Thanks for your responses guys - but your answers fail to address the fact that the client in this scenario is not able to be reached - they are simply not responding to any communication. So I cannot simply ask them to end the contract or to leave feedback, because I can't get hold of them in the first place. And if I simply leave the contract open until they finally come back into the picture and end the contract for me, then those months of inactivity affect my score.
Regarding planning to have clients close contracts; that is precisely the issue as I have contacted them to please close the contracts due ot the lack of previous response and resulting inactivity - but I hear nothing from the client. I don't mean the client doesn't respond as in the client answers me but forgets to close the contract; I mean the client has gone off the grid. No answer; nothing AND the contract remains open. I also can't bill 10 mins a month just to keep the contract active while I'm waiting on the following set of instructions from the client, as I'll be billing time unfairly.
Vladimir - respectfully - that will mostly be ignored. Preston, greta idea but doesn't work on fixed projects.
re: "Preston, great idea but doesn't work on fixed projects."
This strategy doesn't help at all on fixed-price projects.
For fixed-price projects, I use a different strategy, which is often effective. (Although not 100% of the time.)
On fixed-price contracts, I make sure that I complete the task precisely as described in the original agreement. And I submit it using the official "Submit Work / Request Payment" button.
If the client contacts me to ask for any change at all, no matter how tiny... if it is something that will only take a few minutes and doesn't require a new contract, I say yes, and ask the client to release payment so that I can make that change.
Now escrow funds have been released and I have been paid. That's good.
After money has been released to me, I send a message to the client to thank the client, and ask the client to close the contract.
If the client has any further questions or any other small request, I use that as an opportunity to ask the client to close the contract.
"Janelle: Yes, I think adding that new button makes sense. It was not part of the original specification for this contract, but I'll go ahead and do that now if you will close the contract."
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