I opened my first dispute here on Upwork because I have an open contract with a difficult customer. I've been asked for changes for months and I've done them, but the customer is never satisfied, the release of funds has already been denied to me twice and it has been three months since the start of the contract.
After opening the dispute with my client I was advised by the mediation specialist to continue making the changes that are required of me.
Honestly, I've been making changes for months for this client, who behaved unprofessionally throughout the process and finally denied the funds.
I find it shameful that my dispute ends with "do what the customer wants", so I understand that the worker here on Upwork is not protected, every customer can take the freedom to "play" with people, lose time and following his whims can take back the money getting free work.
What do you think? Do you have similar experiences to share? Maybe some suggestions?
Solved! Go to Solution.
Avoid opening disputes or using mediation.
I prefer to start with small contracts with any client who wants to use fixed-price contracts. This way I can test the client.
Start with a contract that is for no more than an hour or two hours worth of work.
Then if the client demonstrates that she can not be trusted to deal fairly with a fixed-price contract, I can walk away if necessary. Rather than dealing with the inappropriate client behavior you describe in your post.
If a client demonstrates that she uses fixed-price contracts fairly and honestly, then I will agree to increasingly larger fixed-price contracts.
to be honest, in your case I'll fill a dispute and pay the $291 so that whether upwork solve it, or the client solve it, or the 3 of us lose $291 each, I won't tolerate facing something like that for months "ALONE" as long as I'm sure of the delivered quality. And for sure if the client didn't want to pay the fees he'll process the payment and you'll get back your $291.
Of course, that's what I think. But we're talking about a 150$ milestone.
What do I do? I recover my 150$ and then I spend 291$?
In every real judgment, at least where I live (I don't know how it works in other parts of the world) the loser pays for everything.
In this way, however, I lose anyway, even if I win. I lose money, time and above all my peace of mind.
if the client didn't want to pay the fees he'll process the payment and you'll get back your $291.
and if it's 150$ he'll give up once you show him the tough way, as he won't need to lose $291.
because when you pay the $291 it's refundable if the client didn't pay $291 as you did, who starts the process first will win, lol.
re: "Of course, that's what I think. But we're talking about a 150$ milestone."
One option you have is to close the contract yourself rather than dealing with this client's shenanigans.
That is what I did a few weeks ago with a client who was asking for more work rather than releasing payment for a $150 fixed-price contract.
Rather than doing new work outside the scope of the contract, I offered to let her pay any amount she felt was appropriate for the work that had been completed. She kept asking for new work rather than releasing payment. I closed the contract.
The work I did belongs to me. I can post it in my profile if I want to, or do anything I want with it. Because the client acted inappropriately, she lost my good favor and can no longer ask for me to work on her project. What she lost was worth far more than the $150 that I did not receive.
A similar thing happened to me last year, and I also closed the contract because I didn't have any problems.
But that doesn't seem correct, apart from the months of work that is lost, I have presented some graphic ideas and the client has received them. Maybe she won't have the job finished but in the meantime, she takes home some ideas that she can have rebuilt in a short time by someone else.
It's not right to make these people believe that they have the freedom to do what they want, because then they will come back to do it.
I don't want to change the world, but I hate injustices and I think each of us should make our voices heard when this happens!
I don't think the system is fair at all. I think the way clients can simply click a button to avoid paying for fixed-price work is one of the most glaring problems within the entire Upwork system.
Until that changes, I try to use proactive ways to avoid getting into situations like this.
I don't think there is any perfect solution to your current predicament.
Keep in mind that you CAN file a dispute. And moving this to a dispute costs nothing.
It is only when one goes to arbitration that one has to pay $291. But, yes: The prospect of paying $291 in order to receive $150 is mathematically problematic.