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Re: Can the last milestone of a translation be "approval"?

Active Member
Courtney S Member Since: Feb 8, 2018
1 of 10

Looking for other translators' feedback.

 

Can a client pay half the money as a milestone for "starting a translation" (which he means, doing the whole translation) and the other half based on the milestone, "approval"?

 

Seems like an easy way to get the work done for half the price...

Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
2 of 10

I would insist of having the whole amount funded. Never send more work than has been funded.

 

I am as irritated as you are. Is the client new? Tell him you only need one milestone and request release when you deliver the translation. He has two weeks to check and approve your work once you requested payment. Try and explain that to him. Maybe he does not know. He might be trying to be nice and wants to pay you the first milestone before you deliver anything. Who knows?

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Active Member
Courtney S Member Since: Feb 8, 2018
3 of 10

The first milestone is just "start translation." The second (with the full amount we decided on) is "approval of deliverable."

 

Just smells fishy to me... I'm new here too, so I'm not sure what flies and what doesn't.

Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
4 of 10

I’m not a translator but if the milestone is half of the budget, then the client shouldn’t receive more than half the translation.

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"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
5 of 10

Is all the money funded? You can (by the definition given by the client) request the first MS when you "start translation." Once that one is approved you can finish the translation and request the release of the second MS. Maybe the client just wants to protect himself from paying for a google translation. He has 2 weeks to check and approve the translation.

All you have to make sure of is that the agreed amount is in escrow.

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
6 of 10

@Courtney S wrote:

The first milestone is just "start translation." The second (with the full amount we decided on) is "approval of deliverable."

 

Just smells fishy to me... I'm new here too, so I'm not sure what flies and what doesn't.


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Hi Courtney,

 

Adding to what Jennifer R and John have said,  if you haven't done it already, do not approve the contract - yet. If it is a short contract then ask the client to fund the amount in full before you start working. If it is a longer contract, then tell the client politely that you will translate x number of words against the amount that is in the first milestone.

 

If you have accepted the contract, you can still tell your client that the first milestone will cover x number of words and then say you will complete when the second milestone has been funded.

 

(I have to say if this were me, and the contract not yet accepted, I would not continue with this client.)

 

 

 

Community Guru
Richard W Member Since: Jun 22, 2017
7 of 10

Hi. I had a client offer me a job on this sort of basis. I think he was just unfamiliar with how Upwork works, and was used to the practice of paying half in advance and half on delivery. He seemed like he would be a good client, so I just accepted, saying that I would do half the work for the first milestone. (I should add that this was a small programming job, not translation. Maybe your translation job doesn't fall easily into two halves.)

 

Anyway, long story short, everything went well, and he is now my best client (most total earnings, excellent feedback). So don't be in a hurry to turn the job down. If in doubt, get back to the client and discuss it further. Explain that Upwork uses an escrow system.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
8 of 10

Approval of work done by the freelancer is already built into the fixed-price system for every milestone or contract.

 

Any milestone, in the area of translation or otherwise, should be a deliverable that YOU (the freelancer) can complete and then submit and get paid for even if the client does nothing.

 

That is how the Upwork interface works. There is a button for submitting the work. And the system automatically releases payment if the client doesn't do anything.

 

So, by definition, I don't like the idea of a milestone being "approval." Because that implies that the freelancer herself can not submit the work and be done with the process without some action being taken by the client.

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
9 of 10

Preston, if a client asks for modification or a rewrite, the 14-day process on a fixed-rate job is halted, and this can go on indefinitely, until either the client or freelancer disputes. This can be very damaging. 

 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
10 of 10

re: "if a client asks for modification or a rewrite, the 14-day process on a fixed-rate job is halted, and this can go on indefinitely, until either the client or freelancer disputes. This can be very damaging."

 

I agree.

 

I have sometimes referred to this as the "fixed-price loophole."

 

If a freelancer faces this, it is one of the worst situations to be in on Upwork. Unfortunately, there is not really any solid "solution" for this to be found within the Upwork user interface. Avoiding this or getting out of this comes down to either (somehow) managing the situation through communication with the recalcitrant client, or a dispute.

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