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Who is wrong here?

rstamoulis
Active Member
Risty S Member Since: Jan 26, 2017
1 of 23

Hello, this is my first message with the Upwork community.

 

I responded to a simple, one payment transcription job where the Job Description said (I removed the actual hyperlinks as I wasn't fully sure that it would be appropriate to keep them in this post):

 

 

"I have about 2 hours of audio mp3 that need to be transcribed. 

The sound quality is good. Here is the download files below that need to be transcribed. 
[file one]

[file two]"

 

 

I responded, in my proposal agreeing to perform the transcriptions.

 

I get to work on the transcriptions over the evening. The next morning, the client messages me, verbatim: "Hope it's going well. If you want, I have another here..."And links the new file.

 

So, I think, huh... that's weird, and I silently decide to pass on his offer for extra work without more pay.

 

Fast forward to today. I have submitted the completed transcriptions. He accepts them, but doesn't release payment. He says "Thanks, OK you can start on the Third Interview..." So now it seems like that previous offer was more of demand? He also adds, "After that, I will have one additional audio recording for a total of 25 minutes."

 

I explain that I have finished the work he explicitly said were the "audio mp3 that needed to be transcribed." I explain that my proposal for the job was to write transcriptions for the files explicitly listed in the job description, that I don't understand my obligation to perform extra transcriptions seeing as nowhere in the description did he sufficiently hint at or imply that more transcriptions were part of the deal. How I could I agree to transcribe files I didn't know existed?

 

He replies by pointing to the first line of the job description: "I have about 2 hours of audio..." Claiming that him saying "about 2 hours" means I will have to continue performing transcriptions for him until the 2-hour time is reached, or else I have not completed the job stated in the contract.

 

Together, the two files he had said were the "audio mp3 that needed to be transcribed" totaled to 1 hour 12 minutes. Is it really part of my job as a freelancer to interpret "about 2 hours" to mean that I'm obligated to continue to transcribe additional audio files until the total time is 2 hours? Especially considering that the second line of the job description explicitly listed: "Here is[sic] the download files below that need to be transcribed"?

 

Sorry for all of the quotes, but it seems like this client is trying to have a semantics war. One that decides whether or not I am obligated to 1/3 more work for the same price.

 

The client has not officially ended the job, so I am unable to file a dispute at this time (as far as I understand the way disputes are handled).

 

What do you guys think?

 

jcullinan
Community Guru
Jess C Member Since: Feb 18, 2015
2 of 23

This is called scope creep. This is why I only work hourly!

 

The files linked in the initial discussion were the ones you agreed to do. Any additional files require another milestone to be funded. If they disagree, then you can bring customer service into it. You really should have responded to the message sending you a third file, to cover yourself then and there, but this is still scope creep and you should hold firm.

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3 of 23
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I quote from your profile overview: "I am willing to work for less than my competitors without sacrificing quality." That is exactly what happened now.

rstamoulis
Active Member
Risty S Member Since: Jan 26, 2017
4 of 23

Thank you. You're right. I'm going to go change that now. I am niave when it comes to freelancing. This being my second ever job. Trial by fire, I suppose. I appreciate your blunt honesty.

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
5 of 23

@Margarete M wrote:

I quote from your profile overview: "I am willing to work for less than my competitors without sacrificing quality." That is exactly what happened now.


 lol have an upvote lady.

rstamoulis
Active Member
Risty S Member Since: Jan 26, 2017
6 of 23

Oh my god, what was I thinking...

mtngigi
Community Guru
Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
7 of 23

Jess. all due respect, but if a freelancer knows how to write a proper contract, scope creep is not a problem, even in fixed priced jobs.

rstamoulis
Active Member
Risty S Member Since: Jan 26, 2017
8 of 23

I have a lot to learn about safegaurding myself against predatory tactics. Thank you for your input.

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
9 of 23

No need to safeguard if you are the predator.

rstamoulis
Active Member
Risty S Member Since: Jan 26, 2017
10 of 23

I'm not entirely sure I follow. Do you mean 'be a shark'?

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