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Accepted the 2nd Milestone thinking that it has a same scope with the 1st one BUT...

Active Member
Rachell Ann L Member Since: Aug 25, 2019
1 of 5

Accepted the 2nd Milestone thinking that it has a same scope with the 1st one BUT later on I found out that it's 4x bigger compare to the first one. I have existing Fixed Project contract. For the first milestone, the client ask me to convert the PDF into excel which I just finished for 6.5 hrs. it has only 5 folders with multiple PDF (10-30 PDF) inside. Each PDF has an average of 5-15 pages and has 1200 consolidated number of rows. The Client asked me to work for the 2nd milestone and he will pay for the same amount as the first one ($30). I accepted it since I assumed that it was the almost the same with the first batch. However, I just found out that the 2nd milestone is way bigger compare to the 1st one. It has 11 folders with multiple PDF inside. The highest number of pages I could see is 74 pages. Anyways, I already finished 8 folders with a more than 3700 rows already. I believed, this is 3x bigger. I still have 3 folders left and it could be 4x bigger once all of the other folders/pdf is finished. I told my client about this and it seems like he doesn't care and still wants me to finish it in unreasonable deadline. Could you advise if there's anything I could do here? Thanks.

Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
2 of 5

Rachell Ann,


Some problems are unfixable once they occur, so they are best avoided in the first place or nipped in the bud the moment they appear.


If I were you, which I am not, and didn’t want to finish all of the extra work, I’d tell the client they can have the work I have done so far on this second milestone at the agreed price, but I will not do any more work under the current milestone structure.


You’re probably never going to get more money out of him. He thinks he fooled you into agreeing to do far more work than he knew you were agreeing to and now is trying to pressure you to continue to work under false pretenses.


Be nice but firm, and tell him what additional milestone(s) with new delivery dates and additional funding you will require to complete the actual project he had in mind originally, so he will need to set up and fund those new milestones if he wants you to complete this extra work.


He won’t like it, but you don’t like being cheated out of your time and hard work. You come first when dealing with dishonest clients.


In the future, be much more specific in your milestones, so this sort of “mission creep” doesn’t happen again.

Active Member
Rachell Ann L Member Since: Aug 25, 2019
3 of 5

Thank you so much, Will! This is really a great help for me. Actually, the client seems so nice based on the review he got on his previous freelancer. It just that the 2nd milestone is way much bigger compare to the first one but the rate on both project are just the same.

Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
4 of 5

The big question here is what was the scope of the original job. - then, what were the requirements for the 1st milestone and what were the requirements for the 2nd milestone. If they were different and you didn't look, but just thought they were the same then that falls on you. If you didn't look and just assumed it was the same, then as bad as it may be, IMO because you accepted that 2nd milestone, have finished more then half, then you need to finish the rest. Next time, you'll be more detailed in your proposals, and will look over the work involved before you accept any offer. You'll also make sure the requirements in any milestone relate to what was defined in your contract. Always include  (in your proposals) the phrase that any work above and beyond what is stated in the contract will incur additional charges. 



Active Member
Rachell Ann L Member Since: Aug 25, 2019
5 of 5

Hello Kathy, Thank you for the reply. On first Milestone, it only has 5 folders with multiple PDF folder inside of it. It was shared to me via dropbox. My goal is to get only the specific data that he needs and consolidate it into one excel file. I was able to do that and submitted the same day that I was hired. Then he asked me for another batch which I glady accepted thinking that it has the same volume as the first batch. After I accepted it he then shared me another batch of folder for the 2nd milestone. One thing I noticed is that the new batch of folder he shared to me is bigger in terms of number (11 folders) so I start working on it. Then later on, I found pdfs that hase 30-70 pages which really surprised me becasue the first project has an average of 5-15 pages only. Also, the first project has 1200 consolidated number of rows while the 2nd project, I already reached 3800 number of rows but l'm still at75% of the project.