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luminouslemon
Member

How to bill for a service job in advance without negatively impacting my Job Success score

It's been common throughout my career to offer service based work, such as server patches, software updates, regular content updates with a discount if paid upfront annually.

 

I understand from reading online and also a chat with your support that jobs that don't see earnings for several months have a detrimental effect on my Job Success score. I'm wondering if there is any way of getting around this, and in general if you have any advice about contracts with an upfront payment.

 

One good example of my own is a contract that hires me to perform monthly software patching and 1 hour of content updates per month for a fixed monthly rate. I then offer the client a 2 month discount if they pay the year upfront. I specifically instructed the client to put the monthly content requests in the job chat log (as opposed to using our usual external communication method as preferred by my client). This was done to show regular activity.

8 REPLIES 8

Asking for upfront payment is a no-go. You can ask your client to creat the milestones for the whole time and then request a release every month. This way you also have regular activity on your contracts.

 

Regarding the JSS: As long as you have earned some money a contract can be idle for quite some time before it has negativ impact.

With a monthly payment there is no incentive for me to offer a discount. That's not really a viable solution.


@Jan H wrote:

With a monthly payment there is no incentive for me to offer a discount. That's not really a viable solution.


 With a year's worth of up front payment the client is b*ggered if you decide to get run over by a bus tomorrow.

 

Solve the problem by not offering a discount. We're not on some oriental bazaar.

 

Not a decision I'm going to make but I take your point - that there is a gamble.

 

I get a year's money upfront which gives me some financial freedom, and the client gets a discount. We both get something from the deal.

 

Surely you have seen discounts, or a cheaper price if you pay annually for services? Are you just saying this should not be offered by a freelancer on Upwork?


Jan H wrote:Are you just saying this should not be offered by a freelancer on Upwork?

 I have seen too many clients complaining bitterly about having paid up-front and the freelancer having vanished.

 

The whole idea of paying up front to a stranger on the Internet with ultimately little or no recourse if it goes belly up is fraught and I would discourage any client of mine to do that.

The whole point of an hourly or escrow based system is that clients pay as and when the work is done, not speculatively in the hope that the freelancer won't take the money and run OR gets hit by a truck next week.

 

 I have seen far too many freelancers complaining/crying  bitterly about buyers not paying after delivery, disputing hours, asking for charge backs, threatening with bad feedbacks.

 

This is a market place.  Whatever you can negotiate with your buyer under whatever terms is acceptable. 


@Prashant P wrote:

This is a market place.  Whatever you can negotiate with your buyer under whatever terms is acceptable. 


 That, of course, is true too.

 

Upwork's mechanisms can be used to set up retainers, periodic payments, or advance payments. The best justification for these is standard industry practice (as in writing, where some kind or degree of advance payment—e.g., front-loaded payment for large projects requiring serious research—is common). Absent such an industry convention, and a client's familiarity with it, where's the upside for the buyer?