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Re: Rude message from prospective client

Active Member
Mary T Member Since: Oct 1, 2018
1 of 7
  • Just wondering if I should even reply to this client...he kept messaging me to keep in touch while I was deep into another project. It sounded like his would require a lot of unpaid research, so I told him I couldn’t do it if the research hours were not paid. He wrote me a really rude reply saying I have “sketchy qualifications at best.” (30 years of writing and editing experience is sketchy?) He also said I know nothing about the subject, test prep manuals, of which I’ve written about a dozen. Said he could hire “qualified “ writers for less than I quoted. Is this guy just nuts? Should I even bother to reply? Has anyone else ever experienced this kind of thing?
Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
2 of 7

@Mary T wrote:


Said he could hire “qualified “ writers for less than I quoted.

Then you could tell him to hire one of those 'qualified writers' with your blessing. Cat Wink

"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Ace Contributor
Abbey B Member Since: May 14, 2016
3 of 7

I've had a few clients that have tried to pester me into working with them. Some people are incredibly entitled (and when I say 'some', I mean 'way too many'). I just ignore them and they disappear.


Think about it: you reply to him--then what happens? Of course, he's going to reply and I have high doubts that he'll become more polite. I know it's a hurt ego that entices you into getting the last word (this isn't an insult--it's a very human reaction), but it's more beneficial for your self-worth to realize that your time is worth too much to waste it on this guy. 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
4 of 7

Mary, if you think the client is rude, why do you want to continue communicating with him and possibly work for him?


Thank him and wish him well. And leave it at that.

Or don't reply at all. You could even block him.


Clearly any time you spend with him is time wasted.

Active Member
Mary T Member Since: Oct 1, 2018
5 of 7

Thank you all for your thoughts and taking the time to share them. Yes, I did kind of want to "get the last word" (due to a hurt ego, as someone pointed out). I had no desire to work for him after the things he said. In fact, even his posting was kind of offensive to freelancers, and I only answered it because I'm so new here and desperate for work and nobody else was applying. He ended up withdrawing the job, unfilled, so that told me something. Anyway, I ended up just not replying to him at all and blocking him and hiding his messages. Water over the dam, and probably a good lesson for me. In 30 years I've never even had a complaint, so I guess I was due.

Thanks again everyone and best of luck to you all finding great jobs.


Active Member
Lee Ann S Member Since: Jul 9, 2018
6 of 7

I have found that the clients who are rude are the ones wanting to severely underpay freelancers and often want free work. I had a similar message recently and I reported it. Upwork took action on it. It's up to us to make this a fair and comfortable place for all of us to work. 

Active Member
Mary T Member Since: Oct 1, 2018
7 of 7

Thanks Lee Ann...and yes, this guy was berating me and saying I wasn’t worth what 

I was asking. The way I had it figured as to what he was offering, it would have come out to less than minimum wage. I never remember people being like this on freelance boards in the past. Maybe he’s been emboldened by the “new normal,” of our culture, where it’s become okay to be unprofessional and call people names. Did not know I could report people like this, and in the future I will.