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

Ace Contributor
Mostafa A Member Since: Oct 20, 2016
91 of 106

First please calm down, you are working too hard on this post Smiley Happy



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 Smiley Happy

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.

Community Guru
Jonathan H Member Since: Jun 19, 2019
92 of 106

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.

Ace Contributor
Mostafa A Member Since: Oct 20, 2016
93 of 106

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.

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
94 of 106

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.

Ace Contributor
Mostafa A Member Since: Oct 20, 2016
95 of 106

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.

Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
96 of 106

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
Untitled
Ace Contributor
Mostafa A Member Since: Oct 20, 2016
97 of 106

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.)

Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
98 of 106

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. 


 

Ace Contributor
Mostafa A Member Since: Oct 20, 2016
99 of 106

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.

Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
100 of 106

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.   

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