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parmarkaushik
Member

Client misusing feedback and rating to get source code of extra work done without payment

Story in short!


I worked for client and completed project in Oct-2019. Client satisfied with the work at that time. I have done done VoIP Push feature implementation in free even though it was not mentioned in scope of work. Soon after that Apple changed policy for their VoIP push notification for iOS 13 so client asked to implement that as favor and Paused contract so I can not log hours. So i did that in free. Still client has not ended the project at that time and assigned few more tasks. I again did that for free.

 

Again Apple has changed policy for iOS 14 VoIP Push call and client again asked to do it in free eventhough it was not in contract scope of work and contract was paused.  He kept project in pause mode since last 1.5 years. He came back again last month to resolve issue for iOS 14. I resolved the issue and sent video to client that the issue is resolved. Now The problem is 
1) Client is asking for the code first before closing the project. I am sure he will not close and keep contract open (In Pause mode) to get more free work in name of Upwork review and rating threat.
2) I asked to close the project. Now client is asking for the 30% refund for the project if I do not deliver source code of extra work which was not even in scope of work. I think it is not fair to ask for the refund for the work which wasn't in scope. He used to threaten over Skype messages and WhatsApp call to do this otherwise he will spoil my Upwork rating and profile.

What could be the solution for this?

 

Regards,
Kaushik

7 REPLIES 7
petra_r
Member


Parmar K wrote:

Now client is asking for the 30% refund for the project if I do not deliver source code of extra work which was not even in scope of work.


Was that work paid for or not? If it was paid for, you owe the client the source code. If not, you don't.

 

That said, if you have the source code, why would you not give it to the client if it's their project anyway? You can't use it, so what is the point?

 

You shouldn't have done all that free work in the first place. The correct rsponse to such requests is to reply "Sure, I'll gladly do that for you as soon as you un-pause the contract so i can track the time I'm working on it"

 

It was also unwise to leave the contract open. You should have closed it ages ago. The client can't dispute anything, the dispute deadline expired 30 days after the last hourly payment.

Thank you for quick help Petra!

I provided source code already when work done in Oct-2019, Then again i provided source code when I done work in iOS 13 for free in Sept-2020. 


I am not giving source code of iOS 14 because of 

1) The client keep asking for the extra work for the same feature when Apple change their policy.

2) Client is taking advantage of the feedback and rating to threaten and get work in free so I want to close the contract first before giving source code. The source code is not relevant to the scope of work mentioned in the contract.

 

I want to close the project otherwise this client will keep asking for free work.


Parmar K wrote:

I want to close the project otherwise this client will keep asking for free work.


Then close it. You should have done that ages ago.

Frankly not giving the client code that you have no use for sounds like revenge and a bit malicious. The time to ask for payment was at the time you did the work. it sounds like you are trying to trade the code for good feedback, which would be a huge violation of Upwork's terms of service.

 

I'd give the client the source code (as I have no use for it and don't want to come across as malicious and unprofessional) and then close the contract myself.

 

If you're lucky, the client won't leave any feedback (he usually doesn't). It is a massive tactical error to ask an unhappy client to close a contract because the client MUST leave feedback that way.

g_vasilevski
Retired Team Member
Retired Team Member

Hi Parmar,

 

I`m sorry to hear about the bad experience you`ve had. Our team will reach out to you via ticket where you can share more evidence and information with us. Our team will review the client further and will take proper actions if any violations are found. Thank you.

~ Goran
Upwork
melikee
Member

He can't get a refund for the completed work you tracked with the Upwork app, which was finished and paid 1.5 years ago. 
Report the client as he keeps asking for free work. And I'd advise you not to do any more free work for this client as he has no intention to pay you and wants you to work for him forever for free apparently. 
- If you close the contract, there is a small chance he may not leave you feedback. 
- If he leaves you feedback, but his account is suspended because of violating Upwork's terms of service, his feedback won't affect your feedback. 
- If he leaves you feedback and it is visible on your profile, at least you can write a logical response to his feedback explaining the situation, so potential clients will have the chance to see what happened with that contract.



Melike E wrote:

- If he leaves you feedback, but his account is suspended because of violating Upwork's terms of service, his feedback won't affect your feedback. 


There isn't a snowball in hell's chance of the client's account being suspended.

 

The contract will, of course, affect the OPs feedback. If the client was suspended (which isn't going to happen) the contract might not affect the OPs JSS. But that is so low anyway that it hardly matters.

tlbp
Member


Parmar K wrote:

Story in short!


I worked for client and completed project in Oct-2019. Client satisfied with the work at that time. I have done done VoIP Push feature implementation in free even though it was not mentioned in scope of work. Soon after that Apple changed policy for their VoIP push notification for iOS 13 so client asked to implement that as favor and Paused contract so I can not log hours. So i did that in free. Still client has not ended the project at that time and assigned few more tasks. I again did that for free.

 

Again Apple has changed policy for iOS 14 VoIP Push call and client again asked to do it in free eventhough it was not in contract scope of work and contract was paused.  He kept project in pause mode since last 1.5 years. He came back again last month to resolve issue for iOS 14. I resolved the issue and sent video to client that the issue is resolved. Now The problem is 
1) Client is asking for the code first before closing the project. I am sure he will not close and keep contract open (In Pause mode) to get more free work in name of Upwork review and rating threat.
2) I asked to close the project. Now client is asking for the 30% refund for the project if I do not deliver source code of extra work which was not even in scope of work. I think it is not fair to ask for the refund for the work which wasn't in scope. He used to threaten over Skype messages and WhatsApp call to do this otherwise he will spoil my Upwork rating and profile.

What could be the solution for this?

 

Regards,
Kaushik


Clients are not supposed to say, "Give me free work or I'll leave a bad review." That is against the rules. If you catch a client being so obvious about their intentions--report them immediately.


The reality is, every freelancer is aware that the client can say almost whatever they want in their review. If there is no direct proof of a TOS violation, you will have to live with the client's review.

 

The threat of a negative review is always present and should guide your choices when you decide whom to work for and when to extract yourself from a contract. This client is going to burn you on your review. Whether you are right or they are right or the truth is somewhere in between, that's the way it is.

 

Even if you were to get the text and stars removed, the private feedback is still going to impact your JSS for up to 24-months after the contract closes. Your only real recourse (assuming no proof of a TOS violation) is to not work with them again and leave an honest review of your own to warn other freelancers. 

 

Beyond this one review, your personal, public feedback looks mostly positive over the past 24-months, yet your JSS does not look quite as healthy. Are you taking damage from private feedback or your agency's performance? Beyond doing the tasks assigned you, managing your clients is critical to survival on Upwork. It starts by avoiding bad ones and continues with communicating exact deliverables and scope with good ones.

 

If past clients have come to you with complaints, look at what they have said and try to identify ways to improve your client management. (And, if you are doing everything right, focus on identifying the red flags that will tell you which clients to avoid!) 

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