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I was working for a client for a while until April. Because of the lockdown and also some family problems on my side, we stopped working together. At that time, there were two payment pending worth $2000 each on him.

  • I was able to do the project #1 upto the expectations agreed and send him to review back in April (but he never replied).

  • The second project was also $2000. It was partially working and I can't say it was not upto the expectations.

I started working last week professionally and also started talking to him. I have suggested him to pay the full amount for first project and nothing for the second making me bear the loss for the second project.

Now he says he wants to work with him again and will pay the $2000 for the first project but at the same time, he keeps reminding me that my work was useless and he is doing the payment in a good faith. I feel that's rude and he has no right to say it. I delivered what we agreed upon, and if his requirement changes, it's not my fault. I also lost the money in second project and I am not crying about it.

I also suggested that if he feel my work was useless, maybe he should re-consider working with me so he don't lose any more money.

He has worked with other freelancers in past. His projects are particularly tricky and others were not able to make any progress at all. So far, I am the best he has found. So he wants to keep working with me.

But I am bit concerned about working with him again. He is very nice person to deal with, except this occasion. He have talked about working hourly, but I feel he might refuse to pay me in future. Since this is a remote job, I can't do much. Also I want to add he is yet to pay the $2000 he agreed to pay. I sent him the invoice yesterday after getting a confirmation from him, but he not paid yet.

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It's not uncommon for clients to verbally "devalue" your work. It's a negotiation tactic to try and get you on the defensive and to subconsciously be more generous with them. And apparently it's working.

It doesn't really matter though as long as invoices are paid.

My clients are free to thrown my work in the garbage... to tell me it's the worst they've ever seen.. who cares.. as long as they pay my invoices. If they continue to want to work with me it's clear that they aren't exactly being forthcoming and truthful when discussing such matters. No one keeps working with someone who is producing subpar work.

Moving forward with a client such as this, it becomes imperative you have solid contracts detailing scope, deliverable, deadlines, etc. Essentially all expectations for every project. They have shown that even if they accept the work, they may still claim the work is inferior. So you simply need to "cover your bases" with approval of work in writing.

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  • Well, he went quiet since that day. Yesterday I charged his credit card on Stripe since he already agreed to pay. I guess hopefully that will be the end of it. – completelydigital Jun 20 at 12:59

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