What's the point in refusing other clients?
If this client don't bother learning how to work with a platform that only means that the time is not the issue her. And even if she finally opens a milestone she will not have the moral right to force you to work immidiately. But I really doubt she will ever do that as it's just sounds like a scam.
So I would just ignore her absense and start looking for other projects.
I checked and it looks like you haven't been hired for this job but you're currently in the interview stage. Active candidacies doesn't affect your reputation in any way and you can keep communicating with the client or withdraw your proposal. Note that since your client has access to your profile, they can send you an offer directly from your profile or proposal by clicking the Hire Now button. You can share this Help article with them and do let us know if you have any questions or need further guidance.
Isabel, you've gotten all of the pieces of this in different responses throughout the thread, but to make it as simple as possible for the future:
When a client indicates that he/she wants to hire you on a fixed price job, tell him or her that you're eager to get started, and will do so just as soon as a milestone is created and funded in the amount of X.
Then, go on with your life.
Depending on how tight your schedule is, how serious the client seems, how much you want the project, and what the turnaround time on the project is, you MIGHT want to keep some flexibility in your schedule for a day or two, but no more than that.
If the client wants to hire you, he or she will create a milestone and fund it. If the client has legitimate problems with that process, it's up to the client to let you know and, if you don't have a quick answer, to go to customer service for help.
Depending on the factors above and others relevant to you, you MAY want to send the client one follow-up message in ten days or so if you haven't heard back. That's the absolute maximum attention he or she should be commanding until you have a contract in place (and, if it's fixed price, a funded milestone).
@Isabel S wrote:
I have been battling with the same issue with a client since the middle of September. Despite much back-and-forth correspondence she has not given me a milestone. She says she is new to Upwork and doesn't know how to do it, so I suggested getting in touch with you lot, where I have always got an answer to any question. Still no result - and no milestone. She takes days to answer any queries and refuse to turn away better-paying work while waiting for her. I went on holiday for two weeks and came back and haven't heard a thing, although I did say to her that I absolutely could not proceed without a milestone. (And turn away better-paying clients!) Am I justified in withdrawing my propsal and will Upwork penalise me?
I have written two of the ten stories she ordered, but I can use those for other projects since they haven't been published yet. I can't tell you how many times I have BEGGED for those milestones
Isabel - There is absolutely NO reason for you to be "battling" a client to create and fund a milestone since Sept. (and it's Nov now.) You've had back and forth correspondence, and it's days before you get an answer from this client. Did you know that freelancer is a business. The client is seeking a service, YOU are providing that service. If the client acts like that, then that is not a client that you want to work with. If you think it's bad now, and you are not even hired, what will it be when you actually are. You are not beholden to anyone, You can pick and choose who you want to work with. Same with the client.
You will not be penalized for withdrawing a proposal, nor declining an offer. And don't ever feel or be intimated by a client that "holds you hostage" for a good review. If in the future, you did professional work to the requirements of the job/milestone, then there is no need to refund anything to the client in exchange for no feedback. And, IMO, I don't think you owe this client any explanation or message when you withdraw your proposal.
And NEVER EVER beg a client to create a milestone, If they do, great, if not, then consider yourself lucky that you dodged a very very difficult client.
In the future, interviews are discussions between clients and freelancers in relation to the job. Requirements, details, information, questions and answers are exchanged. ONLY when the client offers you the job and you accept AND the clients account is verified, and escrow is FULLY funded THEN and only then do you start work (no matter what the client may try telling you and how believable it may sound.)
Thank you, Kathy. Great answer. I haven't had a situation like this before even though I have been with Upwork for two years now and I'm very happy. It's good to know that Upwork is so supportive.
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