Thank you John. I just wanted to share my opinion that this should not be only a freelancer's problem. I have just found out it doesn't happen as rarely as one would think Why? Simply because there is a policy that makes it easy for the unethical ones among clients to breach the rule of forbidding the free work. I decided not to care too much aboutthis particular feedback, I just wanted to see if there is a good way to deal with this issue and also to raise my voice.
What you are describing sounds like "scope creep," which IS a roundabout way of getting free work. When a client adds tasks to your contract, you have every right to counter with advising them of an added fee. I agree it is wrong for the client to threaten you with bad feedback to get you to comply. That is nothing short of blackmail. And I detest Upwork's policy allowing a client to leave private feedback which a freelancer cannot see. It definitely favors the client; however, freelancers also get the opportunity to leave feedback on the clients. Some clients would not be affected by that if they are not regulars here, but if your client is a frequent flyer with Upwork, bad feedback might steer good freelancers away from her.
Thank you. I wanted to draw atention to this flaw in the Upwork feedback policy. Of course I care for the feedback I get, but the reason for my post was more about raising awerness that these ways are not fair and can be demaging for the Upwork in the long run.
If it is any consolation, I think that scope creep is a serious issue that ALL of us who work on fixed-price contracts deal with. It takes wisdom and experience to deal with this issue well, learn how to set boundaries, and basically learn how to NOT let clients get away with this kind of thing at all.
But it is not easy. The hourly contract model is far simpler to deal with.
I would encourage you to search in the community forum for some of the great threads and posts about how to handle fixed-price contracts generally and scope creep specifically.
It IS something you can learn to handle well. But you start out by understanding that what your client did is NOT okay, and there ARE strategies for dealing with this.
Hello Preston, It is late here so my answer won't take long: among other things, I believe you are absolutely right about setting bounderies. Thank you for your insight.
Natasa, this is not a flaw in the Upwork feedback policy. The nature of feedback is that customers of a business may say what they like about it. Sometimes those ratings are fair, sometimes not, sometimes entirely subjective. Yelp doesn't review communications between businesses and customers and alter reviews, nor does Amazon, or Google, or Facebook...you get the picture.
A freelancer is an independent business professional. Upwork is nothing more than a platform. It's our job to manage our customer relationships, including acceptance of the fact that--like every other business or professional in the world--we will occasionally get a bad customer who leaves an unfair review.
That doesn't mean you give away ten hours worth of work to save the review. Just choose your clients carefully, define your agreements specifically, and when the occasional bad seed slips through, take the hit and move on.
What I would like to know, is, If the OP does not provide the scrop creep (free) work and the client then follows through with their threat and give both private and public feedback, if the OP provides documentation of that thrreat, will Upwork remove the bad feedback from both the public AND private feedback sections?
@Natasa J wrote:
Exactly, Kathy. That would be a well-rounded feedback policy.
If there is clearcut (!!) evidence of unmistakable coercion along the lines of "If you don't do free work I will give you bad feedback" you might have a chance of getting the feedback removed.
But frankly it has to be as clearcut as as that, and it will still be an uphill struggle as the default rule is that Upwork does no get involved in feedback disputes unless there are clear violations of the terms of service.
Part of running a business is managing contracts, which includes managing scope and client expectations from before the contract even starts. If the scope is clearly defined from the outset these things don't happen.
Often one actually gets an idea that a client might become challenging during the initial negotiations. I have walked away from a number of offered contracts because my gut said "Beware, trouble ahead......!"