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Is it something in the water?

boundtimemedia14
Ace Contributor
Stacy h Member Since: Jan 25, 2016
1 of 13

I don't know what is up with my clients lately but several have been doing this:

 

I'll be working on a project, getting paid failrly regularly - bi-weekly and so on-  and then when it comes time for a new milestone they delay payment. They say can't pay me for another month or two because they are waiting for funds to come in- yet still expect me to keep working on thier projects- expecting updates every week.

 

And this has happend to three of my clients so far in this summer.

 

On one hand sometimes projects go for a long time until you get paid. I get it. It happens. (which is why I love milestones now)

 

On the other hand - time is a valuable reseource and not being paid for a minimum of a couple months- but still being expected to work on these projects- I dunno just doesn't sit right.

 

It's not like my landlord will wait for my clients' funds to open up.

 

And it sucks because I have built up good relationships with all of my clients and don't want to ruin anything.

 

I'm starting to reconsider taking on any more long-term projects in the future because they always start well but halfway through become a crap storm that I can't wait to be finished with! lol

 

What would you do in this situation?

 

This community is awesome and I've been learning a lot and adjusting this and that as I go, and I appreciate all of the feedback that I get.

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Valeria K Community Manager Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
2 of 13

Hi Stacy,

 

We don't recommend that freelancers work on a milestone that hasn't been funded by the client. On fixed-price contracts a milestone is supposed to be funded before the freelancer starts working on it and released once the freelancer delivers work. Check out this help article and feel free to share it with your client.

~ Valeria
Upwork
petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
3 of 13

@Stacy h wrote:

I don't know what is up with my clients lately but several have been doing this:

 

I'll be working on a project, getting paid failrly regularly - bi-weekly and so on-  and then when it comes time for a new milestone they delay payment.


 I don't think I understand - how would it matter to a client when they release a milestone? They've already paid when they funded it?


Surely you're not working before milestones are funded as a matter of course, are you?

boundtimemedia14
Ace Contributor
Stacy h Member Since: Jan 25, 2016
4 of 13

Basically long term client that has always been reliable.

 

"Hey I can't pay you until September but can you still work on this?"

 

It's like, I know they WILL pay me but I hate the thought of working on the project and waiting two months before I get paid at the same time I don't want to lose the client.

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
5 of 13

sounds like a farmer that only pays you when he gets paid, so he's putting you on hold

 

the day he can't pay his bills, you're not getting paid and he knows there is nothing that you can do about it, so good luck with that

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
6 of 13

@Stacy h wrote:

 

"Hey I can't pay you until September but can you still work on this?"


 "No. I will not!"

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
7 of 13

No, this doesn't happen to me cuz no escrow, no workie.

e_luneborg
Community Guru
Eve L Member Since: Feb 17, 2017
8 of 13

Last week this happened while I was working on a fully funded milestone of $1500:

Client: Hey, I have a colleauge that needs some content urgently, can you help?

Me: Sure, I'll deliver it later today, and you can just add the $150 when I submit work for the milestone we already have.

Client: Great!

 

Before this same client would just release payment for the milestone I had not yet completed, to be able to fund a new milestone. So this is not because he asks me to to work without a milestone, it's just because I trust him to pay me anyway, so I sometimes give him a form of credit . However, if I knew that the client for whatever reason doesnt have any money I would not do a single minute of work before I had a funded milestone.

 

And also, even with this client I always think that if he doesn't pay me I can always use it as a portfolio piece. 

 

This is also just work that takes me a couple of hours, not a month. I would never agree to that, no matter how long I had been working with that client. And if I knew he didn't have any money I would probably just end the contract anyway.

________________________
Freelancing is a gamble - To win you need skill, luck and a strategy
cupidmedia
Community Guru
Jennifer D Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
9 of 13

As a client, I do the same thing as Eve's client - if I suddenly need something done and I already have a milestone in place for something else, I'll either pay out that milestone, or offer a bonus for the extra thing (depending on size etc). I would *never* ask a freelancer to work for free, even for just 1 sentence of translation. And as a freelancer, even for a longterm client, you should never work without a funded milestone in place.

versailles
Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
10 of 13

@Eve L wrote:

 

Before this same client would just release payment for the milestone I had not yet completed, to be able to fund a new milestone.


You are doing something wrong. Upwork designed the milestone system in such a way that you cannot add milestones once the job is created and thus, you cannot work on more than one milestone at a time. Period.

 

If they did that it's because it makes no sense to have more than one active milestone. No exceptions. If that was the case, they would have allowed adding multiple milestones, just like the late Elance did. But they didn't.

 

So you and your client are doing something wrong. Please stick with Upwork's view of freelancing, finish the first task and only then you will be allowed to tackle something else.

 

I mean seriously, what were you thinking?

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