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New (to us) Situation - New Contracts, Completely Unresponsive Clients - Suggestions?

104d1c90
Active Member
Erin B Member Since: Mar 22, 2017
1 of 11

Okay, so, this is a new situation for us.  Over the past year, we've had a number of great clients with zero issues and received great feedback.  Late in December, we started taking on new clients.  We're fairly good at vetting them and haven't had any major issues at all.  Strangely, however, something is suddenly happening we don't understand and have never encountered...

 

Three of the clients we have recently entered into contracts with have gone completely silent and failed to deliver the agreed-upon work on a weekly basis.  On those contracts, we've billed zero hours and the clients are completely non-responsive, which is frustrating.

 

We understand that the holidays were in the middle of all that; but it doesn't take that long to respond to a polite request, especially now that the holidays are over.  We've sent a couple of messages to each non-responsive client, and...nothing. Silence.

 

Any suggestions?  We have a 100% JSS and are Top-Rated.  We obviously don't want to affect that.  Thanks in advance!

zhon
Ace Contributor
Joseph M Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
2 of 11

"The Upwork system takes snapshots of your six-, 12- and 24-month history in the marketplace and calculates a score for each. The best score out of these moving time windows is displayed on your profile and updated about every two weeks." (https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/articles/211068358-Job-Success-Score)

 

It shouldn't change your score unless it becomes a long-term problem.

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
3 of 11

NEVER accept a contract until you have everything you need to track (any) time at all, or complete the first milestone.

"Nothing paid" contracts will start to hurt you at the 2-3 months stage so do NOT let it go that far without anything ever being paid.

 

You have the ability to turn those contracts into "something paid" contracts which will render them harmless to your JSS so do that before they start to hurt (by logging time or requesting a release of part of the first milestone after doing something, even if it is simply writing to the clients about the project.)

104d1c90
Active Member
Erin B Member Since: Mar 22, 2017
4 of 11

Thank you for the responses.  We're very experienced and know how to conduct ourselves with Clients.  Everything was "done right" with these Clients; they've simply gone "radio silent," and we don't know why.  It's not something we've experienced before.  We've actually initiated a new process now to prevent this from happening in the future, beyond what we *already* do.  We'll see how it goes.  Thanks again for the comments.

 

Best,

Erin

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
5 of 11

re: "On those contracts, we've billed zero hours and the clients are completely non-responsive, which is frustrating."

 

You made a tactical mistake.

Never enter into an hourly contract until you have enough information and/or input files sufficient to do at least ten minutes of work.

 

Then, once the contract begins, do at least ten minuts of work. That way you do not risk having a zero-pay contract.

tlbp
Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
6 of 11

Who is "we"?

104d1c90
Active Member
Erin B Member Since: Mar 22, 2017
7 of 11

I own my own VA firm.  I can't promote it here, but my partner assists me with the admin side of things.  What difference does that make, and how is that relevant to my original post?

 

Erin

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
8 of 11

@Erin B wrote:

 What difference does that make, and how is that relevant to my original post?


 Because "we" are not allowed to work on hourly contracts.

 


@Erin B wrote:
We're very experienced and know how to conduct ourselves with Clients.  Everything was "done right" with these Clients;

 Nope. If "everything had been done right" this wouldn't have happened. You'd have had enough to get to work on, and to log time on the contracts, rendering them harmless as far as your JSS is concerned.

104d1c90
Active Member
Erin B Member Since: Mar 22, 2017
9 of 11
@Erin B wrote:

 What difference does that make, and how is that relevant to my original post?

 Because "we" are not allowed to work on hourly contracts.

 

Again, this has ZERO to do with our original posting. Why are you hijacking our post to focus attention on something that is (a) none of your business, and (b) not relevant to the original question, and (c) not what's happening?

 

@Erin B wrote:
We're very experienced and know how to conduct ourselves with Clients.  Everything was "done right" with these Clients;

 Nope. If "everything had been done right" this wouldn't have happened. You'd have had enough to get to work on, and to log time on the contracts, rendering them harmless as far as your JSS is concerned.

 

Boy, you're pretty arrogant.  You  have no idea what "the right thing" is for our clients. Every client is different.  Please, just...stop commenting on our post.  We don't need your judgement or your arrogance.  Thanks.

aocumen
Moderator
Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
10 of 11

Hi Erin, 


I would like to clarify that since your're a non-exclusive member of your agency, your Job Success Score is not your agency's Job Success Score. Your Job Success Score is your own, personal score. For your agency to have a Job Success Score, your agency will need atleast 5 or more contracts from atleast three different clients for your agency to have a score. You may read more about it here.

 

If your clients are unresponsive, I would suggest that you close the contracts every two weeks, while completing new contracts to help avoid creating a pattern of contracts without feedback.


~ Avery
Upwork
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