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Re: Suggestions for dealing with Bad Clients and feedback

Active Member
Robin S Member Since: Aug 13, 2017
1 of 10

I have never had bad clients until just recently so there must be something in the air, or the moon is in the wrong position, just kidding, but really...

 

I normally have only 5 star reviews, and now three bad people in a row.

 

#1 , left me FABULOUS-couldn’t be better- verbal feedback, and then a total of 4 stars on everything. When I asked her why, she said she was new to the system, and didn’t know how to leave good feedback and if I had just asked, she would have gone and corrected it....yeah right...

Instead of going back and changing it to match what she wrote, she got angry, and is now looking for someone else to finish more work for her. That along with the fact that I designed an entire web site for her, even though she promoted the job as simple and the web just needed tweaking. NO, it needed to be trashed and rebuilt, which I did, to her utter job, and my utter horror of 4 stars! she got about 10 times what she paid for...which was peanuts!

I thought about refunding, but then said...the verbal feedback is good, maybe people know that some people never offer 5 stars no matter what. However, I would never work for this woman or do her WIX work again for her psychic hotline!

 

 

Number two.  I was sick for a week, I had a "small" blog post job to write, which was really not small, as they guy described it!  for $30 total, he wanted practically a book written to describe how he draws, step by step, and I had to imagine the instructions for 20 slides of him making a drawing. Talk about an abuse of writing for someone. well, I did it. After the test part of first five posts, I had to write another 15....he claimed it would take 1,000 words TOTAL it took over 10,000. Right..for $30

 

THEN, he gave me 5 stars on ability and skills...and 2 on everything else...What the ???? when asked,,,(which again, I have NEVER had to do before.)...he claimed he had to contact me first so therefore I deserved a 2 for communication!  and because I was sick? I deserved a 2 for cooperation??? RIGHT!! meanwhile I was busy writing for him, which he was thrilled over, according to the 5 stars on quality.....hmmmmmm

 

so ,I would NEVER WORK for him again, nor do I RECOMEND this "artist" for blog writing on his drawing page,

 

which leads me to another thing....

 

 

Up til now, I have been posting 5 stars on all my clients, merely out of respect, and I guess that that I thought it was not worth it to tell them how I really felt. THAT IS GOING TO STOP. I will NO longer just give totally positive review, because it hurts all of us to NOT SEE how the client REALLY acts....

 

Since they do not see the feedback until they give yours, ( nor do you , so if you have a bad client you are on pins and needles waiting for the shoe to fall, OR worse, NOT EVEN EXPECTING they are like that )  I suggest you be REALLY HONEST-evaluate-is this a person I WOULD WANT to work for again? Did they abuse my talents and my time? Can I honestly say  they were GREAT to work with...and if not..be brutally honest.! I wrote a TRULY HONEST review on the "artist'  afterward, and now that is posted, so I Guess I just live with the 3.8 and at least a true and honest review of him is up for all to see. I have had it being kind and keeping it all to myself!

 

From now on I am not going to leave 5 star reviews as a course of habit, and then get run over by people who abuse us. It is bad enough that they want stuff practically for free (not everyone) but if they are cheap to begin with then often times are the ones who complain the most!

 

That brings up number 3

 

Several days ago, I accepted a bid for a job way lower than I would ever normally consider doing, and I even said, your offer is low, but since you express that you are looking for someone for long term ( they wanted one logo done for $25 but said they had 36 more to do) I figured it was a group job, and would pan out that way.

 

HAH....I over made to begin with, spent about two hours+ designing a custom icon for their company, and then JUST to add in some extra, created three additional logos for them to choose from, total of four...just for starters.

 

AFTER I sent them , he decided he wanted to steal someone else’s logo, and use that icon, and he was going to send me the image and or some others to work with. Not at all mentioning or commenting on the ones I had sent!

 

After waiting days for those, and asking him if he was sending anything, I asked again today, and he only replied  “no”. So I said I would go ahead and submit the first batch, and then if he wanted me to work on one, or adjust I would do that. I even wrote that additionally into the submit section.    Instead he got bent out of shape, called me all sorts of evil stuff, belittled me, went on and on saying I was trying to steal his money, all over his lack of ability to even do his side and send what he wanted me to work from.  I lost my normal cool, told him what I thought, and there out decided to just cancel the contract...and I am glad I did.

that gave ME the power back and the heck with him!!

The work I did is no way worth the hassle and the possible negative feedback that would be a guaranteed thing from these kinds of people.  I think, many of them like this want to get their work for free.!!  I would NEVER RECCOMEND  gigs to  make  Specialty Shipping logos for anyone, so beware.

 

So, in my final analysis, I have learned a lot recently.

 

 I have had only good clients and reviews till now.   I have decided that no one is worth working for if they at all seem to be disjointed, confused, fail to offer full description of what they need, and at all give you a hard time up front.  BEWARE and just cancel a contract and move on. I realize we all want to make the dollars from an earned contract, but believe me, the stress involved in dealing with  unfair bad feedback and review far outweighs the little cash you are hoping to get at the front end.

 

Plus, once you get that feedback, you are a nervous wreck that it will affect other job procurement...and yes, it will...so just cut the cord right away.

 

 

Today is the FIRST time I ever cancelled a contract, and it was after I had just put it through to be paid!  I will be way more careful of WHO I accept jobs from, and if it appears to be a negative person right from the start, or one who does not give you info you need to work from, and then expects the moon anyway....cut them loose...it’s just time you have lost, and not future earnings!!

 

PLUS:

 

  • Be FAIR and HONEST if you need to leave a bad review on the client...it won't hurt you, and others who will do the same thing, will shy away and know you are not going to take abuse.

 

Then,  if you find you have an abusive person to work with, and they at all degrade you,

  • open a ticket up  as Avery suggests above, and report them. These people think they can come on here and take advantage of us, ( not all, but there are many).
  •  ALWAYS look up their history, and read reviews on them ( this is why it is important that as a group, we all are honest about the client, as others use this as a guide, and these bad ones can behind this smoke and mirrors), I realized this when the guy said...but you left me a 5 star review! HE knew it was not true, and thought I was a jerk to do so!
  • It is also a good idea to try to determine if the client is a sub contractor, as this can give you problems when you are dealing through a third party to the real client!! Many people here try to outsource what they cannot do themselves, and you can wind up with some serious conflicting info, and lack of it. IT becomes quite clear you are not dealing direct, and thus many times have to redo over and over  since they are not sure what they really want.
  • Place your bids for jobs wisely. Use milestones whenever possible, it gives you a chance to get paid for preliminary work, and possibly get out and cancel if you have problems, and also, you can judge how the client is treating you along the way. Make your time frame realistic and then add to that! Do not get shoved into a corner to finish work quicker than is reasonable.
  • Another tip is only look for people who have funded their job. And at the VERY LEAST, never proceed until they HAVE funded it!!

At this point, I filter out clients who have not funded their jobs, as they are 99% more likely to not hire anyone, and  just use up your connect points. They never cancel the job, they just keep them hanging, where if it is funded, they usually want to use that money on a real job!

  • So, be honest with yourself, respect your work, and expect others to respect you as well.
  • Do not allow a bad client to ruin your reputation, your sanity or your security to attract more clients.

They say bad things come in threes.....hopefully I had  in a row now!

I wish you the best, and I hope the planets realign soon!!  Smiley Happy

ART PRO 4 U

Robin

 

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
2 of 10

@Robin S wrote:

 

 

#1 , left me FABULOUS-couldn’t be better- verbal feedback, and then a total of 4 stars on everything. When I asked her why, she said she was new to the system, and didn’t know how to leave good feedback and if I had just asked, she would have gone and corrected it....yeah right...

Instead of going back and changing it to match what she wrote, she got angry, and is now looking for someone else to finish more work for her. That along with the fact that I designed an entire web site for her, even though she promoted the job as simple and the web just needed tweaking. NO, it needed to be trashed and rebuilt, which I did, to her utter job, and my utter horror of 4 stars! she got about 10 times what she paid for...which was peanuts!

 

"Utter horror" over four stars is a lot of unnecessary drama. It sounds like it may have been an unfair rating from a client who asked to much to begin with, but it's stunningly unprofessional to confront a client about feedback, and it's no surprise at all that she decided to find another freelancer. 

 

 

Number two.  I was sick for a week, I had a "small" blog post job to write, which was really not small, as they guy described it!  for $30 total, he wanted practically a book written to describe how he draws, step by step, and I had to imagine the instructions for 20 slides of him making a drawing. Talk about an abuse of writing for someone. well, I did it. After the test part of first five posts, I had to write another 15....he claimed it would take 1,000 words TOTAL it took over 10,000. Right..for $30

 

This is two in a row who sound like extremely low-end clients. The cheapest, least professional client are often the most demanding and have the most unrealistic expectations. 

 

I'm not sure how your contract was set up, but it sounds like fixed price. If your contract or milestone was for approximately 1,000 words, then you should not have written significantly more than that without additional escrow. I'm not saying the client wasn't bad--it sounds like he was. But, you can avoid this kind of situation in the future by making your bids contingent on word count and other relevant factors, so you aren't locked in to doing more and more at the client's whim.

 

 

Up til now, I have been posting 5 stars on all my clients, merely out of respect, and I guess that that I thought it was not worth it to tell them how I really felt. THAT IS GOING TO STOP. I will NO longer just give totally positive review, because it hurts all of us to NOT SEE how the client REALLY acts....

 

Good. That dishonest thing you had chosen to do just puts other freelancers at risk. It's hard to understand why you would ever have done that.

 

 

Several days ago, I accepted a bid for a job way lower than I would ever normally consider doing, and I even said, your offer is low, but since you express that you are looking for someone for long term ( they wanted one logo done for $25 but said they had 36 more to do) I figured it was a group job, and would pan out that way.

 

"Potential for long term" is often code for "I'm tricking you into working cheap in hopes of getting better-paying work from me later."

 

 

AFTER I sent them , he decided he wanted to steal someone else’s logo, and use that icon, and he was going to send me the image and or some others to work with. Not at all mentioning or commenting on the ones I had sent!

 

After waiting days for those, and asking him if he was sending anything, I asked again today, and he only replied  “no”.

 

After waiting days for him to send you the stolen image to work from? Surely that can't be what you're saying? 

 

So I said I would go ahead and submit the first batch, and then if he wanted me to work on one, or adjust I would do that. I even wrote that additionally into the submit section.    Instead he got bent out of shape, called me all sorts of evil stuff, belittled me, went on and on saying I was trying to steal his money, all over his lack of ability to even do his side and send what he wanted me to work from.  I lost my normal cool, told him what I thought, and there out decided to just cancel the contract...and I am glad I did.

 

that gave ME the power back and the heck with him!!

 

Not so much. He can still leave private feedback, which has more of an impact on your JSS than public ratings. 

 

 

 I have had only good clients and reviews till now.   I have decided that no one is worth working for if they at all seem to be disjointed, confused, fail to offer full description of what they need, and at all give you a hard time up front.  BEWARE and just cancel a contract and move on.

 

It's good that you've learned how to assess bad clients, but you have to do it before you contract. The strategy you suggest here will be catastrophic for your JSS.

 

Active Member
Robin S Member Since: Aug 13, 2017
3 of 10

so  Tiffany,

I did not confront her on the 4 stars, ( which I am sure you would not like  on your  5 star page either )   but she asked for even MORE work to be done, and she also mentioned that she had finally left me a review, after over a month later. It was only then I saw it, and thus asked her about it in the conversation regarding her wanting more work to be done.....

( and no, the original bid was reasonable for the work "to be done"  and not a low ball gig per see)

 

Personally, I no longer think it improper to ask your client, if you get a less than expected review.

Not only can you find out what you could have done better in many cases, but it helps to understand why they might be disparaging. I don't think it is as cut and dry as you suggest, JUST like leaving a 5 star review ( which is what most people do here,,,,don't kid anyone) is not so blatently put it dishonest,,,,,and yes, I just said it needed to be more honest to their credit, FOR the purpose of helping everyone.  Your better than everyone tone is a bit much.

I tried to share a situational story, but instead I get lambasted for taking on two many cheap gigs.!  Not everyone on here can charge $85 an hour as you do, nor are there that many gigs in some of our fields that have not been infilitrated by very low end competing freelancers.. NOT in your field I am sure, but maybe you should walk in some other shoes for a moment, before you comment on taking jobs too cheap.

There are limited opportunities in some fields since the free policy went into effect here. Before Elance was much more competitive in some areas, now we have people coming here and working like they are on Fiverr.


and NO
I was not waiting for the STOLEN graphic, but others he claimed he had for me to work with, which he never supplied.
If you are a GURU on here, I would think your comments to honest hard working people who try to share a story, would be a little less brash!

thanks for all your pro insight!

and I would LOVE to hear, how you think my strategy is "catastrophic for your JSS"   since you are a pro!
Please do tell exactly how you find that to be the case!



@Tiffany S wrote:

@Robin S wrote:

 

 

#1 , left me FABULOUS-couldn’t be better- verbal feedback, and then a total of 4 stars on everything. When I asked her why, she said she was new to the system, and didn’t know how to leave good feedback and if I had just asked, she would have gone and corrected it....yeah right...

Instead of going back and changing it to match what she wrote, she got angry, and is now looking for someone else to finish more work for her. That along with the fact that I designed an entire web site for her, even though she promoted the job as simple and the web just needed tweaking. NO, it needed to be trashed and rebuilt, which I did, to her utter job, and my utter horror of 4 stars! she got about 10 times what she paid for...which was peanuts!

 

"Utter horror" over four stars is a lot of unnecessary drama. It sounds like it may have been an unfair rating from a client who asked to much to begin with, but it's stunningly unprofessional to confront a client about feedback, and it's no surprise at all that she decided to find another freelancer. 

 

 

Number two.  I was sick for a week, I had a "small" blog post job to write, which was really not small, as they guy described it!  for $30 total, he wanted practically a book written to describe how he draws, step by step, and I had to imagine the instructions for 20 slides of him making a drawing. Talk about an abuse of writing for someone. well, I did it. After the test part of first five posts, I had to write another 15....he claimed it would take 1,000 words TOTAL it took over 10,000. Right..for $30

 

This is two in a row who sound like extremely low-end clients. The cheapest, least professional client are often the most demanding and have the most unrealistic expectations. 

 

I'm not sure how your contract was set up, but it sounds like fixed price. If your contract or milestone was for approximately 1,000 words, then you should not have written significantly more than that without additional escrow. I'm not saying the client wasn't bad--it sounds like he was. But, you can avoid this kind of situation in the future by making your bids contingent on word count and other relevant factors, so you aren't locked in to doing more and more at the client's whim.

 

 

Up til now, I have been posting 5 stars on all my clients, merely out of respect, and I guess that that I thought it was not worth it to tell them how I really felt. THAT IS GOING TO STOP. I will NO longer just give totally positive review, because it hurts all of us to NOT SEE how the client REALLY acts....

 

Good. That dishonest thing you had chosen to do just puts other freelancers at risk. It's hard to understand why you would ever have done that.

 

 

Several days ago, I accepted a bid for a job way lower than I would ever normally consider doing, and I even said, your offer is low, but since you express that you are looking for someone for long term ( they wanted one logo done for $25 but said they had 36 more to do) I figured it was a group job, and would pan out that way.

 

"Potential for long term" is often code for "I'm tricking you into working cheap in hopes of getting better-paying work from me later."

 

 

AFTER I sent them , he decided he wanted to steal someone else’s logo, and use that icon, and he was going to send me the image and or some others to work with. Not at all mentioning or commenting on the ones I had sent!

 

After waiting days for those, and asking him if he was sending anything, I asked again today, and he only replied  “no”.

 

After waiting days for him to send you the stolen image to work from? Surely that can't be what you're saying? 

 

So I said I would go ahead and submit the first batch, and then if he wanted me to work on one, or adjust I would do that. I even wrote that additionally into the submit section.    Instead he got bent out of shape, called me all sorts of evil stuff, belittled me, went on and on saying I was trying to steal his money, all over his lack of ability to even do his side and send what he wanted me to work from.  I lost my normal cool, told him what I thought, and there out decided to just cancel the contract...and I am glad I did.

 

that gave ME the power back and the heck with him!!

 

Not so much. He can still leave private feedback, which has more of an impact on your JSS than public ratings. 

 

 

 I have had only good clients and reviews till now.   I have decided that no one is worth working for if they at all seem to be disjointed, confused, fail to offer full description of what they need, and at all give you a hard time up front.  BEWARE and just cancel a contract and move on.

 

It's good that you've learned how to assess bad clients, but you have to do it before you contract. The strategy you suggest here will be catastrophic for your JSS.

 


 

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
4 of 10

Robin, I have a 4.2 feedback and a couple of other 4somethings, along with 11 no feedback contracts. None of that has triggered a meltdown of any kind. I don't consider a mix of 4s and 5s in the various areas to be "bad" feedback. 

 

While it's true that I have a niche on Upwork with special qualifications, I've been freelancing for about 30 years. I've done a lot of general copywriting, blogging, etc., which is an area VERY infiltrated by lowballers. In fact, even in my niche, a huge number of clients choose to hire unqualified writers for $3-7/blog post. That's okay--those aren't the clients I'm targeting. In every industry, there are high and low quality clients. Most successful freelancers are successful in large part because they opt not to engage with the low-end clientele.

 

Many freelancers resist this idea and want to blame the clients, competition, Upwork, etc., but ultimately those who let go of their insistence that the market is just bad and they have to take on cheap work are the ones who succeed, and the ones who stay mired in that market just continue to encounter the same problems--and that's true across a wide range of industries that have vast lower echelons.

Community Guru
Baris A Member Since: Mar 15, 2017
5 of 10

Piuvv...I can't believe I read this whole post. Hello Robin, I just wanted to ask you what is the common thing between all these three contracts? And I will give the answer: Low budget, economy, bargain, cheap. What? Yes.

 

Low Budget (always)= Problem Client

 

My recommendations to you:

 

Don't bid on low budget jobs.

Don't believe they have more work to come.

Don't do anything more than what writes in the contract (This is not what they call the extra mile)

Don't keep communicating with people you have bad experience with.

 

 

Active Member
Divij S Member Since: Feb 10, 2019
6 of 10

I am taking this point in note. What happened to this person is almost the kind of thing that happened to me recently.

 

However, I for one cannot seem to find high paying clients that easily. Could it be because I am new to upwork ot because I am not placing my bids right or some other reason?

Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
7 of 10

Robin, at which moment will you understand that rock bottom prices attract rock bottom clients?

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
8 of 10

When clients ask for work beyond the scope, it is the business owner's job to tell them that more work will cost more money. Yes, the client may be angry and leave bad feedback. But at least the experience will be over quickly and the freelancer can move on to better work.

 

Never trust the future work promise. If future work comes, appreciate the relationship you've built with the client. But don't overwork or underprice based on a promise. 

 

That artist has posted numerous requests for step-by-step instructional content. I think in this case, OP should have realized it would be a long project. 

 

Logo and design work is highly competitive and notoriously low paying for those who just dabble in the niche. But again, it is up to the freelancer as the operator of his or her business to choose when to say "no" to scope creep. Working with someone who has demonstrated limited ethics and respect for others' IP is always a risk. 

 

Study the business of freelancing and it should reduce the number of bad contracts you find yourself trapped into completing. 

 

 

Active Member
Martin D Member Since: Jul 16, 2019
9 of 10

Currently dealing with a low balling client who promised a list of jobs for me to quote that never shows.

On another job my Upwork score was 100% untill I agreed with the client to not complete cause my college work was more important. Score dived to 63% cause I am new and its done by percentage?

Most jobs I aquired last year went great with positive client interaction but no feedback. First ever job  was a stressful nightmare but I get full stars and great comments?!

 

We get demoted quickly, understandably, but what about clients?

Is there a way to see how well rated a client is before proposing or am I being blind?

Highlighted
Moderator
Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
10 of 10

Hi Martin, 

You should be able to see the client's information on the right-hand side of a job post, which I have noted on my screen grab below. When you go to the job post by opening the job post link in a new window, scrolling down to the bottom of the page gives more information on the client's recent history. 

 

Screen Shot 2019-07-17 at 2.14.39 PM.png


-Avery
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