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Client didn't pay, instead changed the milestone.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
11 of 23

re: "If at all, I have to drop this client then what should I do with the work submitted to him over his hosting. I already developed the corporate website on his server & still, I have access to the hosting. What do you suggest in case I make a 100% refund? Should I delete that work with 100% refund or let him go with a full refund & all the work done?"

 

You should give the client the choice:

 

"Jonathan: Upwork's rules state that the work done by a freelancer belongs to the freelancer until the client pays for it. Would you like to release the escrow payment now and receive complete ownership over everything that I have done? Or you would you prefer that I close the contract, refund all of the escrow money back to you, and delete my work from your server? Either decision you make is fine with me."

Active Member
Sue P Member Since: Nov 26, 2011
12 of 23

Hello,

 

I had a similar situation that dragged on forever with every excuse from the client. She also changed the milestone which allowed her a longer time span to "not address the work I did." I was determined to get paid since I had put so many hours into the project on such a tight time span (like you); I made the changes she asked but she just would not end the project. I must have written over 20 emails to her. She finally said it was her fault. I told her I needed the money to pay bills and if I could be paid, I would appreciate it. Eventually, she paid in full. I thought that she might mark me down in my score but she gave me a 5 star. I, however, ranked her very low (the lowest of any of the clients I worked for). I don't think you should refund the amount of money until you (politely) keep seeking the payment. Then the advice from someone below who stated that the work then is yours if they won't pay is good but I would wait to say this. Keep trying a few times to get paid (again, in a polite, professional manner). It might work for you.  Sue Peterson

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
13 of 23

Hiring a freelancer on Upwork and then choosing to not pay him what you agreed to pay him is no different then hiring a babysitter to watch your child and then not paying her.

 

Parent: Okay, sorry we were late. We stopped for a bite after the movie. Do you need a ride home?

 

Babysitter: Um, no. I can walk home from here.

 

Parent: Okay. Bye.

 

Babysitter: Um... That was three hours, so that would be $15.00.

 

Parent: No, we're not going to pay you. You didn't mow the lawn.

 

Babysitter: You never said anything about mowing the lawn. I was watching the 1-year-old. It's 11 p.m. at night.

 

Parent: You could have mowed the lawn while she was asleep. What have you been doing since then? Sitting and watching television? No, we're not going to pay you until you mow the lawn. And trim the hedges, too.

Active Member
Abhishek R Member Since: Mar 1, 2017
14 of 23

The current status is now, he has released the second milestone money and back with few more changes. I have done most of them except 2 and now he wants to review again. 

Upon asking to fund the next milestone due to the tight schedule of the third milestone ( 27th August), he is saying he can't. According to him, Upwork has no say in asking the client to fund the milestone. I have given him a screenshot of the milestones where there is a note " Please ask your client to fund and activate this milestone".
Now he is holding me at gunpoint, saying he is going to file a dispute.
I am completing the remaining two changes and leaving the project. This all discussion is over Whatsapp chat, as mentioned earlier he doesn't come over upwork chat. 
Guide me on how to proceed if he files a dispute since this is the first time for me. 

Active Member
Sue P Member Since: Nov 26, 2011
15 of 23
I have never dealt with a dispute so I can't help you with that. But I am a
little confused about the situation. If you do the 2 changes and he reviews
and everything is okay, will he release the last milestone? What is he
disputing?

Are you a top-rated client. If so, and he does not give you a "good"
rating, you can ask that this be deleted. (that is if you are a top-rated
client and this applies to only so many over a certain time period, etc.)

Let me know if I can help you further.

Sue
Active Member
Abhishek R Member Since: Mar 1, 2017
16 of 23

Thanks Sue for a prompt reply,

If you do the 2 changes and he reviews and everything is okay, will he release the last milestone? What is he
disputing?


He has already released the second milestone payment. He is saying, that he is going to review for ( more ) changes. There is one change ( apart from 2 ) that he wants and is more of theme customization. I have already told him earlier that I am not sure if we can do it. Now he has taken that point as a dispute mentioning that the list of changes is not complete.

Now he is saying; that the project was delayed due to a change in theme. However, the fact is we jointly discussed and finalized a WordPress theme. He bought it, later asked me to make customization. Those customization were tricky and even the theme author surrendered & refunded him. Again we discussed and finalized another theme. He bought it, the same story wanted changes in the theme. Now every time we discuss something, he shares new changes.

In all this, I completed the website just with one day delay. However, he came with a long list of changes. I already told him that this will delay the live site to which he didn't bother. In between that, he went dormant for a couple of days.

The reason I see him holding me at gunpoint ( dispute threat ) is that I have refused to make more changes. I have already spent almost one month in this getting only $100 & have not bid for other jobs. I am in a total loss.
one more point, I gave him free support for bugs after project completion. However, he converted it into a milestone of 20% project cost. I agreed to it thinking him a nice guy, my mistake. Smartly, he stretched the project to a month now and not going to pay me for the support work too. 

Yes, I am a top-rated freelancer and will certainly remove his feedback. 

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
17 of 23

A really nasty client. If he disputes. Follow everything Upwork tells you to do. But you may have to take it to arbitration, but I don't think it will go as far, because I doubt your client has the money for that. 

 

Don't agree to do any more changes. As Preston said, "mowing the lawn" was not in the remit. 

Active Member
Sue P Member Since: Nov 26, 2011
18 of 23
Thank you for the clarification. Send the documented info as others advised
to Upwork (or tell him you are going to do that first and maybe he will
pay?). Get whatever money you can and then go from there.

I am sorry that you are not fully getting paid for what you did.

Good luck on securing new jobs and move on...
Community Guru
Miriam H Member Since: May 16, 2017
19 of 23

Abhishek R wrote:


I am completing the remaining two changes and leaving the project. This all discussion is over Whatsapp chat, as mentioned earlier he doesn't come over upwork chat. 
Guide me on how to proceed if he files a dispute since this is the first time for me. 


I recommend you screenshot the discussions from WhatsApp and then send a message via Upwork chat which basically "confirms" your discussion off platform. INCLUDE the screenshots as attachments.

Something simple like:

Per our discussion on WhatsApp, these are next steps for this project..blah blah

 

I'm not sure, but I would think this approach would ensure the off-platform discussions are available in the event of a dispute.

Community Guru
Robin H Member Since: May 28, 2019
20 of 23

Miriam H wrote:

Abhishek R wrote:


I am completing the remaining two changes and leaving the project. This all discussion is over Whatsapp chat, as mentioned earlier he doesn't come over upwork chat. 
Guide me on how to proceed if he files a dispute since this is the first time for me. 


I recommend you screenshot the discussions from WhatsApp and then send a message via Upwork chat which basically "confirms" your discussion off platform. INCLUDE the screenshots as attachments.

Something simple like:

Per our discussion on WhatsApp, these are next steps for this project..blah blah

 

I'm not sure, but I would think this approach would ensure the off-platform discussions are available in the event of a dispute.


 

I agree with Miriam. 

 

As I mentioned earlier anticipate he will ask for a refund.  This project was a disaster from the beginning.  No refund, but if he doesn't fund additional milestones you cannot complete the project.  

 

I've never been in a dispute but make sure you have all the information confirming you've done what was asked of you and should be paid accordingly.  

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