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Problem with an unresponsive client

Active Member
Claudia B Member Since: Aug 13, 2018
1 of 9

I have a delicate situation with a client: I am a writer, and a client asked me for 10 articles in English and Spanish. The deal was to write the articles in English, she reviewed them and sent them to me approved so I could translate them. The payment was when I finished the 10 articles. I finished writing them all in English, but I have 4 more to translate because she has not returned them to me approved. The project is already 2 months old because a month ago it started to disappear and almost did not respond. She says she's busy and doesn't tell me what's going on, or why she doesn't give me any of the missing articles. The money is in escrow but because of the agreement to collect it at the end, I haven't received it. I am very upset and this situation is affecting my job score negatively, having a contract without earnings for 2 months. What can I do, that doesn't affect me negatively? I need help.

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
2 of 9

Ideally, this would have been set up as separate milestones, so you could have requested payment for the English articles when you submitted them. You've produced a lot of content and handed it over without any guarantee of payment. 

I would request payment officially by clicking "submit/request payment" as soon as possible in one way or the other. Since you've come this far and have only four of 20 articles left, you may want to just quickly wrap those up and submit--if the client needs revisions, she can use the appropriate procedure to request them.

Another alternative would be to submit a payment request for half of the project; you can do this by clicking the aforementioned button, noting that you are requesting payment for the English articles only, then changing the amount of the request to 50% of the total (or whatever is appropriate for just the English articles).

You have a while before the inactivity becomes a problem, but at 75 days you and the client will both receive a warning from Upwork that the funds will automatically be returned to the client when you reach the 90 day mark. You don't want to let that happen.

Active Member
Claudia B Member Since: Aug 13, 2018
3 of 9
I didn’t know about that problem. I requested payment for everything I have completed. If she doesn’t aprove it, what can I do?
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
4 of 9

Claudia B wrote:
I didn’t know about that problem. I requested payment for everything I have completed. If she doesn’t aprove it, what can I do?

If she just ignores it, you'll get paid automatically in 14 days. If she requests revisions, that will re-start the process and you'll have to submit again after you make any changes. If she disputes, you'll have the opportunity to negotiate with a facilitator from Upwork involved in the discussion. Ultimately, if she refuses to pay you, you will have to decide whether it is worth your while to pay $291 for arbitration.

Active Member
Claudia B Member Since: Aug 13, 2018
5 of 9
What? I mean, if I have an Upwork facilitator involved in the dispute, do I have to pay for it?
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
6 of 9

Claudia B wrote:
What? I mean, if I have an Upwork facilitator involved in the dispute, do I have to pay for it?

Because Upwork can't make a ruling--they can only try to help you agree. If you can't reach an agreement, the only person who can make a determination is an outside arbitrator, who must be paid. In that case, you pay 1/3 of the arbitrator's fee, the client pays 1/3, and Upwork pays 1/3.

It's starting to seem like maybe you didn't read about how Upwork contracts work before jumping in. For your own protection, you should probably do that before you start another one.

Active Member
Claudia B Member Since: Aug 13, 2018
7 of 9
Thank you very much for your kindness and your willing to help me. Have a nice day!
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
8 of 9

Claudia B wrote:

 The deal was to write the articles in English, she reviewed them and sent them to me approved so I could translate them. The payment was when I finished the 10 articles. I finished writing them all in English, but I have 4 more to translate because she has not returned them to me approved. The project is already 2 months old because a month ago it started to disappear and almost did not respond. She says she's busy and doesn't tell me what's going on, or why she doesn't give me any of the missing articles. The money is in escrow but because of the agreement to collect it at the end, I haven't received it. I am very upset and this situation is affecting my job score negatively, having a contract without earnings for 2 months. What can I do, that doesn't affect me negatively? I need help.


Has nothing ever been paid under the contract? That will indeed eventually affect your JSS.

It was probably not wise to do the whole thing as one milestone. Under the circumstances I would finish the translation "as is" and then officially submit, or, alternatively, submit for a proportion of the escrow funds to reflect the work done already.

The main thing will be not to have anything that counts as "nothing paid" for several months.

 

Active Member
Claudia B Member Since: Aug 13, 2018
9 of 9
Yes, I didn't know it could affect my JSS until now. Now I think that the client may know about all this things, because she doesn't have any feedback in her profile like she hasn't worked with anyone before, but she knew very well how to use this platform.
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