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mahmoudkhaledd
Community Member

Is it against Upwork's ToS to charge the client for a paid service through adding manual hours?

So I have been working on a project with a client, and we came to the conclusion we'll need to use a paid API service in order to continue with the project.

The client approved the payments amount and told me to use my card and add manual hours weekly to compensate for the amount I'm going to pay because they didn't want to give me their card's info and they don't feel comfortable putting it in this API service.

 

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wlyonsatl
Community Member

Paying third-party costs related to an active project does not violate Upwork's rules, but keep in mind that a) the client has no enforcable obligation to pay you those costs if you submit them in terms of manual time in TimeTracker, and b) you'll need to gross up your net cost to offset Upwork's fees on the hourly pay you receive.

 

Better would be for the client to pay for this third-party service itself and give you access to it. This would save the client the extra cost of Upwork's fees on payments to you and eliminate for you the risk of non-payment on manually-entered work time. 

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5 REPLIES 5
wlyonsatl
Community Member

Paying third-party costs related to an active project does not violate Upwork's rules, but keep in mind that a) the client has no enforcable obligation to pay you those costs if you submit them in terms of manual time in TimeTracker, and b) you'll need to gross up your net cost to offset Upwork's fees on the hourly pay you receive.

 

Better would be for the client to pay for this third-party service itself and give you access to it. This would save the client the extra cost of Upwork's fees on payments to you and eliminate for you the risk of non-payment on manually-entered work time. 

the-right-writer
Community Member

I don't think that is the best way to go, and it may violate the TOS. I could be wrong about the latter part, but it isn't a good idea. Manual tracking has no protection, so you are putting yourself at even greater risk. I understand some clients just want you to handle everything, but if you explain the reasons, including, as Will mentioned, the extra cost of setting up the contract this way, the client should understand.

 

If for some reason, the client had a dispute or a chargeback, you could lose even more money. Even if there is no problem, it isn't the appropriate way to establish the contract.

 

Why is the client not "comfortable" using the API service? Yet, they expect you to do it? I find this odd. When I set up non-profits, I don't pay the fees, nor are they in the contract under another name. There has never been an issue.

 

I'll notify the moderator.

 

If the client is 100% honest, then there will be no problem if a freelancer uses manual time to accurately record hours.

 

But hourly tracking using the time-tracker allows for a great deal of protection if a client turns out to nit be 100% honest. And unless the client requests otherwise, using the time-tracker shows respect for the system and the client.

It's not odd as I'm the one who suggested the API, they don't really know anything about APIs or tech. So I understand their reason.

But thank you, I'll them know its better and safer if they do pay for it directly.

ericaandrews
Community Member

I don't recommend using the Time Tracker (even manual) for this because it basically means you are reporting 'fake' time / hours that weren't actually worked.  It's never a good thing to put time on a timesheet that you didn't actually work. Any time you enter Manual time, Upwork pops up a message basically saying that you are attesting you just put in time worked.  It's a TIME tracker, not an expense tracker.   It also falsely 'inflates' the 'worked hours' that show up on your profile and count toward your JSS.  However, the client can always pay you a 'bonus', and this might be the best way to cover the out of pocket fees since you won't be logging 'fake' hours into your timesheet.

 

The other problem is that the client can LOSE access to this service whenever you 2 end the contract.  It's not a good idea for the client to rely on an API service that is tied to YOUR credit card and then lose access to that API service when the contract ends.   The client would also be paying more for the API service than they have to by having to pay the Upwork 'fees'.

 

Nobody feels 'comfortable' putting in a credit card over the internet, but they're going to have to get over it. If they expect to keep access to the API after you end the contract at some point in the future, they need to tie the API service to THEIR credit card.

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