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Client - Smart Scam - 2 Milestones Pay one and end contract

flarito
Active Member
Elvir M Member Since: Apr 17, 2017
1 of 4

A client that I've worked with just escrowed 75$ out of 150$ he was going to scam me (or whichever freelancer) it is no matter what. 

Once I completed the job he just paid me 75$ and ended the contract while I've completed both of those milestones but he did it like this on purpose where he would only pay the freelancer half the money. 

I'm sure he has other disputes going on for the same reason if he's done this once probably not the first time. 

He just made 2 milestones - one is so that he could scam me (paying me only half the money) and the other one is just so he can end the contract immediately without having a chance to submit the second milestone (as he has to approve the first one) but he does it instantly and therefore I'm unable to submit the 2nd one.

``**Edited for Community Guidelines** ended the contract`` 

As you can tell he only paid (to Upwork) upfront 75$ having that planned all along (paying me only 75$ - half).

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

Elvir:

I hope that you now understand the Upwork fixed-price system better. I hope you learned from your mistake.


Never do fixed-price work unless the work is funded in escrow.

 

The "budget" is irrelevent. A client's "promises" are irrelevent.

 

Is this client a scoundrel and a thief?

Probably.

 

But knowing that, or pointing that out to us, doesn't help you.

You can't dispute fixed-price money that isn't funded in escrow. So next time: Don't work for free.

 

The one small consolation is that any of the work you did for this client which the client did NOT pay for... now belongs to you. You may post the un-paid work in your portfolio or do anything you want with it.

becca37
Active Member
Rebecca R Member Since: Feb 26, 2019
3 of 4

That's sad, and certainly annoying and disappointing for you. I'm sorry that happened. File this under lessons learned and look for the next assignment. Some clients will take advantage, most will not.

 

Despite your experience with it, fixed-price (with or without milestones) provides (in my opinion) the most protection offered by Upwork for freelance work. See https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/articles/211063748-Fixed-Price-Protection for the official details, but essentially:

 

(a) Once the client funds escrow for the project or a given milestone, they pretty much cannot rescind those funds without either (a) the freelancer's active agreement or (b) cancellation of the contract by the freelancer.

 

(b) Once the freelancer completes the project or milestone and requests release of funds, the client can pretty much only (a) approve release, (b) request changes, or (c) fail to do anything in which case the funds are released in 14 days.

 

It's then your duty to yourself to pace your work so that you're not doing more work than has been funded.

 

With fixed-price projects with milestones, the client only needs to fund the first one to get the project started -and- they have the right (as do you as well) to end the contract at any time. You then have the responsibility to yourself to only work that funded milestone.

 

For fixed-price projects (with or without milestones) I suggest to anyone:

 

(1) ONLY start work if the funding for the project (or first milestone) has been escrowed.

 

(2) If milestone-based, only do the work for ONE milestone at a time.

 

(3) If milestone-based, DO NOT start work on a subsequent milestone until the client has both (a) approved and released payment funds to the freelancer for the completed milestone and (b) funded to escrow for the next milestone.

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
4 of 4

Rebecca R wrote:

That's sad, and certainly annoying and disappointing for you. I'm sorry that happened. File this under lessons learned and look for the next assignment. Some clients will take advantage, most will not.

 

Despite your experience with it, fixed-price (with or without milestones) provides (in my opinion) the most protection offered by Upwork for freelance work. See https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/articles/211063748-Fixed-Price-Protection for the official details, but essentially:

 


There's no payment protection with escrow. Hourly has payment protection. Escrow is all about who is poorer (who can't pay $300 for arbitration) and you're out of luck in a chargeback situation.

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