Scott S wrote:
I am trying to understand the inner workings of my first contract getting started and was just reviewing the fixed price guide. Isn't it true that the Milestone needs to be funded? Or is that condition only prior to the contract starting?
When the client adds a milestone shouldn't it have money attached?
As the Freelancer, and I see a new milestone added and wasn't aware of it, why would I not be able to message the client to discuss or negotiate the new work and cost and they would be able to adjust it accordinly? Am I missing something? ( I could be missing something because I haven't experienced this yet).
No, you are not missing anything.
If you receive an offer from a client for a fixed price contract, the milestone must be funded. (When you see a job posting prior to that, is has not necessarily to be funded, but most are)
If I client adds a next milestone, it has to be funded, too. So if the freelancer is surprised by this move, if it has not been discussed prior, he will still see how much money the client has put into the milestone. So no harm is done if this sits for a few days as the next steps are discussed between both parties. If the freelancer is unwilling or unavailable to do the task, he can end the contract, or do nothing.
The whole thing is a complete non-issue.
I'm sorry, but what you are saying does not clarify anything to me.
The client is supposed to "get freelancer's consent before adding a new milestone".
I just saw a new thread with the same problem (or I think it's the same):
A client creates a new milestone without asking the freelancer.
How is it possible, if the client must have his / her approval?
And the way to solve it, if you don't want or can't work on the new milestone (created without your consent) is:
"If the freelancer does not accept the added milestone, they can reject it by terminating the contract"
This does not seem to me a very acceptable solution, really.
And more considering the power that customers have with "private opinions"
And, based on this, they can have a freelancer "stuck" indefinitely.
So, how is it possible for the client to create a new milestone without the "consent" of the freelancer?
"We appreciate feedback shared here about fixed price contracts and suggestion to add a functionality to accept or reject milestones without closing the contract. We'll forward this feedback to the team."
Kim and Maria,
The freelancer can discuss the scope of work and the milestones with the client directly and clarify if there are any issues with added milestones. If they aren't able to come to any mutual agreement, they can close the contract.
The suggestion shared here for an option or a button that would allow freelancers to accept of reject each milestone is valid and I have shared it with the team. Unfortunately, I can't provide any further information as to when any changes will be made to the current process for fixed-price contracts.
(U1) Only the Subcontractor should be technically allowed to create new milestone within the ongoing Agreement;
(U2) The Client should have an ability to accept newly created milestone by the Subcontractor within the ongoing Agreement ONLY after (1) preceeding milestones were funded AND (2) funds released to the Subcontractor AND (3) the feedback to the Subcontractor for their successful job has been given;
(U3) For the Client side - creating new milestone within the ongoing Agreement should be replaced with "create similar job" which uses the ongoing Agreement as a template and saves both parties time for typing.
Any implementation which is different than above undermines the Subcontractor's ability to control their workflow and creates vulnerability which might be (and will be) exploited by [some] clients.
Thank you for sharing your feedback about the milestone system. I would like to clarify some points on the suggestions you have made
"(U1) Only the Subcontractor should be technically allowed to create new milestone within the ongoing Agreement"
While this feature is not available, currently, freelancers can propose milestones when sending a proposal for fixed-price projects. This allows the freelancer to explain their process for the project better, and to set more specific or complex terms than a single bid can express.
"(U2) The Client should have an ability to accept newly created milestone by the Subcontractor within the ongoing Agreement ONLY after (1) preceeding milestones were funded AND (2) funds released to the Subcontractor AND (3) the feedback to the Subcontractor for their successful job has been given."
I would like to clairify that in the current milestone system, the client has the ability to create multiple milestones. However, clients need to release the previously funded milestone before they can activate the next milestone.
We highly encourage freelancers and clients to communicate professionally and extensively, discuss all the terms, deadlines and details before the offer is ever made and accepted. Just the same, our team will share your suggestions about the milestone system and forward it to the appropriate team.
Thank you for clearly stating the position of UpWork Inc. on the matter.
"While this feature is not available, currently, freelancers can propose milestones when sending a proposal for fixed-price projects. This allows the freelancer to explain their process for the project better, and to set more specific or complex terms than a single bid can express. "
Yet, the whole milestone mechanics become obsolete, when at the very end of a presumably extensive work for the last milestone, the Subcontractor suddenly receives another milestone;
It could be the final 1st or 100th milestone with total project value USD 25 or USD 2500000 - it is irrelevant, for as long as the milestones system is fundamentally flawed.
Even if that new milestone is fully funded, it still does not make sense as the Subcontractor has lost control of their workflow (and Client's feedback) at the very moment of creating such milestone by the Client.
"I would like to clairify that in the current milestone system, the client has the ability to create multiple milestones. "
Yet, at the same time the Subcontractor does not have such ability (to create new milestone/s) as has been confirmed by yourself above, even after completing all of the preceeding milestones.
"However, clients need to release the previously funded milestone before they can activate the next milestone."
When a Client creates new milestone without Subcontractor's consent herewith, an additional unnecessary overhead is being made with added misunderstanding by both parties to resolve this issue through a set of events/actions as follows (the most positive scenario possible with an exceptionally reasonable Client, as seen from a non-affiliated unbiased Subcontractor's point of view):
(01) The Supplier completes the work, getting the final funds per final milestone released to their "security" waiting list with corresponding email dispatched and the Subcontractor is expecting the Client to end the contract per its successful completion;
(02) Client decides that they need additional work to be made on top of the pre-approved Agreement, which has been naturally completed by Subcontractor with delivering of the final milestone, - and creates a new milestone for such additional work outside of the Agreement, against preapproved list of total milestones by Subcontractor;
(03) While expecting final feedback from the Client as per completely delivered works per the Agreement, the Subcontractor receives email notification of a newly created milestone by the Client with additional requirements which were not seen before, which looks as follows:
Subject: "ClientFirstName ClientSecondName assigned you a milestone!"
The Upwork Team
(04) The Subcontractor contacts the Client and expresses their discomfort with the newly added milestone and suggests to create a separate assignment instead - as clearly stated within the Agreement - after the current Agreement is completed and corresponding feedback provided to the Subcontractor;
(05) The Client apologizes for their misconduct, cancels newly created milestone and requests refund in the amount of the newly added Milestone (USD XXXXX) from the Subcontractor;
(06) The Subcontractor receives an email with Subject line "ClientFirstName ClientSecondName has requested a refund" with the contents as follows (an actual copy of received email):
|Review the escrow refund request|
|An escrow refund request has been submitted for the following contract:|
You have 7 days to review the request and approve or not approve it. If you do nothing, the escrow balance will be automatically returned to the client.
It is worth noting that in a fast paced actual working environment, that might be misunderstood as Client's dissatisfaction with the Works delivered by the Subcontractor per the ongoing Agreement and that the Client is requesting partial refund, as only the project name is shown and the milestone name and its date of creation are NOT mentioned.
(07) The Subcontractor contacts the Client and requests their comments on the (full/partial depending on the USD XXXXX value above) refund request and asks to list their points of dissatisfaction which were never expressed before;
(08) The Client explains that the refund was intended for the newly added milestone and apologizes for misunderstanding;
(09) The Client provides a review to the Subcontractor (ATTENTION which might be slightly different now after the above experience), closes the ongoing Contract/Agreement as successfully completed;
(10) The Client creates a new private assignment, invites the Subcontractor and wishes them "a good day".
The above "wall of text" and set of unnecessary actions could have been avoided by excluding the very technical possibility of adding a new miletone by the Client within an ongoing Contract/Agreement as it goes against the Contract/Agreement, where Subcontractor's consent for such action is irrelevant.
For projects starting at USD 165000 and above lasting for at least 8 (eight) months and more this technical flaw impedes a subcontractor's ability to keep control over the Project, their workflow, the Client's buyer experience and as result - the reputation of said Subcontractor.
And since there has not been expressed any considerable effort and/or intent to apply such an effort to address the above disclosed issue, I do hereby understand and accept that Subcontractors who are being generally specialized in delivering relatively big and long term projects at a world class quality are not welcome on the UpWork Inc. marketplace/platform and therefore withdraw any further participation within the UpWork Inc. marketplace/platform until the above issue is addressed as suggested in details.
Thank you for paying attention.