Client has not sent their material and I cannot start to work.

Dear Sir or Madam,


I just accepted and sign the contract of translation service. The client said that the due date is tomorrow, but unfortunatelly he has not sent any materials to be translated as he promised in his message. I have already given my email address that he requested.  I have reminded him once but he did not make any response to my reminder message and the material has not sent to my email address.

What should I do? Should i wait until the due date has ended?


Thank you very much for your time provided to read my message and give alternative solution.





Dhian, you should remind the client to provide the material to be translated, and then wait. No one can hold you responsible for not translating a document you haven't seen.

"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

Dear Mr. John


I have reminded to the clients three times via message. But it seemed he never be online. I am waiting for his response now, and try to count the time difference between my location and his location which is actually not so much different.


Thank you for your suggestion,.


Warm regards



Did the client actually tell you that the due date is tomorrow, or did you see that date on your offer/contract?


I've received contracts with a due date of the same day the offer was extended though the project was going to take a week or more, and I've had contracts with due dates ten days out that are accompanied by messages asking if I can have the job done the next day. I don't know exactly how set-up works, but clients often seem unaware of the dates they've entered, or in some cases even that they've entered them.

Dear Mrs Tiffany,


In refer to your questions: Did the client actually tell you that the due date is tomorrow, or did you see that date on your offer/contract?


I read my contract that I have the due date on 27 of April 2017 for 2235 words completed. Totally there are 9300 words to be translated and that the first contract with due date 27 of April. The final due date for the whole translation is on 28 of May 2017 but the client has not make any offer yet.

I hope my situation will not affect to my profile and achievement in Upwork. I still wait for his response today.


Thank you very much for your response to my problem.


Warm regards,


Dhian: You made a tactical mistake.


You accepted the contract without having all the instructions and files necessary to complete the contract.


Next time, don't do that.


I always get paid for my fixed-price contracts because I make sure I have what I need before accepting the contract.

Dear Mr. Preston,


Thank you very much for your advice and response. For your information there were chronological event before I approve and accepted the offer. On 21 April 2017 at 01.31 the client leave a message to my email which said "after accepting the job please send me an email with your gmail address as I need to share as google doc with you." He left the due date which is on 27th April 2017 and the detail of the contract.  Before, I accepted the offer on 21st April 2017 at 5.04 and 8.02 am,  I gave the example of my translation format and asked his agreement.  The client  answered and agreed with the format of translation on April 22 2017 at 2.36 am. After the agreement of format  I accepted the offer on April 22 5.48 am.

Since there is no document that he promised to send after I accepted the offer on 22, 25 and 26 of April 2017 I leave message to remind him about the document to be transcripted.


Based on the chronological event, which was my tactical mistake Mr Preston? Would you mind to suggest what should I do in the future?


Warm regards


re: "Based on the chronological event, which was my tactical mistake Mr Preston?"


You made a mistake because you are faced with a fixed-price contract that you can't work on and can't finish and can't get paid for.


Every time I agree to a fixed-price contract, I can get paid for it.


How are you you going to get paid for this contract if you can't submit the work?


re: "Would you mind to suggest what should I do in the future?"


Next time, don't accept a contract until you have the files you need. What if the client sends you a file in a format that you can't even open? And then blames you for not translating it? What if the document is all highly technical terms that take you twice as long to translate? What if the document is twice as long as he told you?


There are many reasons to get the document before agreeing to the contract.


I agree with Preston. Especially for translation, you should receive the document first. You might find it's very technical or legal or just material you're uncomfortable translating. As a translation client, I always provide the document to be translated in my offer so the freelancer can review it first.


Please note though that a due date on a milestone is simply for the records of the freelancer and the client. Not meeting the due date won't *directly* impact your Job Success Score (I say "won't directly impact" because the client may still decide to mark you down for timeliness or something).


On a more personal note: your English level is not "native/bilingual". You could maybe get away with "fluent" if someone is being generous. You should change that on your profile. And I'd strongly recommend that you don't offer translation to English. Bi-directional translation is very difficult, and even the most successful freelance translators here, who have excellent command of English and have lived in English-speaking countries for many years, do not offer this service. Continuing to offer translation from Bahasa Indonesia to English will lead to unhappy clients (probably sooner rather than later). Focus on offering translation from English to Bahasa Indonesia, and focus your profile around that. I think you will have better luck that way.

Dear Jenifer,


Thank you for Mr Preston and your suggestion.


As I quoted in your reply

"As a translation client, I always provide the document to be translated in my offer so the freelancer can review it first."


Not all clients work the same way. Most of them always give the example of the translation format or context, not the whole documents. Some of the documents are not technical since the upwork has separated between general, technical, medical or legal translation so I think I do not have to be worried if the client send technical term. Moreover, the client always discuss about the project in the message before they send the offer.


By the way, the client did not ask for translation in Bahasa Indonesia to English or vice versa. He wants me to translate my local language in Indonesia. Indonesia have 33 Provinces and 1158 local languages. One of the 1158 languages are Javanesse. The client that I mentioned in the forum wanted to translate the Javanesse language where I am originally from. Therefore, I dont have to change since I do not apply or submit any proposal that I do not think I can make it in my free time as a goverment employee. This is  a part of my good intentions to assist people with their limitation of time and I also choose and make strict selection to my clients. I always give high priority to Asia and Australia region as my proposed client since their time zone is not quite different with our time and they always response politely to my message or proposal.