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Nightmare Client, Endless Revisions

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Loraine Y Member Since: Jan 12, 2017
1 of 29

Hey all,

 

I'm still fairly new to Upwork, only 2 months on here but have been building some great reviews. I currently have one client who is making me make hundreds of revisions, and most of them are becuase she forgot to mention important details before I got started. The flat rate I agreed to makes me cry when I think about how many hours I've spent on it (I'll end up making maybe $1/hr if this ever gets wrapped up.)

 

I really want out of this job. It's 70% complete but could go on for the rest of the year. I don't even care about being paid anymore, but I don't want to get a bad review. There probably isn't a way out of this situation that will spare me a negative review, is there? I'm pretty sure if I put my foot down on the revisions, she'll give me a bad review. It's a personal passion project of hers, so it has to be absolutely perfect but she's not paying me enough for all the work I'm doing. I've definitely learned a lot about what jobs/clients to accept, so at least there's that. Any suggestions or commiseration would be appreciated! Thanks.

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Valentina D Member Since: Aug 27, 2016
BEST ANSWER
2 of 29

Hi Loraine,

 

You can give her full refund - that way, the whole contract would completely disappear from your profile. However, you would lose your Rising Talent badge immediately and your first JSS would be <90. That's what happened to me when I did the same thing. I managed to recover quickly, thanks to my long-term clients, but the whole experience was so disturbing... I'd recommend you to do your best and finish this project successfully - that would be less painful than fixing your JSS afterwards.  

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Loraine Y Member Since: Jan 12, 2017
3 of 29

Thanks Valentina, that's really good to know what the consequences of ending the job would be. I've been pushing myself to just get through each revision with as much grace as I can muster, but I'm starting to suspect that she's taking advantage of my good-natured willingness to do so. It feels like each completed revision begets 5 more. I should probably say something- perhaps it's my own fault for being so obliging.

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Reinier B Member Since: Nov 3, 2015
4 of 29



@Loraine Y wrote:

Hey all,

 

I really want out of this job. Any suggestions or commiseration would be appreciated! Thanks.


You are in a tight spot for sure, but you have to weigh the consequences of a dinged JSS (when you get one) against the fact that this client will suck the life out of you if you keep this up. I see you have some great feedback already, which will offset the negative review you might get, but if you do get a negative feedback, just respond honestly and professionally.

Most of us have bounced back from a negative experience, and you will too. Doing so is much easier than having the life sucked out of you, so think about that, and do what your gut tells you to do.


 

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Loraine Y Member Since: Jan 12, 2017
5 of 29

Thanks Reinier, it's good to keep the larger perspective in mind!

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Scott E Member Since: Jul 26, 2015
6 of 29

The important question here is... how many rounds of revisions did you agree on? If the answer is "we didn't" which sounds like the case here... then the important thing for all subsequent projects, is to not make that mistake again! Managing expectations is the key to a succesful project. Both for you and the client.  

"Welcome, humans. I'm ready for you!"
- Box, Logan's Run (1976)
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Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
7 of 29

When I do a fixed-price project, I do the work, then I turn it in when it is done, and then the client pays me. That's it. There are no "revisions." The work is done when I say it is done. The client may pay for it and receive the work, or not pay and I retain ownership. But I don't have time for unending indentured servitude. If a client wants revisions, then the contract needs to be an hourly contract, with which they can ask for all the revisions they want.

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Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
8 of 29

Loraine,

 

If your client is relatively reasonable, I think you should try and discuss this with her, and politely tell her that the amount agreed no longer corresponds to the work done. If it is possible, finish the job, and offer to do one last revision on the whole, but make it clear that further revision will need further funds.

 

(Or you could simply press the release escrow button with an appropriate (but polite) message to the client that you have done enough work for the amount agreed. But do not abruptly close the contract as the funds in escrow would revert to the client.)

 

As Reinier suggested, you are a bit between a rock and a hard place. The contract will not "completely disappear" if you refund. Although the client will not be able to leave public feedback, she will be able to leave private feedback, which could negatively affect your JSS. However, ownership of the work would revert to you in this case.

 

If it were me, I would hold out for the money owed - despite the risk that the client could dispute it. Even if she leaves bad feedback you can also leave an honest appraisal of the client.

 

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Loraine Y Member Since: Jan 12, 2017
9 of 29

Thanks Nichola, I think I will try to reason with her and see if an amicable solution can be reached. The money is such a paltry amount, it pains me to think of it in correlation to the work I've put in. I'd almost feel better just relinquishing it all and wiping my hands (and mind) of the whole mess. But your polite approach inspires me to give that a shot. Smiley Happy

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Loraine Y Member Since: Jan 12, 2017
10 of 29

I shall aspire to this! Thanks!