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Having a problem with a client demanding more work than expected

Active Member
Karla L Member Since: Mar 22, 2018
1 of 6

I accepted a job for a 1900 word translation that I actually have already delivered a couple of days ago.

 

When I answered this client's ad, he was only asking for a translator.

 

Right before our contract started, he mentioned I would be doing both "translation and SEO writing". I said I was okay with that, as I interpreted it to mean I had to take the SEO in the text into consideration, so I didn't leave out important terms.

 

I did the translation and submitted it, along with a table with information on all the different terms I used. He had asked me to track them.

 

At this point, he's telling me the translation looks okay, but I need to do further SEO writing. He provided me from the beginning with a list of the terms needed and how many uses the text should have. I just added them up, and at this poing, he's asking me to  insert  at least 115 words and terms (but I haven't counted them all) to the current translation and that means he wants me to probably more than double the translation text with original SEO writing. There's currently 2042 words on the translation, he wants at least tha much more text but I have to do original SEO writing.

 

I didn't notice how much original writing he was askig for at first. I assumed I would have to just modify a couple sentences to avoid messing with the SEO of it. I didn't realize the original English text would provide so few of the "expected terms" on the final product.

 

In terms of pay, he hasn't released 60 dollars. I've recently been paid that same amount for a similar job for a shorter translation of 1300 words. But he won't resease the funds unless I do the SEO writing.

 

Is this fair? I don't know how to handle this. I feel like I'm getting saddled with two different projects for the price of one.

Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
2 of 6

If you have done the work agreed before the milestone was set up by the client, use the official "summit work and reques payment" button. If the client refuses to release the payment you can dispute the money in escrow.

Active Member
Karla L Member Since: Mar 22, 2018
3 of 6

Jennifer R wrote:

If you have done the work agreed


I'm having a hard time saying yes, I did do the work agreed. He stated from the beginning this project was both translation work and SEO writing.

 

He didn't mention SEO writing at all on his ad, but did ask me about it before my contract started.

 

I assumed the "SEO writing" aspect entailed taking the SEO of the text into account and not having imortant "keyword" terms get lost in translation.

 

But he's actually asking me to add more than 2000 words of original SEO writing (that's what I estimate would fulfill his requested keyword count)  to the 2042 word translation that I've already submitted.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
4 of 6

Karla:

This whole arrangement is murky, and you already know that.

 

You made a mistake by not making sure the agreement was completely set in stone before you accepted the contract. Instead, you made a vague agreement to adding SEO stuff.

 

Your goal is not to achieve "fairness." Your goal now is to get out of this situation as elegantly as possible.

 

You COULD simply add what he wants, and then get the contract closed and then not work with this person again.

 

Alternatively, you could tell him:

"Jarold, I'm sorry, but it appears that I won't be able to do the SEO writing that you are asking for. It is too far outside the scope of our original agreement, and I do not want either of us to get in trouble with Upwork rules that prohibit clients asking for work outside of the written milestone specification. I undestand that you were hoping to get this additional element. Would you be willing to compromise by paying $20 for the work I have done thus far? I would agree to that payment, and you could close the account, and all of the work would belong to you. Otherwise, I would need to cancel the contract without payment, which would mean that ownership would remain with me and you wouldn't be able to use it."

Community Guru
Martina P Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
5 of 6

Preston H wrote:

 

Alternatively, you could tell him:

"Jarold, I'm sorry, but it appears that I won't be able to do the SEO writing that you are asking for. It is too far outside the scope of our original agreement, and I do not want either of us to get in trouble with Upwork rules that prohibit clients asking for work outside of the written milestone specification. I undestand that you were hoping to get this additional element. Would you be willing to compromise by paying $20 for the work I have done thus far? I would agree to that payment, and you could close the account, and all of the work would belong to you. Otherwise, I would need to cancel the contract without payment, which would mean that ownership would remain with me and you wouldn't be able to use it."


Don't use the not using part. It's translation, not original writing. That sentence would aggravate the client to no end, and rightly so.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
6 of 6

Martina P wrote:

Otherwise, I would need to cancel the contract without payment, which would mean that ownership would remain with me and you wouldn't be able to use it."

Don't use the not using part. It's translation, not original writing. That sentence would aggravate the client to no end, and rightly so.


Actually, worded like this (without the usual "I can use it / post it on portfolio") is fine.

The translator owns the translation, but not the copyright. It is complicated and "owning" the translation with no right to sell it or do anything with it is pretty pointless, but at least it stops the client using it.

 

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