Reply
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply

Client Cancelled Milestone after Stretching out the process

Active Member
Kire T Member Since: Mar 26, 2019
1 of 11

Good morning, everyone.

 

I had a client cancel a $100 contract this morning. Her explanation was that there was a 2-day deadline and that the developer had already finished the tasks assigned for me to do...but here's the problem with that:

 

1.  I was not aware that the developer was doing any of the work on the site that was meant for me to do, as I was told the developer just made the layout a month ago and was adding pages, not doing any design work. She hired me on March 15, several days after her 2-day deadline. Contacted me on the 7th, for an interview and didn't respond back for it until the 11th.

 

2. Didn't send me the link to start working on the site she needed me to edit until March 16.

 

4. During the entire project, there was no communication from her as to what the new deadline was, nor what was expected for the site other than to "polish it". 

 

5. I finished the designs on the March 18th and emailed her links to the templates to ask her to pick one to get it approved. Didn't get a response back from her after emailing her these designs, so I contacted here on March 23 to tell her I completed them and to ask if she got the links. She didn't contact me back until 2 days later on March 25th! Claimed she didn't get it even though I shared the links with her the same way she shared them with me. Still gave me no mention of the deadline or parameters at all even though I had been asking her for her thoughts through the entire project. I sent the links out to a new email of hers because she said she couldn't find them.

 

6. Still, no response from her on the work I did until the 29th still asking about the email....I asked her every time we sent information whether she had gotten it or not, and she only ever told me once that she had not. 

 

During this project, she kept saying reach out to her, but when I did, she would give me no feedback. I created 3 templates which is 2 more than she asked for to make sure that the client could look over it, and am still not sure with the utter lack of communication from her that she ever even looked at the templates. She set up a phone conference with me for Friday the 29th earlier that morning.  I called her at 3MST like she told me, even gave it until 3:05pm MST in case she was busy. She tells me she just left the office so she will call me back in 3 minutes from her car...Never calls me back. I text her via her phone and Upwork to confirm and ask if we need to reschedule. No response. Then today, after never calling me back, she cancels the contract and pays "$20" for my effort. Using having 3 kids and running 2 businesses as her excuse today from not getting back to me.

 

This whole thing was so unprofessional, and adding insult to injury, I have only worked with her this one time so I can expect a 20% deduction out of the $20 she's trying to give me for my "effort". Not to make this personal, but I am a college student that works from home and I depend on Upwork to help me with my income, I was banking on completing this project in time to pay my rent, but am losing $80+ on this contract alone. I don't think I have time to make up for the gap in my income because of this.

 

What should I do? Should I dispute this milestone or cut my loses?

Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
2 of 11

Kire, looks like you went way beyond what you signed up for, but as you've discovered, you can't guilt trip a shady client into paying you what you deserve by doing extra work. In my years at Upwork, I've never been in a dispute, so take my advice with a grain of salt, but I think chances are the $20 is all you're getting, and a dispute would take up time you could use more productively. Out of curiosity, does it look like the client used any of your design work? If so, that might prove that the client is lying when she claims her developer finished the tasks, and when you give the client a review, you can succinctly and professionally document why you're giving the client a low review. And should the client give you a low review, something sociopathic clients tend to do, you might be able to persuade Upwork to exclude the feedback from your Job Success Score.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Active Member
Kire T Member Since: Mar 26, 2019
3 of 11

No, it doesn't look like they did use any of my designs. In fact, doesn't look like they made any edits to the site.

Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
4 of 11

Kire T wrote:

No, it doesn't look like they did use any of my designs. In fact, doesn't look like they made any edits to the site.


Uh huh. Then perhaps they're waiting until you've given them feedback before using your design, so you can't accuse them of not paying you fairly. Oh well. Whatever happens, I hope your next client will be wonderful.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Active Member
Kire T Member Since: Mar 26, 2019
5 of 11

Thank you. It's much appreciated.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
6 of 11

re: "Should I dispute this milestone or cut my loses?"

 

Let this go.

This amount of money is definitely not worth spending any more time thinking about.

Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
7 of 11

For the future, what you should have done before accepting this client's offer was to let her know that her deadline has passed, and any delay in this project, such as obtaining files or links or more information etc would push the deadline back further. Also, before accepting any offer, make sure that all questions are answered, all information necessary at the moment is provided and most of all make sure you have the materials, files, links or anything else that you would need to immediately start work once hired, are provided to you. 

 

IMO, no you should not cut your loses. Whether the client used your designs, or not, you worked on them. you spent your time and energy providing that work to the client and you should be paid for that. Of course if you know in your heart that your work was shoddy, half finished or not at all what the client needed because you took it upon yourself to do whatever you wanted to, then yes, refund what's in escrow. Otherwise go for the full payment.

 

Start a dispute, the 1st phase is where the Upwork mediator will advise you to work it out between yourselves. The mediator might even tell you to accept the $20 or even to refund all of the funds in escrow. That's just advice, it's not binding. If things can't be worked out, then arbitration is the next and last step.

 

Each of you will have to pay a $291 arbitration fee. This is sort of like a gamble, because if the client doesn't pay the fee you get both the fee and the full amount in escrow back. Of course if the client pays the fee, neither of you get that fee back. But the gamble is, will the client risk $291 to only get back $100? 

Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
BEST ANSWER
8 of 11

Kathy T wrote:

For the future, what you should have done before accepting this client's offer was to let her know that her deadline has passed, and any delay in this project, such as obtaining files or links or more information etc would push the deadline back further. Also, before accepting any offer, make sure that all questions are answered, all information necessary at the moment is provided and most of all make sure you have the materials, files, links or anything else that you would need to immediately start work once hired, are provided to you. 

 

IMO, no you should not cut your loses. Whether the client used your designs, or not, you worked on them. you spent your time and energy providing that work to the client and you should be paid for that. Of course if you know in your heart that your work was shoddy, half finished or not at all what the client needed because you took it upon yourself to do whatever you wanted to, then yes, refund what's in escrow. Otherwise go for the full payment.

 

Start a dispute, the 1st phase is where the Upwork mediator will advise you to work it out between yourselves. The mediator might even tell you to accept the $20 or even to refund all of the funds in escrow. That's just advice, it's not binding. If things can't be worked out, then arbitration is the next and last step.

 

Each of you will have to pay a $291 arbitration fee. This is sort of like a gamble, because if the client doesn't pay the fee you get both the fee and the full amount in escrow back. Of course if the client pays the fee, neither of you get that fee back. But the gamble is, will the client risk $291 to only get back $100? 


There's no telling what this flaky client will do! OP is a college student trying to make rent, she's not in a position to wager $291 in an attempt to recover $64 (the outstanding $80 less UW's cut). Not to mention the angst and stress involved with pursuing arbitration. Kire, I say write this off as tuition in the school of hard knocks.

 

Be sure you get the most out of that investment, though! Heed the good advice here, about making sure you have what you need before accepting a contract, and also that you and every client are on the same page about due dates, contingency plans, etc. And be sure you use the Submit button to start the payment clock on milestones.

 

Freelancing, requires, among other things, walking a fine line. You want to maintain an optimistic and positive mindset, while at the same time thinking ahead about what all could go wrong and protecting yourself against those possibilities.

 

Good luck!

Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
9 of 11

Kire T wrote:

 

5. I finished the designs on the March 18th and emailed her links to the templates to ask her to pick one to get it approved.


Next time you deliver use the "Sumit work for payment" button. That forces the client to react or the milestone will be released after 14 days.

Active Member
Kire T Member Since: Mar 26, 2019
10 of 11

Thank you. I will not make that mistake again. I usually only do the "Submit Work for Payment" button until it is finalized, but yes, that is a lot safer as far as the method goes. I will definitely do this moving forward.

TOP SOLUTION AUTHORS
TOP KUDOED MEMBERS