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Re: Idle Contract

macprawn
Active Member
Jean L Member Since: Feb 22, 2017
1 of 12

Hi everyone,

 

I just received notice from UpWork about a contract that has been idle, and is about to be closed if the client doesn't take action.

 

The client and I are very much still working on the project, as our chat logs show in the contract. (why aren't chat logs considered when trying to determine if a contract is idle, by the way?)

 

So I want to be proactive and gide him into doing what he needs to do to keep the contract active; this is a one milestone project (pay all at the end of the job) and I would like to avoid trying to create fake milestones or anything like that. So my quesiton is, can my client just change the single milestone due date, and would that be enough to satisfy UpWork that the job is no longer idle?

If not, then is it possible for my client to somehow move the current milestone up in time *and* change it's amount, and create a smaller amount milestone for today so we can mark that fake milestone off and keep UpWork happy?

Or maybe there's some other, simpler way to make UpWork happy on this?

Please let me know,

 

Thanks!

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2 of 12

Jean L wrote:

 

If not, then is it possible for my client to somehow move the current milestone up in time *and* change it's amount, and create a smaller amount milestone for today so we can mark that fake milestone off and keep UpWork happy?


Upwork can not keep funds in Escrow without any action for over 3 months

It means it must be coming up to 3 months without anything ever having been paid.

That's bad news.

The client can simply release part of the milestone and then set up a new milestone  using the money still in Escrow.

If you have been "very much working" on the contract you clearly "very much" deserve to be paid something.

 

suzytino
Active Member
Susanne T Member Since: May 17, 2016
3 of 12

Have the same issue. The scope of the project changed. (Video editing). The problems and time it takes is due to the client side - the videos they shot didn't turn out as expected. It's a fixed price contract without milestones. We've been in contact and I've done 95% of the job. All of a sudden, this email goes out from Upwork to my client saying that the job will be cancelled. 

If anyone had looked at the messages - or at least contacted me FIRST. I understand it's Upworks Client, not mine, but still, I'm the one doing the work. 

 

Where does it say that Upwork can't keep funds in escrow for over 90 days? Does it tell the client that when they put funds in Escrow, because I haven't come across this before.

 

Best regards,

Susanne

 

djondinium
Community Manager
Aleksandar D Community Manager Member Since: Mar 23, 2019
4 of 12

Hi Susanne,


I would like to note that, 
exchanging of messages does not fall into "activity" as defined by Fixed-Price Escrow Instructions: Section 4. Dormant Engagements of the Upwork Terms of Service.

 

Thank you.

~ Aleksandar
Upwork
suzytino
Active Member
Susanne T Member Since: May 17, 2016
5 of 12

No, I understand that. I guess we didn't read the Terms of Service enough. 

 

Still, I don't understand why Upwork will go ahead and contact the client and tell them that their money in escrow will be refunded unless there's activity. Many clients would go - hmmm - I can just cancel this now and get my money back. If that happened, I'm forced into dispute, and that most of the time that's seems to be a losing battle for the freelancer.

All of this can simply be avoided if Upwork would at least contact me FIRST. 

 

Susanne

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
6 of 12

Susanne T wrote:

 The problems and time it takes is due to the client side - the videos they shot didn't turn out as expected. It's a fixed price contract without milestones. We've been in contact and I've done 95% of the job.


Just "submit for payment" for $ 5 or whatever amount, get the client to approve this, then set up a new milestone for the remainder of the money, which will be funded from the money left in Escrow.

 

There is also no such thing as a fixed price contract without milestones. Every fixed-rate contract has at least one milestone, and you just have to set up the milestones in such a way that you can earn at least $ 1 in the first 3 months which should not be that difficult.

 

suzytino
Active Member
Susanne T Member Since: May 17, 2016
7 of 12

I understand that. But the advantage of setting up one milestone is that ALL the money goes into escrow up front. When it's a milestone, the client will only fund the milestone.

 

But from now on, I will make sure to keep everybody on track so we don't run up on the 90 day deadline. Upwork sends the email out after 75 days, correct?

 

Susanne

feed_my_eyes
Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
8 of 12

Susanne T wrote:

I understand that. But the advantage of setting up one milestone is that ALL the money goes into escrow up front. When it's a milestone, the client will only fund the milestone.

 

But from now on, I will make sure to keep everybody on track so we don't run up on the 90 day deadline. Upwork sends the email out after 75 days, correct?

 

Susanne


Susanne, I believe that this policy is also for your own protection and you should look at it this way, instead of as an inconvenience. If you've done 95% of the work, then why not ask for 95% of the payment, and set up a milestone for the rest? Working for several months without seeing any payments is a very risky strategy that often ends badly. I understand you think that having the escrow fully funded protects you better, but as long as the client is setting up milestones and you're only doing the work covered by each one, you should be fine. Or, something that I've done in the past (for a few projects that have had a lot of revisions over a long period of time), is to request the full payment and then switch to an hourly contract for revisions - then you're fully protected.

suzytino
Active Member
Susanne T Member Since: May 17, 2016
9 of 12

Good point, but my complaint is that Upwork contacts the client and THEN contacts me. It would be much less of an inconvenience if Upwork just contacted the freelancer first instead of starting by contacting the cllient, don't you think?

 

Susanne

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
10 of 12

Susanne T wrote:

It would be much less of an inconvenience if Upwork just contacted the freelancer first instead of starting by contacting the cllient, don't you think?


No, I don't. It's the client's money in Escrow, after all,  so yes, both parties are contacted. Why would it be "much less of an inconvenience" and to whom if the freelancer was contacted first? How would it make much, or even any, difference?

 

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