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Disagreements on edits

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Ace Contributor
LIN F Member Since: Apr 30, 2016
1 of 16
Hi all,
Looking for some advice here... How do you politely handle a client who disagrees with your edits and then decides that you’re ‘not a good fit’ midway through a project? This has happened to me twice now. In the first instance it was a really poor manuscript and I stood my ground. I suggested cancelling the contract with no payment. Left a bad taste in my mouth though (the client was also pretty rude and condescending, so I was happy to escape). Current situation is more of a stylistic issue-although the client is fluent in English, the language is awkward. And my edits have not gone down well. Do I bow out graciously? I’ve politely explained and justified my changes but I don’t want to have to complete the project while agonising over every word. Chalk it up to experience? Any advice appreciated!! I must admit that as I’ve only recently managed to claw my way back to a decent JSS, I do feel a bit vulnerable...
Community Guru
Abinadab A Member Since: Sep 26, 2016
2 of 16
They paid you to do your job, not to pander to their linguistic deficiencies. Ask them to pay for work you've done. If you've done half let them pay half. Use the button.
Ace Contributor
LIN F Member Since: Apr 30, 2016
3 of 16
I hear you:-) it’s a nice client though and I’ve been paid so it’s not really the money issue that I’m worried about. More how to agree to disagree politely and not get negatively reviewed because of it. Was hoping someone had a standard breaking up line I could use:-)
Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
BEST ANSWER
4 of 16

I was in the same place recently. Unfortunately, there is little you can do. There are people who take certain types of edits as a personal affront. If there are small changes you can revert to make them happier (even if that makes your teeth hurt), you might want to do that. It at least shows them they’re still in control and that you’re listening to them.

Otherwise, I’d say as little as possible.  The more you say, the more you open up the possibility for further disagreement. And it isn’t inevitable you’ll get bad feedback.

And I suggest you raise your rates. The more people pay, the more likely they are to trust you.

Ace Contributor
Wes C Member Since: May 3, 2019
5 of 16

Ultimately, it's their book.  One way to approach is to say something along the lines of "I see now you're looking for a lighter copyedit, I'll focus on grammar, spelling, and punctuation."  You can still make suggestions on really awkward sentences, but maybe keep those to comment bubbles - "this might read more smoothly as ..."

 

And, yeah, what Kim said.  Start bumping your rates up.

Ace Contributor
LIN F Member Since: Apr 30, 2016
6 of 16
Thanks all, really constructive advice. Much appreciated... but based as I am, in South Africa, I’m wary of upping my rates. Job pickings are slim. There are loads that I’m excluded from bidding on.
Ace Contributor
LIN F Member Since: Apr 30, 2016
7 of 16
And just as an aside, my JSS dropped from 100% to 90% today. How does that happen when no closed contracts were evaluated this week?
Ace Contributor
LIN F Member Since: Apr 30, 2016
9 of 16
Thanks for that info. Aah well, can’t win them all I guess!
Ace Contributor
LIN F Member Since: Apr 30, 2016
17 of 16
Thanks for the advice. I just find it so tricky when I get feedback that my edit made it read clumsily. When I know it’s an improvement on what was originally written. Guess it’s not a good fit after all and I should allow for a percentage of these to cross my path...
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
17 of 16

re: "Guess it’s not a good fit after all and I should allow for a percentage of these to cross my path... "

 

Exactly.

Very wise.

 

Not every freelancer/client pairing is meant to be.

 

This is one of the most important things that any Upwork client or freelancer can learn.

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