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dane_bozic
Community Member

What if a simple 1h job turns into a XX hours (or days) job with already agreed fixed-price

Hello,

 

I'm new here.

What if I accept a fixed-price job, for example a 10$ job to fix some issue that should be simple and solved in less than 1 hour, but it turns out to be a much bigger issue and it requires xx hours of working on it.

Will I still get paid only 10$, even if I stated to the client in my cover letter that if this issue turns out to be a complex one, I'll need to charge it by an hourly rate?

 

Thanks,Dane

9 REPLIES 9
wescowley
Community Member

The scope of the job should be identified before you accept the contract, especially for fixed-price ones. If you're unsure of the scope and think it might need to be hourly, get that agreed on and have the client change the offer to hourly before you accept it, not after.

 

If you accepted the contract at $10, then that's the price you committed to deliver it at. You can ask the client to increase the contract amount through another milestone, but they're under no obligation to agree. 

 

FWIW, I significantly underestimated the first contract I accepted on here and spent a full weekend getting something done that I initially thought would take a few hours.  It happens.  Learn from it.

Thank you, that was very helpful.

So basically, one need to be extra carefull when accepting a fixed-price job.

 

Regards,

Dane

prestonhunter
Community Member

If I was the freelancer, I would close the fixed-price contract myself and tell the client:

 

"I would be happy to work on this project, but it will require an hourly contract."

 

I have a significant number of contracts on my profile. I can afford to have a zero-pay contract and still maintain good JSS.

 

I'm not interested in spending days working on a task that was supposed to be a one-hour job.

 

In fact, I probably would never have accepted this project as a fixed-price contract in the first place. I don't accept ambiguous fixed-price jobs, and clearly this job was ambiguous. Because you didn't know what you were getting into.

 

Here is an example of an unambiguous project, appropriate for a fixed-price contract:

- "Here is file Company_Data.txt. Create a data loader tool that imports this file into the database."

 

Here is an example of an ambiguous project, which is NOT appropriate for a fixed-price contract, and must be handled with an hourly contract:

- "There is a problem with our website. Sometimes some of the pages are loading too slowly. Please resolve this problem."

Exactly, thanks.

My was something like: "my query is running slow please fix it". 

It depends on the root cause of the issue how long will it take me to fix it.

Definitely not appropriate for a fixed-price contract.

 

Thanks,

Dane


Preston H wrote:

If I was the freelancer, I would close the fixed-price contract myself and tell the client:

 

"I would be happy to work on this project, but it will require an hourly contract."

 

I have a significant number of contracts on my profile. I can afford to have a zero-pay contract and still maintain good JSS.

But the OP doesn't have a significant number of contracts on his profile and cannot afford to have a zero-pay contract.  So don't follow this. 

 

Instead, given this is only a $10 fixed-price contract I would kindly explain the issue with the client.  Ask to change to an hourly project but make sure he pays you something, anything on the current project.  If this is an honorable client, he will do it.  If not, you have to suck it up and complete a $10 project worth much much more.  

 

Lesson learned.  

But there was no option for me to change my bid to be based on an hourly rate.

So I had to make a proposal with a fixed-price and put my explanation in a cover letter.

Now I withdrew the proposal and explained why.

 

How can I ask the client anything about the project but not making a fixed-price proposal at the same time? Is there an option to send a message? I don't even see name of clients.

 

Thank you.

But there was no option for me to change my bid to be based on an hourly rate.

So I had to make a proposal with a fixed-price and put my explanation in a cover letter.

Now I withdrew the proposal and explained why.

 

How can I ask the client anything about the project but not making a fixed-price proposal at the same time? Is there an option to send a message? I don't even see name of clients.


Your proposal is never set in stone.  Many times I choose the client's budget as my budget and explain in my proposal "fixed price is a placeholder until I better understand project scope".  

 

You can ask the client anything in your proposal.  I do it all the time because clients typically don't include enough detail in the job description.  If the client replies to your proposal, you will be able to see their name and/or company name.  No need to know this information for the proposal. 

 

Note:  previous freelancers might call out the client's name in their feedback so if you really want to personalize the message and assume no one else has access to the account, here is the place to find out. 

That makes a lot more sense now.

Thank you all very much, you are very helpful and responsive.

To add on to what Robin said - once the interview is going and you have a chance to talk to the client, that's when you can ask him to change the offer to hourly if needed. On fixed-price job posts, I often include a line in my proposal that says my bid is a placeholder to start a discussion, but that I need more details to give a firm offer.

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