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shn30n
Member

Help !!

I had a terrible time with a client. He asked me to write a research piece/article using a couple of documents as source of the information. I asked him to do a sample run so that we are clear of the expectations. I submitted the sample, he said it was fine and hired me (fixed contract per article). Since I felt he was paying less, I told that I will work on this till the time I feel the work and expectations are reasonable. Else will not take up more work. He agreed.

 

On the actual job, I submitted the same quality of work as the sample - as that was the dry run. Once I submitted the work, he had a lot of comments. He kept sending back the work again and again for revisions (he wanted me to do research beyond the source documents etc. which significantly increases the time). After the 3rd revision, I realised this would be a never ending task and asked him to complete the contract once this article was finished.

 

After the 4th revision, he said that their was plagiarism from the source documents and cancelled the contract. I explained to him that his concern is understandable but not his handling of the situation. Firstly, the sample should have replicated the exact work - he should not have hired me if he felt the sample was not upto the mark. Secondly  if he felt there was plagiarism, he should have brought up this concern on the first revision itself - not after most changes were made. Thirdly, he said himself that the article is still useful to him and he will make a few changes to get it over the line (I even offered to make those changes, but he refused to take my help) - I asked him to make a part payment, but he refused.

 

My questions - (1) Should I be raising a dispute (the money is currently in escrow which he has requested back). If yes, how would the dispute handlers approach the above issue. (2) The job appears on my profile and says "No feedback given" (this is for the sample work done since the actual article was an added milstone). Does this mean that the client did not give any feedback at all (looks like), or would it eventually appear on my profile once I submit my feedback. (3)  Even though the client accuses me of plagiarism, did I violate any Upwork T&C (4) Any other guidance (I already have key takeaways for negotiating with client when it comes to revisions etc.)

 

Please help.

 

Thanks,

Shaun

 

P.S.- Sorry for the long post.

10 REPLIES 10
petra_r
Member

Was there plagiarism?

 

Yes, there would have been references to the source. I believe that was due to a miscommunication between the client and myself - I initially understood that the client wanted a summary of the source documents. So I did not realise the issue upfront. It was towards the end that the client highlighted the problem. He seemed too pissed at the time and closed the contract (I do realise that the client was not wrong).

 

My concerns are for the 4 questions I listed in my original post. And if I should expect any payment as the article is still useful to the client


@Shaun K wrote:

Yes, there would have been references to the source. I believe that was due to a miscommunication between the client and myself - I initially understood that the client wanted a summary of the source documents. So I did not realise the issue upfront.


 References and summaries are not plagiarism.

 I have no issues in releasing the payment either. I just want to make sure that I understand all sides to this issue so that I am better informed for next time.

 

Also, the client was mostly professional.


wrote:

 I have no issues in releasing the payment either. I just want to make sure that I understand all sides to this issue so that I am better informed for next time.

 

Also, the client was mostly professional.


 To be honest it'll be bad news whichever way this goes.

If you get any payment the client's feedback will show on your profile.

If there was plagiarism that's seriously bad news.

Generally I believe that work done correctly should always be paid for, but that work NOT done correctly should not be.

 

On balance, and with you conceding that the client had a point - and seeing that you are new and only have 2 completed contracts, one of which is "no feedback" - I would be practical and consider the impact of a horrible feedback appearing visibly on your profile.

 

As it is it'll already hit your JSS, when you get one, quite significantly.

 


(1) Should I be raising a dispute (the money is currently in escrow which he has requested back). If yes, how would the dispute handlers approach the above issue.
(2) The job appears on my profile and says "No feedback given" (this is for the sample work done since the actual article was an added milstone). Does this mean that the client did not give any feedback at all (looks like), or would it eventually appear on my profile once I submit my feedback.
(3)  Even though the client accuses me of plagiarism, did I violate any Upwork T&C
(4) Any other guidance (I already have key takeaways for negotiating with client when it comes to revisions etc.)

 1) How much are we talking about? If the client can show plagiarism you are history because yes, that is a ToS violation.

2) That means you haven't given feedback to the client so it won't show for two weeks. Then, or when you leave feedback, it WILL show. So you're stuck with that feedback anyway.

3) If there is plagiarism all bets are off.

4) In future make sure you understand exactly what is expected and if you are not sure, do NOT accept a contract.

 

 

Thanks for your response. Yes, I understand that that client had a point, I just believe that there was misunderstanding. I also write cretive comedy content and am totally against plagiarism.

 

As next steps: (1) I will accept the refund request (2) since the work already displays on my profile as "No feedback given", I am assuming that wont change.


Shaun K wrote: (2) since the work already displays on my profile as "No feedback given", I am assuming that wont change.

 It will.

Either when you leave feedback for the client or 14 days after the contract was ended, whichever comes earlier, the feedback the client left will show on your profile.

 

We are talking for a small amount here, so I can drop that.

 

I did apologize to the client too that this did not go down well and that I was only following how the sample article was done. I followed the same approach of summarizing the base documents, at which point he never mentioned that this was not what he expected.

 

Do I still risk getting banned or something? I mean I realise this did not go down well and that there was a misunderstanding at my part as well. Is there a way to fix what has already happened? Needless to say that the work done gets scrapped and would not be used by me even as a work sample or anything.

 

Thanks,

Shaun

You know, the main problem is that you took a job that is totally outside your skill-set.

Unless you are a writer, don't take writing jobs.

The feedback now shows... It could be (just about) worse but this will impact your JSS (when you get one) in a big way.

 


@Shaun K wrote:

We are talking for a small amount here, so I can drop that.

 

I did apologize to the client too that this did not go down well and that I was only following how the sample article was done. I followed the same approach of summarizing the base documents, at which point he never mentioned that this was not what he expected.

 

Do I still risk getting banned or something? I mean I realise this did not go down well and that there was a misunderstanding at my part as well. Is there a way to fix what has already happened? Needless to say that the work done gets scrapped and would not be used by me even as a work sample or anything.

 

Thanks,

Shaun


 Refund the money, the bad public feedback will disappear (not the private one). You can't afford feedback this bad at this time in your upwork career.

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