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hira_shaheen
Community Member

Bad client leaving an average feedback

Hi, 

I am fairly new to Upwork and need some help. I just got my JSS a few days ago and it was 88%. All my reviews were 5* and I assume I had made clients happy but maybe someone left a poor review in private. ANother client left a 4.6 even though he was always saying he was happy with the work as I was always on time and delivering great content.

Anyway, I did not fret over it and continued delivering my best. Now there was one client who hired me for some web content re-writing stuff. I was hired by one person and asked to correspond on email. That email had 4 people and I was told that the peron who hired me was from another company. The one who called me was a completely different person (The client was based in my own country so they communicate me on the phone as well). The one who reviewed my work was someone else. In short, so many cooks 

Despite asking multiple times, they just gave no specific instructions and asked for a "professional" outlook of already written material. The payment was on Upwork and I submitted the first draft. They reposnded only after the escrow payment got transfereed to my account and wanted some changes (I would have appreciated same instructions in the begining though). Then I was in process of making corrections but out of nowhere I received an email that client had ended a contracty and given me 4.2 stars 3 for quality and skills each!). An email from them that they had decided to take it from there. 
I don't want to be paranoid but I am sure the private review would be worse. I am afriad it would impact my JSS even more. How can I deal with a situation like this where client is hard to work with and leaving poor review even though I had tried to make it work? Tips would be appreciated. 

ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Clients always get to state their opinion in their feedback. It doesn't matter if it is unreasonable, unfair or even inaccurate--that is their place to "speak freely." And, users of this platform have to live with it. You'll find plenty of other freelancers who feel equally wronged by negative or less-than-stellar feedback. 

You can reply to written feedback, although that can backfire. Your replies can be viewed by prospective clients who may not take you at your word and perceive you as someone who is difficult to work with. 

If you are successful at reaching Top Rated status, you have a perk that allows you to periodically remove one instance of feedback from your JSS calculation. But, most TR freelancers save this perk for the most egregious circumstances and only when it puts their TR status at risk. 

It is frustrating to look at a contract gone bad and not be able to do anything to repair it or avoid the consequences. But, that is a consistent element of any business that employs feedback. (Look at the businesses that live or die by their local reviews, for example.) 

One of the keys to surviving on Upwork is to be more careful about choosing clients than they are about choosing you. Look at their history. If the client is new and your JSS is vulnerable (e.g., not 100% and/or you don't have the perk) consider whether giving them a chance is worth the risk. 

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4 REPLIES 4
feed_my_eyes
Community Member

The solution might be to spend more time messaging/speaking with the client before you accept a project, and set clear expectations on both sides. Then it will be easier to make sure that you're the right person for the job, and also to get a sense of whether the client might be difficult to work with. Sometimes the right thing to do is say, "sorry, I think that you'd be better off hiring a different freelancer."

I tried to see what expectation they had but they were just not specific about anything to be honest. It was all about re-writing the old content. I will take it as a stroke of bad luck. Can you tell me what should I expect in terms of JSS? I had two other contracts closed this week with good public feedback (I hope the private one was better too but who knows). 

Also Is it better to leave the 4.2 feedback alone or should I reply to the feedback with my side of the story? I feel 3/5 in quality and skills looks very poor on my profile and might affect my ability to grab work in future. 

Clients always get to state their opinion in their feedback. It doesn't matter if it is unreasonable, unfair or even inaccurate--that is their place to "speak freely." And, users of this platform have to live with it. You'll find plenty of other freelancers who feel equally wronged by negative or less-than-stellar feedback. 

You can reply to written feedback, although that can backfire. Your replies can be viewed by prospective clients who may not take you at your word and perceive you as someone who is difficult to work with. 

If you are successful at reaching Top Rated status, you have a perk that allows you to periodically remove one instance of feedback from your JSS calculation. But, most TR freelancers save this perk for the most egregious circumstances and only when it puts their TR status at risk. 

It is frustrating to look at a contract gone bad and not be able to do anything to repair it or avoid the consequences. But, that is a consistent element of any business that employs feedback. (Look at the businesses that live or die by their local reviews, for example.) 

One of the keys to surviving on Upwork is to be more careful about choosing clients than they are about choosing you. Look at their history. If the client is new and your JSS is vulnerable (e.g., not 100% and/or you don't have the perk) consider whether giving them a chance is worth the risk. 

Now that I think of this, you are absolutely right. The client was new to Upwork and I had to guide him/her (multiple people you see) through the process of hiring me. As I am new here, I am looking to build up my profile and have been less careful about screening clients. I did wind up with a seires of unresponsive and slow ones two weeks ago. Out of all the jobs I have done, 3 were the ones I had trouble handling the clients and 2 of them were first timers. The tragic part is that I was empathetic and bent backward to be nice and professional because they didn't know half of things that was their job! 

It obviously has backfired and lesson learned the hard way. I just hope two other contracts that ended with good reviews would balance the JSS affected by this poor expeirence. I doubt it though because according to what I have read here, JSS takes a nose dive with bad review but crawls back with the good ones.

Anway, thank you ladies, you have been a huge help. 

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