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Negative Impact On Success Score Due To Client's Failure To Respond

lealea1970
Active Member
Leanne V Member Since: Feb 23, 2015
1 of 14

Has anyone else had the issue where a client (who's payment method is verified) is always available and easy to get hold of before a contract begins and possibly for a short while after and then suddenly the whole company seems to disappear? You can't get hold of any of the contacts you were working on the project with before; whether you use UpWork messages or other email platforms. There's simply no response after months of trying to contact them.

 

Eventually you're left with no choice but to end the contract and are screwed pretty much any which way, because:

 

A. If you leave the contract open, the inactivity after several months will affect your Job Success Rate.

B. If the client leaves feedback, it's most likely going to be negative because they did not end the contract first - which will affect your Job Success Rate

C. If the client does not leave feedback (which is more likely if they're MIA), UpWork says that if there are too many of these contracts where no feedback is received, this will also affect your Job Success Rate 

 

How is the freelancer protected? Essentially, if the client fails to meet their part of the contract, no matter what option you choose as a freelancer, you get screwed over. Your job Success Rate is affected by the CLIENT's inability to do their side of the job; UNLESS the client happens to reappear in those next two weeks and against all odds leave you great feedback. But what are the chances of that happening?

 

"Choose your clients wisely" is not fair advice nor a problem solver. If a client is fully responsive before starting a contract, what indication is there to presume they will stop all communications after? Aside from that, if we were to never work with first time clients in such cases, based on this advice, you would have a lot less clients on UpWork providing work opportunities. We can't be expected to give new clients a chance while also telling us "choose wisely". That's not fair. Then provide some sort of vetting system for your clients as well.

 

Also, freelancers - even new ones - are able to pitch themselves with their profiles, allowing clients to determine whether they may be viable options. We don't have such a priviledge with clients; clients don't have profiles where we can determine whether they're serious or not. Perhaps, if the only assistance we're getting as freelancers is being told to choose more carefully, then perhaps UpWork can enforce the same requirements of clients, whereby they also have to provide background info (even if it's just LinkedIn profiles, or company About Us pages and even if they're only sent to applicants they want to interview, for privacy's sake) so that we can see whether they will be fit to work with as well. If this were the case, then "choose your clients wisely" while not being a solution by any means, would at least be plausible.

 

Take the number of jobs we spend credits on to apply for, where the client just never does anything with the job post after they create it. The jobs just sit there and close after a long period of inactivity. Where's our protection as freelancers then? We pay for extra credits (probably wouldn't need to if our free allotment of credits weren't wasted on inactive clients and their job posts) and yet no protection is provided to guarantee that jobs we apply for are actually going to progress beyond the "job posting" stage. Hiring Rate helps for sure; I won't lie. But what's needed is some sort of enforcement that gets clients to take their job postings more seriously; such as a penalty whereby if a client has created 2 or 3 job posts that were just left open and unattended for a certain number of months, then the client has to pay a penalty fee to UpWork if they would like to create a new one. If it's a case that the client simply didn't find the right freelancer; they can 're-post' the job post to try again, as many times as they need. But I'm referring to situations where job postings are just forgotten about. Then at least there would be some accountability from the clients end, which will instill some confidence in freelancers that jobs they spend their money and credits on are less likely to be a waste of their credits.

jutta_beinker
Community Guru
Jutta B Member Since: Jun 7, 2016
2 of 14

I have the same problem. But I'm now simply leaving the client feedback to warn other freelancers to avoid if they want feedback. I have 6 pending contracts at the moment which were fullfilled a long time ago.I will have no option but to grin and bear it for the time being.but It's really not fair on the freelancers.

" The bond with a true dog is as lasting as the ties of this earth will ever be "
versailles
Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
3 of 14

@Leanne V wrote:

 

 

 

C. If the client does not leave feedback (which is more likely if they're MIA), UpWork says that if there are too many of these contracts where no feedback is received, this will also affect your Job Success Rate .


Just to be clear: no feedback contracts will impact your JSS if this happens often. One no feedback contract every now and then won't hurt. My JSS never took a hit because of few no feedbacks here and there.

 

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
jutta_beinker
Community Guru
Jutta B Member Since: Jun 7, 2016
4 of 14

good for you. Mine did. So i have now closed all the pending no feedback contracts with the feedback back to the client in these lines. It's so annoying

" The bond with a true dog is as lasting as the ties of this earth will ever be "
elastella
Community Guru
Ela K Member Since: Feb 9, 2015
5 of 14

@Jutta B wrote:

good for you. Mine did. So i have now closed all the pending no feedback contracts with the feedback back to the client in these lines. It's so annoying


 

Jutta, your profile says you've had 23 jobs in total.

Your work history lists only 21 so I am going to guess you had 2 jobs that were canceled/closed with no money paid out. Those have an impact (the private feedback).

 

Anyway, out of those 21 jobs 11 have no feedback - that's more than 50%. Rene was taking about a few...

That certainly dings your JSS.

lealea1970
Active Member
Leanne V Member Since: Feb 23, 2015
6 of 14
I understand, it takes more than one contract without feedback to make an impact. The problem is I work on multiple contracts and many clients just never take the time to leave feedback - even when contracts ended successfully; so this can be a problem, even outside of this specific issue. But anyway, that's why I said if there are a number of contracts without feedback it can cause an issue 🙂
vladag
Community Manager
Vladimir G Community Manager Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
7 of 14

Hi Leanne,

 

Please note that you can ask the client to close the contract, ensuring they leave their feedback every time they respond to your request, since the party that ends the contract is required to rate the other party.

Untitled
prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
8 of 14

Experienced freelancers proactively plan to have clients close contracts.

 

One strategy for doing so with hourly contracts is to make sure a contract never goes "inactive" by having zero billing for a month or longer. In practice, this means that I bill at least ten minutes of time each month, or I ask the client to close the contract. My goal is to not let an hourly contract go inactive.

 

If all needed work has been completed, or if there really won't be any work to do during the next month, then I ask the client to close the contract and explain that she can easily open a new contract whenever new work needs to be done.

versailles
Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
9 of 14

@Preston H wrote:

In practice, this means that I bill at least ten minutes of time each month,


I see, but I'm not comfortable with this. I suppose that you make it crystal clear during the interview process, but I'm still not a big fan.

 

I understand the point, but the idea of billing even 10 min of work without doing any work makes me uncomfortable.

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
10 of 14

I would be careful about billing something just to keep a contract active without telling the client. I know plenty of ones that wouldn't be very happy about it if you tried to sneak money in. That's something you have to make clear before the contract starts.

 

OP, I let offers drop if I can't at least do something on it to either put in for the full escrow or bill something on hourly. If they disappear, i wait until I get paid for the last amount billed and close it.

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