I've been working with a client by milestones to write articles. Since each article can vary on size, regarding the instructions of my client, he told me that he always set a fix amount at the milestone and freelancers can ask the total amount when submiting the work done. I felt a little pressured to accept since he told me that they work like that with every freelancers on Upwork.
Things worked just fine for several times. Recently I was writing more articles with a fix amount at a new milestone, as usual. I did the job and delived it. The milestone was released automatically but the client did not approved the total amount, as we agreed before, and since then he has been unresponsive, I added a new milestone request, asking for the amount that is missing, but, unfortunately, without any result.
I've contacted support but, of course they cannot do anything about it since the amount that the client has set for the milestone and put into escrow is the only guarantee that I have. The only thing they can do is to send an email to my client on my behalf.
Is there any way to recover my payment? And also, is there any way to prevent other freelancers to be in the same situation with this client? Should I end the contract or should I wait that the client does that?
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re: "Is there any way to recover my payment?"
re: "And also, is there any way to prevent other freelancers to be in the same situation with this client?"
Yes. We advise freelancers to not do any fixed-price work that is not funded in escrow.
re: "Should I end the contract or should I wait that the client does that?"
If it was me, I would immediately end the contract myself.
Hi Preston. Thank you so much for your feedback. Ending the contract myself will not hurt my ranking at Upwork? Do you think I should wait a few more days to wait and see if the client answers or ask Upwork to send an email on my behalf?
You have already been paid for past milestones. Ending this contract won't hurt you.
It won't hurt to wait a few days if you think the client might pay you some money, but it sounds like he is done.
I definitely would not ask Upwork to intervene. They MIGHT do so, but I don't have time for clients who can't be trusted.
I'm sorry to hear about your experience with this Client. Going forward, please make sure that the Client have a verified billing method so that the work you do can be covered by Upwork Payment Protection, and start working on a Milestone only after it has been funded for the appropriate amount. JSS calculation includes multiple factors including private feedback on contracts, contracts that were closed with no payment, an excessive number of contracts with no feedback left, etc. That said, this contract is still open and isn't yet included in your JSS.
We'll be sure to review the client's account for any possible violations of Upwork ToS.
Hi Bojan. I really appreciate your feedback on this. I know that support can't do much more regarding the situation, but if you can prevent other freelancers to fall into this type of situation with this client I will be grateful. Thank you.
Filomena, if you have not already closed the contract, my advice is to leave it alone. A contract where money was paid can sit idle almost indefinitely without harming your JSS. In contrast, if you close a contract where the client has already become uncommunicative, then it's unlikely the client will return and leave feedback. You want to avoid no-feedback contracts whenever possible because if you ever accumulate too many, that can hurt your JSS.
Preston, if you are going to offer advice to a FL who is new to the platform, please take the time to look at her specific situation so that your advice is not unnecessarily harmful. Filomena only has six completed contracts so far and already, two have no feedback. It's smarter for her to let this one sit, for now. There's nothing to be gained by closing it and it could potentially hurt.
If she has been paid SOMETHING, then that is the important thing for JSS.
I think there is something to be gained from closing the contract herself. This client seems like a person who can't be trusted.
Closing the contract prevents the client from assigning additional milestones. And if the client is genuinely unresponsive at this time, then closing the contract will mean no feedback from this client. I'm not sure I want feedback from this client - a person who asked for work and promised to pay for that work, but ended up breaking his promise.
No-feedback contracts were indeed a much-discussed cause of JSS decline in times past. But as far as I know, it is no longer something to worry about unless one gets into fairly extreme patterns of it.