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

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
17 of 106

That was an interesting read and the stereotypical coder holding source code hostage.

 

OP post the arbitration conversation too!

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

Jennifer M wrote:

That was an interesting read and the stereotypical coder holding source code hostage.

 

OP post the arbitration conversation too!


I also think from that conversation that the OP does not understand how a fixed price contract works. And I agree with his title: if you don't understand exactly all the ins and outs of a fixed price contract, do not set one up.  It will certainly bite you in the ass. 

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

Well I can only understand it as a "contract" as upwork says:

"You accepted XXXXXXX's offer for a $xxxxxxx fixed-price project."

This  means I should deliver this requirements for this price, if it has any other meaning then this is just ambigiouty in the Fixed Price system.

Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
17 of 106

A fixed price project has a set total price and defined deliverables. On Upwork the client and freelancer agree on periodic milestones that allow the client to see that progress is being made and the freelancer to be paid as the project progresses, as measured by completion of all of the agreed milestones.. 

 

If either the client has no intention of paying for the entire project or the freelancer has no intention of completing all of the work required for the project, that is dishonest. Not a crime, not a violation of Upwork protocols, but nevertheless dishonest.

 

There can, of course, be legitimate reasons for either freelancer or client to cut a project short, but planning to do so from the beginning of the project is dishonest.

 

I wish Upwork would provide us with more information about clients who regularly pull the plug on projects before the agreed milestones have been paid in full. I'd be happy for clients to know how often I bail on clients, which is never.

 

 

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
17 of 106

Amanda L wrote:

Jennifer M wrote:

That was an interesting read and the stereotypical coder holding source code hostage.

 

OP post the arbitration conversation too!


I also think from that conversation that the OP does not understand how a fixed price contract works. And I agree with his title: if you don't understand exactly all the ins and outs of a fixed price contract, do not set one up.  It will certainly bite you in the ass. 


Escrow projects really do require you to know the system inside and out to protect yourself while still staying within ToS. Also, knowing how to fight a dispute is important I think, and you have to set up escrow projects in a way that you can protect yourself. So yeah, I agree. They can be a pain and it's why I try my best to stick with hourly. But hourly I think is also for people with bigger budgets.

 

He was refusing to release source code though after the milestone was prematurely released by the client, so like the arbiter said the client acted in good faith and the freelancer shot himself in the foot. It seems the freelancer was arguing that he did more work than he should have for the milestone, but that's why you really should only get full escrow unless you can without any questions do a defined scope at a smaller amount.

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

I think moderators deleted the link, well I dont see any wrong to share this conversation for other freelancers to learn weather I am wrong or right this is not a big deal.

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
17 of 106

This job must have been a disaster if you have to give the client money back. Ouch.

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

It is not about who has good faith, contracts are defined by terms not by good faith,

you want the source code of the finished project because you think releasing 50% of the value proved your good faith?.

like I said I will leave the link for real freelancers and since upwork doesn't like it on the community I will spread it by my way.

May be Upwork will listen to fix their Fixed Price system and force the everyone to respect the initial contract instead of making it ambigious and loose and allow a party to use milestones when he wants and use initial contract when necessary.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
19 of 106

I think this is a very valuable discussion, and I think the original poster's perspectives are worth thinking about.

 

He is certainly correct when he points out that there is ambiguity in the system.

By definition, there is ambiguity about how things work, because he thought that it worked one way, and others thought it worked another way.

 

Clearly there is ambiguity about what is meant by a "contract." Perhaps Upwork is using the word "project" in a place that a freelancer thinks a "contract" is being referred to. Perhaps Upwork is using the term "contract" loosely in some places, or applying a non-traditional meaning to the word.

 

Personally, when I set up a fixed-price contract, I create a central server where I do all of my work. I provide full root credentials to that server to the client, from the very beginning. I do all of my work there. There is never a time that the client does not have full access to all source code and files.

 

This way of working on fixed-price contracts may not appeal to all freelancers. But it is a viable way to work. If clients have concern about being able to access the source code and files that they have hired freelancers to produce, they should consider ONLY working with freelancers who will provide this type of access.

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

It doesn't matter that the TOTAL value of a contract is $2500. The fact is, the contract was set up in 3 payables with 3 deliverables.  Contracts can be ended at any time, which is why setting them up with milestones  or the payables/deliverables, in this case 3, protects both the freelancer and the client. If the client decides to stop after 1 milestone/payable/deliverable, he is perfectly in his right to do so.   It doesn't mean that three milestones are 3 subcontracts. If the OP can't wrap his head around how milestones work and that  client can fund one milestone at a time and end the project after the first milestone, then he just shouldn't work fixed price. I really don't find there to be ambiguity. What I see is a freelancer WANTING fixed price to work in a way that it clearly does not. No matter how much we might want it to work a different way, it does not work that way. 

 

And yes, in business, good faith is a thing. But if you want to focus on terms: the terms were you deliver work and you get paid. You didn't want to do that. That was explained to you multiple times in the conversation you posted. I'm sorry you learned a hard lesson. Like I said, if negotiating a fixed price contract is too difficult then don't do them. You can find success with hourly just as well. I, myself, turned down a fixed price contract recently for the same reason - too much ambiguity in the milestones and deliverables. 

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