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Anyone else????

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11 of 23
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@Lisa B wrote:

@Margarete M wrote:

@Cheyenne L wrote:

I didn't get ripped off or anything, and no I wasn't asking for payment early. Also, this question was asking if anyone else had that experience- not what the best payment practices and expectations are. 


That is exactly what you have written in your first post.

The last one called me pushy because I asked for payment.

 


No, she didn't write that. You cut off the last word of her sentence. She said "And no, I wasn't asking for payment EARLY." That's the key word. By leaving off the word "early," you're misrepresenting what she said. While it's been rare, I've also had clients who don't acknowledge receipt of work, refuse to answer messages and release payment. It's definitely not being "pushy" after a week or so to ask the client if they'd like any revisions, and if not, to kindly release the funds.  In fact, that's how Support advised me to respond the one time it happened to me. And the system finally released the funds, not the client. 


The world "early" did not appear in the first post, yes. However, she asked for payment instead of waiting for the auto-release and the client did not like it. 

csjarmitage
Community Guru
Christy A Member Since: Dec 30, 2015
12 of 23

I don't request payments so I haven't run into this.  I just wait for the system to process normally.

lmollett
Ace Contributor
Laura M Member Since: Mar 8, 2016
13 of 23

I've been asking my customers to close the contracts after the work is complete (if there isn't anything else). It seems like otherwise they disappear and kind of forget about Upwork so I don't get feedback. I thought payment went along with the closed contract? Or am I misunderstanding?

tlbp
Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
14 of 23

The client would have to make payment in order to close the contract. Otherwise, you would not get paid. For instance, if I were to choose to end a contract before payment was authorized, I would be forgoing the payment.

 

I know there in an inherent risk of not getting feedback by not prompting the client, but I really don't like the idea of doing so. Whether the client is bothered probably depends on their personality. Having someone add something I considered unnecessary to my "to do" list would have annoyed me when I was in a position to hire people. I know, nice people probably shouldn't mind, but I was not necessarily a nice person when trying to manage a team with deadlines. 

lmollett
Ace Contributor
Laura M Member Since: Mar 8, 2016
15 of 23

I don't actually think it's an unnecessary step. It makes a big difference to my ability to obtain work so if they've had a good experience, being unwilling to make it possible (or less difficult) for me to continue to do so is poor form, in my opinion. And paying me makes a difference in my ability to eat, so I don't really consider that unnecessary either. It's not really about being 'nice' but more about the method of doing business here, imo of course.

kulkarni_ashish
Community Guru
Ashish K Member Since: Mar 1, 2016
16 of 23

@Laura M wrote:

I've been asking my customers to close the contracts after the work is complete (if there isn't anything else). It seems like otherwise they disappear and kind of forget about Upwork so I don't get feedback. I thought payment went along with the closed contract? Or am I misunderstanding?


I do that too. Its very important to me that they leave feedback. I end with something like 'Is there anything else that you wanted done? Depending on their reply, I say something like 'Please leave a feedback when you get the time' or something.

 

If they are new to Upwork, they usually ask how to get that done. Then I help them close the contract. 

tlbp
Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
17 of 23

As an employer, if I set a contract that was scheduled to automatically pay and presumably close in 14 days and after 10 days the contractor asked me to manually close it, I would find that annoying. I would wonder why I'm being asked to do something extra when the payment system has already been established. From the client point of view, it makes no sense to set up a payment system and then ignore it and follow some other procedure. 

lmollett
Ace Contributor
Laura M Member Since: Mar 8, 2016
18 of 23

And you would be annoyed if a freelancer explained that Upwork prefers they close a contract rather than the freelancer doing it or that feedback is important to the freelancer? I have been working with a good number of first-time customers. That being the case, I do my best to educate them about all kinds of things (they often ask me how to do things) and I think this is an education issue. If we both educate our customers, they'll know this when they go to another freelancer.

You say 'presumably close' but contracts don't close by themselves - either the client or the freelancer has to close them. Even paid, they don't just close. Upwork actually recommends the course I'm taking - asking the client to close the contract and not doing it myself. I've not had an issue with the request (yet, I haven't been here all that long). I have had a couple of clients I didn't ask disappear after they received the work and them not closing the contract hurts me. [Note: They paid for the work. They just failed to then close the contract.] If you're unwilling to pay me or unwilling to take the fairly simple steps the interface requests, I'd rather not work for you really. It wouldn't ultimately be worth my time and effort.



tlbp
Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
19 of 23

I'm sorry, but I was only trying to share how I'm certain I and my office mates would have responded to requests beyond what was expected from the contract. In my opinion, what Upwork is instructing freelancers to do is a poor business practice. If the customer puts the money in escrow, receives the work and expects that the contractor will be paid on X date, that customer should be able to walk away- finished with the transaction. That Upwork wants to force freelancers into coercing people into leaving feedback by asking the client to close the contract is of no concern to the customer. 

 

In my opinion, quality customer service for a busy executive would be to perform the work and submit it, follow up once to confirm receipt and solicit feedback, wait for the system to issue payment, then close the contract. As an employer who helped manage a busy office, I would have considered it unprofessional to be contacted by someone asking me to perform extra steps. I have no doubt that the conversation in my office would have gone something like this:

 

Me: So, I got this email from that guy we hired and he wants us to issue payment and close the contract.

Boss: I thought we already did that.

Office Manager: Yeah, I had to arrange payment before the job even started. What's the deal?

Me: I don't know, we paid the place he works through.

Boss: He's not trying to get us to pay again is he?

Office Manager: Yeah (she always started with "Yeah") I'm not paying twice for the same work.

Me: I think he wants to be paid early and something about we have to close the contract.

Boss: But we already paid.

Me: I know, it's something about how their system works.

Office Manager: Well that's just annoying. Why are we using a payment service if we have to do all the work.

Me: I don't know maybe the guy is just needy.

Office Manager: Well, we don't have time to mess with this, that's why we hired someone else in the first place.

 

 

Bear in mind that I have already said that it wasn't "nice." But it is how we would have handled the situation. Like it or not, we would avoid working with someone who was going to ask us to perform services on their behalf.

 

I get that you don't agree that it should go that way. I agree that there are probably clients who have no problem having the system explained to them and working with that system. But I am telling you that in my office, it would have been objectionable. We hired people to take things off our list, not to add to it. I am happy not to be in that kind of high-pressure environment anymore, but I have seen it and my comments reflect my experience.

 

Shoot the messenger if you want. I have made it clear from the outset that I am not predicting the behavior of any other client, just sharing why I don't like the way Upwork asks contractors to handle contract closure. 

 

 

Perhaps I should put it this way, it is not that I consider one way right and the other wrong, it is more "how I was raised" in my career upbringing. We all have different experiences that brought us to freelancing. That was mine. 

lmollett
Ace Contributor
Laura M Member Since: Mar 8, 2016
20 of 23

No it's not that I don't think some other system might be better. It's that I, and the customers I'm working with, are working on *this* system and the other better ways of doing things are irrelevant.

 

I can go elsewhere, but I'm not aware of an elsewhere that works for me and does what you're suggesting. If you know where that system exists, please send me a message and I'll try it out. It would have to be pretty good, however, as this one is working quite well for me.

 

The customer can go elsewhere. They can hire you and I outside of upwork, get a bill with net 30 terms, pay it and nobody will ever ask them to close anything or for feedback. But they came here for whatever reason, and that's not how it works here.

 

If they can have all their needs better met elsewhere, I hope they go elsewhere. If your office thinks that's a better system and can convince Upwork of such a thing (Upwork seems to be very client oriented) then all kinds of cheering from those of us who don't want to have to deal with it either. 

 

But until then, the question isn't what *should* be, but how to deal with what we have, isn't it?

 

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