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f_pignatelli
Community Member

PENDING MILESTONES PAYMENTS COMPLAIN / ENDED CONTRACT BY CLIENT WITHOUT WARNING

Good morning my name is Francesco Pignatelli and I'm a Freelance Designer here on Upwork.

 

I'm writing to you regarding a problem / misunderstanding for the still unpaid sum of which I demand the arrival, as well as what seems to be objectively a bad management of the project by the client.

 

I delivered all the material and always provided reports at the end of each Milestone as well as pointing out to the client ( for free) a lot of extra errors and failures which were to be found in their documents (e.g. Brand Guidelines).

 

They, on the other hand, always delayed communications, and were not available for a day and a half.

 

TO MEET A DEADLINE YOU NEED THE COMMITMENT OF BOTH PARTIES.

 

The client terminated the contract yesterday and I don't understand why, but as you can imagine, what interests me even more is that my time and effort will be paid for.

 

P.S. This is also my first project on Upwork and to obtain it, as you know, it was neither easy nor immediate, so I would be really disappointed if the story would end like this.

 

I rely on your understanding and help by inviting you to READ MY CHAT WITH THEM (RELATIVELY SHORT) TO VERIFY THE TRUTHFULNESS OF MY WORDS, THE SENDING OF THE MATERIALS AND ABOVE ALL, THE MILESTONES TO WHICH THE CUSTOMER HAD REPLIED "YES".

 

Attached you will find 3 screenshots from conversation (one translated from german to english)

 

Thank you very much and good continuation of the day

Francesco

11 REPLIES 11
petra_r
Community Member


Francesco P wrote:

I'm writing to you regarding a problem / misunderstanding for the still unpaid sum of which I demand the arrival,

The client terminated the contract yesterday and I don't understand why, but as you can imagine, what interests me even more is that my time and effort will be paid for.


When the client ended the contract, was there money in Escrow? If so, you can dispute the return of the escrow funds.

 

If whatever you think is outstanding was not funded, (no active milestone with the funds in Escrow) there is nothing you can do.

 

g_vasilevski
Retired Team Member
Retired Team Member

Hi Francesco,

 

I`m sorry to hear about the bad experience you had. Please keep in mind to make sure that the agreed budget is fully funded before you start working. Our Fixed price protection does not cover promised funds and unfunded milestones. 
To learn more about how you`re protected under our Fixed price protection, check out this Help Article. I would also recommend checking out the Safety first section Here. Thank you.

~ Goran
Upwork

The screenshot will be removed as this is not allowed, but it does not matter.

The second milestone was not funded, and you will not be able to dispute that non-payment. There is no money in Escrow.

 

Game over

Good evening Petra!

 

I didn't know about the Screenshots, I am sorry... I thought it was indeed allowed because I've seen just today other people doing it (on posts from 2017 I believe); but that was one of my few proofs.

 

I guess I've learned the lesson now.

 

Would you be so helpful to confirm if the following procedure is most correct and effective one in your opinion?

 

1 - LANDING JOB

2 - AGREEING ON MILESTONE WITH CLIENT (What do you do in case you need feedback at the end of a milestone but the client disappear? you keep working or wait untill he answer and stop working? Because this was also a great part of my issue as well.)

3 - STARTING TO WORK ON A MILESTONE ONLY WHEN IT'S BEEN DEPOSITED IN ESCROW

 

Thank you


Francesco P wrote:

 

Would you be so helpful to confirm if the following procedure is most correct and effective one in your opinion?

 

1 - LANDING JOB

2 - AGREEING ON MILESTONE WITH CLIENT (What do you do in case you need feedback at the end of a milestone but the client disappear? you keep working or wait untill he answer and stop working? Because this was also a great part of my issue as well.)

3 - STARTING TO WORK ON A MILESTONE ONLY WHEN IT'S BEEN DEPOSITED IN ESCROW

 


Personally, I often work on unfunded milestones, but only with trusted long term clients and I don't (usually) send the work until the money is in Escrow.

 

But yes. Milestones should have nice, clearly defined deliverables. Do the work, submit, the client releases the milestone and sets up / funds the next. Do the next milestone, submit, wait for approval and release of the funds, wait for the next to be funded and so on.

 

Personally, I do contracts up to about $ 1500 (sometimes more) in one milestone. Others say they like to start small to "test" the client first. I'm more reckless I guess, when I see the money in Escrow I know it's there and I'll get it in the end. 

 


Petra R wrote:

Francesco P wrote:

 

Would you be so helpful to confirm if the following procedure is most correct and effective one in your opinion?

 

1 - LANDING JOB

2 - AGREEING ON MILESTONE WITH CLIENT (What do you do in case you need feedback at the end of a milestone but the client disappear? you keep working or wait untill he answer and stop working? Because this was also a great part of my issue as well.)

3 - STARTING TO WORK ON A MILESTONE ONLY WHEN IT'S BEEN DEPOSITED IN ESCROW

 


Personally, I often work on unfunded milestones, but only with trusted long term clients and I don't (usually) send the work until the money is in Escrow.

 

But yes. Milestones should have nice, clearly defined deliverables.

Yes, but how do you specify / handle the inevitable feedback rounds that comes with every step of the project? Do you include them in the Milestone description and therefore consider them as part of the Milestone itself? Or do you discuss them in the chat? Or you don't care and send the material when money is in Escrow and you are finish with that part?

 

Do the work, submit, the client releases the milestone and sets up / funds the next. Do the next milestone, submit, wait for approval and release of the funds, wait for the next to be funded and so on. 

 

Personally, I do contracts up to about $ 1500 (sometimes more) in one milestone. Others say they like to start small to "test" the client first. I'm more reckless I guess, when I see the money in Escrow I know it's there and I'll get it in the end. 

 


 

You really didn't escrow correctly. You made a $280 milestone for "absorbing guidlines" and then delivered files. All wrong. Milestones should have defined deliverables and then you only work on those deliverables. Having an escrow deliverable that's 1/3 of the price just to read guidlines is weird and then you leave yourself up for non-payment of the last third for revisions. Are revisions really that much?

 

I guess this is just lessons learned.

Good evening Jennifer!

 

First of all thanks for giving me your opinion as well. As I mentioned in my first thread it's my first job here on Upwork and I guess I am getting a better understanding of its mechanics just now... learning through experience. 

 

With that being said, even if I totally understand what you meant when you nicely labeled my choice "weird", I must say that the Guidelines were almost 50 pages of REALLY weird and confusing "guides" on how their (as I discovered later on in the chat: "in progress") brand should work and be used. Infact half of that first price was actually me telling them all the things they should be improving and how as well as offering me to do it later on. So I guess you can consider it DESIGN CONSULTING.

 

But now I understand that my fault was to not wait that every single Milestone was first deposit in escrow. Only then I should have started to work... What I still find very sad of course, is that (not having done this discussion with you guys) now I did send to the client the final material thinking that this way she would have seen everything and then democratically release the payment. 


Francesco P wrote:

Good evening Jennifer!

 

First of all thanks for giving me your opinion as well. As I mentioned in my first thread it's my first job here on Upwork and I guess I am getting a better understanding of its mechanics just now... learning through experience. 

 

With that being said, even if I totally understand what you meant when you nicely labeled my choice "weird", I must say that the Guidelines were almost 50 pages of REALLY weird and confusing "guides" on how their (as I discovered later on in the chat: "in progress") brand should work and be used. Infact half of that first price was actually me telling them all the things they should be improving and how as well as offering me to do it later on. So I guess you can consider it DESIGN CONSULTING.

 

But now I understand that my fault was to not wait that every single Milestone was first deposit in escrow. Only then I should have started to work... What I still find very sad of course, is that (not having done this discussion with you guys) now I did send to the client the final material thinking that this way she would have seen everything and then democratically release the payment. 


For something like this, the best thing to do is just have them escrow into 1 milestone of $850 and don't accept until they hand over the guidelines. Then, just add whatever limitations you need to set for the milestone. You get the guidelines, read them over, create a thing, and then submit. It's up to them if they want revisions, and if they do you will have your scope and revision rounds already set. You also protect your time investment so that they have to go into arbitration if they decide not to pay or don't want to pay a portion. By forcing them into arbitration, you give yourself leverage and it's likely they will just pay you and move on rather than go into arbitration.

f_pignatelli
Community Member

I have a similar problem!

 

I have worked on every Milestone and the client has only fund and released the first one.

When I've proceeding sending them the material they disappeared for one day and a half for the previously approved feedback round, by doing this, slowing down everything. I've continued to work anyway and also send them the stuff. When they finally showed up again they (as always happens) asked for many adjustments and changes (even if during our chat they kept saying "do what you want, be creative and free, just stick to the brand guidelines - which where objectively horribly put together).

 

She has still not funded the Second and Third Milestone and then she ended the contract.

Please help me out here ๐Ÿ˜ž

 

You are free to check all of my chat... my Contract ID is 23606564.

 

**Edited for community guidelines**


Francesco P wrote:

 

She has still not funded the Second and Third Milestone and then she ended the contract.

Please help me out here ๐Ÿ˜ž


There is nothing anyone can do unless the client comes back voluntarily. Because you worked on unfunded milestones, there is no dispute procedure, as was pointed out to you in your other thread.

 

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