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mosta2
Community Member

Why you should avoid Fixed Priced, And use multiple platforms.

Ok so, I have finished a project for a client and I have to pay him money!

Yes I get punished for finishing a project, thanks for upwork, fixed prices, milestones and Dispute system.

I accepted the project based on requirements and agreed on the price, my only mistake I did was providing milestone for feature delivery (which I delivered on time), while the client used this to try to take the source code of the finished project, with 50% payment, without approving any of the work, claiming that: 

"No, I dont want this last milestone it was your decision to finish it"

I went to Dispute and AAA with confidence that I have delivered a project on time.

The AAA (so called neutral) does not allow you to submit more than one file (unless you pay more)

does not provide any sensible reason for the Award, for me seemed like the arbitrator does not understand or read the case, he/she just decide to take one side and adopt all his claims (probably based on names?) , I now realized why other people consider it a "lottery process" instead of arbitration.

The arbitrator was very generous with the client so he did not just give him the escrow, he also made a decision that I should pay the client (money back).

Man who are you to decide about my money?

This is totally non sense, and now I dont know if my top-rated upwork profile worth this small amount of money I have to pay, I can take paying money but I do not take this amount of non sense.

My case is clear:

- When I deliver a project  client should either approve  it or request changes not asking for parts of it because this is software and everything is linked together.

- Imagine I did not deliver the whole project the client would say "this is late delivery" and if it was delivered he can say "no I don't want this delivered", this is so good platform for non serious client.

- Upwork agent agreed that a milestone does not change the contract to sub contracts for client to choose which part to take.

 

I believe, If you have talent you should success anywhere, so my advice is to invest on more than one platform, may be they all like each others in terms of disputing in favor of clients, but having multiple platforms will give you more freedom to switch. When the platform becomes a platform for losing money/time.

105 REPLIES 105


Hakan O wrote:

Mostafa,

Is $1,400 total amount you offered, or is it the sum of two milestones?


That was milestone one and two.


Hakan O wrote:

Mostafa,

Is $1,400 total amount you offered, or is it the sum of two milestones?


It was the first two milestones, but he has to give back the $1400 plus now he's out an additional $291. lol

 

So by not just giving up the source code on milestone 2, he's now out $291. He's probably in the red on upwork and is working to pay off his debt. lol

mosta2
Community Member


Jennifer M wrote:

Hakan O wrote:

Mostafa,

Is $1,400 total amount you offered, or is it the sum of two milestones?


It was the first two milestones, but he has to give back the $1400 plus now he's out an additional $291. lol

 

So by not just giving up the source code on milestone 2, he's now out $291. He's probably in the red on upwork and is working to pay off his debt. lol


LOL, it is not as dark as that, I am very happy with my decisions, thanks for my experience in industry and in online freelancing, all these situations already had before, imagine giving source code for completed project and client cancels the contract, and upwork close eyes on terms and conditions sending me to a dummy AAA lottery arbiter, that would be the real loss.

I do not work for upwork, you break terms, don't ask me to follow terms, true freelancers do not work on one platform, world is much wider, I think the main loser is not me or the client it is the platform. and the only winner is AAA LOL

No Mostafa, the only one who has lost here is you, and not just the money.


Maria T wrote:

No Mostafa, the only one who has lost here is you, and not just the money.


I have actually won, I have learnt few new things about a platform, that I may have used in bigger deals in future, small experiences save us from big troubles, sharing it for the benefit of others.


Mostafa A wrote:

according to TOS when a freelancer deliver a project the client has only two choices "Approve and release" Or "Request Changes", and escrow is part of so called "Payment Protection" which Upwork only talked about.


And here is the problem..... you DID NOT deliver the project(milestone) and furthermore refused to supply it when asked in dispute. 

 

You say the client has only 2 choices, well so does the freelancer....

Supply the work and get paid, or dont!

 

 

It seems you have tried to use the milestone system to suit your own needs without realising that milestones actually form part of the contract. I dont think developers need to avoid fixed price at all, but they (along with any profession) need to be clear on how they work before entering into an agreement.


Jonathan H wrote:


And here is the problem..... you DID NOT deliver the project(milestone) and furthermore refused to supply it when asked in dispute. 

 

You say the client has only 2 choices, well so does the freelancer....

Supply the work and get paid, or dont!

 


And here is the problem, you did not read the case. one more time, I am going to explain the milestone/source-code trip that was started by client and supported by Upwork Dispute:

 

You can think it two ways because of Upwork Ambigiouty:

1- If you want to consider the contract is the whole project (which is the real case as confirmed by dispute agent and upwork contract terms) , I have submitted work for the whole project, within its delivery time. and asked the client to "Review the work" Or "Request Changes" told him I am ready to work on any fixes.

2- If you want to consider milestones are "mini contracts" which is NOT TRUE, but that's the client's trick, Ok then I have submitted the work for milestones  2 & 3 on time. Asked the client to "Review the work" Or "Request Changes".


In both cases the client did not want to review the work, he put in a problem that cannot be solved , which is partially requesting a source code of second milestone only, why this is not possible:

1- Technically not possible on software, it is like you ask contractor to build a building and then saying I dont need the Upper floor give me only the ground floor. 

2- Denying a milestone requirements which has money in escrow, is that possible in upwork terms?

3- Taking source code of work that has not been paid or approved as functionality, this is anti-software.


I do not blame the client, I do blame the platform which did not apply terms and ask the client once to "Approve" or "Request changes" instead he supported his milestone/source-code story.


Please do not bring this point of milestones/source-code again, because I have explained enough. Give your question to Upwork to answer you if milestones breakdown convert initial contract to mini-contracts or if milestones can be cancelled or selected after been finished.

And here is the problem, you did not read the case. one more time, I am going to explain the milestone/source-code trick that was done by client and supported by Upwork Dispute:

 

Yes, i did read the case, and its all very obvious to everyone (except you) there was no 'trick' this is how the system works and always has. If you failed to read the terms thats on you.

 

You can think it two ways because of Upwork Ambigiouty:

1- If you want to consider the contract is the whole project (which is the real case as confirmed by dispute agent and upwork contract terms) , I have submitted work for the whole project, within its delivery time. and asked the client to "Review the work" Or "Request Changes" told him I am ready to work on any fixes.

2- If you want to consider milestones are "mini contracts" which is NOT TRUE, but that's the client's trick, Ok then I have submitted the work for milestones  2 & 3 on time. Asked the client to "Review the work" Or "Request Changes".

 

NO, you can think of it only 1 way, and thats the way that is clearly set out in the ToS. 

 

Milestones are points that you work to. YOU set your own milestones, so clearly you do not understand the system and got it wrong.

The client wants the code they have paid for, you already said you wont give it until you have been paid but thats NOT how it works, you supply the product (code) FIRST then get the money in the same way you did for milestone 1.

 

 

In both cases the client did not want to review the work, he put in a problem that cannot be solved , which is partially requesting a source code of second milestone only, why this is not possible:

 

Thats because you DIDNT GIVE HIM THE WORK (the code) - If you gave it to him then he would review it and release payment, that is how the system works, no ifs no buts.

 

 

1- Technically not possible on software, it is like you ask contractor to build a building and then saying I dont need the Upper floor give me only the ground floor. 

 

RUBBISH! - furthermore if i ask a contractor to build a house and THEY set 'first floor' as a milestone then i have every right to see that first floor before i approve further work on the upper floor. That way i can stop work when i realise the incompetent contractor has started building my house round instead of square like i asked.

 

 

2- Denying a milestone requirements which has money in escrow, is that possible in upwork terms?

 

YES, when YOU deny the client the work - like you did. You even said as much in dispute so it baffles me how you are suprised that it didnt go your way!

 

3- Taking source code of work that has not been paid or approved as functionality, this is anti-software.

 

You managed it just fine on the first milestone! If you dont want to provide work until the project is complete then dont setup multiple milestones, you set up just 1 for the whole project. But you already know that as the dispute team pointed it out several times to you.

 

I do not blame the client, I do blame the platform which did not apply terms and ask the client once to "Approve" or "Request changes" and supported his milestone/source code tricks.

 

There are no 'tricks' i'm afraid you only have yourself to blame as you dont know how to use the system properly and didnt set the fixed price job up in a suitable manner for the way you work (plenty of coders that manage just fine, so the 'this is only applicable to coders; argument is irrelevant.

 

Please do not bring this point of milestones/source-code again, because I have explained enough.

 

You can explain all you like, its irrelevant, thats not how it works. everyone has told you the same, including your dispute yet you still insist its not possible. Aside from the fact that many people manage it just fine, if its not possible DONT USE MULTIPLE MILESTONES! 

 

Give your question to Upwork to answer you if milestones breakdown convert initial contract to mini-contracts or if milestones can be cancelled or selected after been finished.

 

You can call them what you like, but milestone are a part of your contract, you did milestone 1 just fine, then refused to do milestone 2 the same way so the client refused to carry on with the project. If you carried on thats on you, the client was happy to complete the project but wanted what they had already paid for.


Jonathan H wrote:

 

Yes, i did read the case, and its all very obvious to everyone (except you)


That is the single most baffling aspect of this mammoth thread...


Petra R wrote:


That is the single most baffling aspect of this mammoth thread...


Its a shame, it's gotta sting loosing that money/time but if you dont learn from it and accept your own shortcomings then its just a matter of time before something similar happens again.

 

Everyone makes mistakes, and in this case the mistakes are both very clear and very costly (to both client and freelancer). I hope the OP spends a bit of time figuring out how the system works properly so he can avoid similar situations in the future on either fixed price or hourly contracts.

 

 

First please calm down, you are working too hard on this post ๐Ÿ™‚



Jonathan H wrote:

Yes, i did read the case, and its all very obvious to everyone (except you)

Did you take opinions of everyone read this post? Also it does not matter how many disagree, only one person is enough to fall in trip, sharing his experience on community is for the benefit of other freelancers and for the Upwork system to improve (if they have intensions to improve), isnt that the purpose of community?

If some people think Upwork is their papa and have to defend it, I understand, but other true freelancers who sells their hours have the right to exhange experiences.

I am not asking a judgement because, it requires someone with good knowledge about software development before good knowledge about the Upwork terms, to give opinion.(otherwise your opinion will be as random as AAA arbitrator)

 

Milestones are points that you work to. YOU set your own milestones, so clearly you do not understand the system and got it wrong.

More on Milestones vs Contract, here are reasons why I finished milestones 2 & 3 together:

1- Both milestones technically linked together, you cannot approve or finish one without the other.

2- Both milestones are part of the initial contract requirements sent by client.

3- Both milestones are approved and funded by client in escrow.

4- sticking to deadlines, of the whole project.

5- Based on my 19 years of experience (as a freelancer and client) and 10 years on upwork, serious clients always get happier when their work is done, they never get scared ๐Ÿ™‚

6- I already informed the client before proceeding Me: "Hi I am working on the remaining milestones all together so lets merge the milestones together with a reasonable deadline"

 

Having that explained,

if someone still insist on the milestone story, can he/she provide any upwork documentation that says milestones breakdown change the original contract or turn themselves into contracts ? 

Even the Upwork Dispute Agent could not find such documentation, here is the agent final opinion:

Agent: "Mostafa, it does not change the contract to sub contracts. a milestone is a payment that will be made once a certain part of the project is turned in"

 

A milestone is a "payment", within the contract, - when part is finished a milestone is paid, - when total project is finished all milestones are released and paid.

 

Not sure what is difficult to understand. But if you still insist on Milestones justifications, and cannot provide terms or execuses why original contract was destroyed.

If that's the case let's agree that it is at least AMBIGIOUS?

Still No?

Then can we keep respect for other opinions and leave the post for other true freelancers to learn from it without judging things you don't really understand. 

 

RUBBISH! - furthermore if i ask a contractor to build a house and THEY set 'first floor' as a milestone then i have every right to see that first floor before i approve further work

You miss-understood the contractor example (things look rubbish when you can't understand), it meant that you cannot deliver a part of the building without the other after it was finished, (imaging there is only one bathroom in the upper floor)

Aside from the fact that many people manage it just fine, if its not possible DONT USE MULTIPLE MILESTONES! 

Breaking down a project to milestones is a healthy procedure for the project and for the communication, it is not the fault of this technique to be missused to destroy the original contract, if there was someone to apply terms, it would have worked fine.

Rather I would avoid doing that on Upwork, and avoid Fixed Price Project, and probably avoid a platform that did not do any effort to apply its terms or the contract terms.

Did you take opinions of everyone read this post? Also it does not matter how many disagree, only one person is enough to fall in trip, sharing his experience on community is for the benefit of other freelancers and for the Upwork system to improve (if they have intensions to improve), isnt that the purpose of community?

 

I agree 100%, that is why i dont think you should be telling people that fixed price contracts are not a good idea/avoid them when it is not the fixed price contract that is the issue, its your own lack of ability to use the system in the way you are supposed to.

 

I am not asking a judgement because, it requires someone with good knowledge about software development before good knowledge about the Upwork terms, to give opinion.(otherwise your opinion will be as random as AAA arbitrator)

 

Software development has nothing to do with upwork terms. Software development is your speciality, fine. But using upwork in the correct manner is the same for any proffession. You dont get special treatment and rules just because things dont fit 100% as you would like.

 

More on Milestones vs Contract, here are reasons why I finished milestones 2 & 3 together:

1- Both milestones technically linked together, you cannot approve or finish one without the other.

2- Both milestones are part of the initial contract requirements sent by client.

3- Both milestones are approved and funded by client in escrow.

4- sticking to deadlines, of the whole project.

5- Based on my 19 years of experience (as a freelancer and client) and 10 years on upwork, serious clients always get happier when their work is done, they never get scared Smiley Happy

 

If you cant finish one without the other then you should not have 2 milestones. Its quite simple.

Furthermore, YOU set the milestones, so i refer back to the fact you clearly refuse to understand how milestones work and how they are supposed to be used.

 

6- I already informed the client before proceeding Me: "Hi I am working on the remaining milestones all together so lets merge the milestones together with a reasonable deadline"

 

And how did your client respond? They certainly didnt agree to combine the milestones or you would not be arguing over milestone 3/4

 

Having that explained,

if someone still insist on the milestone story, can he/she provide any upwork documentation that says milestones breakdown change the original contract or turn themselves into contracts ? 

Even the Upwork Dispute Agent could not find such documentation, here is the agent final opinion:

Agent: "Mostafa, it does not change the contract to sub contracts. a milestone is a payment that will be made once a certain part of the project is turned in"

 

They do not change the contract, but they ARE an agreement between you and your client about the deliverable part of the project therfor forming part of your ongoing contract. Its all laid out nice and clear under TERMS AND SETTINGS in your job - you can then see any changes to your contract under HISTORY OF CONTRACT CHANGES see the milestones there? well thats your confirmation that milestones form part of your contract. 

You failed/refused to deliver on your agreement and thats why your in this situation.

 

A milestone is a "payment", within the contract, - when part is finished a milestone is paid, - when total project is finished all milestones are released and paid.

 

Yes, well done! - you said it....

when part is finished a milestone is paid - You refused to deliver the 'part' then wondered why you didnt get paid/had to refund.

 

Not sure what is difficult to understand. But if you still insist on Milestones justifications, and cannot provide terms or execuses why original contract was destroyed.

 

Original contract was not destroyed, BUT - YOU did not deliver the terms of the contract that you agreed with your client. The milestones are a part of the contract (look at 'history of contract changes' if your not sure) that is changes to your contract with your client and clearly lists the milestones as you deliver them and activate new ones ect.

 

You miss-understood the contractor example (things look rubbish when you can't understand), it meant that you cannot deliver a part of the building without the other after it was finished, (imaging there is only one bathroom in the upper floor)

But i would not ask the contractor for half the job, and neither did your client, they just wanted to approve the ground floor before you went ahead and built the next one.

 

 

Breaking down a project to milestones is a healthy procedure for the project and for the communication, it is not the fault of this technique to be missused to destroy the original contract, if there was someone to apply terms, it would have worked fine.

 

Yes it is if you know how to use them which you clearly dont, and clearly refuse to learn. it is you that has 'misused' the system and unfortunatly for you and your client its ended in a messy situation.


Jonathan H wrote:

................................


Ok its good that you talk in behalf of Upwork and client point of view, then reply me, please only with terms and conditions:

The story from begining:

- We have Project description and full requirements document that we discussed then project is approved 

- So I got Contract terms : You accepted Client's offer for a $Amount fixed-price project

 

We have 2 arguments:

1- Contract/terms Says: freelancer should finish the requirements in deadline and submit work, client should "Approve work" or "Request changes". which is what every freelancer is doing for ages nothing complicated with that.

2- What actually happened:

- If a project is broken down to milestones, freelancer should only work on milestone and provide source code for each step. He is not allowed to finish the initial contract. and get approval for it as a whole project.

 

The two arguments cannot work together, if the second argument is true, then the first argument is false (i.e the initial contract is destroyed since freelancer cannot get approval for it.)

 

If you believe in second argument, please provide where is this in terms and conditions. If it is only your opinion,I respect it but please let's not repeat opinions.

tlsanders
Community Member


Mostafa A wrote:

 

1- Both milestones technically linked together, you cannot approve or finish one without the other.

 

Then, by definition, they are NOT MILESTONES. The entire purpose of an Upwork milestone is to define a discrete piece of the project that you can complete, submit, have approved and receive payment for as a standalone unit.

 

Over and over again, you clearly describe how you set the project up wrong, then tell us it's a flaw in the fixed price system. It's not. You simply didn't use the system as intended, and so it couldn't work as intended.

mosta2
Community Member


Tiffany S wrote:

...............


Ok fine, I have got enough advices about how I was wrong, now, can you prove you are right? 

can I just get one answer based on Terms and Conditions? 

Here is my simple question,

Ok its good that you talk in behalf of Upwork and client point of view, then reply me, please only with terms and conditions:

The story from begining:

- We have Project description and full requirements document that we discussed then project is approved 

- So I got Contract terms : You accepted Client's offer for a $Amount fixed-price project

 

We have 2 arguments:

1- Contract/terms Says: freelancer should finish the requirements in deadline and submit work, client should "Approve work" or "Request changes". which is what every freelancer is doing for ages nothing complicated with that.

2- What actually happened:- If a project is broken down to milestones, freelancer should only work on milestone and provide source code for each step. He is not allowed to finish the initial contract. and get approval for it as a whole project. This something new for me I have never seen in my 10 years with online software freelancing, so for me it needs to be proven by terms.

 

Problem:

The two arguments cannot work together, if the second argument is true, then the first argument is false (i.e the initial contract is destroyed since freelancer cannot get approval for it as a whole project.)

 

If you believe in second argument, please provide where is this in terms and conditions. If it is only your opinion,I respect it but please let's not repeat opinions.

Mostafa,

 

I'd like to share this help article which describes Upwork Fixed-Price Protection and Payment System. Please, note that the client has an option to fund the whole project when sending an offer or only first milestone and then fund all consecutive milestones after releasing the previous one. Fixed-Price Protection is only available for funds in escrow, that's why it's recommended that the freelancer only does the work for the funded milestones and the amount held in Escrow is appropriate for the work you perform for that milestone.

~ Valeria
Upwork


Valeria K wrote:

Mostafa,

Fixed-Price Protection is only available for funds in escrow, that's why it's recommended that the freelancer only does the work for the funded milestones and the amount held in Escrow is appropriate for the work you perform for that milestone.


In my case I have delivered work for milestones in escrow but I did not find any "Fixed-Price Protection" the Dispute agent never said anything about it, he suggested it go back to client, never asked the client to review work, and passed the dispute to AAA which I guess their arbiter never heard about it.

What is the value of having this feature if it is not applicable, you would say it is my mistake? ok , imagine it is not me, someone who was perfect and wanted to use the Fixed Protection feature, even if the dispute agent wants to apply it, he cannot , because the dispute will still go to AAA third party who may not be familiar with this feature or may not have time to look into case carefully to apply all your terms.

In other words what is the value of having terms if you are sending to third party which nobody can be sure about their awareness of all and updated terms or awareness of the type of project (like software etc.)

a_lipsey
Community Member


Mostafa A wrote:

Valeria K wrote:

Mostafa,

Fixed-Price Protection is only available for funds in escrow, that's why it's recommended that the freelancer only does the work for the funded milestones and the amount held in Escrow is appropriate for the work you perform for that milestone.


In my case I have delivered work for milestones in escrow but I did not find any "Fixed-Price Protection" the Dispute agent never said anything about it, he suggested it go back to client, never asked the client to review work, and passed the dispute to AAA which I guess their arbiter never heard about it.

 

You didn't though, you refused to deliver source code for the 2nd milestone.  There was nothing for the client to review because you wouldn't release the work to the client. 

 

What is the value of having this feature if it is not applicable, you would say it is my mistake? ok , imagine it is not me, someone who was perfect and wanted to use the Fixed Protection feature, even if the dispute agent wants to apply it, he cannot , because the dispute will still go to AAA third party who may not be familiar with this feature or may not have time to look into case carefully to apply all your terms.

In other words what is the value of having terms if you are sending to third party which nobody can be sure about their awareness of all and updated terms or awareness of the type of project (like software etc.)

 

You are arguing all these strawmen instead of just accepting that YOU failed to keep to the terms that YOU set.  If you had delivered the source code and this had gone to arbitration it would have been a different story, and who knows, at that point, what the outcome would be. But you made it pretty simple for the arbiter since you wouldn't deliver the source code and at it's most basic the contract was deliver source code and get paid at four different milestones. At milestone 2, you refused to deliver source code, so you lose. What are you getting out of continuing to try and be right about this?  You've been told how it works. You said you don't want to work fixed price, so don't. Move on and go back to work and make some money already. The thread exists for people who want to learn what not to do from your wonderful example. I really don't see what the point is of you continuing to argue this. 


 

mosta2
Community Member


Amanda L wrote:

......................


Ok fine, I have got enough advices about how I was wrong, now, can you prove you are right? 

can I just get one answer based on Terms and Conditions? 

Here is my simple question, please only with terms and conditions:

The story from begining:

- We have Project description and full requirements document that we discussed then project is approved 

- So I got Contract terms : You accepted Client's offer for a $Amount fixed-price project

 

We have 2 arguments:

1- Contract/terms Says: freelancer should finish the requirements in deadline and submit work, client should "Approve work" or "Request changes". which is what every freelancer is doing for ages nothing complicated with that.

2- What actually happened:- If a project is broken down to milestones, freelancer should only work on milestone and provide source code for each step. He is not allowed to finish the initial contract. and get approval for it as a whole project. This something new for me I have never seen in my 10 years with online software freelancing, so for me it needs to be proven by terms.

 

Problem:

The two arguments cannot work together, if the second argument is true, then the first argument is false (i.e the initial contract is destroyed since freelancer cannot get approval for it as a whole project.)

 

If you believe in second argument, please provide where is this in terms and conditions. If it is only your opinion,I respect it but please let's not repeat opinions.

a_lipsey
Community Member


Mostafa A wrote:

Amanda L wrote:

......................


Ok fine, I have got enough advices about how I was wrong, now, can you prove you are right? 

can I just get one answer based on Terms and Conditions? 

Here is my simple question, please only with terms and conditions:

The story from begining:

- We have Project description and full requirements document that we discussed then project is approved 

- So I got Contract terms : You accepted Client's offer for a $Amount fixed-price project

 

We have 2 arguments:

1- Contract/terms Says: freelancer should finish the requirements in deadline and submit work, client should "Approve work" or "Request changes". which is what every freelancer is doing for ages nothing complicated with that.

2- What actually happened:- If a project is broken down to milestones, freelancer should only work on milestone and provide source code for each step. He is not allowed to finish the initial contract. and get approval for it as a whole project. This something new for me I have never seen in my 10 years with online software freelancing, so for me it needs to be proven by terms.

 

Problem:

The two arguments cannot work together, if the second argument is true, then the first argument is false (i.e the initial contract is destroyed since freelancer cannot get approval for it as a whole project.)

 

If you believe in second argument, please provide where is this in terms and conditions. If it is only your opinion,I respect it but please let's not repeat opinions.


First of all, I don't need to prove I'm right about anything. 

 

There aren't 2 arguments. What you fail to see is that bothe 1 and 2 are true. Your contract covers a whole project. The contract/project are broken down into milestones and you work on each milestone like it's a project phase. No, you do not work on the whole thing at once. You work on each phase/milestone individually and get the client's approval on each before you progress to the next. If you need to complete all the milestones together or they overlap, then what will be delivered at each milestone needs to be clearly spelled out (you were inconsistent with delivering source code, which is where the problem arose for you, and you did not specify when source code would be delivered within the contract or its milestones) OR if the milestones overlap and there cannot be deliverables for each milestone/phase, you need to combine them so that there can be.  

 

You need to understand how project management works. Your overall contract states a deadline for the full project to be complete. Your milestones set dates for specific tasks within the contract to be complete, deliverables to be delivered, and you to get paid. You work on one milestone at a time until the contract is complete. 

 

It doesn't need to be proven by terms. But regardless, you have seen plenty of places that you do not work on milestones until they are funded. Why  would you even begin to work on a future milestone without approval from the client on the previous milestone? That would only mean you'd have even more to go back and fix if they wanted a revision, because you'd based the current work off of something that had to be revised. Why make MORE work for yourself? 

 

I'm not scouring terms and conditions for you. You've had plenty of people - who have been extremely successful with fixed price contracts - tell you this is where you've gone wrong and why you're having problems. Why does it even matter to you since you don't want to work fixed price anymore?   You still want to just be right. UpWork isn't going to dictate timelines to clients and freelancers. Nor are they going to dictate to you exactly how to set up milestones for your project. Everyone here has told you the BEST PRACTICES for setting up fixed price contracts, which you did not do, and so lost in arbitration. Why does anyone need to prove anything to you? The proof is in the fact that you lost. 

 

And we will post as many opinions as we want. You posted on an open forum, so you get what you get.   

mosta2
Community Member


Amanda L wrote:
.............................


Sorry, my purpose here is to avoid repeating OPINIONS and stick to TERMS to save time for everyone especially readers. That's why I have asked anybody who has an opinion, to scroll up, if he already said this opinion before (or someone else said it), there is no need to repeat it. 

If someone can answer me based on TERMS and Conditions, please go ahead with a quote from TOS:

 

can I just get one answer based on Terms and Conditions? 

Here is my simple question, please reply ONLY with terms and conditions:

The story from begining:

- We have Project description and full requirements document that we discussed then project is approved 

- So I got Contract terms : You accepted Client's offer for a $Amount fixed-price project

 

We have 2 arguments:

1- Contract/terms Says: freelancer should finish the requirements in deadline and submit work, client should "Approve work" or "Request changes". which is what every freelancer is doing for ages nothing complicated with that.

2- What actually happened:- If a project is broken down to milestones, freelancer should only work on milestone and provide source code for each step. He is not allowed to finish the initial contract. and get approval for it as a whole project. This something new for me I have never seen in my 10 years with online software freelancing, so for me it needs to be proven by terms.

 

Problem:

The two arguments cannot work together, if the second argument is true, then the first argument is false (i.e the initial contract is destroyed since freelancer cannot get approval for it as a whole project.)

 

If you believe in second argument, please provide where is this in terms and conditions. If it is only your opinion,I respect it but please let's not repeat opinions.

a_lipsey
Community Member

Read the links that Valeria posted. Those explain the terms and how milestones work. 

 

Again, why should anyone bother responding to you anymore since you don't want to understand fixed price and since you're not going to work fixed price anymore?  

puckrobin
Community Member

Mostafa,

Is it possible that you mostly worked in**Edited for Community Guidelines**and confused their fixed-price/milestone system with Upwork's? If that is the case I can understand your frustration, because I have been there.

 

In Upwork, in my first fixed price contract which included several milestones, I was shocked that client funded only the first milestone. I was expecting that he would be funding the whole project amount and release parts of it when I complete milestones.

 

So in the progress of the project at some point I found myself exactly in the same situation as you: I have already finished 90% of the project while client paid only 50% of the whole amount and the rest of the project were not funded yet. What would happen if client chose not to pay the rest?

 

I thought like this: Milestone system's working like that was not client's fault, and not Upwork's fault either; it was defined at the beginning. It was my fault not knowing how the system works. If it was vaguely defined, I should have asked. I shouldn't have assumed that it would work as I thought.

 

So I didn't reflect any bit of my confusion and trusting the client (there was no reason to think the opposite), I continued the project. Client funded the other milestones without even asked to do so and project finished with complete success. I received the best client review of my work life. If you wish, you can see in my profile Smiley Happy

 

Although more risky, fixed price projects are acceptable. But you need to calculate that risk and reflect the risk factor to your price, which I think you already did. However you didn't handle the conflict correctly, because in short:

1) You didn't emphathize with the client. He doesn't need to be in bad faith unless you noticed something indicative of that, but you didn't mention anything about it here. In his job history there is a big project in which freelancer disappeared. Probably client was left with a non functional code although paid for it in full. So it is understandable that he was (over) precautious to you.

2) You were over confident and you didn't assess your position correctly. You should have opened this topic before escalating the conflict to dispute.

 

Being a freelancer requires project management skills in addition to technical skills. It is easy to blame the system, blame the customer, blame the laptop, blame the operating system, etc. It is easy to find excuses why it (project, product, etc) failed. You may have excellent technical skills and perfect work history, but at the end of the day, what matters for everyone else except the one who blames others and/or find excuses, is the result. A failed project is the failure of the project manager.

 

If this topic has comments openly expressing that they are happy because you lost money (although I resent them), I think it is time to calm down and ask to yourself: Maybe I was wrong.

 


Hakan O wrote:

 

If this topic has comments openly expressing that they are happy because you lost money (although I resent them), I think it is time to calm down and ask to yourself: Maybe I was wrong.

 


No one is happy he lost money. But we all can clearly see why it happened, and none of us are surprised. Everyone is trying to explain so he won't lose money in the future. But any further explanation, even direction towards UpWork ToS or definitions, is useless. 

mosta2
Community Member

Thank you Hakan for sharing your experience.


Hakan O wrote:

Mostafa,

Is it possible that you mostly worked in freelancer.com and confused their fixed-price/milestone system with Upwork's? If that is the case I can understand your frustration, because I have been there.

I am working on **Edited for Community Guidelines**and other platforms, like I said I am long time in this, it all works the same, I did not ask him to fund the whole project I finished work for amount in escrow (I think having amount in escrow means it should be finished by freelancer there is nothing platform specific there?)

 

In Upwork, in my first fixed price contract which included several milestones, I was shocked that client funded only the first milestone. I was expecting that he would be funding the whole project amount and release parts of it when I complete milestones.

 

So in the progress of the project at some point I found myself exactly in the same situation as you: I have already finished 90% of the project while client paid only 50% of the whole amount and the rest of the project were not funded yet. What would happen if client chose not to pay the rest?

 

I thought like this: Milestone system's working like that was not client's fault, and not Upwork's fault either; it was defined at the beginning. It was my fault not knowing how the system works. If it was vaguely defined, I should have asked. I shouldn't have assumed that it would work as I thought.

 

So I didn't reflect any bit of my confusion and trusting the client (there was no reason to think the opposite), I continued the project. Client funded the other milestones without even asked to do so and project finished with complete success. I received the best client review of my work life. If you wish, you can see in my profile Smiley Happy

I did not even go in this confusion That's what I did also I continued the whole project pushed by my good intentions and positive thinking, I would prefer to trust the terms but I did "Trusting THE CLIENT" like you said, Finished his work 100% which I always do. Now I trusted the client intentions and invested my time on his work, why he does not approve the work and follow terms? Instead the clients behaviour was : - Denying part of the requirements - Asking for source code for the whole project - This will leave me without any remaining positive thinking, because you should know that when client takes source code of the whole project, thats the end of the project of this type, end the project without approving it was delivered, would you do that? I do respect my work and I do not give it for free.

 

I am not saying it is wrong to trust the client, you should always do until proven wrong, Additionally if you are on Upwork Fixed Price System, you have to do so because you do not have anything else to trust.

 

Although more risky, fixed price projects are acceptable. But you need to calculate that risk and reflect the risk factor to your price, which I think you already did. However you didn't handle the conflict correctly

It is 100% risky, when no terms are applied. like I said this model cannot be trusted for bigger deals or complicated communications and this is the main point,

you want to calculate the risks here they are:

- Is client in good faith?, this is the main risk because Upwork told him that he can take all his escrow (as well as released money) back from freelancer if he wants to!

- Will dispute agent bring the terms and conditions?

- Will dispute agent send you to AAA?

- Did the AAA arbiter read terms and conditions of Upwork?

- Is the AAA arbiter has enough time today or he is busy with 100 cases?.

1) You didn't emphathize with the client.

I do emphasize with client I do not blame him, Upwork told him he can do whatever he wants. So why not he takes advantages

 

In his job history there is a big project in which freelancer disappeared.

This does not bring emphasizing, that raises another question why did another freelancer disappeared and quit Upwork? because of the client? because of Upwork system? Or because of freelancer? You cannot tell.

 

2) You were over confident and you didn't assess your position correctly.

it is not about confident that I would won I already know how things works on freelancing Disputes, chances of freelancers are like 10% regardless the terms, I just went through because we are in process of learning all the time, and now I have learned about Upwork and their Dispute system, and that's my award that I am happy with that could save me more troubles in future.

 

Being a freelancer requires project management skills in addition to technical skills.

Believe it or not I have 19 years of experience I know how things works I work with international clients since 2009, I do blame the system ambiguity and a dispute system that closed eyes on terms and conditions, what is the purpose of a platform if no terms applies

 

If this topic has comments openly expressing that they are happy because you lost money (although I resent them), I think it is time to calm down and ask to yourself: Maybe I was wrong.

I am very glad that these kind of people are happy may be they need to be so hard? .. Be happy ๐Ÿ™‚

 

May be you should calm down about proving me wrong and for one time try to prove you are right?

I am asking you NOT FOR ME , not for this case, not for who was right and who was wrong

I am asking you to question the platform, the Fixed Price terms and dispute system, .

 

I ask you to question it for yourself, just in your mind - Is this something I can trust? ... How far can I trust it? What is the project value limit that I can accept this risk with (100$ / 1000$)?

 

If your work style is waiting for client to decide for you about contracts and terms, then, I am sorry I think your chances to get bigger in business are much less.

.

Still looking for a quote from Upwork terms and conditions that justify what happens : Please no opinions , only quote from terms!

https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/Why-you-should-avoid-Fixed-Priced-And-use-multiple-platf...

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi all,

 

Thank you for participating in this discussion. I'll close the thread for new replies since the conversation ran its course and all the details and viewpoints have been discussed and reiterated.

~ Vladimir
Upwork
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