@Elan C wrote:
Is it frowned upon to cut ties with a client at the end of the trial period?
That's a matter of perspective. Based upon the rest of your story, the client is frowning upon it.
@Elan C wrote:
Am I missing something?
Nope. If you don't think the client is a good fit, wrap it up and move on. If the client is difficult from the gitgo, feedback will be whatever it will be regardless of how long you jump through hoops to please them.
You fulfilled the contract you entered into and you're "entitled" to do whatever you want.
I wouldn't have expected any feedback from the client at that stage, and I think the client's confusion is understandable, since they'd have no way of knowing that their normal (in this setting, at least) behavior triggered your decision to end the contract and would likely interpret your "not a fit" to relate to the work itself (which you've not given any indication was other than you'd expected).
There's no reason that you should work with a client you don't want to work with. But, they will probably leave you negative feedback due to all of that reaching out on various platforms followed by a quick termination.
There is a difference between "reaching out to a client" and haunting her across various platforms...
The former is fine.
The latter, not so much.
This can be a delicate balancing act though. Some clients don't pay attention to Upwork messages.
I'm not sure exactly what happened here, but I had a recent experience where I submitted work to a client and got no response, and got no response to three subsequent messages spaced several days apart each. When I decided to contact the client on Skype (where we had already talked voice, I didn't "hunt him down" or anything) he told me that he had "given up on me" for some reason, which implied to me that he thought I wasn't even trying to communicate with him.
Crossed wires and undelivered messages are a constant issue with online work so I think that if someone isn't responding with one line of communication it's not necessarily a bad idea to try another. Within reason, of course.
And I'm with Elan on the confusion aspect here, not the client. I don't expect a client to respond instantly to every message or deliverable, but I don't like to work with unresponsive people. I think it was entirely reasonable for Elan to have expected feedback on work product done as part of a trial period -- that's the entire point of a trial.
That said, I might have given it a bit more time, though, and probably found a way to back out that let them save face more readily.
"Thanks for your perspective, Charles. After I submitted the work on their preferred channel (a project management site), I only followed up with her on channels where we had previously established communication: email and Upwork."
Then you didn't do anything wrong, at least from where I sit.
I'm sorry you feel this way, Elan. I checked the messages you exchanged with your client and it looks like you both were able to express your thoughts on the matter amicably. Once the conract is closed, you can leave appropriate feedback for the client based on your experience on this contract.
@Elan C wrote:
Thank you. I have a few questions on that:
1) I’m new to Upwork. How do I close out a job?
2) Is here a way to prevent them from leaving negative feedback on me? I’m fine with walking away unpaid if it means that they won’t be able to ruin my profile. Since it’s my first job on here, their negative feedback would be my only feedback.
1) My Jobs > Click the contract > Click end contract. But usually it would be a better idea to let the client close the contract, since the client would then be 'forced' to give you feedback (if you have many completed contracts with no feedback, your Job Success Score is going to get hurt).
2) Not really. If the client is going to leave a negative feedback, there is no way you can stop that. If you refund all the money, the public feedback would not be shown on your profile. But the private feedback would still affect your Job Success Score, even you don't have one now.
*Maybe it's just a cultural difference thing: I personally think it's a little bit odd if my client would reach me out in another platform.
I have used a variety of platforms with Upwork clients - the invoicing/contracts go through UpWork but I've also used Asana, Skype, gmail, gotomeeting.com, landlines - whatever works for the client and facilitates successful completion of the contract. I don't think you've done anything wrong. As for reaching out on different platforms when the client hasn't responded, I think that shows signs of initiative. In addition to being a freelancer, I also hire freelancers and that would not put me off at all. in fact, I'd be impressed with the follow through. Your intentions sound all good, so pat yourself on the back for your efforts and move on to a hopefully much better client who has mastered the arts or reliability and timely communication.
As for the negative feedback, I've seen other freelancers respond to it by providing their (respectful) version of events. It doesn't take away the feedback but it certainly puts it in another light.
Clients get busy and have a lot of other things going on with their businesses. It is okay to send reminders for updates, but try to keep it to a minimum. Most clients are hiring freelancers to make their lives easier not add layers of complexity.
When the client has stated a deadline, in most cases that is a deadline for me, not them. They may want to make sure I can complete something by a certain date, but it doesn't always mean that they own publishing timeline is set in stone. If you have multiple contact channels, I would suggest using one of them to send a message saying, "Hey I just wanted to make sure that you received my submission. Let me know when you are ready for the next step."
If you are going to drop a client, do it with your highest level of diplomatic skills. Don't phrase your message to in any way imply that the client is to blame or is somehow inadequate (unless you are ready and willing to face the backlash).
If you close the job, the client is not forced to leave feedback. They will receive a message prompting them to do so. Thus, if you don't want the client's feedback, closing the job yourself may avoid receiving any (particularly from busy clients who don't like to login to the platform).
A huge part of successful freelancing is client management. You must learn to read the signals that identify each client's preferences and respond appropriately (or exit gracefully). A lot can be discerned from the job posting.