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I worked without a contract and now the client doesn't seem very willing to pay through UpWork

380cb62a
Active Member
Heitor G Member Since: Oct 15, 2016
1 of 11

Hello,

 
A client reached me through UpWork a few days ago and selected me for a job. On a phone call, he agreed on the proposed hourly rate and invited me for a meeting at his company. I attended the meeting on a Tuesday and I asked him to formally hire me on UpWork, accepting my proposal on the website. However, they were having a hectic week and asked me if we could sort everything out in the following week, after the job had finished. Regretably, I accepted it.
 
So I came back on Friday and Monday, to work full time for him there, having also worked for about 8 hours from home. Everything is documented in the emails we sent one another during that time. On Wednesday, after the job was completed, the client sent me an email thanking me and saying my work had lived up to his expectations. So he asked for the detailed number of hours and I think he is willing to pay, but I have been insisting that it be done through UpWork, as I don't want to be banned here.
 
Now I'd like some guidance from UpWork on what to do, as I'm afraid he might not be willing to abide by UpWork fees regulations and would rather pay me through a regular invoice. He hasn't said that explicitly, but I'm starting to think it might be the case, as this is the first time he uses UpWork and he will probably not loose much by being banned. The thing is that I don't want to send him an invoice outside of UpWork and run the risk of getting banned myself.
 
Is there any way UpWork can influence him into paying me through here, or any other alternatives you would suggest?
 
Thank you
petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2 of 11

@Heitor G wrote:
1) Is there any way UpWork can influence him into paying me through here,
2) or any other alternatives you would suggest?

1) No

2) Learn from it and never, ever start working without a contract again.

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
3 of 11

I'm a little confused about the assertion that the client isn't willing to abide by Upwork's "fees regulations." The only fee the client pays is a 2.75% payment processing fee. If you're concerned about not getting paid, or about the client being unwilling to pay through Upwork, why not just offer to reduce the balance by 2.75%, so he breaks even? It's a small price to pay to fix a big mistake.

 

Some clients do just find Upwork to be a hassle, and in those situations I am apologetic as another poster suggested, but I don't talk about being banned. I simply point out that though they're probably unaware of it, we both entered into a contract with Upwork agreeing to work only through the platform, and I want to honor that agreement. What reputable client is going to object to the fact that you want to be honest and fulfill your contracts? Those are traits he'll benefit from as a client.

bobafett999
Community Guru
Prashant P Member Since: Sep 29, 2015
4 of 11

Well.  If he is willing to pay he won't mind going through Upwork.  It will cost him just about 3% extra.  If I were you I would politely describe him the situation that you are afraid that you would be banned from Upwork and you do not want to risk that for one job. You can also tell him that going through Upwork will cost you 20% in Upwork fees, but to maintain a steasy stream of income you are willing to pay the fees.

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
5 of 11

@Prashant P wrote:

Well.  If he is willing to pay he won't mind going through Upwork.  It will cost him just about 3% extra.  If I were you I would politely describe him the situation that you are afraid that you would be banned from Upwork and you do not want to risk that for one job. You can also tell him that going through Upwork will cost you 20% in Upwork fees, but to maintain a steasy stream of income you are willing to pay the fees.


 I agree with the general gist of what Prashant says, you might just need to take the client by the hand and walk him through it.

 

I strongly disagree with discussing the fee with the clients. I don't discuss my electricity bill or my coffee bill or my wine bill with clients, so the Upwork fee is not their concern either. The fee is really neither here nor there as far as the client is concerned. I don't get clients quibbling on price (Strangely that only happened when I was starting out and had set my rate too low) but if they tried I wouldn't try to justify my rate. I cost what I cost. They can pay it or they can not. Simple as that.

voskerchian
Community Guru
Hasmik V Member Since: Aug 12, 2017
6 of 11

Hey Heitor,

 

I am afraid no one can help you in this situation. As you said he is a new client, does he even have a verified payment method?
Explain to him that it is against UW rules to accept payment outside Upwork. If he agrees there are two options for both of you: Make a fixed price contract and get the payment through it or make an hourly contract with manual time allowed, so as you can add hours and get paid.
If he doesn't agree, just move on as you are scammed. Upwork doesn't have any protection for such cases.

Make sure to report the client, so as they can't do same to other freelancers.

 

Happy freelancing!

tlbp
Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
7 of 11

Give it a little time and don't panic. If you aren't going to be paid, the damage is already done. If the client does intend to pay you properly and is just not well-organized, pushing him to hurry won't help. 

 

As far as negotiating when the client wants to avoid Upwork, you can "take the blame." 

 

Say something like, I understand it can be a hassle for you to go through Upwork, but I am contractually bound to use their service. I don't want to get in trouble or lose my other clients, so I need you to pay me through the platform. I really appreciate it. 

 

No hassles, no negative emotions, just facts and courtesy. It will either work out or it won't. 

 

Good luck.

dmoreno28uw
Ace Contributor
David M Member Since: Aug 16, 2016
8 of 11

@Heitor G wrote:
I worked without a contract

 I stopped reading right there, sorry bud.

nkocendova
Community Guru
Nina K Member Since: Nov 29, 2017
BEST ANSWER
9 of 11

Hi Heitor,
Kindly inform the client that you are only able to accept payment for the completed job on the Upwork platform through the completion of a contract. You can still create a contract for the job even though the work was already completed. In the future it would be best to only begin working with a client once they have verified their payment information and you and the client have a contract in place, that way you will also be able to make sure that you will be paid for the completed work through Hourly Protection or Fixed-Price protection.

~Nina

View solution in original post

kareenelf_
Active Member
Mary Kareen E Member Since: Apr 8, 2021
10 of 11
Hi Good Day,

I have the same dillema. I am new to upwork and i have my First client messaged me, tells me what report needed and data to process. But i have mo contract.

What should I do, should I start the job without having the contract. What is the best thing to do.

Thank you.
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