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hira_shaheen
Community Member

Unfair Client

Hello,
I just had a frustrating experience with a client.
The project was to write narrative of power point slides for a series of lectures. It was a $250 project and I was asked to rent out a text book to use as a resource with condition that payment would be covered. I found the book and showed the price to client. She set the milestone for it but I told her that Upwork charges 20% service fee so, for full amount, she will have to add that in the book price. She agreed and gave me a go-ahead. I bought the book on my credit card and sent her the receipt. She never released the payment though. I waited for a week or so and then requested to release the payment for the book as my credit card bill was due with that cost. Upon asking that, she said it would be paid upon completion of the project, which was two months away. Meanwhile she asked me to add two slides in two lectures because she forgot to do it. It was favor (no matter how minor) but I did it but I sent the files 24 hours after it. So, now when I talked to her that book serves me no purpose except for being a resource for that project. She instead accused me of being unethical, and not adhering to the schedule and stated that she won't pay a single penny more than mentioned on the receipt, and terminated the contract. I have not received the full amount for the book because she only paid $58, which means Upwork will takes 20% fee from my cost. I am sure she has left a poor private review.
I feel terrible because I always maintain a pleasant relationship with my clients. During my 6 months of being here, I have 27% of long-term clients and 97% JSS because I really work hard. Now I was on my way to complete my eligibility weeks for Top rated batch and I am sure it would affect that.
I want to ask you guys on tips to handle a situation like this. There should be some damage control I can do.
ACCEPTED SOLUTION


Dr. Hira S wrote:
 there's hardly anything I can do about the effect of private feedback on the JSS.

There isn't much you can do but that contract isn't very likely to drop you below 90%. The value of that contract isn't that much money compared to your other contracts (the JSS is Dollar weighed).

 

To be honest, it would have been so much easier if the client had simply paid for the book herself and had it shipped to you, then the issue of the fee wouldn't have come up, and it is normal practice to invoice for expenses at the end of a project. 

 


Dr. Hira S wrote:
It will probably reduce my eligiblity weeks as well because I am not sure if I lose the JSS below 90%, the count goes to zero or just stops where it is.

It doesn't go to 0. It's a rolling 16 week window, so every week you are below 90% adds a non-eligible week to that 16 week window.

View solution in original post

11 REPLIES 11
AndreaG
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Dr. Hira,

 

I'm sorry to hear about your experience with this client. Could you please confirm which contract you're referring to so we could check? Please know that only the funds that are deposited in Escrow qualify for Fixed-Price Protection. Upwork can't help you collect any funds that have been promised but not deposited in Escrow. Therefore, it's important that the amount held in escrow is appropriate for the work you will perform for that Milestone.

 

Thanks!

~Andrea
Upwork

I am not worried about the money but a poor and public feedback and my JSS. It's extremely unfair situation but there's hardly anything I can do about the effect of private feedback on the JSS.
It will probably reduce my eligiblity weeks as well because I am not sure if I lose the JSS below 90%, the count goes to zero or just stops where it is.


Dr. Hira S wrote:
 there's hardly anything I can do about the effect of private feedback on the JSS.

There isn't much you can do but that contract isn't very likely to drop you below 90%. The value of that contract isn't that much money compared to your other contracts (the JSS is Dollar weighed).

 

To be honest, it would have been so much easier if the client had simply paid for the book herself and had it shipped to you, then the issue of the fee wouldn't have come up, and it is normal practice to invoice for expenses at the end of a project. 

 


Dr. Hira S wrote:
It will probably reduce my eligiblity weeks as well because I am not sure if I lose the JSS below 90%, the count goes to zero or just stops where it is.

It doesn't go to 0. It's a rolling 16 week window, so every week you are below 90% adds a non-eligible week to that 16 week window.

Thank you for clearing it up, Petra.

There's a way to reach a client who disappears? I'm having a kind of the same problem. I'm waiting for months for my client to pay me. Fortunately, I got one milestones but there is another one left. I don't know what to do. Is Unfair that these people don't care about workers. I'm sending messages to them but no response. Please some advice?

Hi Davide,

 

It looks like there are no active contracts on your account. Could you please send me a private message with the contract ID so that I can check and assist you further?

 

Thank you.

~ Aleksandar
Upwork


Davide G wrote:

 I'm waiting for months for my client to pay me. Fortunately, I got one milestones but there is another one left. 


If you did all the work without all of it having been funded, there is nothing you can do. Just close the contract and walk away. 

 

In future, only submit work that is covered by an active and funded milestone.

re: "There's a way to reach a client who disappears? I'm having a kind of the same problem. I'm waiting for months for my client to pay me."

 

This means that the freelancer made a mistake in how he used Upwork.

 

Because on Upwork, when used properly, a freelancer is paid within three weeks at the most for any work that he does.

 

I have a phrase for someone who owes me money for work I did on Upwork over three weeks ago: "A person who doesn't owe me money."

 

re: "Please some advice?"

 

Learn what you did wrong, so that you can avoid making the same mistake in the future. And then let this go. Aggressively put this behind you and decide that you will no longer try to get that money. Desire for money you will never receive will only hold you back.

tlbp
Community Member

There is no fix for "unfair" reviews. Clients are entitled to leave subjective feedback. If freelancers were allowed to remove any review that they believed was unfair, everyone's JSS would be 100%. 

b69a582f
Community Member

It does'nt help fully, but hang on to your reciept and claim it on next years taxes as a business expense. 

It is good to know how things work.

I become more powerful when I know how things work.

I can avoid problems when I know how things work.

 

I totally understand if the client described in the original post was annoyed by the freelancer and the way the freelancer asked to be reimbursed.

 

As a freelancer, I understand that Upwork takes out the same fee from reimbursements that it does for other payments. I see in the Forum some freelancers arguing that Upwork should not do that. Making such arguments is fine. But it is a powerful thing to know how Upwork functions right now, and distinguish that from our wishes about how Upwork will function in the future.

 

Had this client hired me, I would have built the cost of the book into my fee that the client is paying me, or I would have waited for the client to order the book online and have it shipped to me.


I am not saying that the freelancer was "wrong." But I also understand the client's viewpoint. The client really did see a freelancer who was jacking up the price of a book. The client WAS SINCERE when she accused the freelancer of being unethical. So even though I can easily follow the freelancer's logic and I understand that the freelancer was "right," I can also see that the freelancer made a tactical mistake in the way that she handled the situation.

 

I trust my sister who lives in Montana. I love my sister. She is one of the most honest people I know. If she wants me to work on something for her that requires a $58 textbook, she is going to send me the textbook or pay me more upfront to cover the cost. I am not going to buy or rent the textbook with an expectation that she will pay me back. So if I am not going to do that for my own sister, I am certainly not going to do that for a stranger I met on the Internet.

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