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Client Always Wanting More!

I have only completed 2 jobs on Upwork but both were extremely happy, 5 stars. Job listing asking for proofreading and editing website from someone with marketing experience. After looking at material, I told the client that it would be better to upload onto the website first to see the layout and design before the marketing element can be looked but, I would be happy, to proofread and edit it as it is. 

 

I spent hours, editing, correct and some rewriting using comments. Client not satisfied expected me to rewrite the whole thing. Budget not enough for that. After message after message back and forth he wouldn't accept that it was good enough - despite me copying and pasting my previous message about proofreading.

 

Had a chat with Upwork - bottom line nothing they can do, even though I have written proof of the agreement. He is free to leave me with rubbish feedback, ruin my rating on here and Upwork cannot change it, even if it goes to dispute. So, I spent extra hours out of my free time to show willing and rewrite it as best I could under the time constraints - its 100% better than it ever was. I submitted and suggested he approves, ends the contrat, we don't leave feedback for each other and go our separate ways.  Guess what - now he's not happy that I didn't do it in the first place and says he's got someone else to do it! - What do I do now, if he leaves me a rubbish rating, it will affect my freelancing, I might as well find a different site.  Any way I can stop his feedback, or if he isn't happy with it, not allow him to use the work, don't accept any payment and end the contract (but he can still provide feedback?).

 

Sorry for the long-winded post but this is my first underhand encounter (as I believe he is using me to just do more and more on a very low budget).My initial impression s of Upwork were good but now I am seeing that it is so client biased - there is no support or comeback there for the freelancer!

Thanks for listening guys, I'm really upset by it as I've been marketing for over 20 years and teaching English for 11 and he's really knocked my spirit.

22 REPLIES 22
dataextract
Member

It is upto you to decide.

Either you can get the payment (how much is that?) and let him leave the feedback or leave him and tell him he dont have any rights to use that.

Ms MAC,

You do not know how to use fixed-price contracts properly.

 

You need to only do hourly contracts until you spend time reading in the community forum reading about how to use fixed-price contracts successfully and safely. Read my previous tips, for one thing.

That's a very blunt response Preston! Yes, ok, thank you, now I shall, now I know they are there (where are they located?). However, I haven't done anything less than what I proposed and it doesn't help me to move forward with this present contract.

 

What are my options? especially to stop him leaving unfair feedback?

 

Many thanks for any advice.

You donโ€™t actually know that he will leave you a rubbish rating. He might not say anything at all. 

 

If he does, you can respond politely by saying his expectations werenโ€™t in accord with your original agreement (or something like that). And don't forget you also get to leave feedback on his profile.

 

And even if he leaves stinking feedback, it's only a temporary glitch. It might not seem it now, but you can move past the effect of it reasonably quickly. (Been there, got the t-shirt.)

 

You might want to think about tightening the terms of your contract so there's less room for 'flexibility'.

 

And relying on hourly contracts won't affect your ability to say 'no' when you need to say 'no'.

Thank you Kim, that's useful info.

kmhernandez
Member

I'm sorry about what happened with your contract. I don't have any advice for you as far as the situation with your client, but I wanted to come alongside and help you with something else: your writing.

 

I noticed a few comma splices and spelling and grammar errors in your post. Remember that if you are marketing yourself as a proofreader and editor, you really can't afford to have even one error in your written communication. 

I appreciate that Kristen, thank you.  I'm not taking part in a contract at the moment and we all have to let go sometimes ๐Ÿ™‚

I have had two clients leave negative feedback because I ended a contract that suffered from scope creep. The first left private and public feedback. I responded factually to the public feedback explaining that the client sought more work than had been purchased. The second left only private feedback in order to avoid a public airing of the reasons the contract ended.

 

In both instances, the private feedback hurt my JSS score. In the last instance, in the same week that I received the negative private feedback which dropped my "would recommend score by 2%, I also gained a new long term client that raised my "long term" score by 2%. The net effect of these two factors left my JSS unchanged. Hopefully, that gives you some idea of the weight of each factor.

 

This is terrible and manipulative, but if you don't have a lot of feedback yet to outweigh the negative I would consider taking a very long time to respond to each message from the client. This keeps the contract open while you work to obtain new clients and feedback. If you close the contract, wait your full fourteen days to give feedback- this will buy you two more weeks. 

 

I haven't tried the above techniques, by the way. 

 

 

Thank you Tonya, that's great to know, appreciate it.

tlsanders
Member

You say that you didn't leave each other feedback, but if he ended the contract he would have been prompted to do so--and you would not see that feedback if you haven't entered your own. That doesn't mean it hasn't already happened.

Ms MAC,

 

It's not clear if your contract is still open or not, but I think you are likely to get bad feedback whichever way you move. 

 

I wouldn't close the contract until you have asked for release of funds from the escrow account. The client then has 14 days to dispute it, otherwise it is automatically released to you.

 

If he disputes it, you could offer to refund, and if he accepts, your public feedback won't show, but the client can still leave an unfavourable feedback behind your back. In a no-win situation, I would rather have the money, and take the hit.

Thank you Nichola, that's more information I wasn't aware of.  It isn't fair that they can still leave feedback no matter what happens.

Tiffany, I am unsure if you are addressing me or one of the other posters...

 

In my case, I closed the contracts. Both contract end dates are outside the time frame in which either party can leave further feedback. So I am able to now assess the outcomes. 


@Tiffany S wrote:

You say that you didn't leave each other feedback, but if he ended the contract he would have been prompted to do so--and you would not see that feedback if you haven't entered your own. That doesn't mean it hasn't already happened.


I think she's quoting me. Feedback has already happened but you don't want the very last feedback to show an angry customer. So, you have 14 days that the feedback stays hidden. If you know it's coming (and I think we usually do), then you can hold off on giving the client feedback and push it down the list on your profile. At this point, close contracts that are dead and hopefully complete a couple more so that now when the bad feedback is released it's maybe 4+ down the list. 

brianajross
Member

That sucks. There have been a handfull of flat rate job proposals I've stayed away from because the client didn't give a detailed description of the deliverable, or they said something like "revisions as necessary". Um, nope, sorry.

 

At the very least, you could leave an honest review of the client so that other freelancers are aware of this issue with them. 

Thank you Briana (lovely name). This is what I had in mind because I just wonder about the other freelancers he is dealing with - obviously just a thought, not an accusation.

kat303
Member

I'm a little skeptable about your statement So, I spent extra hours out of my free time to show willing and rewrite it as best I could under the time constraints - its 100% better than it ever was. NOT saying this is the case, but it sounds to me like it wasn't done to the best of your ability in the beginning.

 

As for feedback. You can refund the money in escrow and close the contract. But then you don't get paid for the work, He will probably take that work, and have another contractor do some small tweaks to it, (but the majority of the work will stay) and only pay them a small amount, a fraction of what he would have paid you. That would leave you to seach for your unpaid work, and have it taken down from his site. 

 

Or

 

You can get paid probably by filing a dispute.

 

Either way, The client can leave feedback. It doesn't matter if it's public. because you can respond to it, But it's the private feedback that we contractors don't have access to, (either read or respond to) and that is the feedback that most affects our JSS score. So, whether or not you refund or accept payment the client can still submit private feedback.

 

 

I think the issue is that she agreed to proofread and the client wants a rewrite.

Thank you Tonya ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks Kathy. The understanding was, and I was very clear about this from the beginning, that I proofread and do small edits to make the document grammatically accurate.  He then wanted it all rewriting from a marketing pitch, there is a lot of difference.

 

Thank you for the info, I was not familiar with the differences of public and private feedback - so much information to read! ๐Ÿ™‚

barronrandall
Member

Here's the blunt truth: you are chattel. Expendable. Replaceable. The emphasis here is on the cllient.

 

There's a reason why new freelancers get picked a lot and it's because they're easier to take advantage of. I had the same experience with one of my first clients.....he kept asking for more and more even though it was not part of the contract. And he definitely go the point across that positive feedback was contingent on my completetion of these other things. What I did is do all that work to his satisfaction, like you I was just trying to get a foot hold and develop my rep here, so I just bit the bullet. Not possible for everyone I know, but that's what I did. He left a great score and it helped but I basically was working for $5 an hour.

 

My advice to you is to put up a profile on every single freelancer site known to man. Cast your net wide to give you the best shot at success. Don't depend on any site, especially this one quite frankly, to be basisi of your freelance career.

Yes, I'm understanding that now.  Great advice Randall, thank you.

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