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Client now is trying to change the ingredients of the contract on which I was hired on.

Ace Contributor
Awais N Member Since: Nov 12, 2017
1 of 4

Hey Team Upwork,

So, it goes like this I have a fixed price project on which I am working on. My project is now 40% complete & today the client told me that I have seen mistakes in your project & it should be like this and not like that. He has gone against his own words which he used in the Upwork project posting. He provided me a sample according to which I am working. Now he has added that you are doing it wrong & missing the important things.

My contract is in Milestones. 1st Internal Review is on 27 Oct. I haven't submitted any work before. It is on a shared google drive-through which he is monitoring the project. But my question is this why do I do that work, which is not part of the contract? 

One more thing that I want to share is this, he said my contract payment shall be divided into two milestones. One is Internal Review which is void before submitting the contract (I think so) & the second Final Review is in Feb 2021. In the first milestone he is giving me 70% payment & the remaining 30% shall be given in next year Feb 2021. 

What should I do in this regard? This client is new to Upwork I think. He asked me to sign a contract outside Upwork as well which I did. But now he is violating his own words.

Kind Regards
Awais N.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 4

If you have an hourly contract, the client may ask for anything he wants, and you may decide whether or not that is a service you offer. If you have an HOURLY contract, then it is FINE to "change the ingredients."

But you DO NOT have an hourly contract.

It is NOT ACCEPTABLE for a client to change the ingredients of a fixed-price milestone.


If the client wants to change something, this is what the client must do:
- Release all funds in the current escrow payment to the freelancer

- Ask the freelancer how much it will cost to create the new milestone

- Create a funded milestone for the amount that the freelancer specifies

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 4

Here is an example.


The client created a fixed-price contract with this milestone:

"Draw a picture of a bear wearing a cowboy hat.": $100


After the contract was started and the freelancer did some work on this, the client changed her mind. She wanted a picture of a bear wearing a cowboy boots.


Client: "I would like to change this to a picture of a bear wearing cowboy boots."

Freelancer: "Okay. I have already started the project. If you release payment for the current milestone I can make that change for a new milestone of $50."


The client RELEASED the full $100 escrow payment to the freelancer. Then the client created a NEW milestone for $50, with the task description: "Change picture so that bear is wearing cowboy boots instead of cowboy hat."


Then the freelancer finished the picture: A bear wearing cowboy boots.

Then the client released $50 to the freelancer.

The client ended up paying $150 in total.


Q. Would it have been okay for the client to ask the freelancer to CHANGE the picture to have boots instead of hat AFTER the task was agreed to, without paying?

A. No.


Q. Could the freelancer have refused to make the change?
A. Yes. I don't think this would be great customer service, but yes, the freelancer could have refused the change.


Q. What would the client have needed to do if the freelancer refused to make the change?
A. The client would have had the option of immediately releasing the original $100 payment and closing the contract, or waiting until the freelancer finished the original task and THEN releasing the original $100 and closing the contract.


Q. Is it aceptable for a client to "change the ingredients of a contract" after the contract has started?
A. Yes, IF the client asks the freelancer for permission to do so and first releases any escrow money.

View solution in original post

Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
4 of 4

If the client says that you're making mistakes, then it sounds like you'll have to correct them in order to continue with this job. What do YOU want to do? If your client has actually changed his mind about what you're supposed to do - and you're sure that you followed his initial instructions precisely - then you can try to negotiate an additional rate to revise the work. If he doesn't agree, then he could pay you for the work that you've done so far, and end the project. But you're going to have to work this out with your client, politely and professionally. 


Next time you're working with a new client, don't do 40% of the work upfront; set a small milestone for doing a few initial samples and ask for approval before you continue.


As for the rest of your post - the client breaking up the project into milestones, and asking you to sign a separate contract - there's nothing wrong with him doing either of those things.