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What to Do with Clients Who Drift Away

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Ace Contributor
Richard F Member Since: Sep 9, 2009
1 of 14

Dear Upwork

 

I have been meaning to write to you for some time and finally got around to it. After completing 457 jobs since 2009, I have 33 ‘current ones’ still open.  Only ten of these 10 are still active. The rest belong to clients who have drifted away after paying for the work. Possible reasons for this are

 

  • They became bored and dropped the idea

 

  • They ran out of money for their project

 

  • They do not understand how Upwork works

 

  • They could not be bothered with the ‘paperwork”

I have asked all 23 of them to close their jobs without success, and there is little more that I can do. I am facing a situation where my job invitations are tailing off because new employers think I am fully booked. I should like to suggest you do the following in the interests of a better Upwork for everybody.

 

  • Place jobs that have been dormant or suspended for over 6 months in a separate silo

 

  • Stop showing these under freelancers’ current jobs, so we don't look busier than we really are

I am not asking you to close these jobs out completely. It is in both our interests to represent Upwork as a busy market place.

 

I thank you, Richard

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Ace Contributor
Sylvia B Member Since: Jun 9, 2009
2 of 14

Richard.

 

I want to thank you for bringing this up.  This hasn't been an issue for me in the past; but the 'unresponsives' are starting to pile up.

 

 

Thank you,

 

Sylvia

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Community Guru
Evelina H Member Since: Jan 29, 2015
3 of 14

Dormant contracts aren't a good idea. Especially if you have more and more of them piling up. Usually, after a job done, I either ask the client to close the contract (if they won't have work for me), or if they still want to employ me some time later, I may give them a chance. I wait for a month or two. If they are unresponsive, I warn them I'll close the contract. If there's still no response, I close the contract myself. I am patient, but to an extent.

 

I don't like having dormant contract on my profile, even though they remain without feedback. I like having my 'jobs in progress' with contracts that I actually work on.  I have a few that are dormant right now, and may consider closing some of them.

 

Don't expect anything from the clients once the job is done. They move on. You should too. If they are so impressed with your work, they know how to find you - through Upwork. They know how to hire you again. A closed contract doesn't mean the end of a work relationship.

 

I don't think Upwork will create another category of dormant contracts. So, better make do with closing the contracts yourselves.

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Ace Contributor
Ailsa C Member Since: Jul 26, 2015
4 of 14

Yes, that was odd:

 

'I have asked all 23 of them to close their jobs without success, and there is little more that I can do.'

 

But of course there is - just close the jobs yourself. What's the problem?

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Community Guru
Christy A Member Since: Dec 30, 2015
5 of 14

The problem is that closing too many contracts too quickly can have an adverse affect on your JSS, I believe.


@Ailsa C wrote:

Yes, that was odd:

 

'I have asked all 23 of them to close their jobs without success, and there is little more that I can do.'

 

But of course there is - just close the jobs yourself. What's the problem?


 

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Community Guru
Stephen R Member Since: Jun 19, 2015
6 of 14

Great advice Evelina.

 

I currently have 8 jobs in limbo.

No answer to my emails.

Time to close them.

 

Weird who people cant just end a contract.

Aint that hard.

 

Would be nice if Upwork sent reminders to client to end jobs if they are inactive.

 

 

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Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
7 of 14

I haven't let old contracts pile up, but I would brace myself for the JSS hit and just close dead contracts. From what others have reported, it's much worse letting these really old contracts pile up and then closing them compared to just closing them 2-3 months after they've gone stale. I close around the 2 month mark.

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Community Guru
Hanna N Member Since: Jun 17, 2015
8 of 14

Best thing you can do with the dead contracts is to start closing them yourself, a couple at a time. Close two and then wait until you have three or four new contracts closed, so the "no feedback" jobs float down in your job history. Then close another one or two, and wait again. Rinse and repeat until you have gotten rid of all the dead contracts. This way, your job history won't be flooded with no feedbacks and your JSS won't take such a hit - although for that amount of contracts, it will be a lengthy process.

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Community Guru
Stephen R Member Since: Jun 19, 2015
9 of 14

Why are we talking about JSS scores?

Why should we be worried about JSS?

 

Hey Upwork get off your behind and take care of your freelanceers?

 

Clients disappear, we MAKE YOU MONEY, then we as freelancers have to jump thru hoops figuring out a JSS score?

 

I am 4 hours away from your Ivory Towers, Invite me to Castle Upwork and I can give you some real feedback.

 

Frankly clients who disppear is a "you problem" Upwork, not freelancers who work here everyday. 

 

Meanwhile my precious JSS score is 89% percent.

Can any expert review my profile and LMK what i can do to fix it.

Im not even sure 89% matters. 

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Active Member
Robert M Member Since: Apr 26, 2016
10 of 14

 

Excellent points Richard! Thanks for airing them on this forum. I wholly endorse the proposal of Upwork closing old contracts that have "black holed". Anything out there older than 3-months needs to be shutdown if it hasn't terminated naturally.

 

Lives change, people come and go and often, clients lose interest in what they set out to do. Why should Freelancers suffer? It all seems one-sided.

 

Come on Upwork, you are jumping on the numbers bandwagon, when many contracts are past their sell by date for whatever reason. 

 

I tried closing dormant contracts after pleading with the client only to find my JSS got seriously whacked. Totally unfair Upwork! Remember who really brings in you earnings, particularly over long-term project workSmiley Happy

 

Let's start a #Fair Play Upwork campaign!!!

 

 

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