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Client ordered one project but asking for another

Ace Contributor



Today, I had a different client experience. One of my clients ordered a project and changed the project outline several times before starting the final work. After a few days of submission, the client came up with the feedback that the work is poor and gave me tons of edits. However, he also mentioned that he liked another work from my previous client(maybe saw from samples/portfolio section) and wants the work in a different order.


Is this acceptable? We agreed to finish the work and provide a single master edit if needed. But now the client has no interest in the book he ordered. 


I checked the client's profile and the rating was good. Also, it was a project catalog. I didn't apply for the job directly. I already said that it is not acceptable to provide another project this way. 


I would like to get your valuable suggestions!





Community Guru

Mohammed Ehsanul:

I don't work for Upwork. Below is my advice to you:


This client has no understanding of the fixed-price contract model. You can't fix that.


You need to STOP doing ANY work for this client using any fixed-price contracts, or as projects.


Stop working immediately.

If you have done any work already for the client, then the client needs to PAY YOU FOR YOUR WORK before you do anything else.


Then, the client must hire you using an hourly contract for any additional work that you do. Then, from here on out, you will use the hourly contract to bill the client for ALL of the time that you spend working on the project.


You need to give the client two clear choices:

a) The client will pay you for the work you have done thus far and hire you using an hourly contract.


b) The client will receive no more work from you.



Tell the client:
"Jamie: Thank you for your note. I would be happy to do this additional work. The original agreed-upon task is now complete. You may now release payment for that work and close the contract. After you do that, I will work on these next steps using a new hourly contract."

Hi Preston,


Thank you for such a wonderful response. I always try to proactively give instructions to the clients during the interview stages on what I can do and what I can't. But this incident was something new for me as a freelancer. I never imagined that clients could order one work and ask for another work in exchange that he/she saw in my portfolio(another client work) or a sample. 


Now, I will have to incorporate another strict section so that I can stay safe from such situations.