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How to protect myself in this case

Community Guru
Jacqueline P Member Since: Dec 28, 2015
1 of 4

I am framing this hypothetically to keep specifics vague.


A hypothetical client approaches me through Upwork, wants to discuss privately and on the call asks to hire me off Upwork. I say I don't do that but talk them into trying the platform with one funded milestone. Client agrees to do so and follows through.


I submit the work and the first milestone is approved immediately with good comment on work submitted, done with placeholders as the client has nothing ready at that point. 


We move into production and hypothetical client still doesn't have the assets ready and much of what is supplied is inadequate quality for project requirements and needs replacing. Delivery date and project specs change as well to move it from adequate time to extreme rush project. I continue to work on it doing what I can. But when I request funding of the second milestone, client says this is not working out. No indication of that until that point.


I end it positively with no negative comment or explanation of my position. But now I'm wondering what feedback might do to my reputation here. 


What next action would you all recommend? Is it possible for me to pull the plug and end the project and would that bypass negative feedback? I'm way more concerned about my reputation here than this one job.



PS: Interestingly, as I write this  hypothetical client asked if I would be interested in doing part of the project but not all. Definitely not, but that means I have an opportunity to explain my position fully in the message center when I respond to that. Maybe I should do that, and leave it at that. I sense no evil intent here, just ignorance and lack of knowledge.

Community Guru
Randall S Member Since: Mar 20, 2017
2 of 4

First, when you ended the contract, I hope you dinged the client for lack of communication. The scoring system exists so other Upworkers know what to expect from potential clients or freelancers. 


IF the client leaves you negative feedback, you do have the ability to respond, though I'd be careful in how you word it. The other option is, if you're a premium user, you can ask upwork to remove the negative comments from your profile (I believe you can do this once a quarter?).


Beyond that, you're probably right: best to move on and chalk it up to experience. 

For future reference, I would refrain from continuing to work on the project until the second milestone is funded. If they paid you for the first milestone because you already delivered what was expected, that's a good start... but if you move on to the next level before they've set up the second milestone, you're potentially working for free -- or else just wasting your time -- which appears to be what happened in this case. 

Community Guru
Jacqueline P Member Since: Dec 28, 2015
3 of 4

Thanks, Randy. Good advice. I actually have not closed the project yet. Trying to figure out if I should, because I thought that me closing a project  is negative for the JS.


If she closes and leaves bad feedback, that's a JS problem too. Don't know which is worse. 



Community Guru
Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
4 of 4