It's finally happened. My first **Edited for Community Guidelines** client. I did a job for someone for a fixed price contract and completely the job. After completion, I provided photos and screenshots of the job and evidence of its completion and some narrative around the job. The client quickly changed their tune and said "Had I known it was that easy, I would've done it. Can we renegotiate the fixed price" - and they wouldn't relent. I stayed strong with a polite "No. We agreed on this and my time and expertise was put in to this project. That is a final price"
Now they are refusing to submit approval for payment and I just know that a bad rating is heading my way. I'm not yet 'Top Rated' so I don't have the ability to strip out the incoming and inevitable damaging review. How do I protect myself against this? All communication has been done through Upwork - will that help build evidence about shady behaviour?
Sean, you ask about evidence.
But keep in mind that evidence may not matter.
If you take this to a dispute, then Upwork mediators can only encourage you and the client to come to an agreement. The conversations MAY embarrass the client enough to agree to give you the money. But the Upwork mediator can't force him to.
Only if this goes beyond the dispute stage - to arbitration - will someone consider evidence and render a binding decision.
Going to dispute costs nothing. Going to arbitration costs $291 for Upwork, the freelancer, and the client... each.
So we need to ask: what is the total dollar amount that hasn't been released?
And by the way, the client in this situation is a bad client, and a bad person. What he is doing is unprofessional, unethical, and immoral. However, this is a professional workplace, and it is still inappropriate to refer to clients or other Upwork users using vulgar language. Doing so is a violation of Upwork TOS and Community Guidelines.
You're 100% right and I shouldn't have stooped to that level using poor language. Appreciate the edit above and I'll be better next time.
Sadly, I'm least concerned about the financial aspect and more concerned with their ability to provide feedback to me. Negative feedback is something that will take me quickly from an active and successful contributor on this site to someone constantly losing out on jobs. I'd only want Upwork to mediate in having a rating removed from my JSS factor. As of writing this, the job is now paid but the contract is not open so I may just leave it pending there.
Sean P wrote:
As of writing this, the job is now paid but the contract is not open so I may just leave it pending there.
I think you mean that the contract is still open. If that's the case and since it's unlikely you'll avoid bad feedback on this one, I'd suggest just leaving it open. Once you have top rated and enough time has passed, you can consider closing it so that if the client leaves feedback you'll be able to remove it if needed. And, if you leave it long enough, they may not even bother.
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