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marksudell
Member

Client wants a small change done after contract has ended

Hi there - Here's whats up:


A previous client just messaged me and asked me to make a small change to an ad banner I created for them over a month ago.


The contract has ended, so I wondered how I should handle this. Should I ask them to open a new contract? Should I charge them at all?

 

I would like to get more work from them in the future, so I want to handle this situation well/correctly.

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prestonhunter
Member

The client sound like he is making a fundamental mistake in his project management.

 

If I have a project that is important, then of course if I want something changed, or something else done, the best person to ask for help is the original freelancer.

 

And of course the first thing in my message is "Can I hire you to..."

 

I don't have time and money to waste. So the last thing I want is a freelancer working for free on my project. A freelancer working for free is far more likely to put his paying projects first and get to my job "when he gets around to it." I can't afford that kind of delay. And I can't afford to have a freelancer working on my project who isn't doing their best work, because they resent having to work for free.

 

All of that is separate from YOUR question, because you are not the client. You are the freelancer.

 

I believe that you will be UNDERMINING the client's success if you simply do this for free. You would be training the client to do something that hurts him in the long run. You should avoid harming the client.

 

So I recommend responding to the client this way:

 

"Yes, I can do that immediately. You may do any of the following so that I can move forward with this:

- Use the client-side 'Send bonus' tool to pay $15, after which I will do the work and send it to you.

- Create a new hourly contract so that I can log time while working on it. (It won't take very long, so this won't cost very much. Please be sure to allow manual time so that I can bill a minimum of 10 minutes.)

- Create a single-milestone fixed-price contract for $15."

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prestonhunter
Member

The client sound like he is making a fundamental mistake in his project management.

 

If I have a project that is important, then of course if I want something changed, or something else done, the best person to ask for help is the original freelancer.

 

And of course the first thing in my message is "Can I hire you to..."

 

I don't have time and money to waste. So the last thing I want is a freelancer working for free on my project. A freelancer working for free is far more likely to put his paying projects first and get to my job "when he gets around to it." I can't afford that kind of delay. And I can't afford to have a freelancer working on my project who isn't doing their best work, because they resent having to work for free.

 

All of that is separate from YOUR question, because you are not the client. You are the freelancer.

 

I believe that you will be UNDERMINING the client's success if you simply do this for free. You would be training the client to do something that hurts him in the long run. You should avoid harming the client.

 

So I recommend responding to the client this way:

 

"Yes, I can do that immediately. You may do any of the following so that I can move forward with this:

- Use the client-side 'Send bonus' tool to pay $15, after which I will do the work and send it to you.

- Create a new hourly contract so that I can log time while working on it. (It won't take very long, so this won't cost very much. Please be sure to allow manual time so that I can bill a minimum of 10 minutes.)

- Create a single-milestone fixed-price contract for $15."

re:"I would like to get more work from them in the future, so I want to handle this situation well/correctly."

 

Yeah... But you want to get more PAID work.

 

If you do FREE work now, that will lead to MORE free work in the future.

Thanks for the detailed options. Is there a way for client to edit their review of my work from last month as yet another option or part of an option?

 

Truth is, I would love for them to improve their rating they gave me for the original contract. They gave me 4.6 stars which decreased my Score from a perfect 100% to 93%. I would love to get it back up higher. Is asking for something like that (if its possible) out of the question?


Mark S wrote:

Thanks for the detailed options. Is there a way for client to edit their review of my work from last month as yet another option or part of an option?

 

Truth is, I would love for them to improve their rating they gave me for the original contract. They gave me 4.6 stars which decreased my Score from a perfect 100% to 93%. I would love to get it back up higher. Is asking for something like that (if its possible) out of the question?


From your point of view, there is a correlation between: if I do this for free now, the client will improve my rating. From the client's point of view, it might look like this: I was unhappy and he should do something to make it better, but it's not going to change how I think about this job. 

So in short, there is always a danger in enabling a client to change feedback. It could get worse than it was. Discussing this beforehand "I'll do this for free, please change your feedback" is not likely to have a good result either. But keep in mind, the private feedback is what counts, and that can't be changed. 4,6 is not a bad feedback, not something to worry about. 

I would probably do it for free or a small bonus, but I'd think long and hard if a new contract is a good idea. Were you surprised about not getting a perfect 5? In this case, you might not be able to ever satisfy this one. 


Mark S wrote:

They gave me 4.6 stars which decreased my Score from a perfect 100% to 93%. I would love to get it back up higher. Is asking for something like that (if its possible) out of the question?


As it is the private feedback, not the public feedback that affects the JSS, even if the client did change the stars, it would have no effect on the JSS at all. Private feedback can't be changed.

Also, trading feedback for work or money is a violation of the terms of service.

 

You can tell the client to pay you for the changes as a bonus. Don't create another contract with that client, you don't want them to get the opportunity to hit your metrics a second time.

mtngigi
Member


Mark S wrote:

Hi there - Here's whats up:


A previous client just messaged me and asked me to make a small change to an ad banner I created for them over a month ago.


The contract has ended, so I wondered how I should handle this. Should I ask them to open a new contract? Should I charge them at all?

 

I would like to get more work from them in the future, so I want to handle this situation well/correctly.


You can go to your closed contracts, and set up/open a new contract to send to your client. Thank them for using your services again and come up with a bid amount, but ask questions about the scope of the changes and let them know your bid is a placeholder only until they supply specifics about what they need. Then take it from there. Depending on how they respond, you can mention that Upwork does not allow clients to ask for free work.

It sounds to me like it isn't worth it, in my opinion. This client probably thinks you owe it to him to do the free work and if you open a new contract he could give you less than 4.6. So yeah, do the bonus thing if he agrees to it, although I'm not sure if former clients can give bonuses on closed contracts. If not, move on.

 

My two cents.

re: "I'm not sure if former clients can give bonuses on closed contracts. If not, move on."

 

Clients can issue a bonus payment to a freelancer using an already-closed contract.

 

There may be a time limit to this capability. But it is at least a few months.

 

So this client can indeed pay money in advance to the freelancer, without any risk of changing JSS.

tlbp
Member

Getting paid: 
If you hoping to build long-term relationships, then charging for every edit isn't the way to do it. However, Preston is also correct, doing small tasks for free may reinforce bad client behaviors. You are the only person here who has worked with this particular client and knows which direction the relationship is likely to go. So, you will have to decide how to handle the request.

 

An alternative is to say, "I'm sorry, I'm really busy right now so I can't fit this in." Then, plan to never work with the client again. Remember, a new contract with this client is a new opportunity for them to leave feedback. 

 

Getting feedback:
There is a limited period of time in which a freelancer can click a button to enable the client to change their feedback. I'm not sure if you are still in that window or not. But, you should know that the only feedback that can be altered are the stars and and written comment. The heavily-weighted private feedback is untouchable. You can only get rid of it by using your Top Rated perk. (And, if you are going to use the perk, I suggest using it to get rid fo the 4-star rating on your history.)

 

Also, a vindictive client may report you to Upwork and use any requests for improved feedback or better feedback in the future as evidence of feedback manipulation. For this reason, many experienced freelancers advise never mentioning feedback to the client. (IOW, don't allow the fee and feedback streams to cross.) 

 

 

 

 

 

If I am a client, and I have a project... Then the principles of proper project management mean that I have options with regards to how new work or changes to existing work are implemented.

 

I need to have control over my system.

I need to be able to directly edit or add banners myself.

Or I need to have people who are on my team who are available to make those changes.


These are employees in my company who I can call upon, or they are freelancers who I have an ongoing relationship with. They are people I hire regularly, or people who I have an open contract with.


I am not dependent on one individual freelancer who I hired a month ago and have no open contract with.