to the contract and set up a new milestone. No "need" for any consent, in any way, shape, or form.

 

Because the creation of even the tiniest new milestone immediately and entirely removes the 30 day limit to dispute a contract, freelancers must get the opportunity to decline the creation of a new milestone as has been requested for years.

 

Ending the contract is not a good or elegant option as mostly we'd happily work with the client, just not on THAT milestone for some reason or the other.

eric5037
Community Member


Petra R wrote:

Eric B wrote:

 

- make a simple proposal, an attractive one

- contact me, we talk and everything is fine

- create a contract very fast with the same amount 

- add a new task in it or even better create 2 milestones with a generic name "part 1" and "part 2"

 

part1 is what was in the initial proposal

part2 is the surprise, the new task. 

 


Why  did you accept the contract if it was not set up and funded the way you had agreed?

 


Eric B wrote:

 

will it hurt my JSS?


It depends on what feedback the client left. Was the contract ended after paying milestone 1?

 


Eric B wrote:

 

what will happen with his fundings?


That depends on whether you agree to or dispute the return of the escrow funds.

 


Avery O wrote:

. The client needs to get the freelancer's consent first before adding a new milestone. If the freelancer doesn't accept the added milestone, they can reject it by terminating the contract.


That's not good enough, and the client does ***NOT*** "need" to get the freelancer's consent. Maybe you meant "should"...? The client can simply go to the contract and set up a new milestone. No "need" for any consent, in any way, shape, or form.

 

Because the creation of even the tiniest new milestone immediately and entirely removes the 30 day limit to dispute a contract, freelancers must get the opportunity to decline the creation of a new milestone as has been requested for years.

 

Ending the contract is not a good or elegant option as mostly we'd happily work with the client, just not on THAT milestone for some reason or the other.


Why did you accept the contract if it was not set up and funded the way you had agreed?

=> I trusted the client and thought it was just a progressive way to get the job done. For example, it could be have been: milestone1 = create the software and show me it works (video), milestone 2: give me that software and help me make it work on my computer. He defined them as "part 1" and "part 2". I assume I should have asked what those 2 parts are instead of being naive (once again!!)

 

It depends on what feedback the client left. Was the contract ended after paying milestone 1?

=> Nothing was paid at all.


That depends on whether you agree to or dispute the return of the escrow funds.

=> what happens if I just don't return the funds?

 

The guy is capable of asking what the difference between the proposal and the contract are, I give him 4 differences, one by one and he asks: do you agree with it or not? that's it! do you see what I mean. 

petra_r
Community Member


Eric B wrote:

That depends on whether you agree to or dispute the return of the escrow funds.

=> what happens if I just don't return the funds?


If you neither agree to return the Escrow funds, or dispute, the funds will return to the client after 7 days.

 

You categorically must learn to behave like a business. This whole mess could have been easily avoided by setting up the contract properly and not accepting something wishy-washy and then arguing with the client.

 

Did you do the work for milestone 1?

 

Do you have your top rated perk available to take care of the JSS impact if needed?

eric5037
Community Member

If you neither agree to return the Escrow funds, or dispute, the funds will return to the client after 7 days.

=> This is what I thought. I assume a dispute will say: "you agreed with a contract and didn't do it" which is true, not taking into account the previous agreement.

 

You categorically must learn to behave like a business. This whole mess could have been easily avoided by setting up the contract properly and not accepting something wishy-washy and then arguing with the client.

=> You're absolutely right. It takes time to learn because between 2 episodes of those, more than a year can go buy and dozens of good clients. I should have asked! I haven't accepted to do the job by principle, it could perfectly have been negotiated first.

 

Did you do the work for milestone 1?

=> nothing at all.

 

Do you have your top rated perk available to take care of the JSS impact if needed?

=> never used that before. I may prefer a bad JSS and a poetic answer of mine. Last week, I went from 96% to 98%, I can lose some %, it doesn't really matter per se but what pains me is that it seems that it's not a problem at all that kin of client can use that technique. He can keep playing freelancers with no risk and guilt at all.


Eric B wrote:


Why did you accept the contract if it was not set up and funded the way you had agreed?

=> I trusted the client and thought it was just a progressive way to get the job done. For example, it could be have been: milestone1 = create the software and show me it works (video), milestone 2: give me that software and help me make it work on my computer. He defined them as "part 1" and "part 2". I assume I should have asked what those 2 parts are instead of being naive (once again!!)

 

If the client had just set up milestones in this way then when it gets to the point of 'showing the client a video of the software working' you would request payment for the milestone surely? then, if the client says, no i want 'XYZ' (XYZ being the entire job description) then you can point out that the second part of the job will be completed once the second milestone is activated as per your agreed job description.

 

has the client specifically asked for other work for part 2?


has the client specifically asked for other work for part 2?


absolutely. At first it was Part1 and  Part2 so I had to ask what those 2 parts were.

 

Part1 was the original proposal but he tells me something where he forget half of it like: bah! it's nothing. 

Part2 was the new task.

 

The "mystery" was revealed when he specified those 2 parts.

 

 

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