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Perplexing situation with prospective client

Active Member
Martin F Member Since: Feb 20, 2019
1 of 7

Good morning.

 

I had a perplexing situation with a prospective client this morning, and I'm wondering if anyone can provide insights or suggestions.

 

This morning I submitted a proposal for a project with a description that began, "I need 400 words in five hours." I submitted a proposal, and the client made me an offer. I was about to accept the offer when I noticed the Weekly Limit was "1 hours per week." I wasn't sure what that meant. I had two guesses:

 

1) I would do up to five hours of work today (remember, the project needed to be completed in five hours or less), but only get paid for one hour because that was the limit.

2) I would do up to five hours of work today, and eventually get paid for all of it, but only for one hour per week over the next five weeks.

 

Perhaps both of those were wrong; I'm still fairly new to Upwork so I'm not sure. That's part of my question.

 

I messaged the prospective client back, thanking her for the offer, that I was ready to jump in, but asking if she could please change the Weekly Limit first. A few minutes later she withdrew the offer, withi the reason listed as, "I am hiring another freelancer."

 

So, what did I do wrong? Was it unreasonable of me to ask for the Weekly LImit increase? Would I have been paid for all my work despite that 1-hour weekly limit?

 

I'd like to understand so that if I made a mistake I don't repeat it in the future. Thank you in advance for your help.

 

All the best,

 

Martin

Community Guru
Jonathan H Member Since: Jun 19, 2019
2 of 7

Sounds to me like you had a lucky escape! Requesting the increase was totally reasonable and i can only assume they were looking to find someone that does not notice! 

 

I would report the situation personally, the client is asking for 5 hours work but only willing to pay for 1

Active Member
Martin F Member Since: Feb 20, 2019
3 of 7

Thank you for the response, Jonathan!

 

How does one go about reporting something like this? 

 

I also have a follow-up question:  Will this negatively impact my job performance rating?

 

 

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

The client expected you to "do" 400 words, deliver the work within 5 hours, and bill no more than one hour, which may or may not be unreasonable depending on what it is.

 

There is nothing to report and this does not affect yourJSS as you did not accept it.

Community Guru
Jonathan H Member Since: Jun 19, 2019
5 of 7

I think the others raise a good point that i had completely missed - they wanted the work done 'within' 5 hours, meaning  1 hours work within the next 5.

 

As pointed out asking for clarification would be a good step.

 

I'm no writer and have no idea of the subject, but 400 words in an hour seems slightly more realisitic?? Do you envisage 400 words taking 5 hours?

 

just because a client says 5 hours doent mean you should bill 5 if it only took you 1 (or2, 3 etc.)

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
6 of 7

As others said, she wanted 400 words in 5 hours. Unless it was something complicated, giving the freelancer an hour to do it was fine. I've taken 1 hour capped contracts if that's the estimate I give them and they feel more comfortable doing that. I'd MUCH rather that than an escrow project.


Assuming this was quick fluff, she got spooked that he was trying to scam her out of 5 hours for 400 words, which I have to say is a lot if it was just fluff for backlinks. It depends on the content.

 

On the other hand, someone asking for 400 words in 5 hours sounds like a low end farmer, so it's also possible he dodged a bullet, but if it were me and she was willing to open an hourly contract, I would have taken it. Then again, I go for anything when I have the perk available until I hit a wall with a dispute. Then I drop down into conservative mode.

Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
7 of 7

Martin F wrote:

Good morning.

 

I had a perplexing situation with a prospective client this morning, and I'm wondering if anyone can provide insights or suggestions.

 

This morning I submitted a proposal for a project with a description that began, "I need 400 words in five hours." I submitted a proposal, and the client made me an offer. I was about to accept the offer when I noticed the Weekly Limit was "1 hours per week." I wasn't sure what that meant. I had two guesses:

 

1) I would do up to five hours of work today (remember, the project needed to be completed in five hours or less), but only get paid for one hour because that was the limit.

2) I would do up to five hours of work today, and eventually get paid for all of it, but only for one hour per week over the next five weeks.

 

Perhaps both of those were wrong; I'm still fairly new to Upwork so I'm not sure. That's part of my question.

 

I messaged the prospective client back, thanking her for the offer, that I was ready to jump in, but asking if she could please change the Weekly Limit first. A few minutes later she withdrew the offer, withi the reason listed as, "I am hiring another freelancer."

 

So, what did I do wrong? Was it unreasonable of me to ask for the Weekly LImit increase? Would I have been paid for all my work despite that 1-hour weekly limit?

 

I'd like to understand so that if I made a mistake I don't repeat it in the future. Thank you in advance for your help.

 

All the best,

 

Martin


When the client said "I need 400 words in 5 hours" she might have meant five hours from when she posted her project, not that she wanted to pay for 5 hours. Or maybe (more likely) you dodged a bullet. There's no "mistake" in asking a client for clarifications, in any case. And no, there would have been no guarantee that you would have been paid for five hours if the limit was one hour. 

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