Trap from an Inadequate Client

In April, the customer opened 3 contracts with me, for all the time he gave me work for only 21 hours on all contracts and refused to close these contracts saying that the work would be done. Today my rating dropped to 88%, I repeatedly asked to close the project because the instructions were not clear, and apart from programming SEO knowledge, they wanted me to. I can not leave honest feedback for this customer. if I write what I think about working with him for the remaining 2 orders for which I worked out only 3 hours from April 2019, he will intentionally leave me a bad review. This is a trap for me, my rating will drop very much due to customer craze. He will simply spoil my entire rating with 3 projects and I will not be able to work on the exchange anymore. For all the time I adequately and promptly solved the problems of customers. But now, due to the fact that the customer immediately opened 3 contracts and did not give me work on them, I will immediately receive 3 negative reviews from one person. I do not understand what I am to blame for and why I fell into this trap.


Hi Iliya, 

I'm sorry to learn about your experience with this client. Please know that you should be able to close contracts from your end, and leave appropriate feedback for the client that you deem appropriate. If it's been a while since your client replied to you, you can go ahead and close the contract yourself. You may consider closing a contract or two every two weeks, while completing new contracts to help avoid creating a pattern of contracts without feedback.


You may also read up on these help articles here, and here, for more information on how your Job Success Score is calculated. 


As noted on one of the help articles, "...contracts with a history of earnings but no feedback, whether closed or not, are mostly excluded from your JSS. However, if you have many contracts where no feedback has been given, it can impact your score (a little) negatively because it indicates some of your clients were dissatisfied."

It would be to your advantage if you move on from these contracts, and take on new projects. I would recommend that you check out these articles from our Hiring Headquarters to help you create proposals that win jobs, and help you boost your career on Upwork: 

Hopefully, this helps you with your Upwork career. Good luck!

~ Avery

Hi Iliya,

thanks for sharing the story.

It all looks like a pattern for a tricky client: opening several hourly contracts at once with one freelancer.

Is it possible to end the contracts from your side? The help pages on this topic say that the escrowed funds will be returned to the client in such cases, but I'm not sure whether this is applicable for hourly jobs.

BTW were the job descriptions too vague? Did they have a deadline and deliverables specified? And what about the rating/feedback of the client - did it look reliable?

Best regards,



Well.... obviously a lesson was learned here:


A wise freelancer does not open up multiple simultaneous contracts with an unknown client.


There is rarely any reason I would have more than one contract open at a time with a single client. And certainly not with a client who was unknown to me.


The original poster's situation demonstrates why:


What if the client turns out to be dishonest or unfair or somebody who is going to be difficult to work with, or who leaves negative feedback? Better to minimize the damage with only one contract, than be hit with the damage from multiple contracts gone bad.