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Should I refund the client

moneerba
Ace Contributor

Hi,

 

The most recent client I worked with provided a very unfair feedback in my view. The client asked for lots of reworks for work that was already according to standards. I do not see the feedback as objective. I did give him good feedback although he did not deserve it.

 

I did communicate with the client regarding this but although he admitted it nothing has changed, although I enabled him to change it.

 

Upwork is an extremely friendly environment for clients and an unfair environment for freelancers where even open contracts (left open based on an agreement with the client) can lower your score. 

 

At some point, it becomes exhausting and drains you of positive energy.

 

I am currently contemplating refunding the client to remove the feedback. I prefer to not have a low score on my profile. Money can be compensated. I know refunding will affect my JSS, but it will be temporary, and I won't have low stars on my profile.

 

What is your opinion on this?

 

 

 

 

 

ACCEPTED SOLUTION
bobafett999
Community Guru

Well only you can decide if you should refund the money or just suck it up and move on.  Of course, amount of money and how much work you put in also comes in play.  I agree with you that Upwork is most friendly to buyers.

 

On the other hand the shrewd buyers have learned the 'ins and out' of getting free stuff.  If you were to refund the money you are basically encouraging that behavior. 

 

As I mentioned before, you only can decide how much you rely on getting jobs through upwork to supplement your other income.  I had a situation and I refused to 'compromise', but I do have the luxury of relying zero income from Upwork.

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39 REPLIES 39

Nicola,

 

I asked the client for an explanation because the feedback was not in line with reality. It was dishonest

 

I am all for continuous improvement, but you are ignoring the key issue here: I have to pay the price for dishonest feedback either way. I am just pondering what cost to pay.

 

And, this is not about me being right. This is about the consequences. The environment is very competitive, and clients switch from one freelancer to another in a heartbeat. 

 

Also, I have open contracts based on agreements with clients. We keep them open because the clients initiate milestones at irregular intervals. I am not sure why Upwork penalizes freelancers for having open contracts too. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


@Moneer B wrote:

Nicola,

 

I asked the client for an explanation because the feedback was not in line with reality. It was dishonest

 

I am all for continuous improvement, but you are ignoring the key issue here: I have to pay the price for dishonest feedback either way. I am just pondering what cost to pay.

 

And, this is not about me being right. This is about the consequences. The environment is very competitive, and clients switch from one freelancer to another in a heartbeat. 

 

Also, I have open contracts based on agreements with clients. We keep them open because the clients initiate milestones at irregular intervals. I am not sure why Upwork penalizes freelancers for having open contracts too. 

 

 

 

 

 


@Moneer B wrote:

Nicola,

 

I asked the client for an explanation because the feedback was not in line with reality. It was dishonest

 

I am all for continuous improvement, but you are ignoring the key issue here: I have to pay the price for dishonest feedback either way. I am just pondering what cost to pay.

 

And, this is not about me being right. This is about the consequences. The environment is very competitive, and clients switch from one freelancer to another in a heartbeat. 

 

Also, I have open contracts based on agreements with clients. We keep them open because the clients initiate milestones at irregular intervals. I am not sure why Upwork penalizes freelancers for having open contracts too. 

 

 

___________________________________

 

Moneer,

You need a reality check. If you are "all for continuous improvement" then do it. You seem to have a few clients who independently seem to agree that you fall down on some of the feedback criteria. "Dishonesty" in this case is subjective and you should also remember that clients check the forums even if there are not that many who post.

 

All freelancers on Upwork are well aware of the competition and the difficulties in landing gigs, which is all the more reason to check why our performance is regarded as less than stellar by some clients. 

 

As to open contracts. This has been discussed so often in the forums that I won't continue. I imagine one day, you will find out for yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

Nichola,

 

I am not sure how doing continuous improvement now helps me with this specific contract. Sure it would help in further contracts but not here. You are trying to dig deep and find blame whereas I am trying to find a solution.

 

Also, thanks for the diagnosis (I am sure I don't need a reality check), and I did not come here to be diagnosed by others.

 

Nichola, you do not have all of the facts about this contract. I do. The value I have provided pretty much exceeds the feedback given. 

 

I did not start this post to discuss what my weaknesses are, or for others to start their own evaluations of my past contracts. I can do that on my own.  The title of my post pretty much sums my question. You provided your answer, and I thank you for that.

 

I said "dishonest" because even the client agreed when we discussed things. For your sake, let us just say "inaccurate".

 

Your answer does not help much, to be honest, other than the answer to my specific question, which I appreciate, though I don't necessarily agree with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bottom line is that there's nothing you can do about this contract. If you choose, you can refund the money and get the review off of your profile, but it will still hurt your JSS, so it's probably not worth it.

 

@Moneer

So I'm not quite sure why you posted in the first place. You have already taken it up with the client, and he seemed reluctant to agree that you delivered perfect work. As you say, noone is privy to the details of this particular contract, and if you can't see that you may need to revise your strategy, then noone here can help you. There is no point in continuing this discussion.


@Nichola L wrote:

. You have already taken it up with the client, and he seemed reluctant to agree that you delivered perfect work.

 

Which possibly should not have come as a huge surprise after the client requested repeated reworks.

Nichola and Tiffany,

 

Again, the title of my post says exactly what question I needed answers for. I am pretty much sure nowhere did I ask for diagnosis or evaluation of my skills. What I see here is people racing to point out my faults or flaws. Sure, go ahead if it makes you feel better. 

 

I never said the client was reluctant. I said he agreed. There was no pressure. 

He requested rework because he did not know what he wanted. 

 

Please try to open your minds to the possibility that some clients will provide low feedback even if you give them world-class level service.

 

Nichola, this did become a non-discussion when people lost focus on my question and started discussing the story.

 

Again, thanks for your contributions, although they did not help much. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moneer, it seems like you misunderstand the nature of a public forum. People are free to say whatever they like, within the bounds of the law and TOS. If you raise an issue in a public forum, you can't limit the responses to the ones you would prefer.

 

Clearly, I said nothing about your skills--I haven't even looked at your profile. I simply responded to your post, pointing out that there is nothing you can do to avoid impact on your JSS at this point. I'm sorry you don't like that answer, but it's directly on point.

 

My other response (which, again, has nothing to do with your skills and was based on your original post) was directed to Nichola, not you.

Tiffany,

 

I appreciate your contribution and thank you for your answer to my specific question. 

 

Of course, people are free to say what they want on public forums. I simply reiterated what my request was about and that people lost focus. 

 

While you did reply to Nichola, your reply was about my work. Furthermore, what Nichola said and which you replied to was inaccurate. She said the client was reluctant. He was not. You indicated that the I was the reason behind the rework, and this is not the case here. I am not stellar but I know when I am the reason behind rework request and when I am not.

 

 

The issue here is that instead of receiving answers to my question, people are questioning my version of the story. Not you perhaps, but some people seem to think they know the story better.

Again thank you for your contribution and wish you success on Upwork

Moneer, I think that you misunderstood my comment--and, perhaps, Nichola's. 

 

Nichola said that your client was reluctant to give you perfect feedback, which is obviously true--he didn't give you perfect feedback. If he's been entirely willing to give you perfect feedback, then you'd have perfect feedback and this thread wouldn't exist. 

 

I don't want to make assumptions, but it seems that perhaps a language barrier prevented you from understanding the way in which she (properly) used the word "reluctant."

 

My comment was not in any way intended to suggest that you were or were not at fault. I was simply saying (and continue to believe) that if a client requests multiple reworks, it is unsurprising that the client is less than completely satisfied. Whether or not that is justified is a completely different (and largely irrelevant) issue.

Tiffany,

 

Nichola said:

"You have already taken it up with the client, and he seemed reluctant to agree that you delivered perfect work."

I understood that he seemed reluctant after I took it up with him, not before. The comma in the sentence and the word "and" indicate that he was reluctant after I took it up with him. 

 

I agree that sometimes a client who is unsatisfied requests multiple rounds of work, which I don't mind doing at all. But in this case, the rework requests were because the client kept on changing his requirements and was not sure about what he wanted. 

 

You are right that refunding will still affect my JSS, and I am still trying to figure out how best to handle this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it possible that you're investing more time and energy than is warranted in figuring out what to do about this particular contract since you feel like the client's feedback was unfair? If you don't expect this one contract to have a critical impact on your JSS, maybe you'd be better off just to move forward?

 


@Tiffany S wrote:

Is it possible that you're investing more time and energy than is warranted in figuring out what to do about this particular contract since you feel like the client's feedback was unfair? 


 Yeah, you may be right about that part

Moneer:

 

This thread is like watching the grass grow.  You seem to be unwilling to accept the fact that employers don't give good rating to an employee just to please them.  You have ONLY two choices 1. Refund the money and if the buyer is sneaky you are essentially giving them free ride. 2. Since you are not in a mood to change the world, you can refund the money.

 

In either case only you can decide what consequences you are willing to live with. 

Point taken regarding the thread.

I understand your point about client's feedback to freelancers. I simply expect fair feedback, not feedback that is intentionally low and which would damage freelancers' work chances.

Also, I want to point out something that is not related to the subject of this post just quickly: freelancing does not involve "employers" and "employees". If it did, freelancers would be entitled to a wide range of benefits that they do not actually get (health, vacations, sick leave... etc). 

 

Well Moneer, if this thread is any indication of your personality you must have bugged the buyer a lot about poor feedback.  Freelancing platform is like opening a box of chocolate.  You never know what you are going to get.

 

That is true for buyers as well as workers.

Prashant, I'm not at all sure that's true. While everyone gets the occasional surprise from a client or freelancer who drops the ball or just changes dramatically at the first sign of trouble, it is and should be rare for experienced freelancers. By the time you've read a client's job posting and exchanged a few messages or had a 5-10 minute conversation with him, you should have a fairly good idea of who and what you're dealing with and whether you want to do business with that client.

 

I think that freelancers sometimes (consciously or not) ignore red flags because they really want to work, and so don't want to believe that a client is one they'd be better off avoiding.


@Tiffany S wrote:

Prashant, I'm not at all sure that's true.


 OK your majesty Tiffany. 

OH.  I followed your advice and increased my rate.  So far no job, but 3 interviews!

Prashsnt,

My personality?
Now you are conducting a personality assessment? How very nice
And I must have bugged the buyer a lot?! You say it with so much certainty that you might even want to tell the rest of the story as well , because it sounds you know it better than I do
If you say this thread is like watching the grass grow, why do you continue writing responses that don't help?
Honestly, your response earlier was a much better and a more mature one than this last one.
I guess asking a question on these forums is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you're gonna get.

Again thanks for the personality assessment.
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