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Calculating render time on time tracker.

Active Member
Shaimaa E Member Since: Dec 8, 2019
1 of 7

Hi, I was working on an hourly contract and make the tracker on while rendering photos, now my client think I was taking advantage of him and request a refund for the rendering time, what should I say to convince him that rendering time is included in work?

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2 of 7

Shaimaa E wrote:

Hi, I was working on an hourly contract and make the tracker on while rendering photos, now my client think I was taking advantage of him and request a refund for the rendering time, what should I say to convince him that rendering time is included in work?


How much rendering time are we talking about?

 

Ultimately, this is something you should have discussed with the client before you started the contract, but if the rendering time has low activity levels, and the client disputes, you lose that time anyway.

 

Personally I am not sure I agree time the computer does something and I am not actually working should be charged to the client to be honest. Theoretically you could be watching TV or walk the dog whilst the rendering is going on, so it's not really "time worked"

 

This kind of thing may be better suited to fixed rate contracts.

 

 

Active Member
Shaimaa E Member Since: Dec 8, 2019
3 of 7

Hi Petra,

Thank you for your reply, They are around 11 hours and I was awake setting in front of the laptop while rendering to see that everything is going ok and if there anything need to modify.

Yeah I know that is my fault that I haven't discussed with the client at first, I thought he knew. I also searched in the community and saw others asking the same question and found that the render is calculated in two ways: hourly or by photo. and if I calculated by the photo it will cost him more. 

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
4 of 7

Shaimaa E wrote:

 

Thank you for your reply, They are around 11 hours and I was awake setting in front of the laptop while rendering to see that everything is going ok


If the client disputes you'll lose the dispute anyway (because activity levels while remdering, unless you use an autoclicker or similar?) will be very low.

 

Personally, if I was the client, I would not be wanting to pay for 11 hours of time where the freelancer basically supervised a computer doing the work. (If at all... Most people get on with their life while rendering while checking occasionally.

 

What *ARE* the activity levels like? Take a long, close look at your work diary during those 11 hours of rendering.

 

Personally I would rather delete / refund such hours than go to dispute (which you will likely lose and Upwork will forcibly take the hours off you if you do, and you have a dispute on your metrics.) As you said, it was your fault that you didn't discuss it upfront.

 

 

Community Guru
Bojana D Member Since: May 2, 2011
5 of 7

Petra R wrote:

Personally, if I was the client, I would not be wanting to pay for 11 hours of time where the freelancer basically supervised a computer doing the work. (If at all... Most people get on with their life while rendering while checking occasionally.


I don't think it should be paid at regular work hourly rate, but I do think it should be paid in most cases, at a reduced rate. If you don't have a separate rig for rendering (and not a lot of freelancers have the resoureces to keep one), that means your work station's resources are engaged and you can't work on anything else. That machine time is solely dedicated to one client, making it work time of sorts, and power & resources are still being consumed. Ideally, you'd factor that cost in in your rate (hourly or fixed price) from the start. OP's mistake was assuming anyone would be a-OK paying full rate for render and not discussing it with the client. 

I'd have that discussion now, apologise for not talking it through in advance, and negotiate a reduced rate - say a third of the time to be paid, the rest of it deleted. But Shaimaa, you have to be prepared for the client to say no to that too - it really should've been agreed upon in the interview / offer stage. 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
6 of 7

re: "...what should I say to convince him that rendering time is included in work?"

 

You can tell him:

"Dwayne, thank you for your note about this. There was some confusion on my part. What you saw was time logged during rendering time. I have already removed all of that time from my work diary. You will not be billed for that time."

 

Alternatively, you could say:

"Dwayne, you are correct about this. The time logged for rendering was an accident on my part. The week has ended and I have access to the work diary, so I can not remove those hours. But I already issued a refund of $XX.00 to cover that amount of time."

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
7 of 7

If the client comes to the Forum to discuss this situation, I will point out to him (as will others) that any time logged while a computer is rendering and the freelancer is doing nothing else is going to either:

(a) not result in time being counted

(b) show very low activity levels

[or]
(c) be logged manually

 

I will point out that time that is logged manually or time with very low activity levels can be disputed with Upwork during the first few days after the week has ended. If a client disputes such time blocks, then Upwork will automatically remove the time and the client won't need to pay for that amount of time.

 

I will suggest to the client that he MAY pay for rendering time if he chooses to do so, but that a freelancer should make arrangements about that with him before billing for such time.


I might also point out that instead of paying for this type of work using an hourly contract, he could consider using fixed-price contracts. Furthermore, he should consider the quality and value of the work he received from each of the freelancers on his team. If one freelancer is charging $500 for each render, while the other three are charging an average of $200 for each, then he can consider these numbers when he decides who to continue working with. Regardless of how many hours each logs.

 

If I was the client, I might prefer to work with a freelancer who bills at a higher rate per hour, but has a high speed tower that renders images in twenty minutes, rather than relying on a freelancer with an underpowered laptop.

 

This does not mean that a freelancer who bills for rendering time is doing anything wrong. (Nor am I saying that such a freelancer is doing the right thing.)

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