I’m having an harrowing experience with one of the clients I got through peopleperhour; I decided to post my story here to perhaps get some advice or help others avoid the same situation.
The job in question is this: http://www.peopleperhour.com/job/i-need-a-total-branding-solution-637681
I was invited by the client and immediately selected for this job. They were in a rush, so I tried my best to come up with good designs quickly, and upon seeing them, the client replied that they are very satisfied, selected one, gave guidelines as to revisions which I've done immediately… until suddenly, for no obvious reason, I haven’t heard from them for three weeks despite sending several messages, and despite them being online on PPH almost all the time and initiating several new projects with other sellers in the mean time. Finally I politely asked the client to please let me know what’s up with our project so that I can plan my time accordingly. Still no reply. Needless to say, I started feeling as if I’m being ignored at that point.
I then asked PPH customer service what to do in such a case and they told me to just issue an invoice if I don’t hear from the client soon. I then informed client about this and said that I will be forced to raise an invoice if they don’t reply by next week. This time I got a reply within hours, saying that they were busy with some problems, and that let’s continue with the project.
However, right after the client sending their message, I was away for a whole day and couldn’t reply immediately (my response time on PPH is “instantly” otherwise). The next morning back in office, a message awaited me in my inbox saying that the client demands a refund of nearly all deposit money because “they haven’t heard from me”. At first I was like “this can’t be, of course I have done nothing wrong”… until I read the PPH rules:
"A Buyer is entitled to receive a refund of funds held in the Escrow Account under the following circumstances:
a) no response: the Seller has not responded in the WorkStream within one (1) working day of the Commencement of the Job;"
In other words, if I understand things correctly, it might be that just because I haven’t responded to one of her messages for a little more than one working day, I will now be forced to refund nearly all money, plus I will probably also get a negative feedback/rating. It doesn’t matter that the client has not responded to my multiple messages for weeks before, to the point where I've had to consult with PPH, and that I've actually completed half the job in time with the client saying that they loved my work. Honestly, I can hardly believe that this is even a possibility in a case where I have clearly done nothing wrong. If so, PPH suffers from some serious glitches and have lost another serious and professional seller as far as I’m concerned. It should be clear to anyone who reads our workstream that:
1) the client is the one who has not been responsive, or even acting decently towards me as a seller,
2) the client has very likely changed her mind in the midst of the project and now wants to place blame on me in order to pay as little as possible.
BTW, I got a refund request this morning. Upon seeing it, I immediately responded to the client, in a matter of hours sent her revised designs, and twice asked her if we can resolve the issue without a dispute. One working day has passed since, with her being online on PPH the whole day, and again I got no reply.
Any advice would be very appreciated.
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