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Cancelling a contract due to client MIA and JSS score

Ace Contributor
Rachael B Member Since: Jan 23, 2016
1 of 6

I've gotten to the point where I'm about to cancel some hourly contracts due to the client dissapearing and not responding to messages (for well over a couple months). So far there are 2. I'm wondering if cancelling these contracts (and having to put 'job not completed') will affect my Job Success Score negatively? I know very well that it /shouldn't/, but I also know that the system is terribly flawed and that Upwork doesn't give a flying...finch.


Also, patronizing answers from moderators about how "we encourage clear communication between client and freelancer, professionalism, this is your fault and we dont care, ect. ect" are unneeded. Communication with the clients in question was going very well up until a point, in both cases, they had to take a hiatus for different reasons. Since then there has been no contact. I want to send a final message prompting a response before canceling the contracts. I just don't want my JSS affected by long-standing, inactive paused contracts. BUT, I also don't want it affected by having to end the contract prematurely.


What should I do? Is there a winning way to go here?

Community Guru
Scott B Member Since: Nov 20, 2015
2 of 6

Close one, wait a while, and then close the other.  It could impact your JSS but if you are doing work and getting good reviews from others, you should be fine.  Again I don't think I would close both at the same time unless you have a bunch of others that will be closing with good reviews.  Perhaps even time your closures with other contracts that are ending with reviews.

Community Leader
Richard H Member Since: Aug 22, 2015
3 of 6


Scott has a very good suggestion and I have some thoughts on the matter also.


We, as contractors, can influence, guide and suggest things to our clients but we can’t make them do anything they don’t want to do. If they disappear in the middle of a job or at the end, there isn’t anything we can do except try to message them.

I think way too many people worry about things that they have no control over.

The thought that “closing” every job is matter of life and death of your JSS is just a waste of your time.

Some clients have other problems more important than the job you’re working on for them and they could resurface later or just abandon it altogether. If the job remains open for extended periods then Upwork will pause it for inactivity. If they really have the time and care about “why it’s inactive” they can read the messages you exchanged with the client and try to ascertain why. I doubt they do that.


I have been here for over a year and never closed a job. It the client didn’t close it then it remains open or “paused”. Several clients have come back multiple times with more work, and new milestones after weeks or months of no communication with me.

I realize client feedback is important, so if too many clients in a row don’t leave feedback then I’ll suggest (in a very polite way ) how important it is to us to get this feedback. We can’t force them, so why worry about it.


Spend your time pursuing new work and new clients. Be sure to communicate frequently with clients to keep them informed about your progress and get their feedback. Don’t assume the screenshots that the tracker takes is enough to show the client appropriate progress. Send them file updates at least daily to confirm you both are thinking the same about the progression of the job.


If all your jobs ended abrubtly, you might try to understand why and change things appropriately. You should have a good indication of whether the job was going well by the messages you and your client exchanged before they dissappeared. You don’t indicate in your post whether they paid what they owed before they stopped communicating with you so we can’t presume why it ended.


Good communications and a positive attitude works wonders with client relationships.

Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
4 of 6

Hi Rachael, 


If the client doesn't reply to your messages, you can close it yourself. Your clients will have the opportunity to provide feedback during the 14-day period after the contract is closed. One idle contract or contract without feedback will not affect your JSS negatively, unless there's a pattern of contracts with no feedback.


Your Job Success Score of 99% is awesome, and great despite having a few contracts with no feedback. 

Active Member
Norlya M Member Since: Aug 10, 2016
5 of 6



I have a similar issue. My writer has gone MIA and due date for the task has already been long overdue. He recently contacted me saying he will not able to take on the project and we have agreed to cancel the job.


I have cancelled the job on my behalf. But my writer hasn't accepted the cancellation yet. Do I still need to wait for 7 days before I could get my refund back?

Vladimir G Moderator Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
6 of 6

Hi Norlya,


Yes, if a freelancer doesn't take any action Escrow funds will be refunded to the client's billing method 7 days after the contract was ended.