I got my very first project on 8th August 2020 (Fixed Price), and the deadline of my first milestone is tomorrow i.e. 10 August 2020. When I started the work I found out that data provided by the client was very inaccurate. It had a lot of incorrect information & a lot of duplicate/recurring information which created so many problems in a supposedly simple task. I informed the client that I have completed some of the work but due to incorrect/faulty information provided I wasn't able to perform the task efficiently. Therefore, I requested the client to contact me as soon as possible and also look into the possibility of extending/relaxing the due date of the milestone. I messaged several times for clarification of the issues I was facing but instead of communicating anything the client ruthlessly cancelled the contract that too before the milestone reached its due date, and also without even inquiring about how much I had completed.
This was highly unprofessional/unethical behavior by client. I feel so aggrieved right now, I had to work extra hours because the data accuracy was shambolic and I was working so devotedly to get it done even though the client wasn't responding. The way in which he ended the contract was also very shocking for me, the client simply wrote "Your fired" and nothing else. All my requests in vain, simply shocking attitude in my opinion. Now the client has requested me for release of funds in escrow, I feel so aggrieved I feel I should contest it before dispute committe. Prior to inititating dispute I want to know If I have a strong case of pleading because I feel hard done by & I feel I should be given the funds, since I had to work extra mile to complete approximately 50% of the work. Please give a suggestion, should I let it go by considering it a bitter experience or should I file dispute?
Thanks and Regards.
I don't think you're gonna get anywhere trying to dispute this. The client sounds unreasonable but that doesn't matter. Cut your losses and take the very valuable lesson: never accept a contract before seeing the material/information you will be working with. You cannot assume the client will provide clean, complete data. Insist on seeing it before you accept the job.
Thanks for your prompt response & suggestion. I know I am supposed to be diligent when accpeting a contract and I have learnt a valuable lesson over here. Further, I would like to ask one more question. If for instance a job was accepted and the job had similar issues to the ones I mentioned in terms of data accuracy. What should the freelancer do, if upon his request for correction or more time no response is made by client. Should he keep on working towards completion of milestone or should he stop working & wait for response of client?
Thanks & Regards
You did some of the work; don't agree to refund the full amount in escrow.
Exactly follow the Upwork mediator's instructions in regards to the mediation process. You may or may not be awarded any of the escrow, but this type of client was highly unlikely to leave you a positive review.
And keep in mind Upwork has clearly said the following about excluding feedback from certain clients when calculating a freelancers' Job Success Score:
"We understand that some projects have bad outcomes because the client is difficult to work with. So we track freelancer feedback of clients and flag those clients with a history of poor collaboration. If one of your clients has been flagged (or has been suspended for Terms of Service violations), then the client's feedback will not count against your score."
You can't see a former client's feedback for you until 14 days after they post it, unless you post feedback for them before that period expires. After you have both left feedback you can both see one another's feedback.
I would guess that only about 5% of my Upwork projects have been fixed price, so others here can give you better information than I can about what you specifically need to do and how you need to do it in order to get paid at least something for your work on this project. In the Upwork system it is very important to do the right things in the right order when a dispute arises.
I will tell you that if I do a fixed price project I split the work into multiple milestones, none of which I expect will require more than a few days of work. I never start work on a milestone until all previous milestones have been funded and released for payment to me and the current milestone is fully funded. Once my work has progressed to a near-complete state, but is not complete enough for the client to just disappear and use it, I submit it using the green "Submit" button on the project page and make it clear to the client what remains to be done on the milestone before I will request release of escrow. (Technically, submitting the work in this way can be interpreted as a request for payment, so I make clear this is not the case.)
This won't work for everyone, but I think it gives me some protection against clueless or fraudulent clients taking finished or nearly finished work without paying me for it.
But my best defense again non-payment by clients is to only do hourly projects. And not all Upwork freelancers have that choice.