» Forums » Freelancers » Should I refund and end a fixed price contrac...
Page options
Community Member

Should I refund and end a fixed price contract?

Recently I was approached by an Upwork business client with an offer. I have vetted the client (because of previous bad experience) and the client has good reviews (around 4.9). So after an initial discussion on the work and the deadline, I went ahead and opened a contract with the job scope stated really clearly. 

So few days after I started working, client sent me an additional excel sheet and asked me work on that after I finished the agreed work. I was shocked when I opened the excel file, It has around 25,000 rows to be proofread. I said to him straight up he needs to pay me extra. He then said he has done the same to a number of freelancers and they have completed the same work in 2 hours. 

So the initial agreement was that the work will take me no more than 20 hours. And with the new work he gave, he said it will only take me an extra 2 hours. And then he also said that I should keep working on both the agreed work and the new work, and If I need *TWO HOURS* extra, then he is happy to work something out. 

I don't feel comfortable at all with what the client said. Because he is refusing to add a new milestone upfront, so I am not being protected. 

Should I just keep discussing with the client or should I just refund and end the contract?

Community Member

That's called scope creep and nobody can proofread 25,000 columns (?) in two hours (whatever 25,000 columns may mean).

Complete milestone 1 (the scope that was agreed) and submit for payment. Ask the client to set up milestone 2 for whatever you consider fair for the rest of the work and see what happens. 


The client actually CAN'T fund another milestone until the current one has been approved and released.

Right now I am halfway through, I don't think it is bad for me to end the contract given how *pushy* he has been with the new work. I will definitely lose more time If I actually finish the current work and then try to get him to fund another milestone.

Also 2 hours to complete the new spreadsheet sounds like a lie he invented. The new work was a lot, I doubt that a person could finish them within 8 hours. But based on the positive reviews given to him, I am pretty sure some freelancers just went ahead and let him abuse them. 

Community Member

Of course you should not work for free.


If you were hired to process "Spreadsheet 1", then you should process "Spreadsheet 1."

If the client sent you "Spreadsheet 2," then you should not do any work on that.


You should decide whether or not you want to simply close the contract now and release any escrow money, or finish the ORIGINAL AGREED-UPON TASK and click the Submit button to get paid for that work.


You SHOULD NOT put up with nonsence.


As for the "other freelancers" argument?


What if I came told you to your house and told you I represented "The Society to Rename Dogs to Dogthings" and you must pay me $1000. And you said no, but then I said: "All of your other neighbors on the block paid me $1000."


First of all: Do you actually believe that all of the other neighbors paid me?

Second: Does it matter?

If a lot of other people do something preposterous... does that mean that YOU are required to do something preposterous?

I think after ending a few bad contracts with abusive clients, I feel like I want to go ahead and do the same. After working as a freelancer for a few years, I grow more and more tired towards the cheap ass mentality that some clients have. 

Do I want to keep fighting him to pay me for the second work even if he insists on me to complete both of them together? What if he decides to fight the money in escrow because I refuse to do the work without payment? I already feel exhausted at the thought of fighting about it. 

I am not that worried about ratings at this point. As I had gotten bad reviews from abusive clients but I did climb back to 100% after a few months. 

Community Member

Do you mean 25,000 rows in Excel?  2 hours is not going to cover it. I'd say 12-15 hours depending on how much needs correcting.

Sorry yes, I meant rows! not columns. I feel the same. It is a lot of work. 

It is not acceptable for a client to add additional work to a fixed-price contract milestone task AFTER the task has already been agreed upon and funded with an escrow payment.


It is not acceptable for a client to assign you an additional milestone without discussing it with you.


It is not acceptable for a client to assign an additional milestone task and tell you how much the task will pay. The client needs to ask you what you will charge for the task.


It is not acceptable for a client to tell you how long a certain task will take. The client may ASK you how long it will take you to do a certain task.


It is not acceptable for a client to tie the amount of time that a task will take to how much he must pay you for the task. A fixed-price task payment is not based on the amount of time it takes. The payment is agreed to based on a specific deliverable.

Latest Articles
Top Upvoted Members