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Client used milestones to pay less

Active Member
Anita S Member Since: Sep 18, 2018
1 of 13

So I took a job creating a resume for a client. We agreed to compensation of $90. He sent an offer but broke the compensation into milestones, $60 for 1st Draft and $30 for Final version.  I have never had a resume broken into milestones before and I felt something was not quite right when I saw the offer but I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. His deadline was too short so before accepting the offer I messaged and asked if we could push it out and he messaged back that he was good with that.

So I submitted the 1st draft and he requested changes, but did not approve it. I made changes, and created a great resume and submitted it back. He paid the first milestone of $60 and added $20 bonus to it and ended the contract.  The resume I submitted was the bomb so I was sure he would not need any changed to it, but because he ended the contract he won't pay the $10. So ultimately I got paid $80 instead of $90. And Of course he won't respond to my messages requesting payment. Yes, it is only $10 but what a cheat. 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
BEST ANSWER
2 of 13

Anita:

Now you are aware of this "trick," so you can avoid it in the future.

This is a good thing!

 

You can be more proactive in the future and you can be one of the (wise) freelancers who always specify milestone tasks and dollar amounts, rather than let clients do so.

 

And you will be one of the freelancers who only works on funded milestones.

I am sure you will never again do fixed-price work for a "promised" milestone.

Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
3 of 13

Preston H wrote:

Anita:

Now you are aware of this "trick," so you can avoid it in the future.

This is a good thing!

 

You can be more proactive in the future and you can be one of the (wise) freelancers who always specify milestone tasks and dollar amounts, rather than let clients do so.

 

And you will be one of the freelancers who only works on funded milestones.

I am sure you will never again do fixed-price work for a "promised" milestone.


A request from a client to break a project into milestones of $60 for a first draft and $30 for a final version is not a "trick" - in fact, that kind of a split is how 90% of my projects are set up. Do you want to know the number of times that I've been cheated? Zero. Nada. Never. Not even once in the 19 years that I've been freelancing. So I don't know how the OP could have avoided being "tricked" - it sounds like you think that this is her fault in some way. Sure, she could have refused a perfectly reasonable request from a client, but if she has a hard and fast rule about this in the future, she'll probably miss out on a lot of perfectly legit projects. 

 

Even if a freelancer determines the milestones, there's nothing to prevent the client from asking for revisions or disputing the payment. All I can say is that learning to spot bad clients takes practice and experience, and even then, sometimes you'll just have bad luck. But I'm sorry that this happened  - it's especially galling and mean-spirited of a client to quibble over $10.

 

Active Member
Anita S Member Since: Sep 18, 2018
4 of 13

It is true. I don't think I will make that mistake again and I am glad it wasn't for a larger dollar amount. Lesson learned

Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
5 of 13

Anita S wrote:

It is true. I don't think I will make that mistake again and I am glad it wasn't for a larger dollar amount. Lesson learned


If that's a response to my post, I don't think that you made a mistake and you have nothing to blame yourself for. Possibly the real lesson here is that if you have misgivings about working for a client - for whatever reason - you should pay attention to your intuition.

 

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
6 of 13

Christine A wrote:

Anita S wrote:

It is true. I don't think I will make that mistake again and I am glad it wasn't for a larger dollar amount. Lesson learned


If that's a response to my post, I don't think that you made a mistake and you have nothing to blame yourself for. Possibly the real lesson here is that if you have misgivings about working for a client - for whatever reason - you should pay attention to your intuition.

 


You don't think it was a mistake to make the revisions (milestone 2) and submit them via messaging without milestone 1 being approved or milestone 2 funded?

Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
7 of 13

Tiffany S wrote:


You don't think it was a mistake to make the revisions (milestone 2) and submit them via messaging without milestone 1 being approved or milestone 2 funded?


The headline on the thread is "Client used milestones to pay less" and the OP says, "I have never had a resume broken into milestones before and I felt something was not quite right when I saw the offer", and then Preston said it was a "trick". Milestones in and of themselves were not the cause of the problem. The OP already seemed to know that she shouldn't have continued with the project when the first milestone wasn't approved, so there was no further need to beat her with that stick, IMO.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
8 of 13

Keep in mind I said it was a "trick."


In quotes.

 

I did not say it was a trick.

 

[unquoted]

 

I believe the original poster felt that she was cheated or tricked.

 

Regardless of how one categorizes her experience, she now has a better understanding of how fixed-price contracts work. That is the important thing.

Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
9 of 13

BTW Anita, posting specific details about a project or using a client's name in the forum is strictly against the rules - you should edit that out and save a moderator from going to the trouble of doing it for you.

Active Member
Anita S Member Since: Sep 18, 2018
10 of 13

Thank you. I didn't realize that. I editted it out.

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