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Free work AFTER contract?

datasciencewonk
Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
11 of 21

I think, perhaps, a valid question to ask yourself is, if the client balks at paying you for your work (yes, even post contract), how else will they try and take advantage of you (or others)?

 

Certainly, one instance doesn't necessarily mean a definitive pattern. Yet, asking for free work (and then saying, "well others do it") is a huge red flag of -- at the very least -- unprofessionalism that is *likely* to continue. 

 

On a personal note, I'd seriously hesitate at opening future contracts with the client. 

 

 

 

 

 

lizklein
Ace Contributor
Elizabeth B Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
12 of 21

This is why I'm upfront about what is included in my fee. I'm an editor, and I've decided that my rate includes a maximum of 10 additional minutes to recheck anything the client isn't sure about. I feel that's reasonable, as editing is a creative process that requires some back and forth and I do want clients to be happy. Just knowing this about my work process has stopped them pulling this kind of crap. 

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
13 of 21

Any person should be embarrassed by the prospect of asking professional freelancers to work for free.

 

The only acceptable way that a client may approach a freelancer for help after a contract has been closed is by explictly asking the freelancer how she would like to be paid.

 

"Josephine:

I hope you can help me again. I have a Friday deadline. Would you be able to merge the New River document with the Landstrom file by then? I could set up an hourly contract or fixed-price contract, or pay you using a bonus."

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
14 of 21

The hair salon I get my hair cut at ended up having problems with "free touch-ups." People would get a hair cut and then return the next week and the week after that, and the week after that, to get a free "post-haircut touchup," which is really another haircut. But that takes time away from servicing paying customers. They had to post signs and make policies to prevent this.

 

Can you imagine going to eat at a nice restaurant, and then returning the next day:

 

"Hey, I'm in a hurry and I don't want to sit down. But could you fetch me a free serving of that strawberry cheesecake I had yesterday? That was delicious."

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

There are valid reasons for revisions though (NOT on closed contracts)

 

I have looked at a lot of stuff for proofreading and told the client to send it straight back to the original translator for re-translation.....

 

I don't think anyone can say "I don't do any revisions" or "Only one" when it comes to actual quality issues or mistakes.

 

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

My initial reaction was the same as all of yours, but my only concern is the client's ability to give me negative feedback because I won't participate in shady business. It's frustrating, especially just starting out - I don't want to ruin a relationship that has potential, but I also don't want to degrade myself and/or violate ToS.

 

You all have been super helpful. Thank you so much!

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

Yeah, I'm perfectly happy to revise work that's part of the initial contract (which I did for this project, a number of times). However, in this instance, the client requested one piece of writing (an explainer script), happily closed the contract, then asked me for "a favor" rewriting a completely separate piece of writing on their webpage. It was the landing page, no less, which is a pretty significant job...

sam-sly
Community Guru
Samantha S Member Since: Jun 23, 2016
18 of 21

@Casey O wrote:

Yeah, I'm perfectly happy to revise work that's part of the initial contract (which I did for this project, a number of times). However, in this instance, the client requested one piece of writing (an explainer script), happily closed the contract, then asked me for "a favor" rewriting a completely separate piece of writing on their webpage. It was the landing page, no less, which is a pretty significant job...


Same here, I will sometimes do minor revisions on work that was actually part of the contract after it is closed. However, I would not do new work. I think the way this client tried to pressure you (even using elementary school peer pressure tactics) shows a lack of respect. If the client already closed the contract and left feedback, then he/she cannot change it (unless you have the "allow the client to change feedback option" enabled but even then it is only the public feedback that mattered.)

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
19 of 21

Freelancers want to be helpful and provide good service.

 

That is to be applauded. I don't think it's bad to do so. I don't think freelancers are breaking any rules or doing anything wrong when they provide reasonable assistance to clients... Even if it is to help a client with whom there is no current contract.

 

But it is never okay for clients to ask freelancers to work for free. It is unprofessional. And worse. Honestly, it is kind of disgusting. It is something that should not be tolerated socially.

 

A freelancer may decline to accept payment or bill for some small amount of task, and that's okay. The client is not obligated to insist, but she needs to offer.

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

@Casey O wrote:

......., then asked me for "a favor" rewriting a completely separate piece of writing on their webpage. It was the landing page, no less, which is a pretty significant job...


 Yeah.

 

NO!

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