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

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

Mostafa A wrote:

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.


Good faith is the term the arbiter used. It's a term lawyers use too. In this case, the client released the milestone in good faith that you would also do what you agreed to do, which is give him the code and fix bugs. You did not, so that's why you lost.

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

Jennifer M wrote:

 

Good faith is the term the arbiter used. It's a term lawyers use too. In this case, the client released the milestone in good faith that you would also do what you agreed to do, which is give him the code and fix bugs. You did not, so that's why you lost.

Thank you for repeating the arbiter words, for me releasing 50% of the project value is not a proof of good or bad faith, especially when the project is 100% complete.

If we have to talk about faith then, I have never seen a client who is freaked out by having the work finished and says no I did not want it to finish

like I said the dispute is over it is not important who won or who lost, more important is to learn from it especially from freelancers who do software it is more relevant to them.

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

Mostafa A wrote:


Thank you for repeating the arbiter words, for me releasing 50% of the project value is not a proof of good or bad faith, especially when the project is 100% complete.

If we have to talk about faith then, I have never seen a client who is freaked out by having the work finished and says no I did not want it to finish

like I said the dispute is over it is not important who won or who lost, more important is to learn from it especially from freelancers who do software it is more relevant to them.


That's not what happened though. He released the milestone thinking you would give him the code and fix bugs. That's what you agreed to. You refused and he gave up trying and just cancelled. That's exactly why you lost. The person who needs to learn the lesson is you. You can't do that.

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

Jennifer M wrote:

That's not what happened though. He released the milestone thinking you would give him the code and fix bugs. That's what you agreed to. You refused and he gave up trying and just cancelled. That's exactly why you lost. The person who needs to learn the lesson is you. You can't do that.


Thanks, it is amazing how you know what happened more than me, 

I will make it simple for you,

- The project has initial requirements broken down by me to 4 milestones.

- The 4 milestones were finished

- The client released 2 milestones + 1 milestone in escrow + 1 milestone not funded yet (debugging).

- The client wants the source code of the finished 4 milestones. Claiming he did not want the last 2 milestones

Thats what happened .. the following is how the Fixed Price system ambigiouty helps one side against another:

- I believe the client should approve or request changes for his project instead of asking for source code before approval.

- The client believe he can only take part of the project (2 milestones) and cancel the other two.

- The dispute think the client should take the milestone in escrow and I take the 2 milestones paid.

- The AAA thinks the client should take the amount in escrow, additionally I pay the last milestone to client.

Hope it is more clear

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

Mostafa A wrote:

Jennifer M wrote:

That's not what happened though. He released the milestone thinking you would give him the code and fix bugs. That's what you agreed to. You refused and he gave up trying and just cancelled. That's exactly why you lost. The person who needs to learn the lesson is you. You can't do that.


Thanks, it is amazing how you know what happened more than me, 

I will make it simple for you,

- The project has initial requirements broken down by me to 4 milestones.

- The 4 milestones were finished

- The client released 2 milestones + 1 milestone in escrow + 1 milestone not funded yet (debugging).

- The client wants the source code of the finished 4 milestones. Claiming he did not want the last 2 milestones

Thats what happened .. the following is how the Fixed Price system ambigiouty helps one side against another:

- I believe the client should approve or request changes for his project instead of asking for source code before approval.

- The client believe he can only take part of the project (2 milestones) and cancel the other two.

- The dispute think the client should take the milestone in escrow and I take the 2 milestones paid.

- The AAA thinks the client should take the amount in escrow, additionally I pay the last milestone to client.

Hope it is more clear


lol this is hilarious considering this is not what the client said at all. The client clearly states that you won't hand over code for milestone two. The mediator even tells you that what you are doing is not ok. 

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

Mostafa A wrote:


Thanks, it is amazing how you know what happened more than me, 

I will make it simple for you,

- The project has initial requirements broken down by me to 4 milestones.

- The 4 milestones were finished

- The client released 2 milestones + 1 milestone in escrow + 1 milestone not funded yet (debugging).

- The client wants the source code of the finished 4 milestones. Claiming he did not want the last 2 milestones

 

Yes, this very clearly explains what you did wrong--if 2 milestones were released and a third funded, then you should have been working only on that third milestone. Completing the project ahead of the milestones completely defeats the purpose of a fixed price contract.

 

Thats what happened .. the following is how the Fixed Price system ambigiouty helps one side against another:

 

But, there is no ambiguity. Upwork warns in about 20,000 places not to work except on a funded milestone. If you've ever been to these forums before, you'll know that experienced freelancers caution newcomers about this on a near-daily basis. And, of course, reading Upwork's TOS and help materials that describe how fixed price contracts work would have avoided this issue. Terms don't become "ambiguous" simply because you opted not to read them.

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

What you are saying is that if the project is broken down to milestones that makes the client has the right to take one milestone and end the contract and take the money in the escrow back (and also take money from freelancer pocket). and also this doesnt make the milestones sub-contracts? 

Then what is remained to consider them sub contracts?

It doesn't really matter who has good faith or who was smarter in dispute the dispute is finished let's talk about the system

Let me give you real example to show you ambigiouty:

client: "I did not ask you to work on last milestone, it was your decision to finish them"

Me: "It is my decision or your requirements?"

The client having the milestones model in his mind, although I have set these milestones roughly by myself to breakdown the project and estimate delivery (they don't actually have any requirements as requirements were set once in the begining of the project). He was informed they are rough and informed that I have merged the last two because they are related.

But he has chance to stick to the milestones model because it is in his favor, I guess if I have delivered only one milestone he has a chance to say that the second milestone deadline is not met. or he bring back the initial requirements, he has unlimited options.

I cannot win the dispute but I can warn other freelancer that this Fixed Price model will work only if the client has good faith.

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

Mostafa A wrote:

What you are saying is that if the project is broken down to milestones that makes the client has the right to take one milestone and end the contract and take the money in the escrow back (and also take money from freelancer pocket). and also this doesnt make the milestones sub-contracts? 

Then what is remained to consider them sub contracts?

It doesn't really matter who has good faith or who was smarter in dispute the dispute is finished let's talk about the system

Let me give you real example to show you ambigiouty:

client: "I did not ask you to work on last milestone, it was your decision to finish them"

Me: "It is my decision or your requirements?"

The client having the milestones model in his mind, although I have set these milestones roughly by myself to breakdown the project and estimate delivery (they don't actually have any requirements as requirements were set once in the begining of the project). He was informed they are rough and informed that I have merged the last two because they are related.

But he has chance to stick to the milestones model because it is in his favor, I guess if I have delivered only one milestone he has a chance to say that the second milestone deadline is not met. or he bring back the initial requirements, he has unlimited options.

I cannot win the dispute but I can warn other freelancer that this Fixed Price model will work only if the client has good faith.


He's not taking the money from your pocket when it's in escrow. Unless you deliver the terms of the milestone, you have no claim to that money in escrow.    I am getting the impression this is an issue of language barrier. Is English your second language? This may be where the communication problem is arising.   It just seems like along the whole way you and the client were not on the same page, as their expectations and your expectations turned out to be entirely different. You say things were set right from the beginning. Then why does the client expect something else? Something wasn't communicated effectively between the two of you at the start, and it sounds like lack of open and frequent communication along the way to check-in and keep the client abreast of your progress. 

 

If you started on the third milestone without finishing the second, then yes, that was your decision. Think of milestones as tasks to be performed. You have a contract, and that contract specifies three tasks. At any point, the client may decide he only needs 2 tasks and so decides he is not going to fund or require the 3rd task from you. So he is not going to pay you for it if he doesn't need it.  You need to realize and accept that contracts actually CAN change to a certain extent. You can also lose a contract - which you did.  He did not "release half the payment and expect full work." He released payment for the specific task and expected you to deliver the rest of the deliverables on that task, which you did not and refused to. 

 

If you want to work the project as one single task (which is such a bad idea, but seems to be what you want) then simply set up one milestone at the end with all the deliverables and only request payment when the full project has been delivered.   

 

The system doesn't need to change. Many of us work quite well in fixed price projects with no problems. The problem is still your lack of understanding of how to set up a fixed price contract in a successful way and, frankly, it seems like you don't really understand how to communicate and work with clients/customers in an effective way.   It seems like you have some good reviews and successful projects though, so I would encourage you to work on your communication skills with clients and either change to only working hourly or learn to set up clearer expectations and milestones with fixed price models.   The "system" isn't going to change. So you need to learn how to use it properly to your benefit. 

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

Amanda L wrote:


He's not taking the money from your pocket when it's in escrow. Unless you deliver the terms of the milestone, you have no claim to that money in escrow.   

Like you said unless I deliver the terms in the milestone, I already delivered the milestone in escrow and thats why I claimed it!

 

I am getting the impression this is an issue of language barrier. Is English your second language?

frankly, it seems like you don't really understand how to communicate and work with clients/customers in an effective way.

Not sure how you got this impression I think if I have language barrier we would not have this conversation Smiley Happy , FYI I am a full time freelancer since 2009 I am top rated on Upwork for the most of time with 100% job success before dealing with this client.

If you have problem understandin the case just take it easy other freelancers will understand what I am talking about.

 

If you started on the third milestone without finishing the second, then yes, that was your decision.

Technically it is not possible I have finished the second and third milestone, did not skip any, I finished the project

 

You need to realize and accept that contracts actually CAN change to a certain extent. You can also lose a contract - which you did.  He did not "release half the payment and expect full work." He released payment for the specific task and expected you to deliver the rest of the deliverables on that task, which you did not and refused to. 

This is the interesting part, thats the PURPOSE OF MY POST, "contracts can change", wow, a party in a contract can change it, he can take part of his requirements, that is what I have to warn fellow freelancers. 

If you want to work the project as one single task (which is such a bad idea, but seems to be what you want) then simply set up one milestone at the end with all the deliverables and only request payment when the full project has been delivered.   

You can review the dispute, upwork agent agreed that breaking down the project to milestones does not affect the original contract.

The system doesn't need to change. Many of us work quite well in fixed price projects with no problems.

 

Yeah it can work better for small amount of work (up to 100$?), but here I provide a case where it would cause troubles with software product project.

There is nothing wrong about re-thinking and improving the system and when you say "Payment Protection" you really provide this "Payment Protection"

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

One additional response: a sub-contract refers to when you actually retain someone else to complete a portion of your contract. It does not refer to breaking a contract up into phases or tasks. A sub contract is when I, a freelancer who has a contract with a client, hires an assistant and sub-contracts out a portion of the work so I can complete the client's contract with me. 

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