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

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

Amanda L wrote:

One additional response: a sub-contract refers to when you actually retain someone else to complete a portion of your contract 


Yeah I meant "divisible contract" or "multiple contracts", if it was not clear I meant by "sub contracts", thanks for that correction.

Community Guru
Richard W Member Since: Jun 22, 2017
32 of 106

Hi Mostafa. You're correct. Each milestone is like a separate mini-contract. In my opinion "milestone" is not a good name for it. Nevertheless, a freelancer who understood the Upwork system would not have made the mistake you made. You should not have started on the second milestone's work until the the client activated the second milestone. And so on with the third and fourth milestones. At the end of each milestone you should have delivered the code that you'd written up to that point. Then, if the client ended the project after one, two or three milestones, you would not have done any unpaid work. If you were not prepared to work in that way, you shouldn't have agreed to break the job into "milestones".

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

Richard W wrote:

Hi Mostafa. You're correct. Each milestone is like a separate mini-contract. In my opinion "milestone" is not a good name for it. .


Hi, If milestones are mini contracts

what is the value of agreeing on requirements document and Quote/Fixed Price at the begining?

what is the meaning of the upworks contracts which says:

"You accepted Client's offer for a $Amount  fixed-price project"

Additionally this was discussed in dispute and the agent replied me about it when I asked about any documentation:

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" (Posted link to dispute messages but moderators dont like it)

According to this common sense I requested the payment of finished milestones.

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

Milestones dont effect your original contract neccesarily, but they DO provide additions to it, they stipulate what should be a clear deliverable for a set price. 

 

You should not be working on a milestone that has not yet been approved by the client. 

 

Your chat has been removed, but by the sounds of it you worked further ahead than the client asked you to? 

 


Hi, If milestones are mini contracts

what is the value of agreeing on requirements document and Quote/Fixed Price at the begining?

So you can lay out the terms of what the client wants and what you both agree to for the project, you can then break those terms down into smaller 'chunks' for each milestone.

 

It is your responsibility to agree suitable milestones with the client that work with the project.

You complete milestone 1 - hand work to client - get paid and wait for client to activate next milestone, 

complete next milestone - hand that portion of work to client - get paid and wait for client to activate next milestone. (and so on and so on for each further milestone)

 

 

 

ETA - I have just read that you were supposed to supply the code for milestone 2, which you failed (and refused?) to do? If this is the case then you have not maintained your side of the deal, so it all sounds pretty reasonable really.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
35 of 106

Jonathan H wrote:

 

Your chat has been removed, but by the sounds of it you worked further ahead than the client asked you to? 


Essentially he did milestone 1, handed over the source code for milestone 1, client approved it. He then completed milestone two and then some more, client even released the funds for milestone 2, but freelancer refused to hand over the sourcecode for milestone 2 (which was PAID), and then it went downhill fast from there.

 

I am in no was even slightly surprised by the outcome.

If you want payment for milestone 2, you hand over the code for milestone 2. Period.

 


Jennifer M wrote:

Hope it is more clear


lol this is hilarious considering this is not what the client said at all.


I know, right? I still have the whole thing open and had to go back to see if maybe I remembered everything all wrong...

 

As I said to Preston right at the beginning - the OP presented a filtered version of one of 3 sides....

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

Petra R wrote:

Jonathan H wrote:

 

Your chat has been removed, but by the sounds of it you worked further ahead than the client asked you to? 


Essentially he did milestone 1, handed over the source code for milestone 1, client approved it. He then completed milestone two and then some more, but refused to hand over the sourcecode for milestone 2, and then it went downhill fast from there.

 

I am in no was even slightly surprised by the outcome.

If you want payment for milestone 2, you hand over the code for milestone 2. Period.

Well, in that case it is no suprise at all!!

 

Especially given the fact it was handed over for milestone 1! That just reinforces the fact it should be handed over.

Had he of said from the start that no code would be handed over until everything is complete there would be no issues. BUT, he didnt!

 

 

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

Especially given the fact it was handed over for milestone 1! That just reinforces the fact it should be handed over.

Had he of said from the start that no code would be handed over until everything is complete there would be no issues. BUT, he didnt!

 


Talking about Source Code: I understand this might sound strange for you because you did not deal with software projects before, (software projects are different from writing), I don't need to say  to a software developer that when you are working on a whole project (not fixes or support), you should not request/give source code without having at least approval that work is finish , otherwise you are ready to give this work for free.

Yes, I have handed the source code for milestone 1 but that was after payment released, client never asked source code before releasing money because he understands how things work.

FYI, I am 18 years in software business, 10 years on upwork, never seen a client asking source code while he is not approving that this work is fininshed, not even willing to review the work.

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

Petra R wrote:


I know, right? I still have the whole thing open and had to go back to see if maybe I remembered everything all wrong...

 

As I said to Preston right at the beginning - the OP presented a filtered version of one of 3 sides....


yeah, if I'm picking up the right vibe, I think the freelancer messed up the way he set up milestones, and he realized it after milestone 2. Milestone 4 was supposed to be for bug fixes, but the client was releasing escrow on milestone 1 and 2 contingent on the freelancer fixing bugs. The freelancer saw that he might not get paid for milestone 4 because he was fixing bugs already, so he tried to hold code hostage in an attempt to secure the last milestone. Unfortunately, this was his mistake and what he did to try to fix it won't work.

 

It's kinda like when a writer sets up part of the total pay in a final milestone labeled "revisions" and the client just takes the draft and edits it themselves, so no final revision round is necessary. Client takes off and freelancer is angry that they didn't get paid in full.

 

Freelancers really need to be smart with escrow and ask for fully funded milestones. That whole "revision milestone" is a bad idea. I think freelancers do it this way to get money out of the client faster, but it bites them in the butt.

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

Milestone 4 was supposed to be for bug fixes, but the client was releasing escrow on milestone 1 and 2 contingent on the freelancer fixing bugs. The freelancer saw that he might not get paid for milestone 4 because he was fixing bugs already,

Again you insist to assume things about the case that are not true, how would you know about these details, you are trying too hard Smiley Happy

All I wanted is just apply the upwork terms > REVIEW FINISHED WORK and approve or request changes.
I never wanted to work on the last milestone, and asked the client to approve the third milestone (or request changes) and I will give the source code immediately like we did in first mileston!

I already submitted the full text of the dispute , not sure why do you guys insist that I try to filter it and post only my point of view?

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

Jennifer M wrote:

Petra R wrote:


I know, right? I still have the whole thing open and had to go back to see if maybe I remembered everything all wrong...

 

As I said to Preston right at the beginning - the OP presented a filtered version of one of 3 sides....


yeah, if I'm picking up the right vibe, I think the freelancer messed up the way he set up milestones, and he realized it after milestone 2. Milestone 4 was supposed to be for bug fixes, but the client was releasing escrow on milestone 1 and 2 contingent on the freelancer fixing bugs. The freelancer saw that he might not get paid for milestone 4 because he was fixing bugs already, so he tried to hold code hostage in an attempt to secure the last milestone. Unfortunately, this was his mistake and what he did to try to fix it won't work.

 

It's kinda like when a writer sets up part of the total pay in a final milestone labeled "revisions" and the client just takes the draft and edits it themselves, so no final revision round is necessary. Client takes off and freelancer is angry that they didn't get paid in full.

 

Freelancers really need to be smart with escrow and ask for fully funded milestones. That whole "revision milestone" is a bad idea. I think freelancers do it this way to get money out of the client faster, but it bites them in the butt.


If a client decides they want to just take my first draft and do revisions themselves, I'm fine with that. At least in my line of work. In fact, clients often take my work (complete with revisions) and come back to me to pay me to revise it to use again in another application, so, it really depends on the field how you set up the milestones. 

 

I agree with your assessment though. However, as freelancers we have to live with the uncertainty that at any time any client can choose to discontinue work with us. That's also why all my contracts (at least outside of UpWork) have a 30 day clause in them to complete work, turn it over, and phase out the contract. On UpWork I'm careful to set up milestones in such a way that if the client decides they need to walk away, I'm not damaged by that. It serves a business so much better to try and work with clients than draw a line in the sand and become adversarial, as the OP did. 

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