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Contractual Non-Compliance: Seeking Guidance on Payment Discrepancies

Hello Everyone, 

The freelancer did not comply with our contractual agreement and submitted an incomplete project.

They informed me that the project requires a two-month extension and requested payment for an additional 300 hours (equivalent to approximately $4,500).


Given our payment structure, which is based on hourly rates, I would like to inquire about the possibility of canceling the contract and receiving a complete refund of the amount already paid.

What appropriate course of action should be pursued in light of this situation?



Community Member

Its unfortunate you experienced such from a freelancer. There is a step you can take to resolsve such a dispute between you and the client. 

  1. Go to Jobs › My Jobs and click the title of the contract.
  2. Choose the (…) options menu and select Request a refund.
  3. Complete the request form and click Send Request.

If you need further guide and clarifcation you can check through this article on how to request for refund.

Request for Refund article 


**Edited for Community Guidelines**




Hi Rasha,


Filing a dispute through Upwork’s process must be based on the hours a freelancer has billed you for. This means you cannot file a dispute because you are not satisfied with the quality of the freelancer’s work. In those cases, you and your freelancer should discuss the matter and work together to resolve any issues. You can also request a refund from your freelancer. If you still can’t resolve the issue and are within 30 days of payment, please contact Upwork Support to learn about our mediation assistance (see the escrow instructions for details). At that point, we can ask the freelancer to provide a refund but we can not force any action.

~ AJ
Community Member

Hi Everyone! I'm kind of pretty new here but I'd like to start getting some hourly contract where it regards to my freelance career. I have for the pass year only gotten like Romance Books on fiix rate. I've spent so much money on connects where it concern and outside promotion. I'm not getting no jobs at all. Can you please advice me or if there's any direct clients here want to send me invitation? I'd be happy to collaborate
Community Member

I'm in a similar situation. I'm turning here to forums like you as Upwork is quite useless in this scenario. To clarify you stated that your contract is Hourly?    If so, you only have a 5 day window from each weekly transaction. After that you will not get any further back. Upwork will open a dispute and assist a mediation thread in which they will do nothing and take zero action. They may make a recommendation but the other party will have to agree to it, which they do not have to. Therefore it's virtually meaningless unless it gets communication open if it were stalled. 


In my case I provided proof that there was a breach of contract on a hourly contract and Upwork is not doing anything about it since the agency on the other end is "top rated" and brings in more revenue from fees. They have zero incentive to unwind payments already made and settled. 

As a real and experienced freelancer (on upwork, but mostly not on upwork) I can tell you upwork does not care....for you or me.  It's unfortunate that you, and OP are dealing with this type of....well, person.  More than likely, they are flat out lying, and its wrecking upwork/freelancer/other freelancing platforms client base.  

If you have been in contact, set milestones, and have received submitted work that actually brings your project closer to completion, getting a full refund may be unfortunately a loosing battle.  While it sounds like your freelancer is likely a dishonest POS, I'm sorry to say, I think you will have a hard time getting back a full refund unless you can display that the freelancer will not allow you access to whatever portion of the job they did complete. In which case, they will likely get banned.  
This is why interviewing , setting milestones, and firing someone who can not meet the agreed upon milestones and terms is so crucial.  When finding local talent for a given project is not working,  upwork is a great resource for honest talented freelancers, however, interacting with absolute trash workers is more common here than in person, hence a more strictt oversight plan is needed.  While most freelancers and not fond having their every move documented by software, the good freelancers here like oversight, milestones, and deadlines....the trash does not.  Upwork likes to give clients the warm feeling that the work will be done exactly the way you hope, but its actually on the client to make sure that happens.
Here is how upwork will approach mediation....

How much work was "completed" between your last  communication with the freelancer and the breach point?
Did you address the breach with the freelancer?
If you recieved an unacceptable response, did you pause/terminate the contract?
If the contract is terminated do you have a salvageable portion of the project in-hand?

Upwork expects you to have the same liabilty on platform, as you would if you had hired the freelancer directly and in person.  If you CAN answer all of these questions, upwork can ethically do nothing to reward or punish either side.  Terminating the contract and giving a bad review is all that can be done.   For a refund, poor workmanship, or work ethic will not cut it, you will have to document examples of fraud / illegal activity.

Im sure thats not what you wanted to hear, but hint....wink.....
I'd bet, more than likely, if you are dealing with a trash worker, you are probably dealing with a fraudulent freelancer....you just have to dig.

Community Member

Now that is funny. Hourly contract exists until work is done. Sometimes it needs extension, more time needed. You want to fully refund for hours already spent on the work? Wow. How they did not comply with the project agreement? If the freelancer has worked on the project and delivered work during that time, they in fact did the work. If it doesn't suit you, ask yourself if your requirements were clear, if you hired the right person, if your communication was constant and precise. If they billed you for hours worked but no work was delivered, well that is another thing and in that case refund is logical. But if they did deliver work but somehow you don't like it, the hours worked are still hours worked. If they need more time discuss it with them. Or close the contract and hire someone else. But refunding hours worked while work is delivered, you just don't like it? No way.

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