chioterreur
Member

Client isn't responding to any of my emails.

Alright, so, this is my first gig on upwork, and I really need help with how to handle this.

 

 

The client I am working with is opening a food court on September 1st (supposedly), and needed a logo and branding done.

 

I was hired by the client on August 10th, but didn't really get to start anything until the 15th because he didn't respond to my questions. I had no idea what he wanted for his brand, what kind of style he was looking for, so I basically started working with a modern style, sending him different logos, and telling me he liked one of them, and we stuck to it. And I did this with almost everything, just to make sure he still liked the styles.

 

He then tells me, on the 18th, out of the blue, everything needs to be done and ready for production for the 24th. At that time, I put together branding designs for all the materials he asked for, and send them off to him on the morning of the 21st for any last minute feedback.

 

On the evening of the 23rd, he emails me telling me he suddenly didn't like the logo anymore. I told him I can fix it the next morning, and asking him if he still wanted me to fix it ans still wanted to work with me, and he replied with a yes. Ever since, his responses have been lacking. I recently sent him some changes to the materials, and haven't gotten any response yet.

I'm not sure what he wants anymore at this point, or if he even wants to work with me anymore.

 

 

What do you recommend I do? Should I cancel the contract? Will it cost me anything if I do so? Has anyone dealt with anything similar?

13 REPLIES 13
prestonhunter
Member

Natasha, clients are not obligated to respond to freelancers' emails in order for freelancers to do their work and get paid.

 

I always get paid even if clients don't respond.

 

If this is a fixed-price contract, then you set it up incorrectly.

 

If this is an hourly contract, then you simply do everything you can, and if you need something from the client to continue, that is on him. He knows that, and you will get paid for all the time that you log.

Alright, thanks Preston. 

I do hourly contracts, but I was more concerned on what would happen if I were to cancel the contract, but I will go with your advice and see where everything goes. 

It takes a full month of complete inactivity before Upwork automatically pauses an hourly contract. I would always wait at least that long before closing a contract myself.

All due respect, but this response is getting old. Clients may not be "obligated" to respond, but for certain kinds of work they should be responsive. We depend on prompt and clear feedback in order to get a project completed successfully. In fact, many times where what you do doesn't leave you at a standstill, it's the opposite for some categories.

 

So I hope you'll please stop with the clients aren't obligated thing ... clients read these forums too;  maybe some of them will learn to respect the importance of good communication between themselves and their freelancers when they read posts like this.

 

We don't care about the fact that you always get paid. It has nothing to do with anything. I'm happy for you that you never have to have any communication with your clients, nor do you need it. This does not apply to all freelancers/categories.


@Preston H wrote:

Natasha, clients are not obligated to respond to freelancers' emails in order for freelancers to do their work and get paid.

 

I always get paid even if clients don't respond.

 

If this is a fixed-price contract, then you set it up incorrectly.

 

If this is an hourly contract, then you simply do everything you can, and if you need something from the client to continue, that is on him. He knows that, and you will get paid for all the time that you log.


 


@Preston H wrote:

Natasha, clients are not obligated to respond to freelancers' emails in order for freelancers to do their work and get paid.


 Oh come the hell on.

 

There is a deadline and the client should OF COURSE respond when things need the client's input.

 

This isn't about "getting paid" - it is about getting a job done in time and properly and this may need the clien't input at some point.

 

This constant "clients are not obligated to respond to freelancers' emails" is just one of those "freelancers are dirt, clients are king, and when it all goes wrong the lowly minions need to crawl back into their swamp while the client shines supremely" claptrap statements you try and ram down people's throats.

 


@Preston H wrote:

If this is a fixed-price contract, then you set it up incorrectly.


 Really? REALLY?

 

Keep blaming the freelancer, why don't you...

 

Did you even try and read the OP for comprehension?

 

FYI: part of the reason I won my arbitration is because the arbiter said that the client is also responsible for making sure the contract runs smoothly. He said that the client did not make an effort to ensure that the project was completed successfully (paraphrasing) and it's partly why he sided with me. It's on both parties to ensure the contract is successful.


@Jennifer M wrote:

FYI: part of the reason I won my arbitration is because the arbiter said that the client is also responsible for making sure the contract runs smoothly. He said that the client did not make an effort to ensure that the project was completed successfully (paraphrasing) and it's partly why he sided with me. It's on both parties to ensure the contract is successful.


 Exactly


@Petra R wrote:

@Preston H wrote:

Natasha, clients are not obligated to respond to freelancers' emails in order for freelancers to do their work and get paid.


 Oh come the hell on.

 

There is a deadline and the client should OF COURSE respond when things need the client's input.

 

This isn't about "getting paid" - it is about getting a job done in time and properly and this may need the clien't input at some point.

 

This constant "clients are not obligated to respond to freelancers' emails" is just one of those "freelancers are dirt, clients are king, and when it all goes wrong the lowly minions need to crawl back into their swamp while the client shines supremely" claptrap statements you try and ram down people's throats.

 


@Preston H wrote:

If this is a fixed-price contract, then you set it up incorrectly.


Really? REALLY?

 

Keep blaming the freelancer, why don't you...

 

Did you even try and read the OP for comprehension?


Thanks for the backup. This post was the final straw that broke my back; good to know that I am not alone in this.

tlbp
Member

I would simply send a cheery reminder that I can't proceed without X data and we aren't going to make the client's deadline without it. If you are billing at an hourly rate (I think), make sure you've filled in the memo section on the time tracker and wait to confirm that you'll be paid -- either by the client or Upwork if the client vanishes. I usually manage my contracts by sending 1 message for non-urgent updates and 2 if the client has told me there is a deadline. After that, it is up to him or her to keep to their schedule. Your client may have lost his backers, be out of communication due to an accident or loss of power, or any number of other issues.

 

Set your boundaries and make sure you've done everything correctly from a billing standpoint, then wait it out. 

I think something that is sometimes misunderstood is that I provide advice to clients, and I also provide advice to freelancers. The advice given to one is often different than the advice given to another.

 

Of course a client who is professional and courteous works with the freelancers they hire.


But that doesn't change the fact that is important for freelancers to set up and manage contracts properly, in a way that best serves their own interests.

 

My recommendations here are factual, accurate and helpful. These tips are not intended for clients. If there are frustrations about how some clients act, that is perfectly understandable.


@Preston H wrote:

I think something that is sometimes misunderstood is that I provide advice to clients, and I also provide advice to freelancers. The advice given to one is often different than the advice given to another.

 

Of course a client who is professional and courteous works with the freelancers they hire.


But that doesn't change the fact that is important for freelancers to set up and manage contracts properly, in a way that best serves their own interests.

 

My recommendations here are factual, accurate and helpful. These tips are not intended for clients. If there are frustrations about how some clients act, that is perfectly understandable.


Hogwash. A contract can be set up as properly as all get out. There are clients who simply do not know how, or care to, act professionally with their freelancers. Telling everyone over and over and over again that clients are not obligated to act professionally with good communication helps absolutely no one.

elastella
Member


@Natasha P wrote:

 

... 

 

What do you recommend I do? Should I cancel the contract? Will it cost me anything if I do so? Has anyone dealt with anything similar?


 

Natasha, we all have dealt with difficult clients. 

 

However, don't end (cancel) contracts on a whim. It's not a good idea with regard to payment, feedback, and your future JSS. Even canceled (as in closed & refunded) contracts don't simply vanish like they never existed - as soon as a contract has been setup, it's fate will have an impact. There will always be private feedback. 

 

You might be dealing with a client who has a partner or something, he might not be responding because he might not be the person in charge or only shares 50% of responsibility or even worse could be more than 2 people.

 

If you find out that he's not the only person looking at the logo then ask him/them what is it that they don't like and go from there. if it's hourly it's his/her dime. If he does respond after that tell him something like this:

 

Dear whoever,

 

I haven't heard from you since such date and I need to know what changes you require in order to finish your product. Please let me know how to proceed.