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Client Abuse - Lack of Support - How to protect freelancer work?

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
21 of 33

Abrar A wrote:

Yes, thanks. It is very risky to work with me and my client feedback and profile show it really well.


A dog that is friendly for years and then rips out one throat is generally considered dangerous thereafter, despite the fact that nothing provoked him to violence before that moment.

Active Member
Abrar A Member Since: Jan 26, 2016
22 of 33

I guess you hate dogs.

Community Guru
Melanie H Member Since: Nov 2, 2017
23 of 33

I'm just sitting here with my mouth hanging open trying to imagine my house painter changing the locks on my house because he felt I was being unreasonable. Just for a couple of days, though. Just to protect his paint and force me to look at my walls when and how he decided I should.

 

OP, you don't get to commit crimes in order to punish clients. If you aren't suspended for this then please just learn a lesson from it. 

 

 

 

Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
24 of 33

Abrar A wrote:

Hi,

My question is how to protect freelancer's work when the client does what happend to me below? Even if the work is done on freelancer's own server and client can't run away with it, when a client just cancels the project on unfounded reasons how can the Support help?

The story:

Maybe many of you are familiar to this but client abuse is new to me. I am working on Elance/Upwork for 8 years now and have been top rated for all those years with 70% repeat client rate. But that doesn't account to anything when seeking support over Upwork.

I reached out to Upwork support and chatted about how I felt disgusted by client's attitude and if they could do something. Basically, my client, who posted their first ever project, asked me to change their website's weak password and later forgot about it.  When I asked to review the work done, they wrongfully rejected the most important part of the job that I had done and accused me of changing the password and immediatelly asked for a refund.

I said sorry to the client, sent over the new password, reminded them of their instructions and advised them to carefully check my work which they wrongfully rejected, I also sent screenshots. To cut it short, the client either was checking messages on a phone or just skipped the messages, kept asking for the password, accused me of cybercrime, rejected and mocked my work and my so-called professionalism. All this while the new password was still functional.

I reached out to Upwork support and thankfully they understood the problem but told me to wait until a dispute was filed. I told the client to either continue with the job and review my work properly or pay me up for the work done. The client wouldn't agree to anything so "I changed the website's password" until a resolution was reached. I did it to protect an important plugin I had built just for the project.

Eventually the client got her password, (I tried to login but couldn't), as it was easy to do so using their email address. Upon noticing that I offered the client to continue or pay up but nothing happened. I waited 3 days before filing a payment request. Upon that the client formally cancelled the project and asked for a refund. I disputed the refund and after that Upwork support didn't support me.

Although I am asking the support to ask the client the justification for cancelling the project but they are dead set on laying the blame on me for changing the password and not asking the client why they had rejected my work on unfounded reasons and accused me of cybercrime.




You can't do that. You were in the wrong. It pretty much is a cybercrime. Learn a lesson. 

Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
25 of 33

All of this over a password. If the client didn't like your password, and/or said that they never asked you to change it, all you had to do was to put the old password back. Instead you forced them to use the password you provided and forced them to review your work. 

 

Being polite, doing what the client wanted. being open to his concerns, and open communications was all that was needed. The whole idea is keeping the client happy even if you're right, even if your suggestions are the best. 

 

Upwork has procedures such as this, If you disputed the request of cancellation and things couldn't be worked out, there is always arbitration. But instead of following correct procedures where  you would have gotten paid, you took it upon yourself to force the client to do what you wanted.  

Active Member
Abrar A Member Since: Jan 26, 2016
26 of 33
Thank you for skipping all the posts and telling me about politeness.

Now if someone is interested in responding to this already "solved" thread, you have to bear with the details below:


Out of politeness I won't show client's chat here.
I re iterate what happened:

1. Client sends the website credentials. With a note: * please change the password. (The password was admin)
2. I do just that, do some bonus work (I always do), do some tasks, ask to discuss some issues about the rest preferably over upwork VoIP ( I always do)
I go to sleep happy.

3. Next morning I see the messages saying something like:
A. I don't speak over a call, I am a very busy person.
B. Thanks (bonus work)
C. I can't login, did you change the password?

I scroll down and see more messages written few hours apart:
D. The main task doesn't look how I would want it to (was never given the information on what was wanted)
E. Please return the password and "offer a refund".

4 After reading that, I check how she would have liked the work to be, I recheck it, found out it needed additional work to make it look like how the client wanted. In a normal case, I would have spoken to the client and informed them about that. But seeing how unreasonable the client was being: to make the situation better, I updated my work and sent them a screenshot feeling that it would definitely amend the situation.

I say:
A. Sorry, you asked me to change the password, here it is: *strong password
B. Please see my screenshot, the functionality is working great, (easy to check, it's about sharing a link on Twitter)

I go to sleep quite disurbed waiting for an answer. This is something new for me.

5. The next day that's what I see from the client:

A. I never asked for the password change. I find it deeply disturbing you would mess with my site credentials. Give me the password and give me the refund!
B. The Twitter doesn't look like how I wanted.

A few minutes/hours apart:
C. This is cybercrime. Etc etc

6 I contact Upwork support and they look at my chat. I was glad they actually did. They understood, and told me I should speak to the client and wait until some dispute is filed so they could jump in.

I do the following:
1. I recheck my work, and find it working again, I send another screenshot and ask them if they even read my last post
2. I check the new password again and find it working and I send a screenshot of the client's message to me about changing it.
3. I remind the client to understand there was no reason to accuse me in that way and that I have been a long time professional.
4. Tell them to file a dispute, and also told them where the dispute button was.

At this time it seems that the client is reading sole messages and skipping some. The awful experience filled my day with bad feelings.

I thought that If they officially ask for a refund, they would have my plugin on the site and I would get nothing out of it. I thought of uninstalling my plugin but that would make it look like I didn't do the job.

So I decided to change the password again thinking what an irony it was as the client never used my new password until that point. I didn't plan any harm with this nor thought I would keep it forever. As a knowledgeable person in my field, I knew very well they could simply reset the password using their email address.
Besides the website was full of lorem ipsum dummy content so not actually something functional.

7. The next day the client says:
A. I didn't want you to change the password, the message was from the previous developer which I copied pasted
B. Mocks my claim of being a professional
C. Tells me about contacting the police in my local country if I didn't give them the new password as the one I provided they tried now wasn't functional anymore.
D. I will leave negative feedback

*More insults about my work and professionalism.

8. I respond telling them how the password was available to them but they never read my message or saw my screenshot or tried the functionality again to see how well it worked but just bent on asking me for a refund while not actually doing it officially.

I tell them I changed the password today and they should either review my work and pay up accordingly or file a dispute. I also offer I could simply finish the job if they actually answer the questions I asked earlier.

9. The next day the client resets the password. I can't login anymore. I wait for 3 days and nothing.
A. I file a request for a partial refund based on the work I had done
B. The client officially cancels the project.
C. I dispute the claim and Upwork support asks if I could speak to my client.
D. I tell them to refer to my earlier complaint and again offer the same options. Offer I could still complete it but the client is unresponsive and unreasonable
E. They come back saying that the client said I was keeping the new password
F. I told them the client already had the password as I can't login anymore. I remind them the dispute has nothing to do with the password as I filed it and I am asking the client to review the work and continue or pay partially according to the work done.
G. They tell me I shouldn't have done that.
H. I tell them to read our chat and solve my dispute as the client already has the password.
I. They say this dispute can't be solved anymore and needs a third party arbitration and I had to pay the costs.

I argued that it was very easy to ask simple questions from the client and verify my work.
And that where it's at.

Community Guru
Martina P Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
27 of 33

Abrar A wrote:
Thank you for skipping all the posts and telling me about politeness.

Now if someone is interested in responding to this already "solved" thread, you have to bear with the details below:


Out of politeness I won't show client's chat here.
I re iterate what happened:

1. Client sends the website credentials. With a note: * please change the password. (The password was admin)
2. I do just that, do some bonus work (I always do), do some tasks, ask to discuss some issues about the rest preferably over upwork VoIP ( I always do)
I go to sleep happy.

3. Next morning I see the messages saying something like:
A. I don't speak over a call, I am a very busy person.
B. Thanks (bonus work)
C. I can't login, did you change the password?

I scroll down and see more messages written few hours apart:
D. The main task doesn't look how I would want it to (was never given the information on what was wanted)
E. Please return the password and "offer a refund".

4 After reading that, I check how she would have liked the work to be, I recheck it, found out it needed additional work to make it look like how the client wanted. In a normal case, I would have spoken to the client and informed them about that. But seeing how unreasonable the client was being: to make the situation better, I updated my work and sent them a screenshot feeling that it would definitely amend the situation.

I say:
A. Sorry, you asked me to change the password, here it is: *strong password
B. Please see my screenshot, the functionality is working great, (easy to check, it's about sharing a link on Twitter)

I go to sleep quite disurbed waiting for an answer. This is something new for me.

5. The next day that's what I see from the client:

A. I never asked for the password change. I find it deeply disturbing you would mess with my site credentials. Give me the password and give me the refund!
B. The Twitter doesn't look like how I wanted.

A few minutes/hours apart:
C. This is cybercrime. Etc etc

6 I contact Upwork support and they look at my chat. I was glad they actually did. They understood, and told me I should speak to the client and wait until some dispute is filed so they could jump in.

I do the following:
1. I recheck my work, and find it working again, I send another screenshot and ask them if they even read my last post
2. I check the new password again and find it working and I send a screenshot of the client's message to me about changing it.
3. I remind the client to understand there was no reason to accuse me in that way and that I have been a long time professional.
4. Tell them to file a dispute, and also told them where the dispute button was.

At this time it seems that the client is reading sole messages and skipping some. The awful experience filled my day with bad feelings.

I thought that If they officially ask for a refund, they would have my plugin on the site and I would get nothing out of it. I thought of uninstalling my plugin but that would make it look like I didn't do the job.

So I decided to change the password again thinking what an irony it was as the client never used my new password until that point. I didn't plan any harm with this nor thought I would keep it forever. As a knowledgeable person in my field, I knew very well they could simply reset the password using their email address.
Besides the website was full of lorem ipsum dummy content so not actually something functional.

7. The next day the client says:
A. I didn't want you to change the password, the message was from the previous developer which I copied pasted
B. Mocks my claim of being a professional
C. Tells me about contacting the police in my local country if I didn't give them the new password as the one I provided they tried now wasn't functional anymore.
D. I will leave negative feedback

*More insults about my work and professionalism.

8. I respond telling them how the password was available to them but they never read my message or saw my screenshot or tried the functionality again to see how well it worked but just bent on asking me for a refund while not actually doing it officially.

I tell them I changed the password today and they should either review my work and pay up accordingly or file a dispute. I also offer I could simply finish the job if they actually answer the questions I asked earlier.

9. The next day the client resets the password. I can't login anymore. I wait for 3 days and nothing.
A. I file a request for a partial refund based on the work I had done
B. The client officially cancels the project.
C. I dispute the claim and Upwork support asks if I could speak to my client.
D. I tell them to refer to my earlier complaint and again offer the same options. Offer I could still complete it but the client is unresponsive and unreasonable
E. They come back saying that the client said I was keeping the new password
F. I told them the client already had the password as I can't login anymore. I remind them the dispute has nothing to do with the password as I filed it and I am asking the client to review the work and continue or pay partially according to the work done.
G. They tell me I shouldn't have done that.
H. I tell them to read our chat and solve my dispute as the client already has the password.
I. They say this dispute can't be solved anymore and needs a third party arbitration and I had to pay the costs.

I argued that it was very easy to ask simple questions from the client and verify my work.
And that where it's at.


oh boy. You just can't let go, can you? Having to be right all the time is not a quality that becomes you, and can get you in real trouble, as you have demonstrated.

Instead of being smart about the situation and try to find the best outcome for your client and your reputation, you keep on digging that hole, and insisting on it becoming deeper and deeper. Always needing to have the last word is not something that will further your upwork career. 

Active Member
Abrar A Member Since: Jan 26, 2016
28 of 33
I have said it multiple times that thread is marked as resolved. I am responding to the new comments.

If you had read the messages you wouldn't post. But i guess you can't let it go.
Community Guru
Martina P Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
29 of 33

Abrar A wrote:
I have said it multiple times that thread is marked as resolved. I am responding to the new comments.

If you had read the messages you wouldn't post. But i guess you can't let it go.

You really need to have the last word, do you?

Active Member
Abrar A Member Since: Jan 26, 2016
30 of 33
You have to have it, right?
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