I have worked on a long term contract for a particular client earning over 30K and being charge 5% service fee. Recently this client has asked me to lower my fees due to the reduced service fees and has asked me to issue a refund from the time the service fees were reduced. Has anyone else experieinced similar requests?
The reduction of rates from 20% to 5% due to ongoing work with a client could be considered as a "raise". Now, not only this client wants to abolish it, but they also want their money back?
Unbelievable! If they already paid you 30k, you must be great at what you do. Upwork fees are none of their business.
I have not experienced this. I personally feel your client is being cheap and petty, jaw-droppingly so, considering how much they've paid you already. Sounds like you've got a decision to make: Give in or refuse and lose the client.
It could be that they're just trying it to see if it flies. If you're working successfully in the role, it could be a bigger hassle for them to have to rehire.
Has the person you coordinate with at the company recently changed?
I have absolutely never experienced that, nor would I tolerate it.
They hired you at a particular RATE and agreed to that RATE. Where the money goes after they pay that RATE, whether to Upwork or to you (and how much of to each), is none of their business. How much of that rate you get to 'take home' is none of their business. Their only concern should be the rate they agreed to pay.
They agreed to the RATE when the contract was issued and they don't have any grounds for 'demanding' you lower the rate or issue a refund of any kind. I would NOT lower the rate, and I would NOT issue a refund. Personally, I would tell them that this is the rate they agreed to at the time the contract was issued and the rate they are expected to continue to pay if they wish to continue receiving my services, and if they don't intend to continue the contract at the agreed upon rate then the contract will be terminated.
Your running a business, no different than a store: A customer does not get to walk into a store and say "since the gas prices have gone down and shipping is cheaper, I DEMAND lower prices". We could all solve the problem of inflation for ourselves if prices went down anytime we simply 'demanded' prices be 'lowered'. Wouldn't that be wonderful? Well, the world doesn't work that way. You pay the prices at that store, search for lower prices at another store, or do without.
Your fees went down as a condition of the rules of Upwork, and that doesn't 'entitle' the client to anything.
Its a personal negotiation between you and your client there is no single right answer for this. But my personal opinion is this is a big red flag. You are free to set your own rate and it is totally up to you if you want to increase or decrease it.