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a44c7848
Community Member

A freelancer who cheated on me and actually charged me 3 payments for work he did not perform

Hello, I would love to have an opinion on the subject.

 

I'm new to this site and did not understand at first how things are going here. I hired a freelancer for a project. The freelancer asked me to collect the payment immediately, before sending me the final product, for the reason that he is afraid I will cancel the payment. I thought this was acceptable on this site so I agreed to his request. The freelancer then claimed he did not receive my money. I thought I did not make the payment properly so I made another payment. The freelancer's claim came back again so I made another payment. The freelancer then again claimed that the money did not reach him.

 

Only here unfortunately I have already suspected. In practice, it turns out that the first payment has already reached him and he just lied to me. All this and more - he did not provide me with a job at all. I'm debating whether it's worth me to go to arbitration with him. In mediation he just wants to give me back only half the payment.

 

I would love to hear your opinion.

29 REPLIES 29
prestonhunter
Community Member

re: "I thought this was acceptable on this site so I agreed to his request."

 

No, this is not acceptable.

 

You were using Upwork incorrectly.

 

re: "I would love to hear your opinion."

 

When another person does something wrong, that's on them. You should not focus on other people. You should focus on yourself. You are under no obligation to balance that bad freelancer's karma by ensuring that he does the right thing.

 

If he is offering to send you money, whether it is half the payment or any amount, I recommend that you accept what he is offering and move on.

 

 

Let me be clear that receiving a half refund does not mean that everything will be fair, but if that's the best you can get immediately, then that's what I recommend you do.

 

You made mistakes, but the important thing is that you learned from your mistakes and you won't make those same mistakes again in the future.

 

Should you go to arbitration?
Arbitration will cost you $291, which is non-refundable.

How much money in total did you pay to this freelancer?

650$

colettelewis
Community Member

It is certainly worth going to arbitration (if your payments were made through the fixed-price option). But I think you have to file a dispute first.  I would also report the freelancer. This is fraudulent behaviour and he should be kicked off the site. 

I have flagged your post so that a moderator can help you further.  

bobafett999
Community Member

I belive they went to mediation and was offered half.

 

Another issue is they essentially paid more than the contract milestone.  I have no idea would arbitration cover the excess payment or just the contract amount.

812dd08c
Moderator
Moderator

Hello Elad and dear Members,

 

We truly appreciate you sharing your insights into Elad's unpleasant situation. I can see that there's already a mediation in progress for both parties. You can check here or your email for updates and please don't hesitate to communicate with the team through that ticket if you need further assistance. We're really hoping that both parties can reach an agreement and have this matter resolved.

 

~ Arjay
Upwork
bobafett999
Community Member

Arjay: do you have any insight into the question I have.  If they do go to arbitration then would it covet the excess payment or just the contract amount?

Hi Prashant,

 

Thank you for the follow-up. While we can't disclose specifics of the ongoing mediation, rest assured that a Mediation Specialist will work with both parties in an attempt to reach a mutual agreement. Our Dispute Assistance program along with our highly skilled and dedicated team is designed to help users navigate through the issue and guide things to an agreeable outcome. 

 

Feel free to check this Community thread for more information on disputes and how they work. 

 

~ Arjay
Upwork

Arjay:  I have no desire to know details of whatever is happening with the buyer and ypwork and freelancer.

 

My question was of general nature that if by mistake someone pays more than the contract amount would the arbitration cover the total money paid or just the contract amount. 

Prashant:

I am not an expert on the topic of Upwork arbitration.
But it is my understanding that if a contract goes to arbitration, the FULL AMOUNT of money paid using that contract can be decided.

matheszabi
Community Member

"I would love to hear your opinion"

As I know, upwork tends to protect the client over the freelancer, anyhow in disputes.

 

Not delivering work and getting 650 usd: Can I be your next freelancer? ๐Ÿ™‚ - I struggle to find any work even for 3$/h.  ๐Ÿ˜ž

Simply, I don't do business with people from certain countries, regardless of what they say, how they look, how much they offer, claim to offer.

 

Yeah, the freelancer is a scammer. Ok... The scammers are doing great until it ends, and it ends sooner or later, because they don't stop at 1-2 occasions and it will continue, more over: they will go bigger. So those money will bring to them huge penalties, jail or death. ( maybe you understand now why I don't do any kind of business with some people ) 

 

But the client went out of the upwork platform. Which is against of TOS.

Client made an unprotected payment. 3 of that. Without signing addition contract outside of upwork... well... not so smart....

And now asking the truth and meditation at upwork. This is a joke...

re: "As I know, upwork tends to protect the client over the freelancer, anyhow in disputes."

 

Which is a very good reason for freelancers to be proactive in how they manage their contracts, and plan to never get into disputes.

 

Also: Disputes are really meant for freelancers, not for clients. A client has the power to fire a freelancer at any time, for any reason. So a client should never file a dispute. It's a gamble and a waste of time. If a client doesn't love a freelancer's work, the client should simply fire the freelancer. It saves time, and there is no gamble. When you file a dispute or go to arbitration, then by definition, things might go your way, or they might not. When a client simply FIRES a freelancer, then the client has all the control, and there's nothing that a freelancer can do to stop the action.

 

I actually think it is good that Upwork favors clients. I don't think that this needs to change. But it IS something that freelancers need to be aware of so that they can protect themselves.


Szabolcs M wrote:

 

Yeah, the freelancer is a scammer. Ok... The scammers are doing great until it ends, and it ends sooner or later, because they don't stop at 1-2 occasions and it will continue, more over: they will go bigger. So those money will bring to them huge penalties, jail or death. ( maybe you understand now why I don't do any kind of business with some people ) 

 

But the client went out of the upwork platform. Which is against of TOS.

Client made an unprotected payment. 3 of that. Without signing addition contract outside of upwork... well... not so smart....

And now asking the truth and meditation at upwork. This is a joke...


This is the first I've heard of clients or freelancers getting jailed or executed for making or taking off platform payment, so if that's not a joke, let's hope Elad made the extra payments through bonuses, and I wish him luck in mediation.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce


Szabolcs M wrote:

"I would love to hear your opinion"

As I know, upwork tends to protect the client over the freelancer, anyhow in disputes.

 


Evidence?

 


Szabolcs M wrote:

 

Simply, I don't do business with people from certain countries, regardless of what they say, how they look, how much they offer, claim to offer.


You do realise that some people feel that way about your country as well? Discrimination on the basis of where somebody lives is simply uncalled for. 

 


Szabolcs M wrote:

So those money will bring to them huge penalties, jail or death. ( maybe you understand now why I don't do any kind of business with some people ) 


What on earth are you talking about????

 


Szabolcs M wrote:

But the client went out of the upwork platform. Which is against of TOS.

Client made an unprotected payment. 3 of that. Without signing addition contract outside of upwork... well... not so smart....


The client didn't go off of the Upwork platform - obviously - or mediation/arbitration wouldn't be possible. And an off-Upwork contract is going to be far too expensive to enforce, especially if the client and freelancer aren't in the same country, therefore basically useless.

feed_my_eyes
Community Member

If you paid money and received absolutely nothing, it seems to me that you would easily win in arbitration. As I understand it, mediators often try to settle things by saying that each party should take half, but you don't need to agree to that. You can say that you'd like to proceed with arbitration, and the freelancer will have to pay first - if they know that they scammed you, they will probably back down, you'll get your money back, and won't have to go to arbitration after all. But this is a gamble, and nobody can tell you for certain what the outcome will be, or whether it's worth your time.

 

Regardless, be sure to leave honest feedback - both private and public - to warn other clients about this freelancer.

a44c7848
Community Member

Thanks to everyone for the answers, you helped me a lot.

 

Following the mediation, the freelancer claims that he is willing to return the money but has no way to pay for the upwork, as his country (Pakistan) restricts payment options from within for fear of fraud (so he claims).

Upwork, on the other hand, offered me to block the possibility of withdrawing funds from his account until he returned the amount he had committed, so that he could continue to receive jobs and funds but without the ability to withdraw them.

My question is whether to go for this outline or is there a big risk here because there is really no oversight here that will put money into his account.

re: "My question is whether to go for this outline or is there a big risk here because there is really no oversight here that will put money into his account."

 

Yes, of course you should accept the offer.

 

Upwork does indeed oversee this and have direct control of the funds the freelancer will receive through his work on the platform.

 

The freelancer wants to pay you off so that he can begin withdrawing money for himself from his earnings.

 

It is not clear to me why you would consider saying "no" to the offer. Your choices here are:

- the freelancer will pay you back over time

- you will get nothing

Who guarantees that he will receive money in his account?
In addition, if the mediation is closed then there is no option to reopen it and thus arbitration falls out of the chapter.

Does this freelancer have other completed projects, or were you his first and only client?

From his profile it seems he had a lot of clients. It also received high ratings in the feedback.

re: "From his profile it seems he had a lot of clients. It also received high ratings in the feedback."

 

That means that the freelancer is not a scammer.

And the freelancer isn't an inherently "bad freelancer."

 

But the freelancer was a bad fit for YOUR project.

The freelancer did not meet YOUR needs.

And that's all that matters.

 

If you hired the greatest chef in the world, but you don't like her food... That is YOUR RIGHT. You are not obligated to like somebody's work just because other people like her work.

It is not a matter of liking or not liking . It's a matter of cheating.


Preston H wrote:

re: "From his profile it seems he had a lot of clients. It also received high ratings in the feedback."

 

That means that the freelancer is not a scammer.

And the freelancer isn't an inherently "bad freelancer."

 

But the freelancer was a bad fit for YOUR project.

The freelancer did not meet YOUR needs.

And that's all that matters.

 

If you hired the greatest chef in the world, but you don't like her food... That is YOUR RIGHT. You are not obligated to like somebody's work just because other people like her work.


Perhaps I have not understood it well, but how a freelancer who asks for an advance payment, lies about the money "not" received three times and finally does not deliver any work is not considered a "scammer" but simply someone who was a bad fit for YOUR project?

Okay, then presumably he values his account and will probably be able to get more clients and pay you back. You don't really have any other options a this point, if the money has already been withdrawn.

As the freelancer seems already to have fraudulently taken money from you his (non-existent) argument falls away.  He has already offered to pay half, so he can probably pay back the other half. However, this may depend on his profile. If he has been consistently working on Upwork, it makes the possibility of refunding you greater, and the mediation option may be the way to go - certainly a lot less expensive and time-consuming than arbitration. And since Upwork would also be out of pocket  on arbitration, it would prefer you to accept this almost-solution, which could work.   

You could agree to it, provided the freelancer pays you back within a short period of time. Five days, for example. 

 

What I don't know, is whether you can proceed to arbitration, once you have agreed to the mediation option, and if it doesn't work out. 

If I agree to the mediation option then the mediation case is closed and arbitration is dropped from the chapter. Also, it will no longer be possible to open mediation in the future on this case, if the freelancer does not keep his promise.

bobafett999
Community Member

Arbitration has by default fallen out of equation.  If that crook has no money to give from his account how will hw pay?

 

As Preston said there are only two options for you.

71bd113d
Community Member

Hi the act is really bad of a freelancer to scam clients but notwithstanding he or she should return the money since there didn't perform the work which was the agreement 

 

 

 **Edited for Community Guidelines**

a44c7848
Community Member

Hi, I'm updating.
The freelancer did not pay for the arbitration and is now suspending his account. He claims he can't pay through PayPal or through the upwork account.

What can I do to get him to return my money?

re: "Hi, I'm updating."

 

Thank you for the update.

 

re: "What can I do to get him to return my money?"

 

There is nothing you can do.

If he forfeits his Upwork account, then Upwork has no way to get money from him.

 

The amount of money involved ($650) is far too small for it to make sense financially to try to get money from the freelancer using means outside of the platform.

 

Sorry.

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