I have been working on Upwork since the beginning but I still can’t understand why we, freelancers are always punished for uncooperative clients.
I would be curious what the community’s opinion is on the following:
I was hired for a website development by a client. Initially he decided to hire another freelancer, but as said, she did not delivered the design on time also her developer was working on another project and didn’t have free capacity to build the website. Therefore the client cancelled the contract and came back to me.
He was fully responsive when we have negotiated the deliverables and the conditions and I started the work without clear instructions on the design flow. He didn’t provided the content either just a corporate presentation to copy and paste anything that I feel appropriate. We agreed on to pay when the basic design of Home is ready.
When submitted the first milestone he rejected and the payment and requested for changes. Since last Friday I got the third list of revisions from him, he asks me for textual changes all the time and says “we are almost there”. Seems this getting to be never ending story and I am facing to the same issue that the previous freelancer did…The client continuously reject to submit the payment and is not cooperative at all.
I would like to hear your thoughts how we are protected against such behaviour. My feeling is he can ask me for never-ending revision and keep the money back as long as he wants.
I have been never working on hourly basis because I felt that a fixed price contract worth better for me and for the client. Does hourly contracts guarantee the payment of the billed hours?
Why we cannot cancel a contract with an client that thinks he can ask anything for is money?
Why can they leave not public feedback if I don”t ask for payment (and loss money) just want to cancel the contract?
Appreciate to hear your thoughts
Solved! Go to Solution.
Szilvia, it sounds like the client wants to avoid payment by making you do revisions. So in the future, before you accept a fixed price job, you might want to specify in advance how many revisions you're willing to do for free. Had this been an hourly job and you used time tracker, then payment would be guaranteed. If you were to close the contract now, then you won't get paid and the client wouldn't be able to give you stars or a written review, but can still leave you private feedback, which will affect your JSS. You can also request milestone approval right now, and if the client refuses, file a dispute and hope the mediator sees things your way. The mediator probably won't recommend full payment, but chances are you'll get some payment for your work, and since you're top rated, you can exclude the feedback from your JSS if it's low.
This is what I have often referred to as the "fixed-price loophole."
It is a loophole in how the Upwork user interface works that dishonest clients can use to avoid paying freelancers for fixed-price work.
Ultimately, if a client wants to keep clicking the "Ask for Revisions" button just to avoid paying you, there is not much you can do about it other than to file a dispute.
A client who does this intentionally is simply a bad person, so it is unlikely that trying to reason with them will work.
The way that I avoid this is pretty simple:
I don't agree to large fixed-price contracts with clients who I haven't worked with before. I might agree to only about an hour of work for a first fixed-price contract. That way, if the client is going to play games, I can just walk away from the contract without having invested too much time into it. That can be a better way to go than spending endless hours doing "revisions." So with me, a client basically gets zero revisions. The work is done when I say it is done. If a client is unwilling to accept that, then it means I won't work her, or I will only work with her using hourly contracts.
Thank you, seems the hourly contracts give more safety for us to be paid.
How are we protected by Upwork to have the client the balance on his/her account to pay the hours billed at the end of the billing week? For fixed price contract the amount has to be funded but not sure how it is going with hourly contracts? If I interpret properly the client sets the maximum billable hours per week but is this amount funded? Or are we just believing in the good faith and crossing fingers to have the credit available on his/her account?
BTW, after a long discussion, the client has just submitted the payment so we can move forward carefully with the next milestone. Anyway thanks a lot for your valuable comments.
Szilvia K wrote:
Thank you John, appreciate your swift answer.
Welcome, and great that the client approved the milestone. Here's some answers regarding hourly contracts. Client will typically set a weekly limit of billable hours. Assuming you use time tracker and it records some amount of keyboard activity and random screenshots seem related to the job and you enter memos that describe the work you're doing, Upwork will guarantee payment. You can get the main details here: https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/articles/211068288-Hourly-Protection
The fine print is here, under section 6:
re: "seems the hourly contracts give more safety for us to be paid."
Yes, I believe so.
As long as you follow very basic rules (memos, not manual time, working on actual project, sufficient activity, payment-verified), then hourly contracts DO give you more safety to get paid.
And hourly contracts are better for getting paid for your actual time, if you have a client who wants to ask for changes, or ask questions, or ask for other things.