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Issue with scope creep on a fixed-price project - is there protection for freelancers?

walkerheatherk
Active Member
Heather W Member Since: Dec 1, 2016
1 of 5

I've recently had an issue with a client increasing scope of a project after the milestone was already assigned for a fixed price project. He definitely won't pay for the additional work, but expects it to be done alongside the orignal contract.

 

I've tried explaining that this constitutes a renegotiation of the contract, however they don't seem to understand. Instead, they will not release payment until I meet not only the requirements of the contract (which is expected) but the new additional work they  have added on after the fact.

 

Is there any protection for freelancers against this? I can push back and not do the additional work, but I would hate to see negative feedback left for me because of that.

 

This individual is new to Upwork, and is only using it for a one-time assignment. Leaving them feedback won't affect them the way it could potentially affect my profile.

 

Thanks for the help!

mtngigi
Community Guru
Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
2 of 5

I would submit the work for the first milestone, and click the green button to get paid. That will start the clock ticking for automatic release of that payment.

 

Then don't do any more work unless and until the client adds another funded milestone. It may be a project you'll have to walk away from. It happens.

 

ETA: Your profile is private, so I can't see if you're top-rated and could use the perk of removing a bad feedback.

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 5

re: "Is there any protection for freelancers against this?"

 

Short answer is "no."

 

Learning how to deal with and prevent scope creep requires skill, experience and finesse. There is no built-in Upwork functionality for preventing it. Some clients legitimately do not understand how fixed-price contracts work.

 

Virginia's idea is excellent. Submit the work using the "Submit Work/Request Payment" button attached the job listing, and wait it out. If the client does nothing, then you will automatically get paid.

 

Another key tip: Blame Upwork.

"Dan: Thanks for your note. I can see how the additional part you asked for would be vital to the project. I would like to work on this. But Upwork's rules for freelancers are pretty strict about this kind of thing, and they won't let me start on that until after payment has been released for the original milestone."

kat303
Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
4 of 5

@Preston H wrote:

re: "Is there any protection for freelancers against this?"

 

Short answer is "no."

 

Learning how to deal with and prevent scope creep requires skill, experience and finesse. There is no built-in Upwork functionality for preventing it. Some clients legitimately do not understand how fixed-price contracts work.

 

Virginia's idea is excellent. Submit the work using the "Submit Work/Request Payment" button attached the job listing, and wait it out. If the client does nothing, then you will automatically get paid.

 

Another key tip: Blame Upwork.

"Dan: Thanks for your note. I can see how the additional part you asked for would be vital to the project. I would like to work on this. But Upwork's rules for freelancers are pretty strict about this kind of thing, and they won't let me start on that until after payment has been released for the original milestone."


 

To add to that, Don't do any of the work until you're paid for what you've done already and then on that additional "scope creek" escrow is funded for that work.

mtngigi
Community Guru
Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
5 of 5

So ... Heather, did any of our suggestions help you out?

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