๐Ÿˆ Community
babzward
Member

Unreasonable but high promising client

I have one client (who I have referenced in a previous post) on another platform, who consistently demands high volumes of work on a short deadline, despite being reminded of my other commitments as well as my "regular business hours". I had originally contracted "about five hours a week", with the possibility for additional work if my schedule allowed. Currently I am sitting at 5.5 hours with this client and he is insisting that I do 50 150-word pieces for him, today. Based on my estimates, it would take me roughly an hour for every ten pieces, and I have many other works to do today (including redoing something for another client who neglected to mention the full specifications of the assignment, and therefore rejected the entirety of the first three articles I submitted... But that's another story entirely.)

 

However, the client with high demands, if I am not being taken advantage of, is promising me about double what my highest-paying other clients are. (I was told that he couldn't do milestone payments, but would instead pay based on my hours, at the end of the week, and have so far received no compensation for the work I have done for him.)

 

For the product descriptions he is currently requesting, I offered to complete 10 today, with the possibility of doing more if I finish my other commitments with sufficient hours left in my work availability for the day. (This is the same client that is responsible for me setting business hours in the first place after he demanded that I begin work for him around midnight.) Do I have the right to refuse additional hours until proof of payment is obtained? Also, do I have sufficient grounds to release him as a client if he does not pay in a timely fashion? This guy is a total jerk, but if he pays what he's promising, it would be worth it financially for me to pick up extra work from him.

- Barbara Herrera -
44 REPLIES 44
screeler
Member

i heard promises from one client before... but nothing came of it...

you'll get some solid advice from the seniors here. don't worry. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

noirre
Member

You have every right to refuse to work certain hours or refuse to deliver in a rush, especially when there is no money in escrow for the work you are doing or no hourly contract in place. You are a contractor, not an employee. You agree with the client what you will deliver and when, and if he insist on something you have not already agreed on and that you can't or do not want to do, I think you SHOULD say no. Otherwise, how can you assure the quality of your work, if you are not allowed to work within your limits?

I would also caution you to be vary of "need it now immediately" clients, especially in a case where their requirements change after hiring you. The only thing they usually are in hurry for is to run away with your work without paying.

Promises can't be put into your bank account.
claudiacezy
Member

Hi Barbara,
what you trying to tell us? There is another platform where clients are willing to pay double? ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Why dont you ask on the other platform, whatever is allowed here might not be on the other platform.

 

Common sense, you have the right to refuse any work that does not meet your expectations, terms or even mood.

petra_r
Member


@Barbara W wrote:

 

 

However, the client with high demands, if I am not being taken advantage of, is promising me about double what my highest-paying other clients are. (I was told that he couldn't do milestone payments, but would instead pay based on my hours, at the end of the week, and have so far received no compensation for the work I have done for him.)


 Is it an hourly contract?

 

Are you using the tracker? (whether it is an hourly contract or a fixed rate one...)

 

Is money in Escrow if it is a fixed rate contract?

 

There *IS* a contract, right?

It is an hourly contract (the contract itself states one hour per week at the rate I have listed on my profile). I had attempted to use the time tracker on the platform I found this client on, but due to some technical issues, I was unable to get the tracker working. I asked the client if we should discuss a fixed rate or if I should manually log hours, and he determined that I should manually log. After each individual assignment, I notify him of the hours to be billed for that particular project, and an update of the total hours I have put in for him.

- Barbara Herrera -

Barbara, I don't like any of that, at all....

 

I HOPE you get paid, but I would not hold my breath, personally...

 

The main thing though is that life is too short to work with jerks...

I know, I'm not really holding my breath either, but at the same time I don't want to run the risk of cancelling this contract just in case he DOES follow through on the payment end. I have already informed him that I will be unable to accept any additional hours from him this week as I have already gone over my quoted availability, and that I will be able to schedule hours for next week upon the release of payment. (He logged off shortly after I sent that message, without responding, which kinda struck me as odd, but... Fingers crossed.)

 

If he pays well, I can deal with him being a jerk. If he pays late or does not pay what he contracted, I will have no issues closing the contract, either. The price tag is more important to me - it's not like he's made me cry or insulted me directly. He's just a jerk, and I have a feeling that karma is probably punishing him enough for it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

- Barbara Herrera -

The beauty (one of ) of being a freelancer is that you don't have to tolerate jerks like when you're an employee. You're the boss and the client is the client. 

I hope you get your pay. 

Reminds me of being in an abusive relationship. Once I see the whole thing is going south, I'm out whether the guy's good looking or if he has money. It's a strange analogy but I just thought of it. 

That's a good analogy, actually! Unfortunately I'm a bit pigheaded and my only experience with an abusive relationship didn't end when I saw the signs for potential abuse; I didn't get out until the violence became actual instead of just threatened. You'd think I'd learn my lesson and not settle for subpar treatment, but apparently I'm a glutton for punishment with too low self-confidence to set my expectations too high!

- Barbara Herrera -

 

"... You'd think I'd learn my lesson and not settle for subpar treatment, but apparently I'm a glutton for punishment with too low self-confidence to set my expectations too high!"

 

Barbara - it's not too late to begin demanding what you are worth and rejecting what doesn't suit you. Smiley Happy

 

Sorry about your experience in that ... i could tell you stories that would curl your hair!

 

Another thing I do sometimes is make a pro and con list. You know the rest.  

๐Ÿ™‚

kat303
Member

First, I don't know what platform/freelancer site you are refering to. But I would certainly read their help section on payment for hourly jobs. I may be wrong, but I think that a clients method of payment should be verified in some way before you start working. And perhaps, funds should be in their cash account. Otherwise, every Tom, **bleep** and Harry could hire contractors for hourly jobs, and never pay them. If you can't find the information concerning verification for hourly jobs, you should defintely contact the help desk support staff.

 

When anyone needs a "rush" job I usually charge extra for that because I have to carve out time and concentrate only on that one job so that it can be finished by the rush deadline.

 

Next, I don't understand why he can't do milestones. Is it because he doesn't intend to pay, and milestones would be a fixed rate job which would require him to fund escrow?

 

In your own words, he is a client with high demands, a jerk (a total jerk) who Demands you work around midnight for him and he hasn't shown any sort of commitment (money wise) to you except empty promises of double payment. This sure doesn't sound like a client that I would want to work with, But that's my opinion.

 

Do I have the right to refuse additional hours until proof of payment is obtained? No only do you have the right to refuse additional hours until proof of payment is obtained. Since you worked for him already not only should you see proof of payment you Should get paid and Then see proof of payment for the next week's hours.

 

Also, do I have sufficient grounds to release him as a client if he does not pay in a timely fashion?  Freelancing is a business, YOUR business. With your business you have every right to not only release him as a client but fire him as a client. You are under NO obligation to work with someone just because they've awarded you a job.

 

I don't work on empty promises with jerks who have high demands.

 

 

An update on the situation: He wanted 50 (short) articles tonight, after being informed multiple times of my business hours as well as my commitment to other clients. I told him at most I would be able to deliver 10, and only if he were able to verify this in a timely fashion. Over an hour later he responds back with "Well we'll just do 100 tomorrow then" ... Completely neglecting my other clients, who pay, albeit not much, but reliably. He told me that after the 100 "product descriptions" he would release payment and then release me from my contract.

 

I sent back: "Hello sir, as I told you before, I would not be able to complete that many descriptions today. I have other clients and you have been very demanding with my time, which truly is not fair to my other contracts. Additionally you have disregarded any mention that I have given as to my availability, and I feel that it would be best if we close out our contract now. I am sorry that it did not work out, but I feel that you need a freelancer who is able to commit to you full-time, and that isn't me. I have multiple clients and I value them all equally, and your excessive demands will not make you a priority over the clients that I have been working with for weeks. I will send you an invoice for the articles that have already been completed and you may close out my contract. I understand if you do not have positive feedback to leave for me as I was unable to meet your incredibly high demands. Thank you." (This was as nice as I could possibly word it; I tried to keep it professional, but really I just want him to go away.)

 

In response to this message and the invoice I sent, I received three more messages, begging this time for the 10 articles I had originally offered. Yup... I'm pretty sure I'm not going to get paid. Would it be unprofessional of me to ignore him from here on out?! (Oh, and if it's pertinent at all, the platform is Freelancer.com)

- Barbara Herrera -

So how many hours DID you invest in that creep?  Which part of

 

"I have broken up with you" did he not get?

 

 

Total hours that I billed? 5 1/2.

 

Total time with his incessant communication and demands? About 15 hours, with about 2 hours of sleep that I missed out on.

- Barbara Herrera -

Stop working for him now. I doubt very much that he will pay you and why are you burning yourself out for this creep?

One hundred articles a day? This isn't writing; it is regurgitation.

 

Start respecting yourself, get some better paid gigs (even if it takes time) and get some sleep.

I have now stopped writing for him. I don't know if he's accepted my resignation, however. I put him on mute - his messages usually start coming in around 6 am and I'm officially over dealing with him. Hopefully he pays me, but if not, at least I'm rid of the jerk.
- Barbara Herrera -

when you use the word 'resignation' it reminds me of an employer/employee situation. 

"In response to this message and the invoice I sent, I received three more messages, begging this time for the 10 articles I had originally offered. Yup... I'm pretty sure I'm not going to get paid. Would it be unprofessional of me to ignore him from here on out?! (Oh, and if it's pertinent at all, the platform is Freelancer.com)"

 

Freelancer?

 

He won't pay you. It just won't happen. The only reason why he pushed you that far is that he wanted to steal as much work from you as possible, which is also why he's now begging since he has probably sold your work off somewhere else aready, and now he has to tell HIS client "got bupkis" because he hasn't written anything himself and was relying on his little scam with you to deliver him the goods... And it's too late to get someone else to scam and deliver. He is also full of it, as even with hourly contracts, in Freelancer.com it is still possible to require the client to put money in escrow as an "reserve". Basically, when the contract started, you would have been able to ask for, say, three hour's wage to be put in escrow. However, as they have no "auto release" of funds if the client does a runner, even that would have given you little joy.

 

I also bet you that if you have a good snoop at his profile, if he has good feedback there, it's for him as a freelancer, not as a client, and as soon as you tell this to support, his profile will get closed in a couple of days.

 

If I were you, I would just answer him that you will think about the 10 articles (or the 100) when he has paid for the time you have already invested into him, and you would also require half of the money upfront for any future work. I bet you you'll never hear a beep from him after that.

Start googling all your text in small bits... Should it appear anywhere, and he does not pay you, tell him he has 48 hours to pay OR take down the content WHICH YOU OWN or a DMCA Takedown Notice will be issued.

 

If he's already sold your work his client will NOT be very happy............

 

 

Barbara, would you welcome some comments on the letter you wrote him, for future reference?

 

I think it was a bit counter-productive to be honest.

re: "high-promising client"

 

Lots of lessons can be learned from this thread. 

 

Including:

 

When I go to a grocery store to buy food, "promises from a client" are not considered an acceptable form of currency.

What the Sam Satan's underground is going on here? This is like watching a puppy get kicked. Girl, we need to get you some attitude. 50 150 descriptions at midnight? Urgent? Who needs that urgently? Nobody except farmers. You got yourself caught up with a farmer.

 

Note to writers: anything marked urgent is a red flag.

 

He'll pay you double? You need to write back LOLmissingzerosLOL

 

At least you dumped him. If he keeps contacting you, just give him a hair flip.

 

Nicki-Minaj-BET-.gif

re: "50 150 descriptions at midnight? Urgent? Who needs that urgently?"

 

Jennifer, it actually was quite urgent. The Internet was running out of content.

Those descriptions won't write themselves. I'm sure Mr Farmer has a great thin amazon affiliate site that's basically pure spam. I give it 3 months and zero traffic before it gets banned from the Internets.

"... Jennifer, it actually was quite urgent. The Internet was running out of content".

 

Smiley LOL Smiley LOL Smiley LOL

Petra - I would very eagerly accept advice in regards to how to present myself better (including comments on the letter). While it's too late for  me to take back what I've already said, I'd like to have a better idea of how to present myself in the future (should this problem arise again).

- Barbara Herrera -


@Barbara W wrote:

Petra - I would very eagerly accept advice in regards to how to present myself better (including comments on the letter).


 Well, this is just my personal opinion:

 

"Hello sir (use name, ALWAYS), as I told you before, I would not be able to complete that many descriptions today. I have other clients and you have been very demanding with my time, which truly is not fair to my other contracts. Additionally you have disregarded any mention that I have given as to my availability, and I feel that it would be best if we close out our contract now. I am sorry that it did not work out, but I feel that you need a freelancer who is able to commit to you full-time, and that isn't me. I have multiple clients and I value them all equally, and your excessive demands will not make you a priority over the clients that I have been working with for weeks. I will send you an invoice for the articles that have already been completed and you may close out my contract. I understand if you do not have positive feedback to leave for me as I was unable to meet your incredibly high demands. Thank you."

 

NEVER tell a client to leave you bad feedback, and don't get into personal blah-blah. It's all just rope that can be used to hang you...

 

Want me to play with your overview, too?  ๐Ÿ˜‰

Barbara,,

Petra is right (as usual  Smiley Wink  ). Don't ever succumb to the temptation of leaving snide innuendo or guarded insults - professionalism will always win out over non-professionalism. As Petra said, it's rope to hang you - or I'd say a stick to beat you with. Often the most annoying thing you can do to a client like this (but with the least potential for a bad outcome) is to stay entirely pleasant and objective (but assertive). They're expecting you to give them that stick or rope because they know they haven't any left themselves. So don't give it them...

Thank you for the input. I referred to him as "sir" because I was never given a name, only his username. Up until this point I had successfully resisted the temptation of being snide, but... He pushed my buttons.

Yes, I would appreciate feedback on my overview too. I have similar overviews posted on both platforms I use, and if they can be improved, I would love to do so! I am eagerly seeking higher-paying clients that would allow me to maintain my low-paying (but valuable to my personal growth and experience) clients.
- Barbara Herrera -


Barbara W wrote:
Yes, I would appreciate feedback on my overview too. I have similar overviews posted on both platforms I use, and if they can be improved, I would love to do so! I am eagerly seeking higher-paying clients that would allow me to maintain my low-paying (but valuable to my personal growth and experience) clients.


OK Barbara, at the moment your profile acts as magnet for lowballers and scammers because it literally screams "naive newbie!"

 

Remove the "Assistant" from the title. You're either a writer or you are not. Clients don't hire  "Writing Assistants" (whatever those may be) they hire writers.

 

Scratch the "Hello there."  Your profile is your billboard, your advertising space, your brochure, your shop window., your catalogue. It is not an email or a letter.

 

Remember that the first few lines are all a client sees of your overview in the preview window. What they see there will decide if they even bother reading your proposal and look at your profile. Do not waste that space!

 

Scrap "My name is and I am from" - they can see what your name is and where you're from, it's right there. Scrap your age - irrelevant.  Remove the empty space. It's like paying for a TV advert and broadcasting a white screen for the duration of the advert.

 

Saying "I am very new to this" chases off the decent clients and attracts the scammers. Scratch that.

 

Scrap "I am searching for opportunities to develop my skills!" -  Same as above. For starters clients don't care what you are searching for. They want to know what you can do for them. They pay you (hopefully) and not the other way round so whether you are searching for mushrooms, opportunities or the holy grail is of no interest to them.

 

It also makes you sound amateur. Clients don't want to pay for you to develop your skills, they expect you to have them. You're a freelancer, not a working student.

 

Remove the bit about your portfolio pieces. It's irrelevant, and again makes you sound amateur. It tells the client nothing they need to know.

 

Remove your office hours and the whole "25% surcharge" thing from your profile. If you want a 9-5 (or a 10-6) job go work in an office. If you have normal operating hours that is great, and if you want to charge extra for stuff that's fine also, it's something to discuss at an interview.

 

The last thing a client wants to see on a profile is your office hours and the word "surcharge."

 

OK. So we've now wiped out your profile. Let's start over:

 

Raise your rate by 20% or so

 

Think of creating a fabulous overview as a writing assignment.

 

Write a super catchy advert for an amazing product called "Barbara Ward"

 

What are your unique selling points? What makes you stand out? What will make you particularly attractive to prospective clients? What can you do FOR THEM? What is your experience?

 

Remember that all important, make-or-break first paragraph?

 

Make that count. If THAT does not catch their attention they will not read your proposal,and not look at your profile. I bet 90% or more of your proposals are not even opened at the moment.

 

Take a few hours to research what other successful writers have in their overview, how they structure it. Identify your USPs (Unique Selling Points) and make sure they're right up there.

 

"Native English Speaker" is one. "US based" is another. Add what your strengths are, what are you particularly good at writing? Content? Business plans? Product descriptions? How-to-guides?

 

What are your areas of expertise?

 

Have a go, invest time in yourself and your profile, completely redo it, come back and ask again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was a bit harsher than I expected, but that's good. Thinking of it as a product description with the product being myself helps. I have rewritten it, and eagerly await your further feedback. Thank you so much!

- Barbara Herrera -


@Barbara W wrote:
This was a bit harsher than I expected,

 Sorry darling, I invested an hour of my life in giving you an honest opinion, which you may take or discard or pick bits you think apply, and ignore the rest.

 

Fluffy Bunnies, Magical Unicorns and complicated ways of saying what I wanted to put across in a sugar-coated way costs extra!

 

๐Ÿ˜‰

Ha, I didn't mean to sound ungrateful or over-sensitive. I grew up in a pretty harsh family -- sugar coating may as well be lying. I do greatly appreciate the input you have given me, and I have tried to make some changes. I'm sure it could use more work still, but I think this revised version is better than the previous, at least.

 

Edit: Posting the revised version below to save you extra work now that I feel guilty for the time you've invested in helping me so far. (lol.)

 

  • Overview: Barbara is a motivated and organized US-based ghostwriter and content writer for hire. Adept with product descriptions, reviews, and rewriting, she has a particular interest in LGBT+ content, but also excels with research-based assignments. She has experience with WordPress and Blogger posting as well as social media management (Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter). Writing is her passion, and she offers a quick turnaround on her articles (usually within 24 hours). Currently she is involved in multiple projects, but she is available for part-time work upon request.
  • Changed rate from $12/hour to $14/hour.
  • Changed title from "Freelance Writing Assistant" to "Writer - Ghostwriter - Proofreader".
  • Changed current experience title from "Freelance Writing Assistant" to "Freelance Writer" (in "Work History" section).
- Barbara Herrera -

MUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCH !!!!! better

 

I'd change it to "I" not "She" (You're not Julius Caesar) and would take the "she is involved in multiple projects," out, again that's something to discuss at the interview stage.

 

If you apply for a contract the client will (with some justification) assume that you have the capacity to do it and can juggle your workload (something I am really bad at, partly because I waste so much time playing on the forum)

 

But WELL DONE!

 

Now I see a writer, not a Wannabe!!!

 

 

Thank you!

 

I used the third-person because I saw a few other freelancers profile's done that way... Although admittedly it doesn't feel right to me anyway. Reminds me of being in middle school and forging sick notes. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

I do still feel a bit like a wannabe, but I know my writing is there. It still feels weird requesting that high -- my highest paying "regular" job was $12 an hour, so basically requesting a raise from that seems weird. (That is part of the appeal of being my own boss, but I feel like I still have such a long way to go.)

 

Thank you again for all your help, I will let you know how these changes work out!

- Barbara Herrera -


Barbara W wrote: It still feels weird requesting that high -- my highest paying "regular" job was $12 an hour, so basically requesting a raise from that seems weird.

 You need to factor in costs.

 

$ 12 in a regular job and $ 12 in freelancing is not the same. You get no paid holiday, no benefits, no office, no work tools, no nothing.


Everything you need to work must be factored into your price.

 

Also don't forget all the time spent applying and negotiating. That is part of your operating costs too.

 

Unless you have ongoing hourly contracts that fill up all your billable hours you have to calculate all the time you spend on your business, be it aquisition, credit control, advertising, working on your profile etc into your rate.

 

If it costs you an hour to win and administer 2 hours worth of work at $ 12.00 your effective hourly earning, without factoring in internet, electricity, computer, coffee etc becomes $ 8.00....

 

Also, the perverse thing is that the higher quality clients are happy to pay more, AND treat their freelancers better.


For some reason the more they pay the greater they perceive your value to be. There is also LESS competition for the high paying gigs, not more, plus you get to write more interesting stuff. Leave the churning out of search-engine-fodder and filler-content and go hunting for real writing gigs for real money with real clients,n ot bottom-feeding farmer types.

I hadn't even considered it like that. I had just assumed that it was a situation where I had to start at zero to prove myself first. (I think it's safe to say that this qualifies as "stuff I still have to learn).

I have subscribed to a couple of freelance writing newsletters (which upon examination of my recent experience makes me think they were written by newbs like me... lol). Hopefully they can help me move up more easily.

I have to say, this community is very welcoming and helpful. Definitely unlike most of my on-location type jobs.
- Barbara Herrera -

LOTS AND LOTS of golden advice can be found here in this thread, thanks to Petra.... Newbie contractors who read this can find a lot here that they can apply to their own profiles, even if their name isn't "Barbara."