Reply
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply

Payment process when job is 100% phone

Active Member
Robyn R Member Since: May 22, 2015
1 of 7

I don't really like the hourly pay job in this situation where I essentially make errand calls (reservations, cancellations, etc). Me and the client agreed to 5-6 tasks for X amount of dollars and I essentially agreed to a "flat fee" for each call/task, despite time involved. It's currently hourly pay but I am wondering if I should cancel the contract and get the hour already logged paid to me, and ask him to change it to the fixed rate and have the milestone once weekly? I dont really want him to hassle with contract, especially when I'm helping him save time so it's a conundrum.  

 

Logging five minutes here, two there, thirty there manually doesn't make sense to me, especially when I don't believe in charging until the task is complete. Writing notes on the computer during phone calls takes away from the call itself and I normally have to shift through multiple emails to provide the correct information during the phone call. Plus manual time isn't guaranteed anyway through upwork.

 

Suggestions?

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2 of 7

You're right, Robyn, that's the kind of contract that does not really lend itself to an hourly contract and might, at first glance, work better as a fixed rate one.

 

Two main ways to go about it:

 

1) Keep it as an hourly contract and agree with the client that you add manual time at the end of the week up to an agreed limit and according to what you had agreed should be spent on the task. This has three advantages and one disadvantage

 

  • + your client does not have to mess with closing the contract and starting a new one
  • + it counts towards your Upwork hours
  • + your client does not have to mess with setting up and releasing milestones,he is charged automatically every Monday for the work of the previous week and you're paid automatically too
  • - the disadvantage is that manual time is not guaranteed in case of a dispute

2) You end the current contract and take it to a fixed rate one. This has the disadvantage that your client has the hassle of setting up and releasing milestones every week

Community Guru
MERCY N Member Since: May 6, 2015
3 of 7

"... Logging five minutes here, two there, thirty there manually doesn't make sense to me, especially when I don't believe in charging until the task is complete..."

 

Robyn, I'd ask for a switch to fixed job. My clients seem to send me weekly milestones with ease.

 

And you are explaining your situation so well even your client will see your point right away. After all, mostly clients want hourly jobs so that they can see from screenshots what you were working on. In your case, that angle isn't really helpful because you are dealing with phone calls. Hourly jobs used to be more advantageous too for guarantee of payment. Now the milestones are here to secure the funds in advance - so no more worries on fixed jobs. That' a kudo for Upwork.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
4 of 7

Robyn, due to the technical nature of how the time-tracking software works, it is inappropriate for you to use it to log time spent on phone calls because you are not using a computer during those calls. The time-tracker is not designed for that. You zero-activity time-logging could actually get your account automatically suspended by Upwork's automated algorithms.

 

You will need to choose between using manually logged time or fixed-price contracts.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
5 of 7

@Preston H wrote:

You zero-activity time-logging could actually get your account automatically suspended by Upwork's automated algorithms.

 

 


 That is untrue. Zero activity time slots are not charged or recorded. There is no "automated algorithm automatically suspending accounts" based on work diary activity. There are algorithms that detect fake activity. Even those do not automatically suspend an account, they flag it and lead to manual review. Please don't keep telling people that X,Y or Z willautomatically get their accounts suspended based on wild theories.

 

Low activity timeslots, as can be caused by mainly phone based, or very "bitty" (a couple of minutes here, a couple of minutes there" work) *can* lead to a lost dispute (should a client dispute) or lost earnings in case of non-payment by the client.

 

Zero activity timeslots will never lead to account suspension because they don't cost anyone anything. Zero activity = zero charge = zero problem.

 

 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
6 of 7

Petra, I appreciate your response, but to clarify how I understand things work: if a contactor uses the time-tracker to log time, by clocking in and out as if they were using a time-clock, but they do little or no actual work on the computer, then there are two main problems:

 

1. These low-activity logs might be disputed and Upwork would not guarantee the time worked, and would side with a client who asks to not pay.

 

2. More importantly, the low-activity time logs might lead Upwork automated algorithms to suspend a contractor's account due to suspicion of fraudulent activity... The contractor is suspected of trying to log hours without doing any actual work. There are plenty of reports of this happening.

 

I think what you are saying is that the algorithms don't AUTOMATICALLY suspend an account, but they flag an account, and an Upwork employee then suspends the account. It doesn't make any difference to the contractor which it is.

 

And I think there might be some confusion about what I was referring to when I said zero-activity.... I am referring to time actually logged, but with little or no mouse click or keyboard activity recorded. If there IS a distinction between completely having no activity whatsoever and logging very little mouse activity or keystrokes, and the former would actually lead to the time slot not being logged at all, then that is good to know.

 

But either way, the time tracker is not designed for the type of activity the original poster describes, and the work she described could lead to problems, including non-payment (if the time is not recorded at all) or account suspension (whether automatically or due to flagging), if she uses the time tracker to record the time worked.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
7 of 7

@Preston H wrote:

Petra, I appreciate your response, but to clarify how I understand things work: if a contactor uses the time-tracker to log time, by clocking in and out as if they were using a time-clock, but they do little or no actual work on the computer, then there are two main problems:

 

1. These low-activity logs might be disputed and Upwork would not guarantee the time worked, and would side with a client who asks to not pay.

 

2. More importantly, the low-activity time logs might lead Upwork automated algorithms to suspend a contractor's account due to suspicion of fraudulent activity... The contractor is suspected of trying to log hours without doing any actual work. There are plenty of reports of this happening.


 1) Indeed, as pointed out before, time could be disputed, or taken off in case of non payment by the client

 

The main problem though is that any time worked prior to a screenshot being taken would not be recorded if she logs out of the tracker.

 

Say she logs in at 10.03, works two minutes, logs off the tracker, before a screenshot, then NOTHING would be recorded in that 10 minute timeslot as no screenshot has been taken, leading to the work going unrecorded and unpaid.

 

This however would assume that the the tracker was used, and she specifically said "logging time manually" so in a way the whole point is moot....

 

2) Low activity alone won't - it's other stuff. There are plenty of reports, they usually later turn out to be clients disputing for low activity, or autoclicker use. We allknow that there are "plenty of reports" of "one sid of a story" and that many are incomplete or plain false.

 

 

"And I think there might be some confusion about what I was referring to when I said zero-activity.... I am referring to time actually logged, but with little or no mouse click or keyboard activity recorded. If there IS a distinction between completely having no activity whatsoever and logging very little mouse activity or keystrokes, and the former would actually lead to the time slot not being logged at all, then that is good to know."

 

 

If there is

  1. no activity (no mouseclick and no keyboard activity)  or
  2. the tracker was started and stopped BEFORE a screenshot was taken

then NOTHING is recorded, NOTHING is charged and NOTHING leads to anything. I can leave the tracker running and go shopping, and continue working when I get back, the time while I was shopping is not recorded or charged and won't trigger me to be suspended by anything, automated algorithms, creatures from Mars, or human beings.

 

 

"But either way, the time tracker is not designed for the type of activity the original poster describes, and the work she described could lead to problems, including non-payment (if the time is not recorded at all) or account suspension (whether automatically or due to flagging), if she uses the time tracker to record the time worked."

 

Again. Low activity alone will not cause an account suspension.

TOP SOLUTION AUTHORS
TOP KUDOED MEMBERS