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uaecalling
Member

Delivered hourly based work to client but he is not responding

Hi all,

 

I am working on a task where the deliverables are blog posts. This is an hourly task. Initially the client has allowed manual submission of hours but since I have submitted first blog post, the client has turned off manual submission and stopped responding to my communication.

 

I have raised the issue to Upwork support and I was told that I should use the Desktop App to record hourly tasks - which means sharing my screen in form of screen captures. Since the client is not responding, I asked Upwork support to request the client to respond - nothing as yet.

 

I have delievered several blog posts to clients before and they were cool with manual submission of hours since writing a blog post requires research, writing and revisions and as I work with multiple clients at a time, it was not feasible to allow screen capture. 

 

Can the community let me know the way forward with this? Shall I end the contract and let the client enjoy a free blog post? What can I do to get my hard earned money from this unresponsive client?

 

Thanks

ACCEPTED SOLUTION
kat303
Member


Kashif A wrote:

Hi all,

 

I am working on a task where the deliverables are blog posts. This is an hourly task. Initially the client has allowed manual submission of hours but since I have submitted first blog post, the client has turned off manual submission and stopped responding to my communication.

 

If this client. is posting other jobs, they may be a sort of scammer. Meaning they know how to take advantage with hourly jobs and manual hours. If this client was an ethical, honest client and the hours you put in may have gone way over what she thought it would take, therefore closing manual hours. If that was the case she should have discussed that problem with you and maybe an agreement could have been made. But instead she cut off all hours, and communication. 

 

I have raised the issue to Upwork support and I was told that I should use the Desktop App to record hourly tasks - which means sharing my screen in form of screen captures. Since the client is not responding, I asked Upwork support to request the client to respond - nothing as yet.

 

Don't involve Upwork in this, It's not their job. It's youir job as a freelancer to conduct business in whatever way you want. Upwork provides protection in the way of the Tracker for hourly jobs, and escrow for fixed rate jobs. If you choose not to use them for whatever reason, then that's your choice and that's your outcome if anything happens.

 

I have delievered several blog posts to clients before and they were cool with manual submission of hours since writing a blog post requires research, writing and revisions and as I work with multiple clients at a time, it was not feasible to allow screen capture. 

 

You may have great success and fantastic clients in the 400+ Manual hours you have logged. If that works for you, great. but if you didn't know, or didn't think it would happen to you now you know that manual hours are not protected, and the client can dispute that and "win" by default. And that now it Did happen to you. Upwork does not offer payment protection. Had you logged hours using the tracker, and followed the procedures you would have gotten paid, - if not by the client then by Upwork itself. 

 

Can the community let me know the way forward with this? Shall I end the contract and let the client enjoy a free blog post? What can I do to get my hard earned money from this unresponsive client?

 

That decidion depends on you You can end the contract without getting paid, if that's your choice. or you an possibly teach this client a lesson and get paid. You should send a message to her:

Hi XXX

We have entered into a contract for a blog post. I have spent XX hours researching writing and editing this blog but you have not paid me for my work. Since I have not been paid, the copyright of this blog still belongs to me. If you publish this blog anywhere on the internet I will be forced to contact the site's host provider and have it taken down I hope to hear back from you concerning this by XXXX. so that an arrangement can be made concerning this.

 

If you don't get paid, then take your blog off the site where it's published with a DMCA notice. 

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24 REPLIES 24
wlyonsatl
Member

Have you logged any hours using the TimeTracker app? Or have you only submitted hours manually?

 

Has the client closed the project, meaning you cannot invoke TimeTracker to record any time on this project?

 

I think most freelancers work on mutiple projects at a time. You'll have to get in the habit of invoking TimeTracker when you begin work on an hourly project and stop tracking when you stop working. There is no other good alternative if you're going to do hourly projects on Upwork. (Some people do fine with manually adding time. For others, it means dishonest/unhappy/clueless clients get free work they never pay for.)

 

 

I have not logged the hours via Time Tracker. I was planning to add manual hours once the content (blog post) is delivered but now the client has turned off manual submission.

 

Project is open but manual submission is not allowed. 

 

The fact that I would like to highlight is that initially manual submission was allowed but it was turned off by the client on submission of work.

prestonhunter
Member

You should not contact Customer Support about something like this. There is nothing they can do.

 

Learn the rules of hourly contracts. The client did not break any rules. You made a mistake  The client does not owe you money.

Manual time was allowed, but you chose to NOT record your time immediately.

 

That was one of your mistakes.

Even if manual time is allowed on the contract (it is by default) - I would never use manual time without discussing this with the client first. It sounds like the client was NOT OK with manual time after all.


Why would you contact support about this?

 

What should you do now? If you have more work to do, do your work and track your time. That is what you are meant to do for hourly jobs, unless you discussed manual time with the client in advance.

 

 

 

If you did the work as agreed, the client owes you money.

 

Under Upwork's rules, however, you have no way to make the client pay you and Upwork will not intervene to help in any way. That isn't how manual time works on Upwork.

 

NEVER use manual submission of work time on an hourly project on Upwork unless you know and completely trust your client.

>> NEVER use manual submission of work time on an hourly project on Upwork unless you know and completely trust your client.

 

This is the lesson I have learned after providing 400+ hours of work here. Never trust a stranger. 

You should not contact Customer Support about something like this. There is nothing they can do.

 

Really? So what is the function of support if they can't support the freelancers in securing payments after a work is legitmately done?

 

Learn the rules of hourly contracts. The client did not break any rules. You made a mistake  The client does not owe you money.

 

And what mistake I made exactly? The manual submission was allowed and client took it back when I submitted the work. Do I have to charge hours first and provide work later?


Kashif A wrote:

 

And what mistake I made exactly? The manual submission was allowed and client took it back when I submitted the work.


Re-read this thread again, carefully.  Think about it.

If you still have any questions then, let us know.

 

In short - if you need security - use the tracker.

If you don't need security, use manual time and accept that you may not get paid and if you don't get paid you can't go running to anyone to fix it for you.

 

Take responsibility for your own business. **Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

No, Kashif.

 

Just don't use manual hours. Track all work time using Time Tracker and make sure your add notes that mean something to someone other than you, in case the client or Upwork contest your tracked time and reduce your billable hours to save themselves money.


Preston H wrote:

The client did not break any rules. You made a mistake  The client does not owe you money.


This, of course, is absolutely false. The client tricked you, and the client does owe you money. However, since you chose not to use the protections Upwork put in place to make sure this sort of thing doesn't happen, you can't get your money unless the client chooses to pay you.


I wouldn't let the client "enjoy a free blog post," though. If the client hasn't paid you,the client hasn't purchased the content, or any rights to use it. Remind the client that until you receive payment, he/she has no right to use the blog post. If you don't get paid and the client posts the content, you can file a DMCA takedown request. 

I am puzzled how you obtained a job writing blog posts, as this seems to be outside the skill-set that you offer, or show in your portfolio. I find it strange that you are hired for something that you don't advertise, and if I were a very mistrustful person (I am) I would find that suspicious client behaviour. A sort of off-label use, if you will. 

So my theory is that client was up to no good from the start, but it also could be that he was unhappy with your work, and if that's the case, that's more on him than you, because you don't hire a butcher to bake you a cake. 

This is the kind of client that practically guarantees bad feedback, so consider yourself lucky he is not responding any more and close the contract as soon as is reasonable. 


Martina P wrote:

I am puzzled how you obtained a job writing blog posts, as this seems to be outside the skill-set that you offer, or show in your portfolio. I find it strange that you are hired for something that you don't advertise, and if I were a very mistrustful person (I am) I would find that suspicious client behaviour. A sort of off-label use, if you will. 

So my theory is that client was up to no good from the start, but it also could be that he was unhappy with your work, and if that's the case, that's more on him than you, because you don't hire a butcher to bake you a cake. 

This is the kind of client that practically guarantees bad feedback, so consider yourself lucky he is not responding any more and close the contract as soon as is reasonable. 


It depends on the topic of the blog.


Jennifer R wrote:

Martina P wrote:

I am puzzled how you obtained a job writing blog posts, as this seems to be outside the skill-set that you offer, or show in your portfolio. I find it strange that you are hired for something that you don't advertise, and if I were a very mistrustful person (I am) I would find that suspicious client behaviour. A sort of off-label use, if you will. 

So my theory is that client was up to no good from the start, but it also could be that he was unhappy with your work, and if that's the case, that's more on him than you, because you don't hire a butcher to bake you a cake. 

This is the kind of client that practically guarantees bad feedback, so consider yourself lucky he is not responding any more and close the contract as soon as is reasonable. 


It depends on the topic of the blog.


Just because you know a lot about a subject does not mean you can write well about it, IMO.


Martina P wrote:


Just because you know a lot about a subject does not mean you can write well about it, IMO.


On the other hand, if you don't understand a subject well, there is zero possibility that you can write about it well.

Actually I have provided content writing services before. If the client felt I have delivered lesser quality work, he should at least show some decency to reply back. However, if he is in for a free lunch - he can obviously have his way in this buyers' market.

 

The client is actively posting new jobs but not responding to me. So, he isn't a clueless first timer for sure.


Kashif A wrote:

Actually I have provided content writing services before. If the client felt I have delivered lesser quality work, he should at least show some decency to reply back. However, if he is in for a free lunch - he can obviously have his way in this buyers' market.

 

The client is actively posting new jobs but not responding to me. So, he isn't a clueless first timer for sure.


I'm sorry, but I think it is absolute garbage to claim that Upwork is a "buyer's market" because you chose to not avail yourself of the protections the platform provides specifically to protect sellers. You made a choice and now are suffering the consequences. If the client did not pay you, report him. But don't claim that Upwork is biased against you simply because you made a risky business decision.  


Kashif A wrote:

Hi all,

 

I am working on a task where the deliverables are blog posts. This is an hourly task. Initially the client has allowed manual submission of hours but since I have submitted first blog post, the client has turned off manual submission and stopped responding to my communication.

 

I have raised the issue to Upwork support and I was told that I should use the Desktop App to record hourly tasks - which means sharing my screen in form of screen captures. Since the client is not responding, I asked Upwork support to request the client to respond - nothing as yet.

 

I have delievered several blog posts to clients before and they were cool with manual submission of hours since writing a blog post requires research, writing and revisions and as I work with multiple clients at a time, it was not feasible to allow screen capture. 

When you are working on an hourly contract you can only work for one (1) client at a time. SInce you can only log time for one client it is no problem to use the UW-tracker.

 

Can the community let me know the way forward with this? Shall I end the contract and let the client enjoy a free blog post? What can I do to get my hard earned money from this unresponsive client?

If the clients uses your blog post without paying, have it taken down. If the client did not pay, you own the copyright.

 

Thanks


 

I use manual time constantly. I use my own automated time tracker and once a week, I use that (and phone logs, as necessary) to roll up time sheets, then log hours on UW projects. I have never had a problem, which is not to say I never will. But I ALWAYS have a specific and comprehensive discussion with the client about it ahead of time. AND with new clients, I often log hours daily for the first couple of weeks, just to make sure they really do understand what we're doing and are comfortable with it. Also, I understand that with manually logged hours, I am completely on my own if the client decides they don't want to pay.

 

IMO it wasn't unreasonable to assume you could wait until the work was completed and log the hours all at once. But it was unwise, in the context of how UW payment protection covers you (and doesn't).  Also, never assume that a client is comfortable with manual hours just because it's enabled. Discuss it specifically and clearly (and be sure the conversation covers expectations about how many hours per week and/or per piece, and how unexpected overrurns will be handled).

 

As for what to do now: The client may have gone dark temporarily for reasons unrelated to this project, and will resurface. If that happens, you have the opportunity to request they pay you for this blog post in the form of a bonus; adn the two of you settle how things will work going forward. (Lots of writers here work for multiple clients and use the tracker, so I'm sure you can figure it out. Or you can decide not to.) Or the client is taking advantage of you nad has not intention of paying, in which case you may be able to retain ownership of what you wrote. I'm not sure about that, but others will weigh in.

I have logged 400+ hours here and haven't used time tracker once. Call me paranoid but I am not comfortable with a software taking screen shots of my computer. All my hourly jobs had manaul hour submissions and clients gladly paid - NOT a single dispute as yet. 

 

Then came this client who simply stopped responding after receiving the work. I guess I have to stop crying over split milk, cut the loss, and move on.

tlbp
Member

Manual time is not protected by Upwork's hourly payment protection. So, the client can disavow any hours worked and you will not be paid. 

 

When you work on an hourly contract using Upwork, it is expected that all the time you claim to have worked for a client was worked for that client. Working for more than one client at a time while charging an hourly rate is considered double-billing.  So, of course, the time tracker isn't going to permit you to claim to be working for both at once.

 

Was it your intent to bill more than one client for the same block of time or do you tend to leave one client's work open and visible while working on another's?  

 

There is a good chance that your client is either unhappy with the work you submitted, believes that you overcharged for the time spent and does not want to become more indebted to you, or is a scammer who never intended to pay you and knows more about how manual time works than you. 


Edited: Did you submit the work to the client without recording the hours?  That does add a twist. The client may assume that there was some mechanism in place for you to get paid and closed the contract because he or she didn't need or want any more work. Or, the client could just be planning to take the work and not pay since you handed it over. 

 

When working with strangers, it is good to have procedures in place that assure payment. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

 

>> Did you submit the work to the client without recording the hours?  That does add a twist. The client may assume that there was some mechanism in place for you to get paid and closed the contract because he or she didn't need or want any more work. 

 

I don't use time tracker and always bill hours manually. As this client had the manual hour submission open, I assumed I will do the same with him too. However, the client closed manual submission now. The contract is still open and he's not responding.

 

>> Or, the client could just be planning to take the work and not pay since you handed it over. 

 

This is what I assume.

 

kat303
Member


Kashif A wrote:

Hi all,

 

I am working on a task where the deliverables are blog posts. This is an hourly task. Initially the client has allowed manual submission of hours but since I have submitted first blog post, the client has turned off manual submission and stopped responding to my communication.

 

If this client. is posting other jobs, they may be a sort of scammer. Meaning they know how to take advantage with hourly jobs and manual hours. If this client was an ethical, honest client and the hours you put in may have gone way over what she thought it would take, therefore closing manual hours. If that was the case she should have discussed that problem with you and maybe an agreement could have been made. But instead she cut off all hours, and communication. 

 

I have raised the issue to Upwork support and I was told that I should use the Desktop App to record hourly tasks - which means sharing my screen in form of screen captures. Since the client is not responding, I asked Upwork support to request the client to respond - nothing as yet.

 

Don't involve Upwork in this, It's not their job. It's youir job as a freelancer to conduct business in whatever way you want. Upwork provides protection in the way of the Tracker for hourly jobs, and escrow for fixed rate jobs. If you choose not to use them for whatever reason, then that's your choice and that's your outcome if anything happens.

 

I have delievered several blog posts to clients before and they were cool with manual submission of hours since writing a blog post requires research, writing and revisions and as I work with multiple clients at a time, it was not feasible to allow screen capture. 

 

You may have great success and fantastic clients in the 400+ Manual hours you have logged. If that works for you, great. but if you didn't know, or didn't think it would happen to you now you know that manual hours are not protected, and the client can dispute that and "win" by default. And that now it Did happen to you. Upwork does not offer payment protection. Had you logged hours using the tracker, and followed the procedures you would have gotten paid, - if not by the client then by Upwork itself. 

 

Can the community let me know the way forward with this? Shall I end the contract and let the client enjoy a free blog post? What can I do to get my hard earned money from this unresponsive client?

 

That decidion depends on you You can end the contract without getting paid, if that's your choice. or you an possibly teach this client a lesson and get paid. You should send a message to her:

Hi XXX

We have entered into a contract for a blog post. I have spent XX hours researching writing and editing this blog but you have not paid me for my work. Since I have not been paid, the copyright of this blog still belongs to me. If you publish this blog anywhere on the internet I will be forced to contact the site's host provider and have it taken down I hope to hear back from you concerning this by XXXX. so that an arrangement can be made concerning this.

 

If you don't get paid, then take your blog off the site where it's published with a DMCA notice. 

Thanks for the advice, Kathy. I have learned my lesson and moving on with this.

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