Will L wrote:
And, if at all possible, I'd recommend letting/encouraging the client close a project under these circumstances, if it comes to that.
There is no upside for the freelancer if the client to be able to tell themselves that the freelancer closed the project and so it's all the freelancer's fault.
On the other hand, if the client is the one to close the project, it is guaranteed that he will leave feedback, which is likely to be quite negative. If the freelancr closes the project, there's at least a change that the client won't come back to leave feedback.
Will L wrote:
I am surprised how many clients have told me they didn't know I'd charge them for my time talking with them about the project on the phone. But nothing like this really surprises me anymore - the quality of Upwork clients is sometimes very low.
This. Some clients want to talk a few times a week and discuss stuff via lengthy emails. Apparently all in my copious spare time...
re: "Some clients want to talk a few times a week and discuss stuff via lengthy emails. Apparently all in my copious spare time... "
I'm happy to oblige. I'll talk all day long about the project if that's what the client wants. On the phone. Via email. Doesn't matter.
I'm billing for all the time, so it doesn't matter if I'm getting paid for working on the project on my own... or getting paid for talking to the client about the project. The pay rate is the same.
Obviously what is NOT OKAY is talking WITHOUT getting paid.
I don't doubt that there are unprofessional clients out there. I've encountered them as well. But MOST of the clients I meet EXPECT to pay me for time on the phone or communicating in other ways. I have plent of clients who insist that a contract be in place so that we can talk beginning from the very first conversation that we have.
This is very good advice. After reading the replies from this community, I did reach out to set up a 15 min call with him to find common ground about his perspective about communication problems. (It is at the same time as the 2 hour call so I know he is available.) However, instead of accepting the request, he has now requested for a refund on the first week of work! It is my first project so I didn't see that coming.
I am not sure what happens if I choose to close the project but I haven't received any any payment into my bank account since I started 3 weeks ago.
I think the question you need to ask yourself is, "Why do I want to work for this client?" It sounds like you aren't being paid for much of what you do and the client is attempting to get even more free work. The upside to closing the contract for you is that you are free to find work with a legitimate client who has the money to pay you.
Thanks for your reply, Tonya.
I guess it is my first time using Upwork and this is my very first project. I wanted to get a good rating to have more interesting projects with better rates. I thought getting that first one under your belt was really important for Upwork.
I just didn't see this coming with the pausing of the contract, immediate refund dispute, and not receiving payments yet. I thought Upwork was going to be different.
Overall this experience and this community's suggestions are really eye opening.
The best advice I can give you is to get away from this client as quickly as possible.
Currently, he is requiring free work of you, since the contract is paused but he is scheduling meetings with you. That's a TOS violation. And Upwork clearly says not to work when a contract is paused.
There is not one thing in your story that suggests there is any upside to continuing to work with this client.
Thanks for your reply Tiffany.
I tried to reach set up a 15 min call with him to find common ground about his perspective about communication problems. However, instead of accepting the request, he has now requested for a refund on the first week of work! It is my first project so I didn't see that coming. And now I am in a dispute situation and not sure what my options are.
It is starting to feel like a threat. I just wanted to hand in my work but I cannot log my hours for this week for completing that work.
Any advice you have would be immensely appreciated.
Sydney - is this an hourly contract or a fixed price contract? For hourly contracts you are paid for the hours you worked. A client is billed automatically. Hopefully, you used the Tracker to record your hours and wrote notes on the screen shots it took. If so the only thing they can dispute are hours that were entered in manually. screen shots that show hours that you were doing something else (or not working at all), and unusually low or high keystroke activity.