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hourly & flat rate payment question

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Active Member
Rose P Member Since: Jun 26, 2015
1 of 12

I have a client in my "Active Candidacies" who is asking me to begin working without confirming a contract, she is saying she is waiting to go to the bank. I told her I need a contract before I begin to work. Do you need money to open a contract, or does the client pay at the end? This is my first job so I am hoping everything goes ok.

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Active Member
Rose P Member Since: Jun 26, 2015
2 of 12

and is it different between hourly and flat rate as far as payment? This job would be hourly.

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Community Guru
Setu M Member Since: Jan 26, 2014
3 of 12
You should NOT start working without a contract. Any work you do without a contract is free/voluntary work, the client would not be obligated to pay you because you were never hired.

This is the same for all types of contracts. Furthermore there would be no recourse from Upwork, since you were never employed. Advise the client accordingly, if it is a scam, the client will move on. If not they will offer a contract.

But I would be cautious working with such a client even after the contract was awarded.
---- easy like Sunday morning ----
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Ace Contributor
Ehsan K Member Since: May 22, 2015
4 of 12

Haha Setu same thought here.....

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Ace Contributor
Ehsan K Member Since: May 22, 2015
5 of 12

Don't work without a contract. What she's doing is against Upwork Policy. She's basically asking you to work for free. Best you check with one of the mods. However I would have already reported  that client.....

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Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
6 of 12

Hi Rose,

 

As it was already noted on this thread, you shouldn't start working before the client sends you an offer and you accept it. Clients need to have a payment method on file in order to be able to offer a contract. 

 

Additionally, here is an article that explains the differences between fixed-price and hourly contracts in detail.

~ Valeria
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Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
7 of 12
  • "Because I have to go to the bank..."
  • "Because I'm having problems with PayPal/MasterCard/Credit Suisse..."
  • "Because I'm so busy..."
  • "Because my deadlines are really tight..."
  • "Because nobody else is insisting on funding before starting...,"
  • "Because my dog died..."
  • "Because I have to wash my hair..."
  • "Because my hair is wet..." 

There is absolutely no reason to start work before funding (on fixed price jobs). I'm not sure what the safety mechanism is for hourly jobs; the same rule would apply.

 

I sometimes find myself helping clients or prospects (within limits) figure out what they need so we can have a better contract and outcome. I sometimes find myself in a position to suggest a professional consulting contract for more in-depth exploration of such questions.

 

never accept excuses for unprofessional behavior in a prospect, or make allowances for someone who can't approach a business transaction in a businesslike manner. We have our own businesses to run. And when dealing with people who can't responsibly run their own businesses, my first response is to run away.

 

Best,

Michael

 

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Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
8 of 12

Rose, just a suggestion from someone who still has a hard time saying "pay me" sometimes.  When a customer tells me they will escrow in a bit or something like that, I tell them "cool, no problem. I'll hold off until you're ready." I think you can convey the message without being demanding or "escrow or no work" type of message.

 

Also, if a couple of days go by and they haven't escrowed, I'll send them a message that says "Hey, I'd really like to work on this today. Could you please escrow the funds?"

 

I've never had a customer come back with anything but "oh, I forgot" or something like that and do it immediately. If they are avoiding escrow, then I would not do anything for them yet. I think I had to cancel one contract out of all the work I've done where the guy just kept saying "OK, will do" and never escrowed.

 

Most people just want their work. They aren't out to scam you, but always take precautions with new clients. A serious customer will understand where you're coming from.

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Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
9 of 12

@Jennifer M wrote:

....When a customer tells me they will escrow in a bit or something like that, I tell them "cool, no problem. I'll hold off until you're ready." I think you can convey the message without being demanding or "escrow or no work" type of message.

 

Also, if a couple of days go by and they haven't escrowed, I'll send them a message that says "Hey, I'd really like to work on this today. Could you please escrow the funds?"


Jennifer,

 

That is pitch-perfect language for delays, proposed or actual. Thanks for sharing.

 

Best,

Michael

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Community Leader
John T Member Since: Mar 19, 2015
10 of 12

Jennifer's absolutely right. No reasonable client will object to this. Any client that does, you were going to have a terrible time with anyway, and you should run a mile from.

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