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Ending a contract on behalf of a client

Is it true that if the freelancer ends a successfully completed contract it negatively affects JSS?  

 

The reason I'm asking is I have a client that has gotten very busy with other tasks and we've had an open ended hourly contract for a while now.  I talked to him (without mentioning JSS etc. of course) and he said it would be fine to end the contract and he'll send me a new one in a month or so when he has time to come up with more work.

 

I'm sure he doesn't have time to log into upwork and end the contract from his end. And he rightfully would expect that I just go ahead and click end contract since I'm the one who is on upwork every day.  But do I really have to nag him to take time out of his busy schedule and end the contract from his end?

 

Thoughts?

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aocumen
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Signe and Andy,

 

I would recommend that you continue communicating with your client. But if your clients aren't responding to your messages already, go ahead and close the contracts. Your clients will have the opportunity to provide feedback during the 14-day period after the end date. Your Job Success Score won't be affected negatively if you as a freelancer close your contracts, unless there's a pattern of contracts with no feedback.

 

The party that ends the contract is required to leave feedback, and we'd advise building your communication and relationships with clients in a way that you don't need to close the contracts yourself.


~ Avery
Upwork

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16 REPLIES 16
jorgensons
Member

I have been nervous to close contracts even though the work is finished, I've been paid, and the clients haven't contacted me in weeks or months. I'm scared that this will affect my JSS even though the jobs were successful.

 

I'm nervous for three reasons:

 

1. I worry the clients won't leave feedback since they've fallen off the map and the lack of feedback will negatively affect my JSS.

 

2. I worry that Upwork will think the job was unsuccessful because I, rather than the client, am ending the job, and this will negatively affect my JSS.

 

3. I worry that -- in one case -- my JSS will be negatively affected because I've billed $0 on an hourly contract where the client has not contacted me once since hiring me. He has given no work, he hasn't returned messages sent through the Upwork system, and emails have bounced. I'm assuming no work will ever be performed, and I'm tired of having this contract in my list, but I don't want to be penalized even though the client has turned out to be a deadbeat. (This is surprising because I worked a successful job with him on Elance, but as I said, he's now dropped off the face of the earth.)

 

I sometimes feel like my JSS  fear is holding me hostage because my list of open (but finished, successful, and inactive) contracts keeps growing longer and longer. While it's not technically a big deal, it's REALLY annoying, especially in the Time Tracker. So...some clarification from Upwork on how all of this affects JSS would be welcome.

 


@Signe J wrote:

 

[…]

 

3. I worry that -- in one case -- my JSS will be negatively affected because I've billed $0 on an hourly contract where the client has not contacted me once since hiring me. […]

 

[…]

 


  I have several jobs that have been paused for months and I'm not particularly worried. But I would be VERY worried if I had an hourly job sitting there with no money billed, so worried that I'd end it asap.


@Signe J wrote:

I have been nervous ...

 

1. I worry the clients won't leave feedback since they've fallen off the map and the lack of feedback will negatively affect my JSS.

 

2. I worry that Upwork will think the job was unsuccessful because I, rather than the client, am ending the job, and this will negatively affect my JSS.

 

3. I worry that -- in one case --

 


 1. When JSS was introduced, I closed like 20 contracts at once, only one or two clients left feedback, my JSS didn't suffer that much. I think it fell for 5-6 points, and rose again. 

2. Yes, it will.

3. You should have close this like yesterday. The longer it will be open the more it will hurt JSS.

____________
Don't correct my grammar!
aocumen
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Signe and Andy,

 

I would recommend that you continue communicating with your client. But if your clients aren't responding to your messages already, go ahead and close the contracts. Your clients will have the opportunity to provide feedback during the 14-day period after the end date. Your Job Success Score won't be affected negatively if you as a freelancer close your contracts, unless there's a pattern of contracts with no feedback.

 

The party that ends the contract is required to leave feedback, and we'd advise building your communication and relationships with clients in a way that you don't need to close the contracts yourself.


~ Avery
Upwork


@Avery O wrote:

Hi Signe and Andy,

 

I would recommend that you continue communicating with your client. But if your clients aren't responding to your messages already, go ahead and close the contracts. Your clients will have the opportunity to provide feedback during the 14-day period after the end date. Your Job Success Score won't be affected negatively if you as a freelancer close your contracts, unless there's a pattern of contracts with no feedback.

 

The party that ends the contract is required to leave feedback, and we'd advise building your communication and relationships with clients in a way that you don't need to close the contracts yourself.


 unless there's a pattern of contracts with no feedback.

 

How many constitutes a pattern?

 

I don't understand why you have to insult people with these replies. Is this a copy and paste reply?

 

Why do you assume the freelancer has not built communications and relationships? Why don't you ever assume it's a client problem? 

The same problem(

Should freelancer send mesages to client like this "Hi! You know, Unfortunately, according New, Unreasonable, Strange and Unlogicalrules of Upwork, you MUST close my contract, (even if you need my help in future, Upwork does not care about this) if you can not provide any "activity" for me now. So please, end my contract, cause i am loosing my Job Score all time because of it. And i don't care if you are busy, but i NEED your feedback".

Should we do it? Anybody knows? I asked support, but still silence.


@Yuliya S wrote:

The same problem(

Should freelancer send mesages to client like this "Hi! You know, Unfortunately, according New, Unreasonable, Strange and Unlogicalrules of Upwork, you MUST close my contract, (even if you need my help in future, Upwork does not care about this) if you can not provide any "activity" for me now. So please, end my contract, cause i am loosing my Job Score all time because of it. And i don't care if you are busy, but i NEED your feedback".

Should we do it? Anybody knows? I asked support, but still silence.


I do, but without all of that drama and rhetoric.

 

I say something like, "When you have a minute, would you mind leaving feedback on this contract?  I know it doesn't seem all that important, but the Upwork algorithm interprets no feedback as a negative and it actually hurts my rating. No rush--you have the option to leave feedback on this project until XX date--but I would really appreciate it if you could enter a rating before then."

Yuliya/Tiffany be careful.  If you even say the word Job Score in a sentence to your Client, Upwork will flag you.  We can't mention that the score even exists or talk about feedback, Upwork calls it "pressuring the client" or something similar.  So I don't think we can really let them know WHY we need them to close the contract from their end.   Upwork support once sent me a scary msg and threatened me because I had typed the word feedback or something like that (or I had mentioned to the client that their satisfaction is important to me - which is feedback pressuring). 

 

In fact, I'm scared about upwork punishing me for even letting you know what I just said!  SO please, Upwork, this is no criticism against you, don't hurt me, I will give you my first born to appease you if necessary.    


@Andy D wrote:

Yuliya/Tiffany be careful.  If you even say the word Job Score in a sentence to your Client, Upwork will flag you.  We can't mention that the score even exists or talk about feedback, Upwork calls it "pressuring the client" or something similar.  So I don't think we can really let them know WHY we need them to close the contract from their end.   Upwork support once sent me a scary msg and threatened me because I had typed the word feedback or something like that (or I had mentioned to the client that their satisfaction is important to me - which is feedback pressuring). 

 

In fact, I'm scared about upwork punishing me for even letting you know what I just said!  SO please, Upwork, this is no criticism against you, don't hurt me, I will give you my first born to appease you if necessary.    


This is strange considering how often the moderators here encourage us to request that clients leave feedback. 

Avery, this is a non-answer. If you look at the contracts that remain open on my account, you'll see that the clients were highly communicative throughout the projects -- they have to be because I'm writing their resume, so I need a lot of information from them. The communications are friendly and constant; go ahead and dig through all of my message history if you don't believe me. But, as soon as they have thier resume in hand, many of them disappear.  They release payment, but don't end the contract. (And for hourly jobs, they don't even have to release payment, so I'm even less likely to have a contract ended.)

 

The fact is, some clients are selfish. Once they get what they want, they can't be bothered to take an extra step to help me out, even if they've been great the whole way through. Even though I've done a great job, and they've told me so, my JSS suffers. That's total crap.

 

As a resume writer, I'm doing a constant string of small jobs, 5+ a week. That's a lot of contracts that I deal with, and even when only a small percentage of clients don't close the contract, that adds up to a lot of open contracts on my end and a lot of jobs without feedback. Messaging these clients to gently remind them (yes, hello, obviously this has occurred to me) isn't effective. So...then what? I ended a few contracts a while back to clean my list up, and my JSS score went down by 2% even though the jobs WERE successful, the clients WERE pleased, and I didn't receive any negative feedback on other jobs.  The only thing I've been able to conclude is that my closing the contracts was the cause. Totally unfair.

 

And what about the Elance client who was fine there but has gone MIA on this platform? No answer to that one, I see...

 

I tested this out. I left it till the day before the JSS dance and then closed an old contract. At the time I had a 98% JSS score and had just had a 5 star left for me.

 

The next day my JSS droped by 1%

 

Read into that what you will. Not definitive proof, but good enough for me to be now a bit nervous about closing off a few of my other long lost contracts.

 

p.s. I left the requisite succesfully completed, etc. when I closed it

p.p.s. same situation as you Signe, lots of smaller contracts, so I end up with loads of open ones as people forget, they are open but were successfully completed.

why can't you say....hi mr client. Pls close the contract. Upwork penalises freelancers that do so. Thnks...sincerely...abc. That would be truthful, not so? Besides, my mama told me never to lie.


@Irene B wrote:

why can't you say....hi mr client. Pls close the contract. Upwork penalises freelancers that do so. Thnks...sincerely...abc. That would be truthful, not so? Besides, my mama told me never to lie.


I don't think that IS truthful, though that perception is common. The moderators have repeatedly said that it's not true.

 

My own experience is that I've been the one to close about 25% of my contracts with no apparent ill effects. 

Just you wait, 'enry 'iggins just you wait...

 

The question is not really about who closes the job....bur rather...how many clients never bothered to leave feedback when YOU did so. That...is the crux of the problem.

 

I totally get where the majority of the freelancers that face the kind of problem mentioned are coming from! Instances where the job is completed, paid for, and the client is happy and then goes back to their life...never bothering about closing contracts and feedback and stuff. I mean...they paid and went on their merry way...leaving the freelancers with open contracts which need closing because after a certain time, they actually start counting against them...

 

And yeah....in the end, that does influence you if the number of them is large enough. So if you closed 25% yourself but the clients left feedback..no problem at all. If, however, you closed 25% and there was no feedback forthcoming...you can bet your bottom dollar at some point your JS is going to take a dip.


@Irene B wrote:

Just you wait, 'enry 'iggins just you wait...


Yeah, I know...the mysterious crash may be coming. But, I've closed contracts from the very beginning--I closed my second one--and my JSS thus far has been edging up by 1 point each round. 

 

That's a fair point about the feedback.  Most of my clients do leave feedback even though I close the contract. I don't know whether that would be the norm in other fields or not.

Hey there,

I lost 7% on my JSS overnight just because of and inactive client who wouldn't close the contract even when I've been paid promptly and the job is done for a month now.

Will closing the contract by myself restore my JSS to what it was before? (I mean after the 2 weeks period and if the client doesn't leave a feedback!)

Please help me as I'm much worried! I strive to keep it at 100% and suddenly this happens. Disappointing, and it's because of something totally unrelated to me.

 

Thanks.