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designchampion
Community Member

Client wants to cancel contract after 50% of work completed

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

19 REPLIES 19
prestonhunter
Community Member

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.)

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.

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!



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.

designchampion
Community Member

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


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.

 

 

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.

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.


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. 

 

I disagree. I have worked with clients like this in the past and have completed their projects. I understand your perspective, but this is not a case where I am harrasing the client because I have already gave my response and now I am just giving them time to think about it. I have some clients that go away for a month and come back to finish the job. So while I understand your perpective, I want to allow them the time to consider finishing the job for the benefit of both of us.  Thank you for your thoughts. - Chris


Chris M wrote:

I disagree.


OK. Good luck.

 

I can tell you now that if this goes to dispute / arbitration, you will have a hell of a hard time getting paid for anything you did after being told by the client that the project is cancelled.

 

I think there was a misunderstanding. No additional work has been done since the client gave their message.  It is all on hold now and the client has not taken any action.  The project is simply on hold for the time being.


Chris M wrote:

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


You must be good at what you do or you wouldn't be able to command over $1,500 for a logo (which is at least $1,000 more than I've seen most logo projects go for on Upwork). I'm just wondering how much more time you're willing to spend on the whole "convincing" process? Two one-hour conversations with the client and you're still not on the same page - I wouldn't have the tenacity to continue. And now they've said flat-out that they want to end the project. What do you say to salvage situations like this?


Christine A wrote:

Chris M wrote:

 


You must be good at what you do or you wouldn't be able to command over $1,500 for a logo (which is at least $1,000 more than I've seen most logo projects go for on Upwork)


Alitalia paid $ 100.000+ to redesign theirs like this:

 

alitalia.jpg

 

Not on Upwork, obviously.

 


Petra R wrote:

Christine A wrote:

Chris M wrote:

 


You must be good at what you do or you wouldn't be able to command over $1,500 for a logo (which is at least $1,000 more than I've seen most logo projects go for on Upwork)


Alitalia paid $ 100.000+ to redesign theirs like this:

 

alitalia.jpg

 

Not on Upwork, obviously.

 


Yep, gradients are back in style - I could have told Alitalia that for free.

 

Anyway, I know what logos go for in the real world. (I'm still reeling over how much the London 2012 Olympics paid for its shockingly awful design.) But $1,550 is a pretty good rate for Upwork. 


Petra R wrote:

Christine A wrote:

Chris M wrote:

 


You must be good at what you do or you wouldn't be able to command over $1,500 for a logo (which is at least $1,000 more than I've seen most logo projects go for on Upwork)


Alitalia paid $ 100.000+ to redesign theirs like this:

 

alitalia.jpg

 

Not on Upwork, obviously.

 


The Alitalia people are idiots. I would have done it for 50K.


Martina P wrote:

Petra R wrote:

Christine A wrote:

Chris M wrote:

 


You must be good at what you do or you wouldn't be able to command over $1,500 for a logo (which is at least $1,000 more than I've seen most logo projects go for on Upwork)


Alitalia paid $ 100.000+ to redesign theirs like this:

 

alitalia.jpg

 

Not on Upwork, obviously.

 


The Alitalia people are idiots. I would have done it for 50K.


To be fair, I think the agency did do a nice job if the brief was just for a subtle modernisation/update. And they probably spent tens of thousands just pitching to get the job in the first place. It's a different league than I'm playing in, obviously.


Petra R wrote:

Christine A wrote:

Chris M wrote:

 


You must be good at what you do or you wouldn't be able to command over $1,500 for a logo (which is at least $1,000 more than I've seen most logo projects go for on Upwork)


Alitalia paid $ 100.000+ to redesign theirs like this:

 

alitalia.jpg

 

Not on Upwork, obviously.

 


Maybe the client realized he can get the same thing from somebody for 10 bucks. 

Hi Christine, it takes a lot of work to get the higher paying jobs, but they exist from time to time. For me each job is important because I have an interview process for each client before I even accept their work, and this client passed. I am willing to make less money to make the client happy and to go above and beyond because ultimately each succesful job on upwork helps me get more larger paying jobs outside of upwork.

 

The two one hour conversations were for the initial logo proposal and it did seem like we were on the same page because I followed their directions. But the client often does not know how to express what they want and even if the first round of logos does not connect with them, the feedback on what they like or dislike about each concept can be used like a compass to find out what designs will be aligned with their vision.

 

My desire to go above and beyond for my clients is why I am able to get decent paying logo jobs on upwork. Not all clients care about quality, but for those that do they will pay more to get it done right so that they don't waste more time and money in the future.

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