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Client wants to cancel contract after 50% of work completed

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Chris M Member Since: Nov 12, 2018
1 of 20

Hi I took on a logo job with a client who not wants to cancel the contract after about 50% of the work has been completed. The contract is funded the total $1550, and I have offered to work with the client until they are happy, but for some reason this client has changed their mind entirely.  I am still trying to complete the job for the client, but they are ignoring my messages and I need to speak with them to make new logo designs. So in the case that the contract is ended midway, what protections do I have? I have never had a client end a contact early and I am top rated because I provide a very high level of service. I even have had two 1 hour phone calls with this client in Israel. I go above and beyond. I want to solve everything diplomaticaly and find a win win solution, but like I said the client is not responding to any messages.  Any advice on how I should solve this? - Chris

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Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 20

A client may close a contract at any time, for any reason.


I have no interest in continuing to work for a client who no longer wants to continue a contract. I have no interest in pressuring a client to continue working with me if she doesn't want to do so.

 

From the way you describe it, this is a fixed-price contract.

 

If the client releases all of the money in escrow, the client may close a contract without consulting with you at all.

 

If the client wants to have some money refunded to her, then you should agree to do so, quickly and simply, with a refund based on the amount of work completed.

 

If you have completed 50% of the current milestone task, then you should agree to refund 50% of the money in escrow. (For example.)

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Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 20

re: "So in the case that the contract is ended midway, what protections do I have?"

 

If the client releases all money that is in escrow to you, then that's it. It's done, and you have no "protections," because there is nothing to "protect" you from. You have received all the money in question.

 

If the client wants to release less than the full amount, then the client can only do this if YOU agree to it.

 

If you don't agree to the client's refund request, then a dispute is triggered.

 

So, yeah... the fact that the client can't actually get ANY money back from escrow unless YOU agree to it: That's a pretty big protection.

 

What exactly do you mean when you say the client isn't responding to messages? Did the client close the contract and request a refund yet, or not? If the client just suggested at one point that she wants to close the contract, but now she ignores you, then you could use the Submit Work / Request Payment button, but only ask for 50% of the escrow money. And then stop working.

 

If the client really does not respond to anything, then you'll get paid automatically, without having to do any more work. So this would be a "win win" situation.

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Eric M Member Since: Jun 1, 2019
4 of 20

So, as I am new to the community, this seems like a really wonderful protection and I would assume this is something that Upwork implemented. Thanks for sharing this info!

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Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
5 of 20


If the client is not communicating any more, you can't negotiate.

Use the "submit for payment" function on the contract and request whatever has been done so far - 50% of the money if 50% of the work was done. Attach all the work.

 

That will either force the client to react, or you get paid what you requested 14 days later.

 

If the client does try to get his full funds back, that would trigger a dispute. Ask again if it comes to that.

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Chris M Member Since: Nov 12, 2018
6 of 20

Thank you everyone for you advice. This is a fixed price contract that is fully funded. The client's last message was that they don't want to continue work, but I am still trying to convince them to continue. No response in 1 week. I did not think of submitting the work for the milestone, but that seems to be a good last resort if they do not respond in the next couple weeks.  Again thank you for all your advice. - Chris

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Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
7 of 20

Chris M wrote:

The client's last message was that they don't want to continue work, but I am still trying to convince them to continue. No response in 1 week. I did not think of submitting the work for the milestone, but that seems to be a good last resort if they do not respond in the next couple weeks.


The client told you a week ago that they do not want to continue with the work.

 

You can NOT "convince" a client to continue with a contract they already told you they don't want to continue with.

 

It was also not a good idea to continue with the work after being told to stop.

When it comes to submitting the work so far for payment, you should only submit what was completed at the point the client told you that they no longer want to continue. So whatever percentage that was, that is the percentage you should request.

 

 

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Chris M Member Since: Nov 12, 2018
8 of 20

Hi Petra, I appreciate your point of view, but as an expert it is part of the job to convince a client of certain solutions or even to continue work. With logo design they often have no idea what they want and it's my job to help them feel at ease with the process. So on this point I have a different point of view than you.  But if they do not respond in the next few weeks I will requests approval of the work that has been done and close out the project.

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Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
9 of 20

Chris, I don't know how much Upwork history you have, but if you don't already have a lot of positive ratings, you may want to factor in the impact what the client may well see as harassment will have on their rating and public review.

 

There's a difference between engaging in a conversation with a client at the point they express concerns and attempting to alleviate those concerns and rejecting their cancellation of a project and continuing to push them despite their decision not to respond.

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Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
10 of 20

Chris M wrote:

Hi Petra, I appreciate your point of view, but as an expert it is part of the job to convince a client of certain solutions or even to continue work. With logo design they often have no idea what they want and it's my job to help them feel at ease with the process.


The client told you a week ago that they want to cancel the project.

Then refused to engage with you any further for days on end.

That is NOT a client who is a little uncomfortable/ill at ease "with the process" - That is a client who wants nothing further to do with you or your logo.

 

At this point, the client owes you what was done at the point the client told you he wants to cancel. 

 

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