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Closing Contracts

Active Member
Christopher M Member Since: Nov 13, 2017
1 of 9

I just posted on this topic twice and the posts disappeared. I don't know if I broke the rules in some way, but I'll try again here.

 

I have two questions. Firstly, I have three outstanding contracts. I have tried to contract the client, to no avail. I know they are never going to leave feedback. Should I close them?

 

Secondly, I have another outstanding contract. This one has been paused by the client in order to review a small amount of work I did previously. The client is a very busy person with multiple responsibilities, and my work on Upwork is hardly a priority for her. I have contacted her on here and emailed her, but have received no response. She previously implied that there would be more work for me in the future, but this now seems highly unlikely. Should I close the contract? If not, what should I do?

 

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Community Manager
Valeria K Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
2 of 9

Hi Christopher,

 

If a contract has been open for a long time and you don't expect for it to be used for future work, you can ask the client to close it. If you don't hear back from the client, you can go ahead and close the contract yourself.

~ Valeria
Untitled
Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
3 of 9

I would not close more than one contract every two weeks.  Also I would leave the one who said there would be more work open - long term contracts help  your JSS.

Active Member
Christopher M Member Since: Nov 13, 2017
4 of 9

Thanks for the replies.

Highlighted
Active Member
Christopher M Member Since: Nov 13, 2017
5 of 9

I just posted on this topic and the post disappeared. I don't know if I broke some rule, but I'll try again here. 

 

I have two questions. Firstly, I have three outstanding contracts. I have tried to contact the clients, to no avail. I know they are never going to leave feedback. Should I close them?

 

Secondly, I have another outstanding contract. This one has been paused by the client in order to review a small amount of work I did previously. The client is a very busy person with multiple responsibilities, and my work on Upwork is hardly a priority for her. I have contacted her on here and emailed her, but have received no response. She previously implied that there would be more work for me in the future, but this now seems highly unlikely. Should I close the contract? If not, what should I do?

 

Quite honestly, managing these issues is difficult, if not impossible. This has been spoken about over and over again on here, over a period of several years, with seemingly absolutely nothing done about it whatsoever. Recently, I worked with a guy who runs a very big business, I wrote a press release for him. He could easily have slipped through the net without leaving feedback, but thankfully I managed to contact him and he did do so.

 

But his focus is not on the Upwork community, it is, surprisingly(!), on running his multi-million pound business. Many, many clients are like this. What are you supposed to do, just not take jobs from them? Discuss feedback as soon as someone hires you? Discuss it before they hire you?!

 

Other contracts are open-ended, and the client will contact you every so often with new tasks, and then one day disappear. How are you supposed to manage these exactly? Say to them every time they contact you, "if you're going to disappear and not give me work any more, please close the contract"?

 

My JSS has plummeted from 90% to 62%. This is despite the fact that I have over $200,000 earnings and over 3,000 hours worked on Elance and Upwork, nearly 350 jobs, and exemplary feedback. On Elance, I was ranked in the top 20 writers in the world, and second in the UK. Now my profile might as well be dirt, unless I can build it back up with existing clients in the coming months. If you read my profile, it looks oustanding, if you look at my JSS it looks dreadful.

 

This fall in JSS may not entirely be due to the contract situation, but it definitely doesn't help.

Community Guru
Melissa T Member Since: Dec 5, 2014
6 of 9

The Community layout doesn't do many favors for ease of use. I saw you got answers to another post, but this one was longer and included more background, so I'll jump in. 

 

Since August you've had jobs closed with feedback lower than 5 stars. Typically, when clients rate lower than 5 stars publicly (even if they leave positive written comments for your public profile) their private feedback is much lower. Add to those <5 star ratings the dormant jobs and jobs closed without feeback in the same 3 month period and you have yourself a recipe for a tanking JSS. 

 

I can't offer any help with the feedback that's already been registered, but can tell you that when I have a job that is finished, yet not closed by the client, and I know I've got little to no chance of ever hearing from that client again (as you say, they have other priorities - often they come here, get a job done, sometimes not even knowing they need to close the job, then they're gone for good) I'll wait until I have a job closed by a client who leaves great feedback. Once that positive feedback is reflected in my profile I'll close a dormant job. Of course, only after reaching out to the client professionally asking them if they need anything else, letting them know that I'm available for future work, and requesting that they close the job. Sometimes that works with clients who simply don't realize that it penalizes freelancers if a pattern of jobs are left dormant. 

 

All of this is to say that the best remedy for needing to close a dormant job is doing another job and getting great feedback. 

Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
7 of 9

Given the total number of contracts that you have, I doubt if the open-but-inactive or closed-without-feedback ones are affecting your JSS at all.  What are your "clients who would recommend" and long-term client percentages? 

 

You may be suffering because good reviews have fallen out of the calculation window while some of the less than perfect reviews have not. I would guess one or more of the less than 5-star review people skewered you in the private feedback. 

 

When in doubt, I don't follow up and ask a client to close and leave feedback. It is better to have no feedback than mediocre feedback, IMO. So, I just close the contract myself. 

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
8 of 9
Dannng 30% drop. That’s gotta be an angry customer. I’m sure you have a clue who it is.
Community Guru
Jennifer D Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
9 of 9

Upwork's position is that a *pattern* of jobs with no feedback indicates poor client and contract management, and as a client I tend to agree. This is why JSS is negatively impacted if a freelancer has a *pattern* of jobs with no feedback.

There is more to being a successful freelancer on Upwork than just winning a job and delivering the finished product. Client and contract management is an important skill for all freelancers. It starts before you even bid on a job (does the client have a great history of feedback, both given and received) and doesn't end after you have delivered the finished product.

 

You have a huge number of "no feedback" jobs, which will not be helping your JSS at all.

 


Christopher M wrote:

But his focus is not on the Upwork community, it is, surprisingly(!), on running his multi-million pound business. Many, many clients are like this. What are you supposed to do, just not take jobs from them? Discuss feedback as soon as someone hires you? Discuss it before they hire you?!

 

Other contracts are open-ended, and the client will contact you every so often with new tasks, and then one day disappear. How are you supposed to manage these exactly? Say to them every time they contact you, "if you're going to disappear and not give me work any more, please close the contract"?

 

You never need to discuss feedback with your clients. You don't need to ask them for feedback, you need to ask them to close the contract once its complete. You should actually see an improvement in this with your fixed price contracts, as Upwork recently (in the last few months) changed the client interface to make it easier to close a fixed price contract once the last milestone is paid.

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