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Client doesn't want to pay second half of the agreed price

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Active Member
Afia G Member Since: Sep 9, 2020
1 of 10

Hello. My client wanted to pay half of the agreed price upfront and the second half after the work is done. He made two milestones for each payment.

I have submitted the payment and now he is not responding. I know that the first milestone will be approved automatically after 15 days if the client does not respond. Can I do something to get my second half payment? And if I can't, I'll need to end the contract. How can I do that without affecting my JSS?

Thanks very much. 

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Community Leader
Jared K Member Since: Dec 12, 2015
BEST ANSWER
2 of 10

You should've waited for the first milestone to go through before submitting the work. Yeah, that's a tough spot you're in; all you can really do is hope he/she funds and then pays the second milestone. Once you're paid for the first milestone, though, ending the contract won't hurt your JSS because it's a contract with money paid.

View solution in original post

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Active Member
Afia G Member Since: Sep 9, 2020
3 of 10

Thank you. I'll wait for the client's response. Let's hope for the best. 

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Ace Contributor
Alison D Member Since: Feb 2, 2016
4 of 10

So, I may be in a similar situation. I received a small initial payment on a fixed-price job and then submitted the main work before the milestone with the bulk of the payment was funded. I haven't heard from the client in two weeks. I may never see that money. O.K. It's my fault. My question is this: how do we flag an unscrupulous client so that no one else gets burned? Is feedback the only way?

 

Thanks in advance for your reply.

 

--Alison

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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
5 of 10

re: "My question is this: how do we flag an unscrupulous client so that no one else gets burned? Is feedback the only way?"

 

Just leave appropriate feedback.

 

Upwork is not going to do anything about client "promises" relating to fixed-price contracts. If a client releases escrow payment to the freelancer, then the matter is over. No action can be taken regarding additional milestones that a freelancer hoped would be funded but never were.

 

Sorry. But at least you understand now how this works.

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Ace Contributor
Alison D Member Since: Feb 2, 2016
6 of 10

So, perhaps my question was not clear: "My question is this: how do we flag an unscrupulous client so that no one else gets burned? Is feedback the only way?" It is not about recouping money.

 

Here's an example, A client pays $100 (binder amount) on a $1,000 contract. The assignment is completed successfully. The remainder, $900, is never funded nor paid.  Is there a mechanism to flag/report this client? That is, is there a list of clients who should be barred from using this site or at least receive a warning? If the answer is no, there should be.

 

In fact, I think Upwork should consider having the total amount of a fixed job in escrow. It's better for the freelancer and potentially for Upwork, who could have more cash to work with. The money still doesn't have to be distributed until the client approves a milestone.

 

By the way, milestones are not "promises" to pay if they are part of the original agreement. They are part of a written contract and, therefore, are an obligation to pay if the freelancer fulfills her obligation. Not paying, technically, is a breach of contract, and the client could be sued.   

--Alison

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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
7 of 10

re: "Here's an example, A client pays $100 (binder amount) on a $1,000 contract. The assignment is completed successfully. The remainder, $900, is never funded nor paid. Is there a mechanism to flag/report this client?"

 

No.

 

There is no mechanism to flag this client. This is simply a freelancer using the system incorrectly.

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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
8 of 10

re: "Not paying, technically, is a breach of contract, and the client could be sued."

 

In the United States, you can sue a ham sandwich for not being bologna. This is irrelevent in terms of how the Upwork user interface works.

 

The Upwork user system is based on physical source code and actual policy, the way that Upwork employees operate and Upwork ToS.

 

In the Upwork system, promises don't count.

Funded milestones are what count.

 

If the client says he will pay the freelancer $1000, and funds a milestone for $100... Then once the client has released that $100 milestone to the freelancer, the matter is over as far as Upwork is concerned.

 

I am not saying that it would be "morally correct" for a client to promise $1000 and not pay what she promised. I'm just pointing out how the system works. The question doesn't come up in my own personal work, because I don't do the $900 worth of work until the $900 milestone is funded

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Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
9 of 10

Alison D wrote:

Here's an example, A client pays $100 (binder amount) on a $1,000 contract. The assignment is completed successfully. The remainder, $900, is never funded nor paid.

If you use fixed rate contracts correctly, and only submit work against properly funded milestones, you don't have that problem. Ever. It does not happen.

 

Simple.

 


Alison D wrote:

In fact, I think Upwork should consider having the total amount of a fixed job in escrow.


That isn't Upwork's job. It's yours. You are the one who agrees the terms and the milestones, not Upwork. You are 100% free to require milestones to be fully funded. In fact, that is how you are SUPPOSED to work.  A milestone is funded, the freelancer does the work for that funded milestone ONLY, submits and gets paid. If nothing else is funded, no more work is done.

 


Alison D wrote:

They are part of a written contract and, therefore, are an obligation to pay if the freelancer fulfills her obligation. Not paying, technically, is a breach of contract, and the client could be sued.   


Well, you're obviously free to sue the client. Let us know how that works out for ya.

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Ace Contributor
Alison D Member Since: Feb 2, 2016
10 of 10

Wow! Let's play nice! I get it. OK? I understand how it works. I'm not suing anyone. I'm not blaming anyone other than myself. This is a conversation. I'm making a suggestion for the future -- for a platform that charges to apply for jobs and receives a 20% (sliding scale) commission.

 

Thanks all for your responses.

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