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How to deal with revision requests

I have an ongoing client who is as nice as can be, but asks for a lot of revisions. I made a set of  planner pages for her, and created 4 different orders of those pages (ex. 6 month, 1 year, etc). The client keeps tacking on additional work and revisions after she approves the document initially. Anyways, long story short, I let her know that I normally charge for those revisions but would do them that one time for free. The project was finished successfully (I thought) so I closed the contract. A week later and she wants a minor change made to one of the pages. It wouldn't be a big deal, but now I have to go back and re-do the order of pages for all 4 documents--each is more than 100 pages. Any advice for how to handle this? To charge or not to charge?

Community Member

I totally understand your situation as some clients also ask me for a lot of revisions.  Sometimes they even ask for a basic thing like changing the file name (well, yes!!).


I have made one policy recently, not to say anyone "no" for revisions despite too many requests. It helps me in staying connected with clients, but I tell them that I will get back with revision after some time meanwhile they get more time to figure out what they actually need and my ongoing job also doesn't suffer. 


If some client comes with a revision request after a very long time, I ask for some time which suits us, like "I am free next week so I can make these changes then, would it be okay to you?". In most cases when a client comes with such a request after a long time, they can wait for some time more for you to get free. However, if I am free, I prefer to make those changes on the same day. 


I don't say no because in my case they won't ask for big revisions but some minor things and giving them what they want helps in keeping clients happy!! If I suspect that the client is confused and asking for a revision, I ask for arranging a short call to understand what is in their mind. 


In your jobs, things will obviously be different but we can relate some general aspects across the professions. 

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I'm in a different field but I tell all prospective clients that I offer 3 rounds of edits/changes to final submissions so they know up front, and I mark the documents "edit 1", etc when I submit changes.


I've never had a problem with that agreement. 


I also agree with Aru that if a client takes an unreasonably long time to request changes then they should wait until you're done with current commitments. 

Every freelancer who works with fixed-price contracts MUST think about this issue proactively, and plan for it. It takes practice and wisdom.


Personally, I offer zero "revisions."

A fixed-price task is done when I say that it is done. The client is expected to release payment without asking for changes.


(My work is technical, not subjective, so I may be able to do that more easily than some freelancers.)


If a client hires me using a fixed-price contract and asks for changes or revisions, then they are likely to "lose their fixed-price card" with me. And in the future, they will only be allowed to hire me using hourly contracts.

Community Member

You've already provided extra revisions at no charge and made it clear to the client you were making an exception, so it's reasonable to ask for payment for this additional work. On the other hand, you closed the contract already, otherwise you could ask her to create a new milestone to cover this additional work. I believe she could pay you a bonus on the closed contract, otherwise she'd have to open a new contract. 

What to do? It depends on how much time/money is at issue and how much more you want to invest in this relationship and/or safeguarding your JSS. Was this a big project so fb will weight a lot? Can you weather a little ding without fretting?

Community Member

Be cautious if considering a new contract to do the work. The client might take her annoyance out in the review. You can get paid on the closed contact via bonus. However, be aware that clients can rescind bonuses--there's no payment protection or dispute option for those. 
If you trust the client, you could agree to do the work at an hourly rate. Once the hours start adding up, the client may be less inclined to ask for changes. Right now, they are at the all-you-can-eat buffet eyeing the desserts. 

A client who you worked for previously and no longer have an open contract with you should NOT contact you unless he starts a communication with: "Can I pay you to...?"


As a client, I do NOT want freelancers to be working for me for free.

I don't have time to waste. My projects are important. I can't afford that.


If I ask a freelancer to work for me, and there is no payment involved, then my task is probably NOT a priority for the freelancer. And I have no guarantee about the quality of the work. I don't want freelancer's working on my important projects who resent being having to do that work. Even if it is unconscious resentment, I don't want that. I want freelancers to work for me who are being paid and who feel like they are being treated fairly.


It is acceptable if a freelancer declines to accept payment. But as a client, that is not my decision. That isn't what I want.


Tonya makes a great point about using a bonus payment. This can be VERY effective and can be a win-win for both client and freelancer. With a bonus payment, there is no risk to the freelancer in terms of new feedback, so it can be very useful, especially for a relatively small task.


An UPFRONT BONUS PAYMENT is a great way to handle a task like this. The freelancer could tell the client:


"Priscilla: Thank you for contacting me. Yes, I can make those changes. I will need to re-paginate each document aftering doing so. It will take approximately 2 hours to do that. If you navigate to the contract listing for the now-closed contract, you can use the 'Send bonus' tool to send a $150 payment. As soon as you do that, I will get started on this task."



Tonya wrote: "However, be aware that clients can rescind bonuses--there's no payment protection or dispute option for those."


If I understand correctly: A promise of a bonus payment can certainly be "rescinded" (or "not honored"). But if a client actually sends an upfront bonus payment... the client has no way to rescind that.

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