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mohamedanan
Community Member

Dealing with Dishonest, Hard-to-Please, and Difficult-to-Satisfy Clients

๐Ÿ‘‹ Hello fellow Upworkers,

๐Ÿค” How do you typically handle or what strategies do you employ when faced with dishonest feedback, hard-to-please, or difficult-to-satisfy clients?
By "dishonest feedback," I am referring to feedback that is not truthful, given that the job was completed successfully and the client expressed satisfaction without any issues.

Yet, upon reviewing the feedback details, you might find, for example, an Availability rating of 4/5 even though you were available 24/7. Perhaps the client expected you to be available before they even asked!
Similarly, you may see a Deadlines rating of 4/5 when the client never even mentioned a deadline!
This pattern continues with other ratings, such as Skills, Quality, Communication, and Cooperation. Consequently, you begin to question what went wrong.

Even after reaching out to the clients, some may offer to edit the feedback (which isn't professional), while others might not believe in perfection in general, so a 5/5 rating is not part of their vocabulary.

Unfortunately, in these cases, you will never get 10/10 private feedback with these types of clients, which can negatively affect your score and reputation.

For some freelancers, this is a critical thing, as not everyone can easily move on when it comes to public ratings.

This situation can be incredibly frustrating and demotivating, and at some point, it may even hinder our ability to work, particularly if we genuinely feel that we did not deserve such feedback.

I read about "Feedback removal" for Top-Rated freelancers:

  • Remove from your Job Success Score and from your profile (the public score will be hidden and the comment will be replaced by, "This feedback has been removed.").

 

The comment clearly indicates that something was wrong with this project, so visitors may stay away.

๐Ÿค” So, what do you usually do to move forward in these cases?



ACCEPTED SOLUTION
mohamedanan
Community Member

I just noticed that I can give a refund, and the project will be removed from my profile's history. This is so good in my case! I feel very satisfied doing it, and I will consider it a lesson learned.

View solution in original post

26 REPLIES 26
iwan-spillebeen
Community Member

I sincerely hope you do not communicate with clients like this, your excessive use of emojis looks unprofessional and also doesn't work on the forum making your entire statement hard to impossible to read.

 

Having said that, if a client is hard to please, difficult to work with, etc. this usually comes out during the job (frequent requirement changes, incessive messaging, demanding free work, etc.) If you come across such behaviour, stop worrying about the feedback, I can guarantee it will never be good, rather consider whether you want to continue the job or not and act accordingly knowing the feedback in the end will likely be bad no matter what you do. 

 

In most cases it is simply best to politely and professionally part ways with the client, even in mid job.

Yes, I've noticed that some emojis aren't supported here. While some may view emojis as unprofessional, many people consider them a modern form of writing.

By the way, it seems like you still haven't understood what I'm referring to. I'm talking about the part where you've received feedback after the project has been completed, and it isn't what you deserve.

How do you move on from that?

While I am not up-to-date on every business change, I'm certain I didn't miss the announcement that using emojis is some sort of modern writing. I would love to see your evidence. For new freelancers, take this with a big grain of salt, and research the best business practices for freelancers.

 

What you deserve is subjective. If you received four stars, why are you complaining? Your client did nothing wrong. Five stars should be reserved for above and beyond service, not for getting it done.

 

This is the reason so many people have "100 % JSS" on their profile, and yet they have mediocre skills at best. You have no reason to complain about a perfectly reasonable score. Focus on what you can improve and let it go. You were not abused or treated terribly by the client for giving you 4 stars. The JSS has virtually nothing to do with the stars and public rating. Move on.

 

While I understand that you may not be aware of all recent business changes, it's important to note that the use of emojis in communication has become a common practice in modern writing.
If you're skeptical about this, I encourage you to conduct your own research rather than dismissing it outright. And BTW it's not the topic target!

Now, regarding your comment about deserving ratings, I agree that it's subjective to some extent. However, when you receive a rating that you believe is unfair or significantly lower than expected, it's natural to feel disappointed or frustrated.

As for the correlation between having a "100% JSS" on one's profile and the actual skill level, I do not know exactly what is the "reason" that you referring to!

BTW I understand your point. However, it's important to remember that not everyone with a high JSS has "mediocre skills". It's unfair to generalize and assume that most individuals with a high JSS have mediocre skills. Each freelancer's profile and track record should speak for itself.

"I sincerely hope you do not communicate with clients like this, your excessive use of emojis looks unprofessional and also doesn't work on the forum making your entire statement hard to impossible to read."

Upwork community is supporting Emojis so the OP didn't made any fault/mistake. If the community supporting it so it's clear he have the ability to use it.

No, the "Upwork community" is not supporting the use of emojis. The category is huge if you mean all freelancers, and still large if you mean people who visit the forums.

 

Freelancers are free to set up their profile any way they wish, even if it screams unprofessional. Emojis are not acceptable in the professional business world, and I always tell people to get rid of the lists. Emojis are for social media, casual conversations, etc. They should not be used, or if the profile for some reason must have them, one is enough.

 

If I am looking for a freelancer for a client, I will ignore the emoji people.

BTW, I meant the community forum itself.

pythondev90_0-1684815335850.png

 

prestonhunter
Community Member

re: "Dealing with Dishonest, Hard-to-Please, and Difficult-to-Satisfy Clients"

 

Um.... Why are you dealing with dishonest, hard-to-please, and difficult-to-satisfy clients?

 

This is on you. This is your choice to continue working with such people.

 

I advise you to stop.

Identifying a dishonest client can be challenging initially!
You can't know before completing your project.

"I advise you to stop." Thanks for the advice but stop what?!

By the way, it seems like you still haven't understood what I'm referring to. I'm talking about the part where you've received feedback after the project has been completed, and it isn't what you deserve.

re: "Thanks for the advice but stop what?!"

 

If you are talking with a prospective client, and they turn out to be dishonest or hard-to-please, then stop talking to them.

 

If you are ALREADY WORKING for a client, and they turn out to be dishonest or hard-to-please, then stop working for them.

Hmm, This is really a bad advise at all. For a real example, Checking the most recent 2 feedbacks you've received is actually a result of "stop talking to them".

Personally, I found it unprofessional to STOP talking to my client whatever the case is, Formally speaking (Discussing / Following-UP / Being Responsive) is Professionalism in business.

If they're a PROSPECTIVE client, then they aren't your client.

 

If are talking to a prospective client, you haven't been hired yet.

 

My advice to original poster Mohamed A, in answer to his question, is that if he finds a prospective client to be dishonest or hard to please, he should stop talking to that person.

Yes, but you can't know it before you really start working, and even at the end!

By the way, I just gave a full refund and considered it a lesson.
I do not want to overthink about it anymore.

The advice is just to be careful when dealing with new clients.


Mohamed A wrote:

Yes, but you can't know it before you really start working, and even at the end!


I disagree. You can tell a lot about how difficult a client will be just from reading the job description (at least, you used to be able to tell, before Upwork started encouraging clients to use AI to post jobs). If not at that stage, I can almost always discern a client's character at the interview stage. If they seem impatient, unintelligent or are not good communicators, if they try to haggle my price down, if they have unrealistic expectations, or if I just get a negative vibe somehow - those are all red flags that tell me to walk away. Maybe you should start insisting on video interviews before you accept jobs.

pythondev90
Community Member

Hi Mohamed,

I understand your displeasure with that. However, it is realistic.


Any customer has the right to express his feedback as he wishes, unless it violates the usage policy where you can report that even if you are not TOP Rated.

beside that. Don't let those things distract you. All you have to do is do your job perfectly. You also have to (put dots on the letters) while discussing the project before accepting it to make sure your road is clear (And yes, You might found your client happy over chat and expecting 10/10 feedback score while they are not giving you that. It's hard to figure why! as it's all based on what goes between you and the client!)

You will never can control a human behavior.


I completely agree with you - human behavior can be unpredictable, even when everything else seems perfect!

So, what do you usually do when you have completed a job perfectly, had excellent communication with the client, and everything seemed to be fine, but then you receive feedback with a score of 4/5? Surprisingly, the client is still happy, and it is clear from the feedback comments!
However, in this case, the same client may not give high private feedback, which could negatively affect your score.

This is the point I'm talking about.

Well, your question is completely a world-wide topic.

There's a part on you where you've to check where you've might be mistaken.

Let me give you few examples:

 

  1. Review your work before delivering it (Sometimes clients found a mistake/bug within your delivered work where they found it unprofessional to keep check and then ask you for fix/batch it. Even if you did the revision and fixed the issues.)
  2. Make sure to tell your clients about your avaiability time (Some clients found you unresponsive due to GEO location mismatch while it's even stated within the chat about both parties time (you and the client))

Regarding the client side, it's a wide topic which you've to care only about Professionalism standards from your side and leave the rest for other party.

This is not exactly a worldwide topic.

In brief, what should you do with dishonest feedback? Imagine you have a 100% JSS, and you completed a job with an undervalued rating that is dishonest, but the client is happy, as I described earlier.

The rating is dishonest because it's not true - let's say the client gave you a rating of 4/5 for Availability, even though you were available 24/7, and the client didn't complain about it. Similarly, the client probably won't give you a high private rating.

I know not all clients are the same, but it's just bad luck to work with this kind of people!!

For me, I'd prefer the delete the whole project and give a refund and just delete this client from my whole history, but unfortunately, it's not an option here!

BTW, I meant by world-wide topic here is that your issue is completely a long discussion made especially in hotel field to be more specific.

Imagine a Guest in 7 stars hotel which is following the standards as the books says but kept to receive a bad feedback. at the end it's really a human behavior. No one can control that.

 

Then, you are mistaken about "I'd prefer the delete the whole project and give a refund"

 

Respect your time and the effort you've put on that project! Here you came to work! that's freelance world! then as a result! you taken money.

 

So back-forward. don't let those things effect you.

Got it,
It just hurt a little, that's it!

BTW, thank you my friend for being responsive and for the time you spent here!

 

You welcome, Happy to help anytime.

This is not exactly a worldwide topic.

 

No, it is not. However, ChatGPT gets confused when copying humans' work and doesn't know how to put things together as humans would. I still prefer people to post their thoughts, even if their writing is not always correct for grammar and spelling. I don't care how well you write, but let me read human thought, or else I go right on by.

mohamedanan
Community Member

I just noticed that I can give a refund, and the project will be removed from my profile's history. This is so good in my case! I feel very satisfied doing it, and I will consider it a lesson learned.


Mohamed A wrote:

I just noticed that I can give a refund, and the project will be removed from my profile's history. This is so good in my case! I feel very satisfied doing it, and I will consider it a lesson learned.


Only the public feedback is removed when you refund. The private feedback will remain, and this is mainly what affects your JSS.

It's okay.

erinvega2016
Community Member

With too many variables, your feedback scoring is yours and yours alone.

 

However, this is what I think of when I am getting ready to leave feedback.

1 = Sucks to be you, please don't quit your day job. 

2= Bye Felicia. Not quite at the sucks to be you stage, but you do need to brush up on your professionalism, knowledge, and skills. 

3 = Ain't nobody got time for that -You got this score because I see potential in you and know that you really mean well. But it's just not quite up to my standards and definitely no where close to the deliverable I have requested.. 

4 = Movin' on up. You're getting there, but you have only done the bare  minimum. You could have gotten 5 but looks like you got lazy or complacent.

5 = Handling it like a Boss, going above and beyond my expectations, following instructions and what was to be delivered. I would hire you again for any other project and refer your services to anyone who may be looking for someone with your expertise and skills. 

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