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I'll briefly state the situation. One of my clients just started a contract on a freelancing site regarding the development of a web app. She provided a website link and asked to develop a similar site. So the website got completed and the client was to provide images and text that needed to be replaced with the existing one, and then we would be able to upload it to a hosting.

So just when the client was to provide the content, she disappeared. I contacted her on other platforms too but haven't received any response.

Now I just want to end the contract and get the amount, but can't end it as the work is not complete. The amount is placed in the escrow. Just image/text replacement and uploading to hosting are left. Also, I'm not sure whether everything is fine at her side or not. It's been three months now. Please suggest me what can be done in this scenario. Even if I can get a partial amount, it's still fine.

Any sorts of suggestions will be highly appreciated...

Edit

Another think I would like to mention here:

If I submit the work, it'll automatically get accepted after 14 days and I'll get all the amount. But this isn't what I want. And there isn't any way to get a partial amount. Either total amount, or cancel the contract and get nothing. That's the two choices I have

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    Does the client have any access to what you produced in a way that they could have taken it and ran away? Do you have proof you followed through on the agreed-upon terms that would let the escrow release the funds to you? – Canadian Luke Jul 17 at 16:02
  • The client can't access the files as they are placed at my server. Secondly, I have worked with her on multiple projects and she was happy with the progress of this one too. The website has been reviewed by her and was considered fine. – MurtazaA Jul 18 at 6:30
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Get the total amount. You are only abiding by the rules of the marketplace that the client agreed to. It is not your fault that they chose to stop communicating. It is not your problem why they did it. Most likely this client has deep pockets and the amount of money involved is so small to them that they don't care.

do you think it is ethical? Coz if this isn't unethical or illegal, I'll close the contract and get the total amount

Don't think it's unethical in this particular instance. Look at it this way.. originally you agreed to work for what amounted to $X/hour (if you convert your project cost into hours). Now you will be getting 2 x $X because the client broke the terms of the agreement and they are fully aware of the consequences. You didn't defraud them because you were honest and worked in good faith. You might want to check what is considered ethical/unethical by other providers in that marketplace however. But I imagine they would agree with me given your description of the contract options.

You said any sort of suggestion so: If you're an honest and reliable consultant then a freelance site that does not allow you to keep the deposit when the client flakes out is not in your best interest.

See How much payment should be required up front?

And keep in mind that it's normal in the design/development world to get 50% upfront and you don't even have to deliver to get final payment. You just need to prove 100% that you have achieved the goals. What that means depends on the client.

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  • thanks for the suggestion. So in my case the client isn't active from the past three months. If I submit the work, it'll automatically get accepted after 14 days and I'll get all the amount. But this isn't what I want. And there isn't any way to get a partial amount. Either total amount, or cancel the contract and get nothing. That's the two choices I have – MurtazaA Jul 20 at 6:39
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    @MurtazaAhmad Get the total amount. You are only abiding by the rules of the marketplace that the client agreed to. It is not your fault that they chose to stop communicating. It is not your problem why they did it. Most likely this client has deep pockets and the amount of money involved is so small to them that they don't care. – HenryM Jul 20 at 13:26
  • HenryM thanks once again for the suggestion, but do you think it is ethical? Coz if this isn't unethical or illegal, I'll close the contract and get the total amount – MurtazaA Jul 21 at 6:55
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    Don't think it's unethical in this particular instance. Look at it this way.. originally you agreed to work for what amounted to $X/hour (if you convert your project cost into hours). Now you will be getting 2 x $X because the client broke the terms of the agreement and they are fully aware of the consequences. You didn't defraud them because you were honest and worked in good faith. You might want to check what is considered ethical/unethical by other providers in that marketplace however. But I imagine they would agree with me given your description of the contract options. – HenryM Jul 21 at 15:31
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    If the client wants, after noticing the full payment, he can send images and texts... reading what you said, I bet you will complete the work. The work is not completed, you can think you are still waiting the missing pieces, but if the client send you nothing I think it doens't metters to him (e.g. he has a lot of money has @HenryM said in comment). Maybe you can comunicate a discount for a future project if the client doesn't want to complete that website and maintain good relationships. – Fil Jul 23 at 10:12

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