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Your Friday Wakeup Call About Standing Up For Yourself

janpedersen
Active Member
Janet P Member Since: Dec 13, 2015
1 of 6

Well, well, well.

 

After 10 years with Upwork (and its predecessor, Elance), it was my turn in the barrel. I just got stiffed on a contract.

 

It was only a matter of $25, but what pisses me off is that it was my own damned fault.

 

I did not stick to my guns about insisting on client compliance with contract terms. Why? You see, I'm somebody who assumes the world is a better place when people give each other the benefit of the doubt.

 

The terms of the flat-fee editing contract specified releasing funds for the first milestone on submission of the first draft; with the second to be released on approval of the final.

 

I'm not some green young thing, I've got decades of experience. I'm smart. I'm assertive. And I'm good at what I do. While he did release the first milestone funds, when he shot the first draft back to me with requested changes, I did  the right thing: I respnded politely and cheerfully,  saying, "Fine, happy to do it as soon as you fund the second milestone."

 

He countered with, "Well, it's just a couple of changes. I'll fund the second milestone once you get those back to me."

 

Wanting to please the client, I surrendered.

 

After I submitted the second round of changes, he abruptly ended the contract without funding the second milestone or communicating the reason why. I attempted to reach out, and, you guessed it...crickets.

 

You know what?

 

That's on me.

 

I sacrificed my own integrity, and I won't be doing that again.

 

Here's the lesson. The first person you need to please when dealing with clients is NOT the client -- it's yourself and your own integrity. There is no other option.

 

Take care of yourselves out there!

 

 

 

 

 

christopherbudde
Community Leader
Christopher B Member Since: Jul 11, 2015
2 of 6

The guy's honor is worth $12.50.  What can you say about people like that.

jr-translation
Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
3 of 6

Janet P wrote:

Well, well, well.

 

After 10 years with Upwork (and its predecessor, Elance), it was my turn in the barrel. I just got stiffed on a contract.

 

It was only a matter of $25, but what pisses me off is that it was my own damned fault.

 

I did not stick to my guns about insisting on client compliance with contract terms. Why? You see, I'm somebody who assumes the world is a better place when people give each other the benefit of the doubt.

 

The terms of the flat-fee editing contract specified releasing funds for the first milestone on submission of the first draft; with the second to be released on approval of the final.

 

I'm not some green young thing, I've got decades of experience. I'm smart. I'm assertive. And I'm good at what I do. While he did release the first milestone funds, when he shot the first draft back to me with requested changes, I did  the right thing: I respnded politely and cheerfully,  saying, "Fine, happy to do it as soon as you fund the second milestone."

 

He countered with, "Well, it's just a couple of changes. I'll fund the second milestone once you get those back to me."

 

Wanting to please the client, I surrendered.

 

After I submitted the second round of changes, he abruptly ended the contract without funding the second milestone or communicating the reason why. I attempted to reach out, and, you guessed it...crickets.

 

You know what?

 

That's on me.

 

I sacrificed my own integrity, and I won't be doing that again.

 

Here's the lesson. The first person you need to please when dealing with clients is NOT the client -- it's yourself and your own integrity. There is no other option.

 

Take care of yourselves out there!

 


It seems to become a common problem lately.
I had some help find this passage since it has been moved to the

Optional Service Contract Terms

 

6.4 OWNERSHIP OF WORK PRODUCT AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
Upon Freelancer’s receipt of full payment from Client, the Work Product (except for any Background Technology), including without limitation all Intellectual Property Rights in the Work Product (except for any Background Technology), will be the sole and exclusive property of Client, and Client will be deemed to be the author thereof.
prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
4 of 6

Upwork users - freelancers and clients - need to stop making excuses for this type of reprehensible client behavior.

 

If you hire a freelancer to do some work and she does it, you need to pay her.

 

If you want a freelancer to do something using a fixed-price contract, you need to fund a milestone for it, or set up an hourly contract.

 

It is NOT OKAY for clients to ask freelancers to do work that is outside of what was agreed upon when the milestone was created.

 

If it is something small, you may offer to pay a bonus. But you can't ask freelancers to work for free. That is a violation of Upwork ToS.

 

And this includes changing or adding files.

If you set up a fixed-price contract, and provide a freelancer a file to work on, then that's it. You can't change the file. Or add a new file. Or anything of the sort.

 

If a client realizes he needs something different done, then he may release the current escrow payment, and work with the freelancer to set up a new milestone or contract.

wendy_writes
Community Guru
Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
5 of 6

Word of caution to all FLers accepting fixed price contracts:

 

If a job is agreed to at $1000 or less - no matter how many  milestones - insist that the $1000 (or full job value) be in escrow.

 

Jobs worth $1000+ > continue this practice incrementally.

 

Psychologically once a buyer has made a financial commitment he/she is not so tempted to screw around like the above tale.

janpedersen
Active Member
Janet P Member Since: Dec 13, 2015
6 of 6

Great suggestion! Adding it to my assertiveness arsenal and standard operating procedure.

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