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e8637e0f
Community Member

Client is forcing me to do more than what was agreed

Hello fam!

I signed a fixed price contract for 150$ a couple of days ago. I submitted the work according to his needs. He asked me to make so many changes, so I went an extra mile just to make sure he get satisfied somehow.
Now he is asking me to start over a specific part with a different method. Because he didn't realised that the method he suggested before is not useful for him.

 

Now, I feel like he is harrasing me. I feel so helpless right now.

 

Need help.

16 REPLIES 16
elyannie
Community Member

When you submitted the work did you use the submit work button? If the contract has been fulfilled the client should pay you for the work completed as long as it was completed as per the terms of your contract. 

Hi Elyannie, I used the submit button. But I'm afraid he'll ruin my feedback and eventually JSS.

prestonhunter
Community Member

You have 100% JSS.

You have completed 17 jobs.

You don't need to put up with this client's unprofessional, unethical, immoral behavior.


Your profile can handle getting a less-than-perfect score, or a zero-pay contract.

 

I would strongly advise you to not do any more free work for this client. He needs to pay you before you will do anything else for him.

 

Tell the client:

"Joshua, I think there may have been some misunderstanding about the nature of this contract. It is a fixed-price contract for a specific task, and that task has been completed. You may release payment and close the contract, after which I will be happy to discuss what you want done next. According to Upwork TOS, which prohibits clients from asking for free work, or asking for work that is not specifically written in the fixed-price task description, you can't ask me to do anything more until payment has been released."

re: "I feel so helpless right now."

 

You are not helpless.

He needs you more than you need him.

 

And if it turns out that he really does not need you, then maybe he doesn't have you do any more work for him. But that is fine, because you DO NOT NEED a client who pressures you to work for free. 

Hello Preston, thanks a lot for sharing your views.

 

My client is like : "I need the correct implementation of _____. You can try ______ if it works. This is not my final proposal. Its only suggestion."

 

What he basically mean is, he is specifying methods to do the task, when I do it for him. He's like, this is not what I need, do it in another way.

 

How should I deal with such scenerio?

Thanks

Preston, very good adviceโœ”โœ”โœ”

a_lipsey
Community Member


Muhammad Q wrote:

Hello fam!

I signed a fixed price contract for 150$ a couple of days ago. I submitted the work according to his needs. He asked me to make so many changes, so I went an extra mile just to make sure he get satisfied somehow.
Now he is asking me to start over a specific part with a different method. Because he didn't realised that the method he suggested before is not useful for him.

 

Now, I feel like he is harrasing me. I feel so helpless right now.

 

Need help.


Look,  from the client's perspective, he realized he needs something more. Just politely explain it's an addition to the scope of work. Ask him to release the current payment for the work done. Then quote whatever you want to redo the part he's asking for, since it's a revision based on his instructions. If he's reasonable, and asking for some revisions is not unreasonable, it's up to you to tell him how you handle revisions, then he will either fund it or counter offer and you'll do the work and get paid. 

 

I feel like so often freelancers bail and blame the client but they never actually just pointed to the original scope and said " you are asking for more, and I'm happy to do it , under a new funded milestone".  Give the client a chance to be decent. Set some boundaries.  Clients don't know what you will or won't do unless you tell them. 

 

Now he could be a bad client, or this could be miscommunication. If you haven't tried communicating that he needs to pay the first milestone and fund another for a major revision because he has changed his needs, then you should try that. Be respectful and polite, but firm. If he says no, then  part ways - either with  full or partial refund ( I suggest partial, since you did do a lot of work).  Try to work it out. 


Amanda L wrote:

Muhammad Q wrote:

Hello fam!

I signed a fixed price contract for 150$ a couple of days ago. I submitted the work according to his needs. He asked me to make so many changes, so I went an extra mile just to make sure he get satisfied somehow.
Now he is asking me to start over a specific part with a different method. Because he didn't realised that the method he suggested before is not useful for him.

 

Now, I feel like he is harrasing me. I feel so helpless right now.

 

Need help.


Look,  from the client's perspective, he realized he needs something more. Just politely explain it's an addition to the scope of work. Ask him to release the current payment for the work done. Then quote whatever you want to redo the part he's asking for, since it's a revision based on his instructions. If he's reasonable, and asking for some revisions is not unreasonable, it's up to you to tell him how you handle revisions, then he will either fund it or counter offer and you'll do the work and get paid. 

 

I feel like so often freelancers bail and blame the client but they never actually just pointed to the original scope and said " you are asking for more, and I'm happy to do it , under a new funded milestone".  Give the client a chance to be decent. Set some boundaries.  Clients don't know what you will or won't do unless you tell them. 

 

Now he could be a bad client, or this could be miscommunication. If you haven't tried communicating that he needs to pay the first milestone and fund another for a major revision because he has changed his needs, then you should try that. Be respectful and polite, but firm. If he says no, then  part ways - either with  full or partial refund ( I suggest partial, since you did do a lot of work).  Try to work it out. 


Great advice.

I wouldn't mention the ToS either. It sounds too accusatory and thus would be detrimental to working things out. 

Hello Amanda, thanks a lot for sharing your views.

 

My client is like : "I need the correct implementation of _____. You can try ______ if it works. This is not my final proposal. Its only suggestion."

 

What he basically mean is, he is specifying methods to do the task, when I do it for him using his specified technique. He's like, this is not what I need, do it in another way.

 

How should I deal with such scenerio?

Thanks

The client is abusing the fixed-price contract model and asking you to work for free. The client is violating Upwork ToS. Be polite. Be patient. But don't work for free.

 

Tell the client:

"Thank you for your notes about this. I would like to help you achieve your goals. So that we can move forward, you can go ahead and release the current escrow payment and close the contract. Then I will be able to continue working with you."

 

That is it.

That is his only option.

He can pay and close the contract, or not.

 

If he pays you and closes the contract, then you can decide if you want to continue working him using an new hourly contract.

 

This is not for you. This is for him. This is for the client.

In order to help the client, in order to further the client's goals, the client needs to pay you and close the contract.

If he does that, then there is a possibility that you will continue working with him using an hourly contract.

 

As the freelancer, you are not supposed to work for free. And if you tried to do so, it would only undermine the client's goals. Clients can not succeed when they are trying to get professional-level freelancers such as yourself to work for free. That doesn't work.

 

If the client sends messages or asks about other things, that is fine. Tell the client that you will get back to him with an answer. Take your time, and re-write the message a bit, and send him the same message: You will help the client, but first he needs to release payment and close the contract.

 

Two weeks after you clicked the "Submit Work and Request Payment" button, Upwork will release payment to you AUTOMATICALLY.


Muhammad Q wrote:

Hello Amanda, thanks a lot for sharing your views.

 

My client is like : "I need the correct implementation of _____. You can try ______ if it works. This is not my final proposal. Its only suggestion."

 

What he basically mean is, he is specifying methods to do the task, when I do it for him using his specified technique. He's like, this is not what I need, do it in another way.

 

How should I deal with such scenerio?

Thanks


I pretty much agree with Preston although I would word it differently. I wouldn't accuse him of asking me to work for free or bring up TOS. I would just say that I did the task according to his requested instructions, and for another revision I require him to release the current milestone and to fund another milestone at X price for the revision. Period. Don't bring in all that TOS and work for free backstory.  Not at this point.  It also sounds like you set up some  vague scope of work in regards to revisions and what you would actually deliver for the task. In the future be very specific about what you will deliver and how feedback/edits/revisions may be requested and/or paid for. 

From a client's perspective, what I DON'T WANT is freelancers on my team who feel like they are being asked to work for free, or who feel like they are not being treated fairly or paid fairly.

 

What if I have a big project... Lots of things going on. Lots of money on the line.

 

I need to know that I can count on each person on the team to do their part. I need to keep things on track, on schedule.


That's why I don't let my 14-year-old neice work on the project for free to gain experience, because she is on the swim team and she is in the school play and maybe she'll do it and maybe she won't. I don't have time for that. And I don't have time to have a freelancer maybe work on the task, and may be not.

 

So as I client, I need to either use an hourly contract, or I need to use very clear, unambiguous milestones in a fixed-price contract.

 

If I'm not sure about exactly which direction this needs to go, and if I want to try out some different techniques... That is FINE. That is what an hourly contract is for.

Hi preston, thanks a lot for the follow up.

When I told him that, "According to Upwork TOS, which prohibits clients from asking for work that is not specifically written in the fixed-price task description, you can't ask me to do anything more until payment has been released. Thanks."

From the start, I followed a 'Requirements.txt' file that he sent me containing the tasks he want done. and now he is asking me something that is not written in the requirements file.

He sent me a milestone change request, with the same amount in escrow, no increased payments. He attached a file containing the things he need, and said, "Hii,
please find attached document for the required changes before the final submission.
Regards,
"

He has not paid me a dime since the start of the project, it's been around 5 days since I submitted the work using the submit button.

My question is, is it upto me to accept the milestone change request?

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

petra_r
Community Member

If the client used the "request changes" function, then that essentially "unsubmitted" the submitted work.

 

If everything in the requirements file have been completed correctly, resubmit (after ascertaining that the client indeed used the "request changes" function. 

 

If the client has NOT used the "Request Changes" function, pretend to assume the client is asking for a quote and respond with something along the lines of "Thanks for sending through the list of additional functions. I will be more than happy to do those, and will be charging $ XXX.XX for them. Why don't you go ahead and release the funds for the submitted work from the document requirements.txt and set up the second milestone for $ XXX.XX, so I can get started on those additional items." (keep stressing the "additional", so it drives home the point.

 


Muhammad Q wrote:

When I told him that, "According to Upwork TOS, which prohibits clients from asking for work that is not specifically written in the fixed-price task description, you can't ask me to do anything more until payment has been released. Thanks."

I wish you hadn't sent that text to the client because it is a) not as simple as that and b) immediately and probably permanently damaged the relationship with the client. There are ways to manage clients without wrecking the relationship and hence the contract outcome.


The correct way to handle such situations is to enthusiastically agree to do the extra stuff and telling the client how much that will cost. 

e8637e0f
Community Member

Hi Petra, I've been trying to negotiate with this client for quite a long while now. I've had enough.

Things he consider changes are not changes, but doing something more that aren't discussed before

 

petra_r
Community Member


Muhammad Q wrote:

Hi Petra, I've been trying to negotiate with this client for quite a long while now. I've had enough.

Things he consider changes are not changes, but doing something more that aren't discussed before

 


Sure, but you really have three choices now: 

1) End the contract and don't get paid

2) Do the extra work for free

3) **Edited for Community Guidelines** stand up for yourself politely and firmly, hold your own and simply go for "Yes, I'll do the extra stuff, it will cost you X!"

 

A client can't force you to do more than agreed. He can try to bully you into doing so, but that is part of being an independent business owner... you have to handle such clients until you have developed the skill to avoid (most of) them in the first place.

 

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