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I worked 85 hours for a unresponsive client and now he is demanding the full refund.

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Community Guru
Melanie H Member Since: Nov 2, 2017
21 of 30

Will L wrote:

If you correctly understood the work you agreed to, completed it and logged your hours properly using the Time Tracker app, it is the client's fault for not checking with you and not paying attention to the hours you were booking in real time via the easy access (s)he had to Upwork's ongong recording of your activity.

 

(S)he could have called halt at any time to keep you from billing hours; (s)he didn't, and you continued on. There is no apparent reason for you to even consider refunding any money.

 

Good luck.

 

 


I'm wondering about ^ this ^ part of it too. Mistakes can happen but how could the client legitimately think that, for one thing, the freelancer started working without there being a contract (???), and for another, somehow secretly kept working without her noticing the hours logging on and on?

 

Granted if it had been me...I wouldn't have continued to work that many hours if I had heard literally not a peep from the client, unless I had been given clear directions on the project that would justify that many hours. I mean...you really never know. I've worked a few hourly contracts and each time I haven't felt comfortable adding more hours, even if they were alotted, if I hadn't heard anything from the client and wasn't 100% certain on how to move forward. But that's at least somewhat beside the point...whether or not Salman was pushing ahead with (designated) hours perhaps a bit foolhardedly, the client client(s) clearly didn't oversee this work at all, and clearly did award the contract...or else no work could have been done.

 

The thing is, if a mistake did happen and one member of the client's team, for example, didn't know the other member had awarded the contract, that's fine. Mistakes DO happen, everyone makes one every once in a while. But this angry response on the part of the client, and his/her insistence that work started with no contract (???), is so out of left field.

 

Clearly whatever the problem is or was, it comes down to communication. Salman...I would not in the future just push forward with quite a few hours of work if I had heard absolutely nothing and had even the slightest doubt about the project. JMO.

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Melanie H Member Since: Nov 2, 2017
22 of 30

Oh, sorry. So here's what I would do, personally. I'd write a quick note to the client:

 

"(Client), I wish this project could have worked out to your and my satisfaction. As your records will show, you awarded me this project on (date whatever) with a maximum  of (however many hours per week). On Upwork, a freelancer is not able to log hours or even begin work if there is no contract. It seems as though there was a misunderstanding somewhere. Can you check your records to try to find out where you believe the miscommunication occured? From my end, it seemed as though this were a standard contract and that it was proceeding as hourly contracts generally do and per  the instructions that you gave me on (date x). Thanks so very much."

 

Or something like that.

 

I wouldn't respond yet to the client's feedback on your profile. The rest of your profile has very positive reviews, and as I mentioned, any client should know that you actually couldn't have logged hours without a contract. BUT if you do decide to respond to the feedback (I rarely recommend this...actually, this may be the first time I've ever wondered whether a response to feedback should be left), I might say something very simple, professional and to the point, like: "Unfortunately there was a misunderstanding on the client's part about how hourly projects are started and billed. I worked per the parameters given to me by Upwork and per the client's exact instructions. Hope to have a better experience in the future."

 

You don't, of course (hope to have a better experience in the future - with this dude, anyway), but it leaves things on a positive and polished note, v. the client's rantings about how you somhow magically worked a project that was never awarded to you.

 

And as I said...in the future, don't log so many hours (two full standard work weeks, at least per U.S. standards, and probably in other countries as well) with no communication from the client and if you have ANY (I mean that...ANY) doubt that you client would be THRILLED with the amount of hours you're working and that the project absolutely warrants that much work.

 

 

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Salman S Member Since: Mar 6, 2019
23 of 30

If you correctly understood the work you agreed to, completed it and logged your hours properly using the Time Tracker app, it is the client's fault for not checking 
Everything is checked!
But I don't want such comment on my profile. I will request him to remove his aggressive words.

 

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Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
24 of 30

re: "But I don't want such comment on my profile. I will request him to remove his aggressive words."

 

What are you offering him in return?

 

How would he benefit from removing or changing that feedback?

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Melanie H Member Since: Nov 2, 2017
25 of 30

Preston H wrote:

re: "But I don't want such comment on my profile. I will request him to remove his aggressive words."

 

What are you offering him in return?

 

How would he benefit from removing or changing that feedback?


Preston, normally I would agree with this ^ but in this case, the client IS clearly wrong. I still don't know whether I would ask a client to revise feedback, personally, but the feedback is incorrect no matter how you slice it. That's not a matter of opinion or expectations, it's a matter of how Upwork works and how hourly contracts work. There's just no debating that happy or unhappy, the points the client makes in the feedback are really off. There's nothing a freelancer should owe a client for the client simply not writing something that is nonsense regarding how Upwork operates, IMO. 

 

The only way a client would benefit, as far as I can see, is to not look like someone who assigns projects, forgets about that, insists it never happened, attacks freelancers, and who has no clue how projects work and may fly off the handle after having paid for work. Not all freelancers look at clients' feedback to others but many do. That's really the only "benefit," if you will, besides the fact that presumably, he did get 85 hours of work done...I can't see any additional benefits the client would require or deserves.

 

(That said, I doubt he'd change the feedback anyway...again, I personally would leave it...the client made himself look like a loon, no need to eliminate that warning to other freelancers, IMO. That team, if it's a team, needs to get its ish together.)

 

By the way, Salman, if the client changes his written feedback (the comments), the actual numerical feedback he originally gave will still remain. That can't be changed. Just something to keep in mind. 

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Amanda F Member Since: Aug 8, 2015
26 of 30

I think what I am just wondering with this one is if the client ghosted you like you said, how were you both communicating about all those 170 ads? Like I said I wouldn't do that much unless asked to do so and with approval ongoingly from the client. Did the client actually say "give me 170 ads" and if so, were any shown to the client during the process or did he just not come back and you kept doing them? 

 

If there was communication and they just kept approving, who was the person you were dealing with at that time? Was it that person who left the feedback or someone else? 

 

I can definitely see a client leaving fake feedback to get out of it too though. In asking this I am not saying you did anything wrong, just wondering if you kept up with the client as you did so many. 

 

Either way, the approval of all the work and not realizing the person is hired sounds very silly indeed. That would certainly be mismanagement of the client/project manager or a largely fabricated story if they wanted you to do all the work. 

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Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
27 of 30

If the client is actually running a business, then the client needs to manage the freelancer he hires. If the client is sharing an Upwork account with other people, then he needs to do so responsibly.

 

If my office has a petty cash account for paying for incidentals and accessed by 15 people, I'm not going to chew out the pizza delivery guy when 10 pizzas show up that I didn't order.

 

Anyway... it's three hundred dollars. That's a rounding error for most businesses.

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Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
28 of 30

Melanie H wrote:

By the way, Salman, if the client changes his written feedback (the comments), the actual numerical feedback he originally gave will still remain. That can't be changed. Just something to keep in mind. 


This is actually not true. Of course the number of stars can be changed, along with the text.

The *private* feedback can't be changed.

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Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
29 of 30

IMO I think that this job was for only 1 completed add to be placed on facebook and instagram. I can see the OP sending off some drafts of which the client will pick from and the OP would then complete the job, BUT... 170??? Was the client going to put 170 adds on just 2 sites. 

 

I may be wrong but I see it this way. - The clients account was a shared account. The client who wrote that feedback was probably the head or the one in charge of this project. One of his associates probably put the job up, and hired the OP without getting the ok from the main client. Then either forgot about it, or got busy doing something else, or didn't want to let the main client know what they did. The OP didn't hear anything back, so he just kept working producing ad after ad for 2 weeks and would probably have continued way past 170 ads if the main client didn't see on some report that this was going on. The client may be 100% right that he didn't hire the OP. (one of his associates did) And since the main client didn't know about what was happening, he had no reason to check anything,....until he saw a bill.

 

I hope that the main client can get to the bottom of this,to find out exactly who initiated this, because someone hired the OP. He can not hire himself and set up a contract for himself and accept his own contract. 

 

But also the OP should not have continued to work, producing ALL those ads. (and who knows how many more if he wasn't stopped.)  There definitely should be some sort of compromise between both the client and the op. 

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Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
30 of 30

Kathy T wrote:

IMO I think that this job was for only 1 completed add to be placed on facebook and instagram. I can see the OP sending off some drafts of which the client will pick from and the OP would then complete the job, BUT... 170??? Was the client going to put 170 adds on just 2 sites. 


I see it exactly the same as Kathy.....

 


Kathy T wrote:The OP didn't hear anything back, so he just kept working producing ad after ad for 2 weeks and would probably have continued way past 170 ads if the main client didn't see on some report that this was going on.

over 2 months... contract started in January...

Who takes a contract for one advert and then just keeps going for months without ever hearing from them again...

 

Preston H wrote:

re: "But I don't want such comment on my profile. I will request him to remove his aggressive words."

 

What are you offering him in return?


Wonderful,  what you are (subtly as a brick) suggesting is called feedback manipulation (it is a terms of service violation to barter for change of feedback in exchange for anything.)

 

Are you trying to get the OP suspended?

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