What do I do if my freelancer is rude?

Picture it. You’ve sent detailed feedback to your freelancer only to have them respond “k”. Or you’ve asked for a minor alteration to the finished work and have been greeted with outraged indignation.  Basically, your freelancer is being rude, but you’ve already paid them and they do seem to be doing the work (albeit reluctantly). What do you do? Well, luckily, there are a few ways of dealing with this. 

1. Why are they being so rude? 

Were they like this when they first agreed to do the job? What about in the early stages? If not, at what point did they change? Figuring out the motivation for their rudeness might help you to resolve it. Are they just frustrated at the number of changes you’ve asked for, for instance? Maybe they agreed to do some alterations, but not as many as you’ve actually requested. Speaking to them about the potential problem is a great idea too. If it transpires nothing’s wrong, at least you’ve made them aware of the issue and they might reconsider the way they’ve been acting. If there is an actual problem, you can come to a resolution.

2. Keep track

Keeping track of your communications with a freelancer is a good idea in most cases anyway, to ensure that you have something to fall back on if you’ve paid them and they flake. If they’re being rude it also means if it reaches the point where you need to challenge them, you have a record to refer to during the discussion.

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3. Listen

Make sure you’re actually listening to what your freelancer is telling you and that you’re not the source of their frustration. You also don’t know what’s going on in their personal life – remember that everyone has bad days and don’t make a massive issue of if it’s just a one-off.

4. Know when to lay down the law

If you’re really struggling to have a healthy working relationship with a freelancer, there comes a point where it might be time to cut your losses and end the contract. This is never easy, but if you’ve had nothing but negativity and the work itself isn’t up to scratch it’s probably the best call. There are lots and lots of amazing and professional freelancers out there who would snatch up the work in a heartbeat. Although we wouldn’t advocate hiring multiple freelancers for the same job (unless the work justifies it), it’s worth keeping a list on hand of back-ups who you can contact if the job falls through.

5. What if I can’t get in contact with them at all?

So they’ve moved beyond simple rudeness and have apparently dropped off the face of the planet. They’re ignoring your emails and blocking your calls. You don’t know where they’re at with the work or if they’re even doing it anymore. This is where having a contract comes in really really handy and might be the point to ask for your deposit back. Make sure you’ve got guidelines for this scenario in the contract – i.e what happens if the freelancer doesn’t finish the work, or doesn’t meet the deadline you’ve set.


Joe Scarffe

Joe Scarffe

Joe is the CMO at Twine.

When he’s not moaning about the state of the music industry or public transport in Manchester, he works with the Twine community and handles social media, the blog and partnerships with companies and institutions.