astsiatsko
Staff
Staff

Client forced me to work for free.

Hello 2 all. I got a following situation:

I worked for a client for almost a month. I awared him that I can work 20 hrs a week, he agreed. When I started working, he told me a story about a WP developer, who spent 40 hrs on a simple, from the client's perspective, task. And that the developer had to refumd all the hours. I thought that there's something suspicious, but didn't pay attention. I've got a task to create two features in the project. The project was really bid and bad organized, I had almost no assistance, except two guys who were busy or worked there long time ago. Every week I asked my client how it's going, is he satisfied, how may time I spent and is it ok. He said 'don't worry about that' and so on. The project was really big and I said many times that I can explain every spent hour. Everything was ok. But suddenly he wrote to a group chat that I spent 4 times more hours than he expected. I was shocked. He asked me to stop working on that and I decided to close the contract because his behavior was really rude. After that he told me that he hired more experienced and effective developers, started comparing me with them to show that I'm a bad developer. That I should not be a developer at all. But I had almost 10k hours on upwork and 100% JSS. Then he said that I am working for free because I have already spent those hours. And he doesn't care that those hours were not enough. So in other words we didn't asked me to work for free, but it was kinda he forced me to do that. CS told that I can't prove that he asked me to work for free. But no one mentally heahtly client wil ask it directly. What would I do in this case to prove that his behavior violating upwork's polities, if it is?

ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Your JSS may take a hit, but that's part of the risk involved on this platform. You always have the opportunity to respond within a certain timeframe to feedback. So, if he leaves negative feedback you can write a public response to it on your profile which professionally explains the situation. It won't make your JSS go up, but it will give any reasonable client a good idea of why you got bad feedback, assuming your other feedback has been positive. 

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11 REPLIES 11
mthornton-cpc
Member

Aleh, unless you have documentation that the client asked you to work for free CS cannot take action against him for it. Were you using the time tracker? If so, those hours are payment protected so as long as they were not disputed by the client. So, you will get paid for the hours you already worked. If the client is insisting you work additionally after the contract is closed you can simply not do it. If you don't have an active contract just don't do the work. 

Thank you, I knew that, but he said my feedback is depending on how can I finish the job. So it may low down my JSS and it would be a pity for me.

Your JSS may take a hit, but that's part of the risk involved on this platform. You always have the opportunity to respond within a certain timeframe to feedback. So, if he leaves negative feedback you can write a public response to it on your profile which professionally explains the situation. It won't make your JSS go up, but it will give any reasonable client a good idea of why you got bad feedback, assuming your other feedback has been positive. 

Thank you, but what do you mean review? Do you mean it's my feedback to this contract? Or it's like an other kind of review/feedback there?

It's messy a bit. We have public feedback, private feedback and 'review'?

I'm not sure what you mean by review. There are 2 types of feedback - public and private. Private you cannot see nor respond to. A freelancer has a chance to leave a response to any public feedback within 30 days. If a client leaves bad public feedback you can respond so that it shows your response publicly. For example: 

 

Client's feedback: John was terrible! He never sent the files and my project is ruined. 

Freelancer's response: After 10 attempts to get the file requirements from the client he didn't respond and the deadline passed. 

 

It's a short explanation, without getting into opinions, and lets any potential client see that there is more than one side to the situation. 

 


@Aleh S wrote:

Thank you, I knew that, but he said my feedback is depending on how can I finish the job. So it may low down my JSS and it would be a pity for me.


 You are top rated, so you have the right to exclude one contract from the calculation permanently every 3 months OR one in 10 contracts.

 

This perk is designed exactly for situations like this! Use it, move on, and forget about it.

Thank you! I have already posted a topic for that. Thanks!

 

Feedback removal


@Aleh S wrote:

Thank you, I knew that, but he said my feedback is depending on how can I finish the job. So it may low down my JSS and it would be a pity for me.


Aleh, considering your profile, you definitely can afford one bad rating, especially in you respond to it in a polite and professional manner.

 

If that happens, please come back here for advice about your answer to client's feedback.

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless

@Rene

Thank you, fortunately I managed this situation and got a 5-star feedback but without a comment. Should I use feedback removal feature or it will not have a dramatically impact to my JSS and profile?

Aleh:

As far as I have been able to tell, having feedback comments or not makes no difference at all on my Job Success Score.

 

I would never do anything to remove feedback just because there was no comment attached, nor would I ever discuss feedback scores or comments with a client.

 

The proactive thing I do is to try to get clients to close contracts rather than close contracts myself. Because that way clients are forced to leave feedback scores. But they are NOT forced to write comments. If they don't write something, don't worry about it.

Thank


@Preston H wrote:

Aleh:

As far as I have been able to tell, having feedback comments or not makes no difference at all on my Job Success Score.

 

I would never do anything to remove feedback just because there was no comment attached, nor would I ever discuss feedback scores or comments with a client.

 

The proactive thing I do is to try to get clients to close contracts rather than close contracts myself. Because that way clients are forced to leave feedback scores. But they are NOT forced to write comments. If they don't write something, don't worry about it.


 Thank you, you helped me a lot! 🙂