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My long term client just lowered my salary with 5%

Community Manager
Valeria K Community Manager Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
11 of 20

Hi William,


You can consider using milestones for payment on your fixed-price contracts. That way you could take advantage of Upwork Fixed-Price Protection and dispute if the client refuses to pay the agreed amount to you. The amount of a bonus paid is up to client because bonus payment is usually optional.

~ Valeria
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
12 of 20

They "take the discount without asking" if you make it possible. As you noted yourself, if you were working using either of the payment structures Upwork intended, this could not have happened. Now that it has, you have the option of continuing to work for the client or not. 


Were I in your shoes, I would send the client a polite note stating that there appeared to have been an error, since the last payment had not been for our agreed amount. And, I would not do further work for the client until it was corrected and I had a commitment to proceeding at the agreed rate.


You've said, though, "Many of us can't be that picky." If that's your position, then there is probably nothing you can do.

Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
13 of 20

Bear in mind (if I understand the rules correctly) that bonus payments can be rescinded at any time. So any amounts you have been paid in bonuses can be taken back by the client. This is a dangerous way to do business with a demonstrably greedy client. Woman Sad

Community Guru
Isabelle Anne A Member Since: May 19, 2014
14 of 20

@Tonya P wrote:

Bear in mind (if I understand the rules correctly) that bonus payments can be rescinded at any time. So any amounts you have been paid in bonuses can be taken back by the client. 

 Whoa - I did not know that. Is this in the ToS or something? I don't remember coming across such, but that really sucks 😞

Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
15 of 20

William G wrote: 


...So anybody any useful ideas how to react on this, without doubting my words?



When you withhold key information, and refer to a "salary"—an entity that does not exist on Upwork—I'm not sure how you expect us to correctly interpret your situation.


Despite the experience of the colleagues you cite, clearly no one who responded could even imagine relying on bonuses for income until you told us that is the high-risk method of payment you have chosen.




Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
16 of 20

@William G wrote:

I get paid, as lots of my colleagues with me a fixed monthly salary paid out as a bonus. Clients can change that how they want.

 That is indeed a very silly way to do business on this site, as it gives you no protection against anything, and the client does not have to pay you anything at all if they don't want to.


The system is set up for either hourly contracts or funded milestones as fixed rate contracts.


If you chose to work with a client who refuses to use neither, you have given away any control you had.


This does indeed suck, but it was your own doing.


Community Guru
Ravindra B Member Since: Sep 27, 2015
17 of 20



“Many of us can't be that picky.”


What can you do?


Look for other job.


As soon as you have a better option, very politely tell your client that you are overloaded and hence must leave.


If you really feel that you have no other option, just put up with the whims and fancy of the client.

"Certa bonum certamen"
Community Guru
Natacha R Member Since: Aug 2, 2010
18 of 20

Oh what an unpleasant situation Cat Sad


I have two over 10k but only one qualifies.  Good that it’s hourly and client would either need to ask me first or end contract. I hope I don't get an email asking me to lower my rate, I would tell client that I put my rate up to make up for the fee increase, but because of the 5% fee on his contract, I had no intentions of increasing my rate for him.


What are you going to do? In the end, only you know what's best for you.


Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
19 of 20


I am certain my $10,000+ clients were informed by Upwork of the rate decrease. 

None of them has said anything. I would not be offended or anything if they asked.


But I know that none of them would ever ask.

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
20 of 20

Mine wouldn't ask either. I'm too scary.