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d_omutho
Community Member

Advised to source for refund from Freelancer Directly

Hello, 

I need your opinions on my case. 

I recently had a scenario where a freelancer submitted 100% AI-generated content. I took the liberty of contacting both the support team and the freelancer about the issue since I needed generic content. The freelancer acknowledged her mistake and asked support to deduct the money from her future milestones (which sounded fair to me). Unfortunately, the support official ruled that I should wait for the freelancer to fund my refund request, which to me sounded like a mirage. If I wanted to deal with the headache of going after freelancers personally, I would have opted for talent outside Upwork. We come here because we want to believe that this is a trusted and reliable space to procure online services. Maybe I am blowing my case out of proportion, or overstretching my expectations? I expected a better resolution. I wonder what they mean by a fixed milestone protection fee for clients. 

11 REPLIES 11
prestonhunter
Community Member

Refund thinking hurts clients.

 

It sound like you are putting the needs of an undeserving, underperforming freelancer ahead of your own needs. You shouldn't do that.

 

Put yourself and your project first.

 

Don't waste any more of your time on that freelancer.

 

You should end the contract and work with other freelancers.

 

Most freelancers on Upwork who identify themselves as "writers" are not really writers. They are spinners. You shouldn't try to help this freelancer become a better person. That is not your job. Just end things.

 

Try to find real writers who do what you want. That is a better use of your time than trying to turn this freelancer into something he's not.

tlsanders
Community Member

Well, the protection they speak of is in having the money held in escrow and not released to the freelancer until you have reviewed the work. It sounds like maybe you released the milestone prematurely, so a different method is required to get the money returned to you. It all sounds like nothing but logistics, though, and logistics that likely won't require any further action on your part, so possibly you're taking it too hard. 

sajal36
Community Member

Such occurances are increasing where client is concerned on the content being generated by AI. I will recommend to client to let the freelancer know in the contract itself that they will be running the content through AI detector as part of UAT. In case, the content are found to be generated through AI than work will be rejected.

 I think being very clear in the begining will save client from issues at later stage.

Clients need to hire freelancers, see if they like their work, and if they like their work, they can continue working with the writer.

 

If they don't like the work, don't use it.

 

No client should try to ask for refunds from writers. Waste of time.

 

No client should expect to hire a single writer and get perfect results. If you do, that's great! You were lucky. But don't assume that you're going to find a great fit from a single hire.

celgins
Community Member

Yes, and Upwork has already provided some guidance on this. Freelancers are recommended to specify the use of generative AI in their work. The recommendation doesn't mean much because freelancers are using AI a lot, and the Support Team can't do anything since the use of AI-generated content is not banned.

 

It looks like clients must now be attentive to this and specify whether they allow or disallow the use of generative AI tools to produce work. I think this is especially important for clients who want and expect original, non-generative AI written content like articles, op-eds, summaries, or any written text.

 

Either way, it sounds like the OP now has to rely on the freelancer to initiate the refund.

re: "Either way, it sounds like the OP now has to rely on the freelancer to initiate the refund."

 

I appreciate your thoughtful post.

 

In my opinion, clients will be better off if they plan to NOT try to get refunds from freelancers. When clients think they should get a refund if the freelancer uses A.I., it puts the client into a position of arguing with a spinner. Not time well spent.

In my opinion, clients will be better off if they plan to NOT try to get refunds from freelancers. When clients think they should get a refund if the freelancer uses A.I., it puts the client into a position of arguing with a spinner. Not time well spent.

I definitely agree.

 

There has been a lot of discussion about this issue, and most well-established professional writers I have seen comment have said they would not consider working with a client who set such a standard, since those detectors are widely known to be unreliable and reliance on them not only puts the freelancer at risk of false accusations but also speaks very poorly of the client's judgment.

Being a copywriter, I completely second this.
But in this case, here's the proof "The freelancer acknowledged her mistake and asked support to deduct the money from her future milestones"

I will vote for client who set the standard for their content generation being original. Primarily reason for the same is the new copright rule lauch by U.S. Copyright office:- Attention Clients !! You do not own content generated by generative AI tool.

  Now if client is not able to copyright the content as it is machine generated than his prime objective of getting the job done is worthless. Anyone can copy, use, sell the machine generated contents so client ask is genuine. 

 

Now coming to the second point, how do we detect the AI generted content. So detect AI technology is evolving along with AI generated content technology. There need to be some understanding build around this so that both party interest is safe guarded as result may not be 100% correct. Probably if AI detector says its likely more than 40% than the UAT test case fails and client reject the work.. I believe this will ease lots of complexity.

arooj78
Community Member

Hi Denice. 
I'd suggest you close the contract without asking for a refund. You should've asked for a small paid trial before the complete task.

 

If the freelancer was from Pakistan, feel free to share the proof & content. I'll gladly rewrite it manually for you ( if you don't ask for a refund )

 

Now, the technical part of the question.
Upwork can't & shouldn't deduct money from future milestones for a mistake that happened in the previous milestone. Make sense?
Either the freelancer would have to initiate a refund from her/his side or you just close the contract.

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