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Re: Matching an inexperienced freelancer with an inexperienced client - a mess

Active Member
Olga S Member Since: Jan 17, 2017
1 of 12

Hello all!

 

The mess I am writing about is my third task on Upwork and my client's second. We haven't determined milestones. But while we were messaging I promissed to deliver the first part of the translation within 3 days, so he can evaluate, suggest, comment.

I did so, I sent 80 out of 200 articles I had to translate and I got a thank you note with "I read few of them and it seems fine".

I have continued to work the same way, and a week later I proudly delivered my work, before the deadline. It is then that the mess started occuring.

Saying that I have translated all the wrong sorts, mentioning a list he never sent or mentioned before and questioning my ways. I am trying to resolve the issue by asking him for the list, eventually getting it, but I doubt in the good outcome of this contract.

I have been recommended twice so far. How can I prevent a damage to my profile reputation?

 

I also doubt this client will be willing to cooperate fairly.

What is the best thing to do?

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
2 of 12

If I have understood this correctly, you have done the work without a formal contract and the benefit of funded milestone protection?

 

If this is the case, then you are not likely to get paid. Your client should have been able to evaluate your work either from your portfolio or samples or from just one (paid-for) article. The client seems to have  demanded free work. If so report him/her to customer support and definitely do not do any more work for this person.

 

After accepting any offer to work, you must insist that, if it is a fixed-rate job, a contract is in place, the number of milestones agreed, and that the relevant amounts are funded into escrow, before starting work. If it is an hourly job, use the tracker. Don't ever work on trust.

 

 ETA: This is how your client should have set up the contract: https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/articles/211068218-Pay-for-Fixed-Price-Contracts#offer

 

Active Member
Olga S Member Since: Jan 17, 2017
3 of 12

Thank you for your reply, Nichola!

 

We have signed the contract. The thing is, I never went through all the Help and support tips, so I never read about the milestones.

 

The client evaluated my work, I had sent him two articles and the contract followed. He put a milestone on the contract and that was the first time I understood the purpose of it. However, there is just one milestone in this contract - Evaluation and I submitted a file to get paid 10 dollars. The whole contract is worth 200 but there are no more milestones.

 

Thank you for the "Don't ever work on trust." tip. I do work on trust and I do understand that it is a mistake. I still do not know how to insist on being paid. But it will come along, I suppose.

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
BEST ANSWER
4 of 12

@Olga S wrote:

Thank you for your reply, Nichola!

 

We have signed the contract. The thing is, I never went through all the Help and support tips, so I never read about the milestones.

 

The client evaluated my work, I had sent him two articles and the contract followed. He put a milestone on the contract and that was the first time I understood the purpose of it. However, there is just one milestone in this contract - Evaluation and I submitted a file to get paid 10 dollars. The whole contract is worth 200 but there are no more milestones.

 

Thank you for the "Don't ever work on trust." tip. I do work on trust and I do understand that it is a mistake. I still do not know how to insist on being paid. But it will come along, I suppose.



Olga, if this were me, I would get out of this contract as fast as possible. Whichever way you look at it, it is going to impact your future JSS.

 

First of all your client must be one of the worst payers on Upwork. One dollar per translated article is unacceptable.

 

Second of all, he is already complaining about the standard of your work, and you have delivered 80 articles. If your work was so unacceptable (which I am sure it is not), then he should have been able to assess this from the first two.

 

I know it is a lot of money, but I would be tempted to refund the entire amount and close the contract (client can leave private feedback, but not public).

 

But there are other options: Finish the work.  But as the client is already complaining, I have a feeling he/she will dispute the $200 or change the milestone amount and could  leave bad public and private feedback if he/she closes the contract.

 

Or you could press the release funds button, as you have certainly done enough work to merit the $200, but your client would almost certainly dispute this. However, you could come back with a counter offer and refund the client some of the money, though you would still risk (likely) getting bad public and private feedback.

 

Wow - bummer! What sort of feedback on other jobs does this client have?

 

 

Active Member
Olga S Member Since: Jan 17, 2017
5 of 12

Thank you, Nichola. I will get out of the contract.

 

The client does not have any feedback yet, this was the second job he opened.

 

I am very sad about this, because i have spent so much time working on it, not being with my family, not being social at all. But this is an important lesson for me, so lI will consider it a milestone.

 

Thanks again.

 

Highlighted
Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
6 of 12

Rather than Google, it would be better to use a proofreading tool such as PerfectIt when you have finished your translation. 

 

I think that Google has improved a lot. If I do not speak the source language, but have the original text to hand, I sometimes use it when I am editing or proofreading texts that are not written by native English speakers.

 

However, I never use it when translating. I depend on online and print dictionaries and my own glossaries. 

Community Leader
Claudia B Member Since: Jan 12, 2017
7 of 12

You delivered 200 articles without a single milestone? You mean like 40,000-80,000 words or even more? And you did that within a week??? Holy **bleep**, you are competitive.

 

How did you know which articles to translate if the client didn't give you a list or something in the first place?

Active Member
Olga S Member Since: Jan 17, 2017
8 of 12

I surely am competitive, Claudia! Smiley Happy

 

Thank you for your reply.

 

I translated 40.000 words based on two websites the client sent. I used a specific list of indigenous grape varieties because he needed Italian vines. He now claims that I made the decision by myself, what grapes to translate.

 

EDIT:I was given these 2 websites with the only note that he needed 200 Italian grape varieties. On both websites there were grapes listed in different groups. More than 8 groups.

 

I asked several times for the list he was talking about and eventually I got it. I guess we both made mistakes, but he had a chance to emphasize that last Monday, when I submitted 80 articles. I completed the task in 9 days, working quite hard.

 

The client is now mentionig that he won't allow using google or other translators from the net. It wasn't mentioned before. I did use google translate, I consider it a good tool, but I do not rely on it. I have been wotking as media translator for more than 10 years. I now how to do the job.

 

Do you have any suggestion for me? What to do? We have a contract but the communication is very scarse. And there is no due date on the contract.

Community Leader
Claudia B Member Since: Jan 12, 2017
9 of 12

40,000 words in 9 days?

 

Why do I feel oddly inferior now?

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
10 of 12

@Claudia B wrote:

40,000 words in 9 days?

 

Why do I feel oddly inferior now?


 I wouldn't. I do like max 10k-12k/week and I get to enjoy life. Who is superior? The one who gets to enjoy some time off or the one who is schlepping words for 20 hours a day and doesn't get paid?

 

She also claims to be fluent in mulitple languages. I'd say this is one of those translators that gives you a lot of Google tranlsate stuff. Sounds like the client got what he paid for.

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