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Clarifying Agreements

Active Member
Joseph M Member Since: Jun 12, 2016
1 of 17

Hey - 

 

I accepted a job where the client requests I give ongoing revisions though he only requested an actual edit for the project. We agreed on a fixed price but just to do an edit to his doc: a sales letter. When he sent the job request I accepted but only with a returned message saying that ongoing revisions meant ongoing consultation. 

 

There was a messaging option shown to me right where the accept button was. My impression was that this is an opportunity for the freelancer to clear up the terms. I did so. It's my first project, so I don't know for sure. 

 

Additionally, the client, in his job offer, says "ongoing revisions until 5 percent conversion is reached." They request I immediately start a live chat with them because they weren't happy with the Doc. That it wouldn't convert. But I read his original letter, and know very well he couldn't express conversion potential if it hit him in the face. 

 

He would need to test the Doc, but he has nothing in place, no funnel set to test it with. 

 

Here's the things:

I don't know if I've obligated myself to this client for ongoing revisions or not. No payment has been made, pending I keep giving him revisions until 5 percent is met. It's obvious this person wants something for nothing or for VERY cheap. I think giving him an edit was fair with ongoing consultation but not revisions. But I don't know if I established that as part of the agreement to be held accountable though.

 

What I don't know is whether or not my message sent during the acceptence phase plays any role to my obligation since I did clarify that, "Ongoing revisions means ongoing consultation," before hitting the accept button.

 

Can anyone help? My biggest fear is canceling this project and having the client rate me in a negative way. Although, I know the work I gave was top notch. 

 

Thanks! 

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Community Guru
Juvy Ann P Member Since: Oct 29, 2015
2 of 17

It would have made your life easier if you and the client agreed on specific milestones.  You may want to read this article: https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/articles/211063418-Hourly-vs-Fixed-Price-Contract-Differences?fl...

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Active Member
Joseph M Member Since: Jun 12, 2016
3 of 17

Thanks!

 

I read the article, but it doesn't hit on my specifics. Maybe the information is too foreign for me to understand. Reading it more times doesn't help.

 

Is my clarification of terms, that I made before accepting job, valid or no?

 

If they're not, then I will just refund the client his money and leave it at that. It wasn't much work. And since it seems to be his way of doing business, he'll be hopeless without solid collaboration for his needs. 

 

But if my clarifications on what the terms were stands, as I stated it within the message option before accepting, then  do you know or not?

 

I appreciate the article and have read it but haven't found that answer specifically.  

 

Can you answer what my options are? I get what I can do in the future. Where do I stand now giving the clarifications I made to client? 

 

 

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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
4 of 17

There is no such thing as "ongoing" when it comes to fixed-price contracts.

 

"Ongoing" implies an hourly contract.

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Active Member
Joseph M Member Since: Jun 12, 2016
5 of 17

Thanks, Preston. 

 

So what are your suggestions? I will leave myself open to a bad view if I cancel it, right? 

 

If I refund, nothing happens though, right? 

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Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
6 of 17

Joseph,

@Upwork needs to appear and clarify whether payment contingent on the action of third parties (conversions, acceptance for publication, etc.) violates terms of service.

Good luck,
Michael

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Active Member
Joseph M Member Since: Jun 12, 2016
7 of 17

Thanks, Doug - 

 

How Do I Go About Doing That?

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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
8 of 17

Joseph:

It doesn't matter what Upwork does or says about fixed-price contracts.

 

You need to establish your own rules, and stick to them.

 

As for what you can do with the current situation:

 

If you want to refund the project, you can do that, and then you won't need to do any more work at all for this person, but you will not receive any money for your work. If the amount of money is relatively small, but the work you would need to do to see this thing through is considerable, this may be the way to go.

 

If you issue a refund for any money paid already, and then close the contract, then nothing will show on your profile page. It is possible that the client will give you negative private feedback, but maybe they won't.

 

One thing you could do is, before issuing a refund and closing the contract, just send a SHORT message to the client explaining that you are new and you made a mistake by structuring this contract as a fixed-price rather than hourly contract. Tell the client that you are officially turning over to them all the work that you did on their behalf, and that you expect nothing further from them. And apologize for the inconvenience and tell them if there is anything they need, to just let you know.

 

 

If you don't want to issue a refund:

 

You submit the work you have done (even if you have already turned it over to the client) using the official green submit milestone button.

 

And then you do not say one word about payment to the client. Do not contact the client after that. If the client talks to you, do your best to answer her questions or satisfy what she's asking for.


But basically YOU know that you have done the work that was reasonably expected. YOU know you did a good job. So you submitted it. And now you're running out the clock. If the client does nothing to respond to your milestone submission, then Upwork will AUTOMATICALLY RELEASE THE MONEY TO YOU in 14 days.

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Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
9 of 17

Joseph,

Petra has stepped in in place of Upwork with what we may take as an authoritative answer.

In future, this should be (in my opinion) a clause of your own contract with clients and/or a condition of accepting work: no contingency of payment based on the action or inaction of any third party.

Best,
Michael

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Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
10 of 17

@Douglas Michael M wrote:

Joseph,

Petra has stepped in in place of Upwork


 No, I did not!

 

I do not and never will "step in in place of Upwork"

 

I simply answer based on my knowledge of the ToS and the possible interpretations thereof.

 

There is nothing in the terms the freelancer accepted that seems to violate terms.

 

If he cancels the contract no public feedback can be left, but the private feedback may hit him hard. (As by the time gets a JSS it may well be poor due to the outcome of this contract...

 

If someone does not agree with the proposed terms then the only intelligent action is to NOT accept the contract under the terms it was offered. If a freelancer accepts a contract with X terms then that is the basis of the contract. Any alternations to the offer should have been made prior to acceptance. No "clarification" from the freelancer holds any weight at all unless the other party specifically agreed to be bound by them. Accepting a contract means accepting the contract as offered. No more, no less.

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