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Re: Thoughts on handling a client?

Ace Contributor
Benjamin P Member Since: Feb 26, 2019
1 of 10

I started a contract with a client a few weeks ago to write some blogs for a big website that's being launched. I knew from the beginning that this was the case, it's nothing new.

The site was supposed to be launched this month but after submitting my latest piece of work associated with the current milestone, I get a response from him saying that he needed to speak to me.

Apparently, the launch date of the site is being pushed back to May, at the earliest and the next half of the contract would have to be put on hold. That's fine. It's the comment that he made about if he needed me once that happened he would let me know.

 

I can't tell if he's backing out of the second half of the contract, which consists of 4 milestones and a $100 bonus. If that's the case, do I have any options to take with this client?

 

I was waiting to finish my current milestone before I spoke to him in detail about all of this. I wanted to come on here first to see if there was any useful advice out there?

This client has been great to work with and there've been no problems whatsoever.  I wondered if it was something I did or something in my work but he's been extremely happy with all of my work and if that were the issue I don't think he would have told me about all of this and then funded another milestone.

 

I'd like to make sure that I'm able to finish the other half of the contract. Also, I don't want to have a contract be left open when there's no work to be done because won't that leave a negative impact on my profile?

Any insight/feedback on my situation would be very much appreciated.

 

Thanks

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 10

re: "I can't tell if he's backing out of the second half of the contract, which consists of 4 milestones and a $100 bonus. If that's the case, do I have any options to take with this client?"

 

No. You have no options.

 

A client is not obligated to make good on any promises regarding a bonus.

A client is not obligated to create or fund additional milestones, regardless of what was discussed.

 

A client funds a milestone, and you do the work on that milestone. A client needs to release the funded escrow money for THAT milestone.

 

If a client decides to NOT create additional milestones, then he doesn't need to. You won't do the work on them. He won't pay you for them.

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Ace Contributor
Benjamin P Member Since: Feb 26, 2019
3 of 10

Thanks for the feedback, Preston.

How should I go about handling to rest of the contract that needs to be put on hold?

Do I  close the contract or does the client? I don't want there to be anything negative reflected on my profile and I'm wondering the best way to go about handling the rest of the contract

Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
4 of 10

Benjamin P wrote:

Thanks for the feedback, Preston.

How should I go about handling to rest of the contract that needs to be put on hold?

Do I  close the contract or does the client? I don't want there to be anything negative reflected on my profile and I'm wondering the best way to go about handling the rest of the contract


Just put your work on hold until the clients creates and funds the next milestone.

 

Do not close the contract. Wait and see what happens in a few weeks. If you close the contract, the client might start looking for another freelancer.

Ace Contributor
Benjamin P Member Since: Feb 26, 2019
5 of 10

I thought I read somewhere about an inactive contract having a negative impact on your profile?

Is there any truth to this?

Community Guru
Melanie H Member Since: Nov 2, 2017
6 of 10

Benjamin P wrote:

I thought I read somewhere about an inactive contract having a negative impact on your profile?

Is there any truth to this?


If there has been nothing paid on the contract, but you've been working based on milestones and have been paid, right?

 

I'd let this one simmer for a while. I'd be very pleasant and welcome the customer to contact me when he needed me again and then I'd leave him alone at least until the date he said he might need you. Probably longer because that's only about a month.

 

It's not necessarily that your work isn't good. Your work might be great, but it might not be the site's style, OR they might want someone cheaper, OR someone's niece may suddenly need a writing job so they're handing it over unofficially to her instead, OR they ran out of money, or like a hundred other things. Smiley Very Happy You did your best and submitted good work in a timely way and that's all you can do; not every client/freelancer relationship is a match.

 

Let this one hang out for a while and move along looking for other projects. JMO!

Ace Contributor
Benjamin P Member Since: Feb 26, 2019
7 of 10

Hey Mel!

Nice to run into you.

Yes, I've been doing work as each milestone has been funded. No free work being done in my future, ever lol.

The graphic design of the site is taking longer than expected and that's the reason for the delay. I might be overthinking what he said too much and that's why I'm on here looking for some feedback.

I didn't want any negative impact on my profile and thought I had read that if you leave a contract open but there's no work being completed that it would have some type of negative result to my profile

Community Guru
Melanie H Member Since: Nov 2, 2017
8 of 10

Benjamin P wrote:

Hey Mel!

Nice to run into you.

Yes, I've been doing work as each milestone has been funded. No free work being done in my future, ever lol.

The graphic design of the site is taking longer than expected and that's the reason for the delay. I might be overthinking what he said too much and that's why I'm on here looking for some feedback.

I didn't want any negative impact on my profile and thought I had read that if you leave a contract open but there's no work being completed that it would have some type of negative result to my profile


Good to see you too! As you can see, you got work more or less immediately. That's a good sign all by itself, IMO. For some people it takes months. For some people, it's never.

 

Plus he didn't stop the contract immediately after your first submission or anything. In fact, he didn't stop the contract at all yet. 

 

I mean these aren't guarantees but they do all seem to point to an overall positive, again just in my opinion.

 

There does seem to be a mini-controversy over whether *any* contract that gets too old lowers one's JSS (former activity or no former activity). A few people who have been here forever have reiterated that it is *only* if there was no activity. I can say from my own experience that I had an ongoing client who had to put things on hold after quite a few submissions. I got an email from Upwork saying it had been more than 70 days, I think, so they were going to close the contract. I contacted the client to ask if he'd like to close and he funded a token amount to keep things going.

 

So I mean you really never do know.

 

And I can say for certain that my JSS didn't drop in that time. To be on the safe side, why not check back in like 6 weeks or so...unless he contacts you first?

Ace Contributor
Benjamin P Member Since: Feb 26, 2019
9 of 10

Thanks for all the feedback. Yes, I believe I've been pretty fortunate in finding work rather quickly on here. I've read some rather depressing posts about people going weeks, months, and as you mentioned sometimes never having work. Just finished a piece for a different client on here and have a few potential proposals. I also just picked up some more work through a LinkedIn connection. Needless to say, I've been staying busy :-) 

I think I might be overthinking this. 

The client has been great with communication throughout the contract. He even threw in a $20 bonus on my last submission because of how much he enjoyed it.

He funded another milestone. I've no problem waiting till May to see if that's when he'll want me to continue the other half of the contract.

I understand why he's saying it needs to be put on hold if there are problems with the design of the site before it's launched. He doesn't want a stockpile of content that he has no place to put.

 

Thanks again for the input

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
10 of 10

"I thought I read somewhere about an inactive contract having a negative impact on your profile? Is there any truth to this?"

 

There is disagreement about the precise interpretation of this concept.

 

I can point this out to you: If you go to your My Stats page, near the top of the page are some key stats. One of these, which is one of the few things highlighted in the information that informs JSS, is your "long-term clients."

 

Screen Shot 2019-04-03 at 2.15.58 PM.png

 

This is a PERCENT of the overall current contracts for which you have earned money during the past month, and the contract has been open for 3 or more months.

 

The higher this number is, the better.

 

How much will inactive contracts have on your JSS?

We have seen they have little overall impact compared to other factors.

But clearly Upwork DOES value "long-term contracts" over inactive (non-earning) contracts.

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