Unreasonable client - can anyone help?

Hi, I rewrote a sales letter and submitted the first draft saying I'd be happy to make any changes if needed.


The client sent a series of negative emails about the letter. First he said I had 24 hours to revise it and then in the final email said he was going to revise it himself and cancel the contract. He told me NOT to do anymore work on it.


I replied that I was shocked by his response since I mentioned that I would be more than happy to make any changes.


I have not heard from him since and he has not cancelled the contract or replied to me.


I am trying to decide whethe to cancel the contract myself or file a dispute. oDesk said that if I file a dispute and the funds are released to me then the client will be able to leave feedback and I am not happy with that since he will obviously be upset at that point.


Should I cut my losses and preserve my rating or go ahead with the dispute? It' not a huge amount of $.


Your help would be much appreciated 🙂


First of all, don't file a dispute.


Disputes are counted against you as a contractor. Doesn't matter who is wrong. The number of disputes you're associated with counts against you and can lead to your account being put on review.



If this client leaves a bad review, it will appear on your profile and the bad review will count against you in oDesk's automated algorithms which eventually lead to your account being put on review.


If you cancel the contract and refund any money that he paid you so far, doing so will count against you in oDesk's automated algorithms, but there will be no public record of the contract.


A bad review once in a while isn't the worst thing in the world. oDesk understands that sometimes a client and a contractor don't click, and sometimes a client is just unreasonable.


Neither one bad review nor one contractor-closed account or refund will automatically get your account put on review.


What you could do is just leave the contract in place, but don't do any more work on it.


If the client closes a contract, it won't count against you so much in oDesk's automated algorithms. Odesk strongly prefers that clients close contracts, not contractors.


if the client closes the contract without paying you anything, it will count some against you, but it shouldn't be as bad as if you close the contract.

If it is a fixed rate project, though, there is a deadline attached to it, and if you fail to use the Submit button to submit your work by the deadline, that will count against you.


So if this is an hourly project, you could just leave it alone. Eventually oDesk will pause it or the client will close it.


If it is a fixed rate project, you could submit the work you did along with a note stating that you regret that things didn't work out between you, but you want him to have the work you did so far, regardless of whether or not he wants to use it, and that under oDesk's fixed rate contract rules, he is welcome to pay any amount he chooses for the work you did (including zero), and you will not dispute his decision no matter what he decides.


I DO NOT KNOW if this is the best option for you, but it is one of many options that you have.

Just noticed this reply and wanted to say thanks for taking the time to respond 🙂

I think I know him. If I'm right, he was my first ever client on odesk. He was nice as pie initially, then, on the third job, sent a series of rude emails regarding the content, then claimed he would have to revise it himself and refused to pay.


If you're new, check their feeback before starting work, if they have more than one or two negative comments, then forget about them. 


My advice would be to simply cancel the contract, this sounds like a nasty, negative person, and further contact with them is only going to cause you more trouble.

Good points. Thanks.


**edited for Community Guidelines** I went ahead and closed a contract once because the client asked for something totally different from the job description.


No wonder I'm having a hard time getting hired.