🐈 Community
» Forums » Freelancers » The client is literally making my life a nigh...
Page options
Community Member

The client is literally making my life a nightmare because of feedback

Hi Guys!
I have a client that I worked for him before inside a team for an hourly contract and it was OK and finished for him two small projects.
He contacted me for a new project but he wanted it to be fixed-price, For that, I told him that we need to agree on specific requirements and we shouldn't change them so I can estimate the work properly and be within the budget. We agreed on requirements. It was a listing and searching site. I agreed with him I'll be available for 2 ~ 3 hrs a day for his work in a specific timezone and he was ok with it and we agreed the work will take a month and a half this way. We even agreed on the theme that we'll use with its components.
And most importantly, We agreed that there will be no changes to the requirements even if his client asks for it because this is a fixed-price contract, not an hourly one.

Here's what happened, once we started the contract, he told me that there will be different FIVE versions of the site!!! And I was like WHAT THE HECK! we didn't agree on that! but I didn't say a word because I know .. he got me the moment I clicked on APPROVE to his offer.
From the first week, He told me we need to deliver the project in 14 days! Seriously?! We agreed on one and a half month! He just didn't answer when I told him that we agreed on otherwise.

Then, He started to ping me all day and night asking what was done and started to push me to work more and more. He literally told me TO LEAVE ANYTHING and DEDICATE THE FULL DAY to his work. He asked me to dedicate my full day like 10 times! Literally, He sometimes pings me at midnight asking for updates! Like he forced me to work one day all night, otherwise, he'll put bad feedback to me! So I have to shut up and work and stay awake. Next morning, He pinged me on WhatsApp a couple of times in the morning asking for some tasks to be done in 2 hrs because he's going to have a meeting with his client! LIKE REALLY??????!!!
I was awake all night because of you and you expect me to wake up at 7 AM when you ping me to get up and do more work?!
Not to mention that literally he's not giving me any opportunity to get any job done for the other clients that I work for. I'm freelancing full-time, so I've 4 hrs a day for a client and another 2 hrs for another client, then I agreed with that client that I'm talking about to dedicate 2 ~ 3 hrs max per day to his work. I'm literally working fo that fixed-price client all day long and on weekends and he's making my life an absolute NIGHTMARE.
I feel trapped and enslaved because I'm totally counting on my Upwork profile for living and it's making me very stressful to be threatened to get bad feedback that would decrease my chances of getting any new jobs.
I swear even the moment I'm writing this right now, he's asking for changes to remove the sitemap plugin from the site and create another one from scratch with pagination to fulfill his client's needs. He absolutely didn't say a word or even mention something like that sitemap thing when we were discussing the project at all.

I even told him that there's lots of stuff that we didn't agree on in the requirements at all and his answer was that my code is terrible and that's why it takes me much time to work on changes!!! I told him so my code is the problem, not the too many stuff that we didn't agree on before?
and his answer was I refactored some of your work so you should THANK ME and you can go and finish the remaining stuff without telling me it's out of scope!
What a RUDE guy!

It's worth a mention that from time to time he goes and makes some changes to my code. His changes were an absolute disaster and produced so many bugs that he comes to me and tell me to fix them!!!!

Not to mention that we agreed on three milestones, He only paid one and I asked him to release funds for the second milestone which was already done a long time ago. But he's just ignoring my messages regarding that!

This is an absolute NIGHTMARE. Sometimes I want to go and smash that END CONTRACT button but I still have a tiny hope that one day this guy will stop asking me to work. I have another client who I was not able to work for him for more around two weeks or more .. just managed worked a couple of hrs for him yesterday. What a NIGHTMARE!

Why Upwork doesn't have something to prevent clients from abusing the freelancers? One client can strip me of TOP RATED badge, Can threat freelancer to work more for free or otherwise he'll lie in his feedback and make it so hard to find jobs. I'm not sure what to do with this client. It's been a nightmare and his literally literally consuming most of my time for free and even he doesn't want to release the finished milestone.

What do you think I should do in my situation? Please advise. Thanks.

Community Member

re: "What do you think I should do in my situation?"


Stop working for that client.

Community Member

I'm so glad I refuse to install the phone app so when pinging happens after I am in my nice king size bed enjoying my sleep, they can rant all night and I'll be sleeeeeping.

Community Member

Ahmed E wrote:

What do you think I should do in my situation? Please advise. Thanks.

I would have told the client at the fist sign of this silly behaviour (LONG AGO) that unfortunately I am not available to work outside what was agreed originally and have closed the contract.


I would then use my top rated perk to remove the impact of that contract on my JSS and not give it another thought ever again.


You MUST stop thinking of clients as having all the power and being ble to force you to do anything.


Noureldin Y wrote:

I thought that clients can't change the contract conditions without the acceptance of the freelancer

They are not allowed to, but some try, very hard.


The OP explained that he feels trapped because of the chance of poor feedback, even though he is top-rated and could use his perk to zap the feedback anyway (if he has not used it in the last 3 months and 10 contracts)


Community Member

You're top rated--if you haven't already used the perk, just fire him and then remove his feedback.


Honestly, I'd fire him even if I didn't have the perk. 

Community Member

Ahmed E wrote:

What do you think I should do in my situation? Please advise. Thanks.

You should come to realize that not every client is a winner.  You started off well, you managed requirements and set expectations and the client violated that and reset expectations and you did not call them on it. 


I would draw this project to a close as rapidly as possible by simple saying I will do THIS much in THIS amount of time and then we are done.  If the client does not agree to that then I would simply be done and move on.


You cannot go around giving complete strangers this kind of power of you, it's very unhealthy.

Community Member

You have lots of great feedback - your also top rated - if the client leaves bad feedback then use your perk to remove it if you havnt already, if you have - i would get rid of him anyway, its not worth it - one bad review amongst all your great ones is not likely to put off other clients.


You need to stop working for him, submit a formal request for milestone 2 and wait out the 14 days to get paid, if he asks for changes ect explain it is well out of scope of the contract and you have been more than fair already and will not be making any further changes outside the scope of contract.

Jonathan H wrote:


You need to stop working for him, submit a formal request for milestone 2 and wait out the 14 days to get paid,

I'd hazard a bet that milestone 2 was not funded and they are still squabbling over milestone 1?

Maybe, though he does say that he was paid for milestone 1 - though no idea if milestone 2 is funded, maybe thats what is ment by 'client ignoring requests for milestone 2' if he has not funded it then its time to bite the bullet and close out early!



Community Member

Wondering why you let this client take control of you and your business. If everything was agreed on and stipulated in the contract you should have called a halt to the first time of doubling the work and reducing the deadline, never mind letting it go on so long. And there is no reason why you have to answer any pings from your phone or elsewhere. Put your phone someplace else during the night where you won't hear it and let this client ping you all night long. 


I repost this reply with permission

Janean L wrote:

Here is a tough-truth reality:

You ask: "Should i really work for him for free to avoid a bad review if I ended the job?"

The answer is : YES. "Yes... if..."


That is, If you are prepared to allow your freelancing endeavors to be controlled by a perpetual fear of an unpredictable and often dyspeptic client leaving you a bad review, then, by all means, YES, do allow such a client (and the many like-minded clients who will follow) to tyrannize your life. Give in to their unreasonable demands.


You will be miserable. You will be a worm-like supplicant. You will live in constant fear and uncertainty. Your talents will be at the mercy of those who neither appreciate them nor remunerate you properly for their application.


You won't make as much money as you could do if you worked with a better class of clients and if you valued your skills appropriately.


However, if you are ruled by your fear of the possibility -- even of the near-certainty -- of a bad review from a bilious and perhaps vindictive client... Well, then, by all means do the work for free.


ETA:  This is not meant to be a slam to you. It is truly meant as helpful advice -- as a way of looking at this situation that will make you re-think this client and your freelancer/client relationship. Give yourself some power and control!


Don’t let your JSS dictate what you do. nor let your JSS be used as a hostage or bargaining piece.


Besides,you have a top rated perk that you can use to delete any public AND private feedback (if you get one.). End this nightmare - wake up and close this contract and use that perk if you have to. There is NO reason you need to be bullied, controlled and walked all over by this client. 

Community Member


Latest Articles
Upcoming Events
Jan 31
Feb 28
Upwork Community Virtual Hour
Community Hour English
Mar 28
Upwork Virtual Community Hour
Community Hour English
Learning Paths