Reply
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply

Free work AFTER contract?

caseyanneoconnor
Active Member
Casey O Member Since: Jan 28, 2017
1 of 21

I've read carefully through the Upwork policies, and I THINK I know the answer to this but I want to make sure.

 

I just successfully completed a writing job for a client. Client ended the contract, funds were delivered, feedback given, etc. In our messages after contract was ended, client asked for a "favor." Client wanted me to look at additional copy and rewrite. I told client I'd be happy to work with them again but wanted to start a new contract. Client resisted starting a new contract and said their other freelancers always do work for them outside of the contract.

 

I just want to confirm - this is considered a request for free work, correct? Most of the examples I'm reading about are regarding free work samples BEFORE a contract is started, which I get is a no-no. Do the same rules apply for post-contract?

 

I enjoyed working with client, and client already said they'd rehire me for additional writing work, so I don't want to ruin this potential long-term relationship...

yitwail
Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
2 of 21

Casey, tell the client that Upwork ToS prohibits free work, and any freelancers who do work outside Upwork are violating ToS. If the client won't play by the rules, then you'd be better off not having a long term relationship with them in my opinion. Alternatively, if you trust the client to be honorable, you could try & extract the promise of a bonus payment.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
mtngigi
Community Guru
Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
3 of 21

@Casey O wrote:

I've read carefully through the Upwork policies, and I THINK I know the answer to this but I want to make sure.

 

I just successfully completed a writing job for a client. Client ended the contract, funds were delivered, feedback given, etc. In our messages after contract was ended, client asked for a "favor." Client wanted me to look at additional copy and rewrite. I told client I'd be happy to work with them again but wanted to start a new contract. Client resisted starting a new contract and said their other freelancers always do work for them outside of the contract.


I would follow John's advice. And ... if the client is referring to freelancers on this site, Upwork might want to take a look-see.

davidd1008
Community Leader
David D Member Since: Jun 8, 2016
4 of 21

Your instincts are correct. Do NOT do free work. Clients can be like children, so sometimes you have to use their arguments against them. 

 

"Well if all your other freelancers jumped off of a bridge, should I do it too?"

 

First off, I doubt that all of his other freelancers do him a favor whenever he asks. More likely, he's pulled this BS on a few of them who fell for it 

 

Simply put, if a client is asking for this, they are a bad client. I won't even give them the benefit of the doubt because A. It seems like he's done this before, and B. He's resisting rehiring you.

 

One of the toughest things you need to be prepared to do is to cut ties with a client. This is a red flag that should send you packing. I know you don't want to miss out on future work, but this is an indication that this person is not professional. And you can bet if they're trying this now, they'll try it again.

 

We get paid for the work we do. Bottom line. End of story. 

madcat66
Active Member
Andrea B Member Since: Jul 26, 2015
5 of 21

Hi Casey,

 

I know this very well! After I finished a job ("wow, so good, so fast!") I was asked a favor to do just some little revisions. When I refused I got a bad hidden rating and my over all rating went down. When I complained to upwork they said they could't do anything about it. I mean, really? The client asked for free work, I declined and MY ratings go down!

 

Why this hidden ratings anyway? What is the use of this? It is unfair for both sides and totally useless. Both, clients and freelancers should be upfront in ratings.

 

And I guess if a client askes for free work once he probably will do it again...

 

Andrea

vladag
Community Manager
Vladimir G Community Manager Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
6 of 21

Hi Casey,

 

You should get paid for your work so if you'd like to continue working with this client, you can offer them to discuss the terms and set up a new contract. If they refuse and request you deliver the work without payment, please take a screenshot of your communication and submit a support request in order for our team to review the case.

Untitled
kfarnell
Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
7 of 21

I just want to confirm - this is considered a request for free work, correct?

 

Not necessarily. DId they explicitly say this was for no pay?

 

I have also been asked for additional work from a client who didn't want to open a new contract. But they fully intended paying - and did. Have you suggested a new milestone could be added to the previous contract? This may be what they mean. (And even if it isn't, sometimes communicating the expectation you're going to be paid will work.)

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
8 of 21

@Kim F wrote:

 

 Have you suggested a new milestone could be added to the previous contract? This may be what they mean. (And even if it isn't, sometimes communicating the expectation you're going to be paid will work.)


Kim, the contract is closed, so no milestones can be added to it (but the client could pay a bonus even on a closed contract.) 

caseyanneoconnor
Active Member
Casey O Member Since: Jan 28, 2017
9 of 21

Wow, first of all, I am really impressed by this community - thank you all so much for responding!

 

Before posting here in the community, I pretty firmly requested a contract to ensure I was working within Upwork's guidelines. I even offered to work with client on pricing - it was more just a matter of having that formal contract in place. Client resisted and complained and said it was only small work (which is debatable, but that's besides the point...). We went back and forth a bit and I ended up telling cient I was signing off for the night and would get back to them tomorrow.

 

I think at this point, I'll go back one more time and reiterate that I'd like to continue a working relationship, but insist it's done under a contract as per Upwork ToS. 

 

My only concern here is how it might affect my profile score/feedback/etc., as Andrea B. mentioned. I don't fully understand how this "hidden feedback" thing works. Client has already ended the contract and left me public feedback - will they be able to go back if I refuse the free work and change/add to their private feedback, which could hurt me? 

 

I don't want to make a huge stink about it and report client if I could just tell client no and be done with it, but I'm concerned about backlash re: feedback if I do that and now feel like I have to contact Upwork preemptively so I can cover my own butt.

 

What do you guys think?

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Valeria K Community Manager Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
10 of 21

Hi Casey,

 

Once the contract is closed and feedback provided, it can't be changed unless you enable your client to change it. Please, check this post for more information.

~ Valeria
Upwork
TOP SOLUTION AUTHORS
TOP KUDOED MEMBERS