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Should I cancel my contract with an unresponsive client?

Active Member
Amelia H Member Since: Feb 7, 2018
1 of 6



I recently accepted a contract with a client. I thought it would be a short job – half a day, max. As we live at the other side of the world to one another, we agreed set times when he would send me the work and I would return it.


An entire day has passed, and the deadline is swiftly approaching, but my client has still not sent me the work. I have sent him multiple messages, politely requesting it, but there has been no response.


If he gets back to me now, there is a chance that I won’t be able to meet the original deadline, which is tomorrow morning. It is also nearly 9 p.m. where I am, so I would have to work through the night, and fast, if he decides to send it soon. I am currently feeling run-down and tired, so I would rather not do this.


Should I cancel the contract?


I’m worried about receiving bad feedback, though, and losing my Top Rated badge, especially when I have done nothing wrong! I also got warning bells when, after I accepted the contract, he sent me additional work, about himself and his company, and expected me to read it, free of charge. Finally, I have other deadlines to honour, which this 'job' has now put pressure on.


What shall I do?


Thanks in advance for your responses.


Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
2 of 6

The client missed the deadline to provide you with needed materials, so in your shoes I would not feel obligated to work beyond reasonable hours to complete the work on time. If his deadline was important, he's the one who screwed up. For now, I would assume he actually has leeway in terms of getting it completed. Don't close the contract, that just lands you with a no-pay contract on your history. Give it some time.

In the future, don't accept a contract until you have in hand materials to complete at least one milestone or bill at least 10 minutes. That way, if a client flakes, you can eventually close the contract without it being no-pay.

Good luck!

Active Member
Amelia H Member Since: Feb 7, 2018
3 of 6

Hi Phyllis,

Thanks so much for your helpful response - you're absolutely right about not accepting a contract until in-hand materials have been provided, and I'm going to do just that from now on.

To clarify, should I message my client now, saying, 'unfortunately, I cannot complete the work etc,' and then leave the contract open until HE closes it?

Thanks again,


Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
4 of 6

You didn't indicate what the span of time has been -- I have the impression (possibly dreamed up on my own) that this has all transpired over the course of a few days. You've already asked him, so I would let it sit a while and see if he surfaces again. I don't see a reason to be in a hurry to close the contract with nothing paid. It doesn't hurt you sitting idle, whereas a nothing-paid contract can result in a ding.


Active Member
Amelia H Member Since: Feb 7, 2018
5 of 6
Yes, it has been a few days - I will keep it open. Thank you again for all of your help.
Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
6 of 6

Are all of your other "in progress" contracts still active? You may want to come up with a strategy to start closing the contracts for which you have been paid and no more work is forthcoming. It isn't something you'll want to do all at once. 


For this contract, the client may have run out of time and decided to skip your assistance, they may have hired someone else, or they may have extended their deadline. If you aren't hearing from them, there's no way to find out. You have a few weeks (not sure exactly how long) before a no activity/no pay contract begins to affect your score so use that time to close out contracts for which you might get reviews and prepare your JSS for the hit. 

If you haven't used your Top Rated perk, you will be able to use it to eliminate the impact of one contract.