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molnarpw
Member

Disappearing Client

Hi.

Im looking for advice here.


I have a client that I have a contract set up and I have already finished one milestone. I uploaded the files to his production server and i got paid for that. We set up another milestone for a few new features, and I have finished them, but my client disappeared a week ago and I wasnt able to put the files on the production server as he shut it down after the first milestone was uploaded.


I have sent him a message but no signal as of yet. Should I wait a few more days, or just package up the files and submit the work with the files? Or just end the contract?

 

What is the recommended way to deal with a situation like this?

Thanks.
Mark

ACCEPTED SOLUTION

For any fixed-price contract, it doesn't matter if the client "disappears."

 

It doesn't matter if the client stops communicating with you.

 

I wish people would stop complaining about this.

 

A client sets up a milestone in a fixed-price contract. The client funds the milestone. Did we agree on doing "Task X" for $100? Then the milestone is funded for $100.

 

If the milestone is funded, I do the work. If it is not funded, I don't do the work.

 

If the milestone is funded, I do the work. Then I submit the work using the "Submit Work/Request Payment" button.

 

Then I wait.

 

That's it. This is not complicated.

 

If the client has disappeared, then I get paid automatically after 14 days.

Without doing ANY MORE WORK. That's a GOOD THING.

 

Paid automatically without having to do more work is good.

 

Client releasing payment immediately is also a GOOD THING.

 

Client communicating with me incessantly and asking quesions and asking me to change this and that and can I add this other thing? Not a good thing.

View solution in original post

10 REPLIES 10
prestonhunter
Member

Mark:
I always get paid for the work I do no Upwork, whether the client disappears or not.

 

If that's not true for you, then you're using Upwork incorrectly.

So should I just package up the files and submit the work and see if he ever comes back? I always used to upload the new features on his server, but I cant do that now, thats why I am hesitating.

For any fixed-price contract, it doesn't matter if the client "disappears."

 

It doesn't matter if the client stops communicating with you.

 

I wish people would stop complaining about this.

 

A client sets up a milestone in a fixed-price contract. The client funds the milestone. Did we agree on doing "Task X" for $100? Then the milestone is funded for $100.

 

If the milestone is funded, I do the work. If it is not funded, I don't do the work.

 

If the milestone is funded, I do the work. Then I submit the work using the "Submit Work/Request Payment" button.

 

Then I wait.

 

That's it. This is not complicated.

 

If the client has disappeared, then I get paid automatically after 14 days.

Without doing ANY MORE WORK. That's a GOOD THING.

 

Paid automatically without having to do more work is good.

 

Client releasing payment immediately is also a GOOD THING.

 

Client communicating with me incessantly and asking quesions and asking me to change this and that and can I add this other thing? Not a good thing.

re: "So should I just package up the files and submit the work and see if he ever comes back?"

 

Yes.

 

You did the work.

The milestone is funded. That money was set aside for YOU.

 

Use the green button immediately and send the files to the client.

 

Start the count down on getting paid.

Thank you! Helped a lot. Wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing.

re: "I always used to upload the new features on his server, but I cant do that now, thats why I am hesitating."

 

That's not your fault.

That's the client's problem.

 

You are ready to update the server if the client gives you access.

 

Presumably, at some point in the future, the client will resolve this issue if he wants you to update the server.

 

But that has nothing to do with whether or not you get paid.

 

Remember: The client's credit card was ALREADY CHARGED to fund escrow in order to pay you for your work. The client wants you to be paid for that work.

 

Actually updating the server is a pretty minor issue. And you're willing to do it as soon as he resolves matters on his end.

re: "Or just end the contract?"

 

Don't end the contract until the payment is in your account.

 

You may need to wait 14 days if you don't hear from the client.

 

Of course this is only meaningful if the client actually did fund the milestone.

Yes, the milestone was funded. Thanks for the help.

I do not EVER hope people would "stop complaining about this." First of all, no one is forcing you to read these comment sections and replying to each one. Second of all, freelancers have the right to complain if they are turning in work in a timely manner and on the client's deadline. Clients should have the same respect for freelancers and release payment in a TIMELY manner, instead of waiting 14 days on top of the 5-6 review time. This happened to me recently. I ended up contacting Upwork after a week because I just do not agree with waiting almost three weeks for something I made top priority to complete on time. As soon as Upwork contacting the client, payment was released, I left feedback and will never work with that client again. The client came up with some lame excuse about not seeing the messages but did this in a review instead of contacting me directly. Disappearing clients, specifically if you do this full time, can completely screw up your own budget if you are expecting payment at certain points. 

 


@shamontiel V wrote:

Second of all, freelancers have the right to complain if they are turning in work in a timely manner and on the client's deadline. Clients should have the same respect for freelancers and release payment in a TIMELY manner, instead of waiting 14 days

 


 Freelancers should complain about a client taking the time they are entitled to?

What a strange attitude.

 


@shamontiel V wrote:

This happened to me recently. I ended up contacting Upwork after a week because I just do not agree with waiting almost three weeks for something I made top priority to complete on time. As soon as Upwork contacting the client, payment was released, I left feedback and will never work with that client again. The client came up with some lame excuse about not seeing the messages but did this in a review instead of contacting me directly.


 By the rules the client has 14 days to review and release payment. Most do not take that long, but reporting someone for doing nothig wrong (just because you don't like the rules you agreed to by working here) is more than strange.

 


@shamontiel V wrote:

Disappearing clients, specifically if you do this full time, can completely screw up your own budget if you are expecting payment at certain points. 

 


 It only screws up your budget if you wrongly rely on clients releasing funds ahead of the end of the 14 because that is indeed what most clients do.

Instead of making an almighty fuss over something clients are absolutely entitled to, you could plan your budget around the 14 days and get a pleasant surprise if the funds are released earlier, as they usually are.)