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The client changed the requirements which initially provided with the offer (flat rate contract)

Hi,

I just want to share my experience but if you know the solution for similar situation please describe.

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Yesterday I started the contract which the client described like a โ€œsuper simple video intro" - easy job with small budget โ€“ usually, I try to avoid similar contracts... I don't know why I started with this one...

After I accepted the contract he just provided me with a lot of suggestions and requirements โ€“ after that, the task stopped to look as "super simple" project... on the opposite, the client started to generate ideas... a lot of ideas after each revision... I finished the task, and the client got the thing which he wanted to have (the client always right?)... almost for free...

So, the problem in this situation is that any freelancer on Upwork is unable to stop a rat race like this without negative impact to his/her JSS. In my real office, I could kick out the client like this one anytime because he started to break the terms of the contract. But on Upwork my JSS becomes a hostage of the situation every time I start with the contract โ€“ I can do nothing here, just smiling and keep going with the contract.

As I stated earlier, I believe JSS is the best system allowing to manipulate a freelancer, and dishonest customers use this option to the full!

ACCEPTED SOLUTION


@Pavel T wrote:

@Melissa T wrote:


Don't beat yourself up over it! 


Believe me, I don't ๐Ÿ™‚

I just shared my experience - probably it could be helpful for someone here... 


 high five gif.gif

View solution in original post

19 REPLIES 19
mthornton-cpc
Member

Pavel, this is what we call controlling scope creep. It's up to the freelancer to do it. When I see a client starting to go out of bounds on the agreed upon job requirements, I explain that the added features/work/revisions/etc. are out of the scope of the project, but I'd be happy to complete that addtional work if the client will set up a milestone for $X. 


@Melissa T wrote:

When I see a client starting to go out of bounds on the agreed upon job requirements, I explain that the added features/work/revisions/etc. are out of the scope of the project, but I'd be happy to complete that addtional work if the client will set up a milestone for $X. 


What would you do when you see that the client not going to set up the new milestones and increase the budget?


@Pavel T wrote:

 

What would you do when you see that the client not going to set up the new milestones and increase the budget?


 

I'd explain that I enjoyed the work up to that point, but couldn't continue working on out of scope tasks unless they were included in the job requirements and an additional milestone was created for them. If the client understood, great. If the client was just crappy and trying to get more work out of me than s/he paid for (seems to be your case) I'd professionally explain that I've completed the agreed upon job requirements with utmost quality, the scope has increased based on additional tasks, and I need to be paid for that additional work or will have to deliver what was completed and wish her/him good luck on the next phase of the job with another freelancer. 

lysis10
Member

You have to be really careful about people who describe a job as simple. It's usually a red flag.

Don't think I've ever bid on a job that goes something like "this should take no more than xx minutes for an expert", but if I *were* to bid on one, I'd make the client agree before I accept the offer that if it does take more than xx minutes, another milestone will be created for the additional time needed.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce


@John K wrote:

Don't think I've ever bid on a job that goes something like "this should take no more than xx minutes for an expert", but if I *were* to bid on one, I'd make the client agree before I accept the offer that if it does take more than xx minutes, another milestone will be created for the additional time needed.


yes, it looks like some solution before you start with the contract and if your client is honest one...

 

but if you already "there" due to JSS you have no way to jump from a moving train...

I'm not going to work for free just because someone threatens my JSS. If the client leaves visible negative feedback, I I will respond explaining that scope creep occurred. But I'm not going to keep working for someone just because I fear their review. 

and we got top rated perk now wheeeee!

 

I used mine in Feb, so it's up again for me yayyy. I can be more daring!


@John K wrote:

Don't think I've ever bid on a job that goes something like "this should take no more than xx minutes for an expert", but if I *were* to bid on one, I'd make the client agree before I accept the offer that if it does take more than xx minutes, another milestone will be created for the additional time needed.


I also avoid those. If the client is certain it is easy, they are already signaling their lack of appreciation for your expertise. 


@Jennifer M wrote:

You have to be really careful about people who describe a job as simple. It's usually a red flag.


Absolutely agree with your statement! I don't know what possessed me... 

Am I understanding you right that you finished it and got paid and everything is final now? That's good at least.

 

I've been juggling things here for 2 years and 1.5 years on Elance, and I can say I've maybe had people do this to me a handful of times (not counting hourly of course). Once was last year, and then I had an older client that transferred the content management to a new person and I assumed the new person was as easy as he was (big mistake). That's all i can remember anyway, so relatively low amount of problems.

 

In one case it went to arbitration. There was a lot more to that story though than just endless revisions. Another one was a $2500 job and looking back I should have known and shouldn't have bid as low as I did. I should have bid high and dropped him if he didn't like it. Our deal was no revisions and he went back on it and asked for 4 weeks worth of revisions. It was really frustrating but I did it and got paid without a dispute. I put up with it because of the amount. 

 

The customer that transferred to new guy, I was really annoyed but did it anyway. He asked for revisions after making me wait 2 weeks for auto release and like an idiot I didn't just close the contract. I did it though.

 

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that most of the time I do it just to get paid and try my damndest to see the red flags. I haven't had an issue since May 2016 when I had the last problem and I think it's kinda cuz I tell people 1 revision now.


@Jennifer M wrote:

Am I understanding you right that you finished it and got paid and everything is final now? That's good at least.

 

....

 

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that most of the time I do it just to get paid and try my damndest to see the red flags. I haven't had an issue since May 2016 when I had the last problem and I think it's kinda cuz I tell people 1 revision now.


 Yes, I did - because it's only the way how any Upworker can decrease the losses in similar situations...

 

I didn't set the number of revisions before I start with the contract - my overlook here is... but anyway, it's not the "insurance" if the client initially wants to receive more than he described in the offer.


@Pavel T wrote:

@Jennifer M wrote:

You have to be really careful about people who describe a job as simple. It's usually a red flag.


Absolutely agree with your statement! I don't know what possessed me... 


Don't beat yourself up over it! You've been doing this too long to let some loser derail you. You're done with the job, right? You did extra work for free, which blows, but you didn't get taken for a huge ride and have a whole job's worth of stuff stolen or anything like that. You protected your JSS (I would have rolled the dice on that one and used my top rated removal perk if needed, but to each his own, brother) and you got a little gut-check to remind you to listen to that voice in your head from now on. 

Some clients are good people, but they are psychologically incapable of understanding the fixed-price contract model.

 

For those clients, there is really no way to teach them or train them.

 

So the only thing you can do is to use hourly contracts.


@Preston H wrote:

Some clients are good people, but they are psychologically incapable of understanding the fixed-price contract model.

 

For those clients, there is really no way to teach them or train them.

 

So the only thing you can do is to use hourly contracts.


Always prefer to hourly terms... 

But did you read about  "Hourly Protection"? Too many threads in the forum how it really works.  


@Melissa T wrote:


Don't beat yourself up over it! 


Believe me, I don't ๐Ÿ™‚

I just shared my experience - probably it could be helpful for someone here... 


@Pavel T wrote:

@Melissa T wrote:


Don't beat yourself up over it! 


Believe me, I don't ๐Ÿ™‚

I just shared my experience - probably it could be helpful for someone here... 


 high five gif.gif

You did it the right way, OP. Glad you got paid. Seems you just needed a little vent. I can respect that. 

 

May the FL force be with you, and a pox on your dbaggary client


@Jennifer M wrote:

You did it the right way, OP. Glad you got paid. Seems you just needed a little vent. I can respect that. 

 

May the FL force be with you, and a pox on your dbaggary client


 thx. amen! ๐Ÿ™‚