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chillynguyen
Member

Dispute with a client

Hi,

I have an issue with a client.

 

Months ago, I had issues with him once, but then he returned and said that it was just a misunderstanding, and insisted me to work with him again. I believed him.

 

Story of the 2nd project:

 

But then bad things come. He started acting like there are 2-3 different people: at this time he wanted this, then days later he wanted another thing (first, I sent him the scenes and storyboard so that he could check the process. He asked to change the colors, the scenes, then after I fixed them, he approved. After I finished the clip, he returned and wanted them to be fixed again, and he listed a ton of other things that he want me to fix (including the characters, which he didn't commented on before). I fixed again and again but he kept saying it is so bad, and that teh characters don't look like my first project, although I took the same bases from it

 

Story of the 1st project:

Not to mention the first time, after I sent him the whole project, he claimed that I'm not good enough, so he cut the fee by his own will and refuse to pay the rest (300$); while I asked him to brake into milestones just because I was afraid that he would overpay, since we weren't sure how long the clip will last. Then, he told me that other freelancers charged him less and they gave him extra work for free, so that I should do the same. (At that time, I agreed to move on because I knew that I couldn't win since he hasn't funded yet, and I don't want to make it big.) I have to say that I looked at his history, and I found some freelancers had similar experiences.

 

How I acted in the 2nd project:

I offer 2 ways:

1. Partial payment and I will send him the files to hire another freelancer.

2. I keep the copyright, of course after replacing his footage, without taking any money.

 

He got angry and insulted me, then say that he won't be paying anything, and I must fix all the things for him.

 

 And now thinking again, I don't know if this is legal or not, because he was so angry when I mentioned it (2. I keep the copyright, after replacing his footage, without taking any money.) I don't live in the US. At my place, it's legal. 

 

Then, I filed a dispute. Suddenly he acted so politely in the chatroom, claiming that I was so good that he couldn't find anyone who works as good as me to finish the job, and that he won't be able to pay any partial payment (no reason given).

 

What should I do? I understand that Upwork mediation team couldn't force him to spend, so I mentioned AAA arbitration. What is waiting for me, if we move to that stage?

(Also I have the Top Rate perk so I could remove his bad feedback if there's any.)

10 REPLIES 10

You can remove the bad feedback with your Top Rated Badge

2. I don't know if it's a good idea to go into AAA Arbitration with just $300 worth of contract. 

I would just say you should find a comprise somewhere rather than going to that Arbitration, I wouldn't recommend that especially with the stipulated worth of contract. It doesn't worth the time, energy, and money. 

Sorry for not being clear, the contract I mention is 750$. I already gave up the first 300$ since he didn't fund it.

Nhu Nhu:

For future reference:

Your main problem is that you were using a fixed-price contract with an hourly contract client.

 

This client is NOT a fixed-price client.

He does not understand the fixed-price contract model.

He does not respect the fixed-price contract model.

It is not possible for you to "change" him.

 

Your choices are:

- work with this client only using an hourly contract

[or]

- do not work for this client

Thank you Preston. I must say that I agree with you. I chose not to work with him anymore, so we got to the mediation stage. Until now, he still refuse to pay any partial payment and got really angry when I told him that I will keep the copyright if he doesn't pay.

(By the way, I read a lot of your answers in the community threads! :D)

Keep in mind that there's an Arbitration fee of $875 which is split between Upwork, Freelancer, & The client. The outcome of the Arbitration is final. Ask yourself, are you ready and willing to pay the arbitration fee of about $295? This would help you to reach a resolution most favorable to you

I understand. There's something that I still concern is that is this legal in the US, or Upwork system? (I keep the copyright, of course after replacing his footage, without taking any money.)

Are you asking if Upwork allows a freelancer to keep the copyright or work that the freelancer does, if the client doesn't pay for it?

 

Yes.


This IS allowed. It is specifically outlined in Upwork ToS.

 

https://upwork.com/legal

Hi,

Thank you for your reply. I come back with updating of the situation.

After more than a week of mediation, the Upwork agent managed suggesting the client to agree with my terms: He will take the source files, and I have partial payment (3/4).

So, I submitted the source files.

However, after 1 day, he clicked the "Request change" button again, claiming that my files is usable but he couldn't find any freelancer to do the rest work with the remaning budget, so that I must do the revision or I have to send him the freelancer who agrees working with him.

Somehow I know that he will act like this again, lol. 

Basically the source files are in his hands and I have no way back. What should I do or reply now?

 

In as much client haven't paid any money for your work, the work belongs to you

Hi,

Thank you for your reply. I come back with updating of the situation.

After more than a week of mediation, the Upwork agent managed suggesting the client to agree with my terms: He will take the source files, and I have partial payment (3/4). He agreed.

So, I submitted the source files.

However, after 1 day, he clicked the "Request change" button again, claiming that my files is usable but he couldn't find any freelancer to do the rest work with the remaning budget, so that I must do the revisions or I have to send him the freelancer who agrees working with him.

Somehow I know that he will act like this again, lol. 

Basically the source files are in his hands and I have no way back. What should I do or reply now?