This guide presents a new feature that creates a streamlined process for contracts to become live when customers send the proposal to the freelancers.
Step by Step Guide
In the admin dashboard under the ‘Settings’ menu item is the option to ‘Have customers rather than freelancers create milestones?’. Two sub options exist, which are to ‘Skip FL approve milestone step: go straight from CL creates milestone, to CL pays milestone’ and to ‘Allow edit milestones anytime BEFORE milestone is paid/started’
You can find the documentation on the difference between the freelancer and customer making the contract proposal/milestones here. If the option for the customer rather than the freelancer to create milestones is enabled, the other two sub-options can then also be enabled.
Skip FL approve milestone step: go straight from CL creates milestone, to CL pays milestone
In comparison to the steps that needed to occur previously, the customer can now create a milestone and pay it straight away instead of wait for the freelancer to approve the milestone. In the image below, the milestone was created within a minute of the customer choosing to pay it so the freelancer can begin working on it.
The risk of this process, though streamlined, and though it saves the users time, is that the freelancer may not want to or may not be able to complete the task to the specifications set by the customer, even though the customer has already paid for it. In this case the marketplace administrator must issue a refund through Stripe so that the funds held in escrow are returned. Though having this feature enabled will increase the number of refunds that must be issued the streamlined process will create a better user flow, and likely allow for a larger volume of transactions to occur.
Allow edit milestones anytime BEFORE milestone is paid/started
In the image above, note how milestone 1 only has the option to ‘View’, while milestones 2 & 3 can be ‘Viewed’ and ‘Deleted’ (The close button is because we are currently viewing milestone 3). This is because milestone 1 has been ‘paid’ (as milestone 3 is about to be). However, milestones 2 and 3 have not been paid yet. This gives the customer the leeway to edit or delete the milestones as required.