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Bad customers

I have a bad client that I can't manage. He contacted me desperately because an unprofessional designer (according to him) gave him an inadequate job. It had to be a fast job and instead it turned into the worst of nightmares, he has no clear ideas and he is asking me for infinite changes, but he is never satisfied, I worked much more than he paid. I have always been very polite even when his answers have been rude, to help him I also worked on Christmas Eve.  I would like to ask to end the contract but I think you want a refund, what can I do?

Community Member

It is NOT Upwork's intention that clients hire freelancers using a fixed-price contract and then ask them to do whatever they want.


A fixed-price contract is intended to be used for a freelancer to do a specific task and/or provide a specific deliverable, and that's it.


If you are working using a fixed-pice contract, then you could tell the client:

"Henry, I want to help you with this project, but I think there may be some misunderstanding about the contract. This is a fixed price contract. The agreement was for me to redesign the web page. I have done that. That means that the contract is over. If you want me to do more than that, I can do so. But according to Upwork's rules, I am not supposed to do extra work outside of the original agreement. So for me to do anything further, you would need to release payment and close the current contract. If you do that, then I will be happy to discuss setting up a new hourly contract so that we can do further work on the project."


If this is an hourly contract, then you (the freelancer) need to choose if you want to continue working on the project. It is YOUR choice. If you want to keep working on the project, then simply make sure that you log ALL of your time. Don't work for free. If the client asks you to do something, then you log time and get paid for that work.


If you don't want to continue working on the contract FOR ANY REASON, then you have the right to close the contract. You have the right to tell the client why. But you are not obligated to. It may be of no benefit to you to tell him that you think he is rude.


If you want to stop working for him, you could simply tell him:

"Henry, I really appreciate the opportunity I have had to work on this project. Some things have come up and I will no longer be able to continue working on this. All of the files are in the /design directory on the server. I wish you well as you continue working on the project."

Then close the contract.

Thanks for your reply, the contract is hourly and the customer tells me that he will write everything in his review and open a dispute with upwork.

Giacomo U wrote:

Thanks for your reply, the contract is hourly and the customer tells me that he will write everything in his review and open a dispute with upwork.

Never mind the review. You're top rated and can nuke it.


As far as the dispute is concerned: Did you track all your time with the Upwork tracker with reasonable activity levels and meaningful work memos?


In that case the client will lose the dispute anyway.


If it's the Tampa based client, there is not way in the world I'd have accepted a contract with them...



Community Member

Well, on the plus side you have learned two new 'bad client' red flags: blaming the previous freelancer and in a hurry. 😕


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