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justvincez
Community Member

I feel my clients CRM problems shouldn't be mine.

Hi,

I have a fixed-price contract that I started a week ago. Simply, it was adding calendar events from an Excel file into their new CRM system. The contract had 3 milestone (2 for calendar events) and the 3rd wasn't really defined (my fault).

The issue I have is their CRM system seems to not be set up completely. Twice I had to redo entries because their info wasn't imported into the system. Now, somehow the time zone changed my entries and I've been asked to help redo the entries (manually adjust all calendar event times). I feel their CRM issues isn't my problem.

I've done more than what was needed. I didn't just duplicate their Excel calendar in the CRM. I informed them of missing info so they could have a complete CRM calendar. This took time because they had to get the correct info and send it to so I could enter them. 

The client acknowledged milestone 2 was "great", yet they haven't paid. They asked me to start on milestone 3 around 11 pm last night. I agreed and worked all night to complete more than half. Now, they want me to go back and redo the calendar event times.

It is all documented in Upwork messages that they had multiple delays, their system didn't import info I needed, problems, etc. Their CRM problems should not not my problem. Their delays, and now rush is not my fault/problem. I've spent a week on this should have been 3-day project. I have other contracts I need to work on, yet the client wants me to keep redoing work that is a result of their issues. 

The client's last message to me was to redo the calendars. Any suggestion of how I should respond.

Thanks for any suggestions.

5 REPLIES 5
lysis10
Community Member

you should do whatever you think is right

A client's problems are not my problems.

 

But if a client hires me using an hourly contract, then I'll be happy to make them my problems, and I'll help the client fix the problems. However long it takes. As long as the clients wants to pay me to help her, I'm willing to help her with her problems if it is within my ability to do so.

 

But if the client asks me to work on something that is not within my specific area of expertise, I will always tell the client if they would be better off hiring somebody else for a particular task. So I'm providing the client information, being transparent, and giving them the choice.

 

For fixed-price contracts:

If there are problems with the client's system... anything that would require extra work on my part... if that work is not SPECIFICALLY DESCRIBED IN THE ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION, then no: That is not my problem. It is not my responsibility to do any work outside of the original description.

 

A fixed-price milestone specifies a specific deliverable. It is meant to be used for work that I knew everything necessary about beforehand. There should be no "surprises."

 

Worst case scenario: If I see that a task I was hired to do is simply not doable due to problems with the client's system. Or if I expected the task to take 1 hour, but the problems with the client's system mean that it will take 5 hours... Then I have the moral right and the physical ability (through the Upwork user interface) to simply close the contract and not do the work.

 

I could tell the client:

"Janet: I am grateful for the opportunity you gave me to work this project. I'm sorry you are having problems with the CRM right now. I don't want to take up your time or charge you for anything while you work out problems with the system. I'll close the contract now. That will refund the milestone payment back to you. When you get things worked out, please feel free to contact me if you want me to resume the work."


Preston H wrote:

 

I could tell the client:

"Janet: I am grateful for the opportunity you gave me to work this project. I'm sorry you are having problems with the CRM right now. I don't want to take up your time or charge you for anything while you work out problems with the system. I'll close the contract now. That will refund the milestone payment back to you. When you get things worked out, please feel free to contact me if you want me to resume the work."


Once again, very poor advice considering the OP has not been paid for milestone 2 even, which was considerable work and is halfway through milestone 3 even.


So basically you are telling him to do something that that will mean he did considerable amounts of work for free, refunds the money back to the client and will almost certainly result in bad feedback.

 

Personally I would tell the client that I'd be happy to redo the calender entries, but as they were already done perfectly correctly, that would require the second milestone to be released, and an amended 3rd milestone to be set and funded for the repeat work at a price of $ .....

 

Then the former milestone 3 can become milestone 4

 

There is no need for the whole contract to be poured down the drain and end in failure, loss of earnings and bad feedback.

 

 

 

Petra, thank you for your note.

 

I was not telling the original poster what to do in his specific situation. If you read what I wrote you will see that I was stating general principles and providing general strategies that can be useful for situations such as his. Note how I didn’t make a suggestion about what he could tell his client, but instead I postulated a hypothetical situation of my own which included many similar elements, and provided an example of what I would tell my client. My specific suggestion would have come before doing a bunch of extra work on a system with unexpected problems.

 

You have suggested some helpful, correct ideas for how to deal with the original poster’s specific situation.

 

Unfortunately, regardless of what any of us can tell him now, he has already done a lot of work beyond what he expected to do... because he was trying to do right by the client. The original poster should not have done any milestone 3 work until payment had been released for milestone 2.

 

I hope that the client is reasonable enough to release payment for milestone 2 and work with him further in an equitable way. But the Upwork user interface can’t guarantee that.

 

Depending on what the client does, he may need to keep in mind his options regarding closing the contract or filing a dispute, but the situation is not at that point yet.


Preston H wrote:

I postulated a hypothetical situation of my own


That is the problem.

Postulating your hypothetical situations in response of non-hypothetical real-life situations of real and non-hypothetical human beings is at best unhelpful and does, at worst, do harm if (or rather "when") they read your hypothetical postulations and mistake them for advice...

 

 

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