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My client got fired today - job incomplete... what do I do?

ericsassaman
Active Member
Eric S Member Since: Jun 5, 2017
1 of 10

So I got an IM today that my client got fired from his company. I'm in the middle of a $2k fixed price job. We've agreed on one small milestone for a prototype of the home page. Client was happy, released $70 milestone payment, done and done. However I'm now roughly 25% done with the full project, having put in quite a bit of work already, and he's been fired from the company. He said that the job is cancelled.

 

I'm new to Upwork so I'm not sure how to proceed or if there is any way to get paid for the work I've already done. I told them earlier that there is no need to set further milestones and I'd be happy with the final payment at the end. Yeah, live and learn, I'll never do that again - milestones are a GOOD IDEA (smacks forehead). That being said, is there any way to get a partial payment? This is a squishy situation because all I can do is make an estimate on the % of work done and I freely admit he job is far from being complete.

 

From what I have read on the fixed payment policy I simply don't get paid until the next milestone and/or entire job is complete, ok I get it. But is there any protection at all against the job being cancelled? Or are the milestone payments exactly for that reason - protection from cancelled projects? In which case... my bad, live and learn, sigh.

 

But is that correct that a client can cancel at any point and any unpaid work done toward the next milestone is just an instant loss? I'm thinking finer-grained milestones are better, in that case.

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 10

You should not have set up a $2000 fixed-price milestone.

 

There is no advantage to you in doing so.

 

Why didn't you structure the project as an hourly contract or ten $200 contracts?

ericsassaman
Active Member
Eric S Member Since: Jun 5, 2017
3 of 10

I already know what I should have done, as I said in my post, but what would be really helpful to me right now is what I can do, if anything, now. Any suggestions?

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
BEST ANSWER
4 of 10

Here is my suggestion:

 

Submit everything you have done. Use the official Submit Work / Request Payment button. Do that right now.

 

If the client asks about it, tell him just to go ahead and release the payment.

 

If the client believes that the work is not complete and that he should not pay 100%, then tell the client what percent of work has been completed, and calculate how much he should release.

 

If the client does not agree, then dispute the client's attempt to pay less than the amount he owes you.

 

If the client has been fired, why should he care about releasing the company's money to you to pay you for the work which you did?

View solution in original post

kat303
Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
5 of 10

@Preston H wrote:

Here is my suggestion:

 

Submit everything you have done. Use the official Submit Work / Request Payment button. Do that right now.

 

If the client asks about it, tell him just to go ahead and release the payment.

 

If the client believes that the work is not complete and that he should not pay 100%, then tell the client what percent of work has been completed, and calculate how much he should release.

 

If the client does not agree, then dispute the client's attempt to pay less than the amount he owes you.

 

If the client has been fired, why should he care about releasing the company's money to you to pay you for the work which you did?


  Disagree with you on that advice. According to the OP first post, the 1st milestone was funded, and released to the OP. The OP got paid for that first milestone. At that point the OP said, forget about any more milestones, just paid the rest of the amount owed at the end. Other then the 1st milestone was funded and released, but the OP contined to work without any more funded milestones. 

 

The client isn't going to paid for the job however you look at it. The client "claims" he's been fired by the company he works for." He's not going to paid for something that's going to benefit the company he's been fired from.

 

It's up to the OP whether or not he wants, as you say, to send all the rest of the work he's done so far........ Knowing that he's not going to get paid for it.

 

IMO I would say, don't send it. You're not going to get paid, and whatever amount you've done, is not going to benefit the client or the company at this stage of the game. Ask the client to end the contract and next time, on large jobs, create a lot more then just one milestone AND make sure each is fully funded BEFORE you start work on the deliverables for that milestone.

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
6 of 10

Yeah... if the original poster has already been paid for all the work he has done, then this thing is over.

 

Of course he shouldn't try to get paid any more if he has already been paid for the work he has actually done.


But didn't he say he has done quite a bit of work on a milestone that was funded. But that no payment has been released for that additional work?

 

He said: "However I'm now roughly 25% done with the full project, having put in quite a bit of work already"

 

I guess that can be read two different ways:

 

a) After getting paid $70 for a first milestone, I did 25% of the work milestone #2 (a $2000 milestone).

[that's how I interpreted it]

 

[or]

 

b) I was paid $70 for a first milestone, which means that the project is now 25% complete. A milestone was set up for $2000, which would entail finishing the project. But I have not started that yet.

 

[Kathy: Is that how you interpreted it?]

ericsassaman
Active Member
Eric S Member Since: Jun 5, 2017
7 of 10

Sorry for the confusion, what I really should have said was, I'm 25% done with the REST of the project past that first small milestone.

 

Everything has worked out, the client actually created a new milestone, we quickly agreed on an amount, he funded it, and approved it. It's not much but I'm thinking I'm lucky I got anything at this point, but he knows I did a good chunk of work towards completion, so he's being fair.

 

Thank you guys for the advice, now I know what to do. Again I realize I made a huge mistake not setting up milestones along the way and obviously lesson leanred. Hey it's my first upwork project, I'm still learning the ropes Smiley Happy In this case it all worked out to everyone's satisfaction, and a nice rating to boot, so I'm good with that.

aocumen
Moderator
Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
8 of 10

Hi Eric, 


I'm glad that despite the setback, you and your client were able to close the contract amicably. In the future, I would suggest that you only start working on milestones if the milestone has already funded. As Jennifer has pointed out (or if I may clarify further what she has shared), unless the milestone is funded, you are not protected by the Fixed-Price Protection program.

 

I hope you can take the time to read up on the freelancer resources we have compiled, and tips for avoiding questionable jobs to help you work safely on the platform. 


~ Avery
Upwork
lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
9 of 10

This happened to me but escrow was fully funded so I got my money cuz no escrow no workie.

tlbp
Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
10 of 10

Words to live by. 

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