Reply
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply

Dispute - Fixed-Price Contract, 0% delivered, freelancer wants payment for their time?

Active Member
Richard M Member Since: Jun 1, 2016
1 of 40

Hi,

This is our first time hiring on here, and unfortuantely it has not been a pleasant experience.

We entered a fixed-price contract with a freelancer, with the only milestone being the completion of the project.

In the initial converstaions with the freelancer we  offered to break the payment into smaller milestones on the basis that they delivered satisfactory work at these points.

The freelancer declined saying payment upon completion would be fine. The project had an anticitpated timeframe of two weeks which the freelancer agreed would be more than acceptable.

After 5 days into the project the freelancer asks if they can set milestones, as they need money to fix their car.

They stated that they can set the milestones up in Upwork. No milestones are set.

They stated a date at which they will be able to present work for the first milestone which would make up 60% of the total payment. The date passes and they do not deliver requesting more time. Two more days pass during which the freelancer claims they need to go to hospital. The freelancer locks our website with a username and password, so we cannot see what work has been done so far. When the freelancer 'returns' from hospital, again they offer to submit the work they have achieved so far. This is not submitted through Upwork as a milestone which they said they would create. The freelancer after 8 days, 2 days of which they said were at the hospital, presents to us a generic downloaded eCommerce template, with no customisation. They state they have been working on the backend and this is why there is nothing to see. We ask if we can see the backend working, they state they cannot show this and need more time. At this point we have lost all confidence in the freelancer for broken promises and non-deliverables and cancel their contract. The freelancer raises a dispute claiming they want to be reimbursed for a week of their time. This has now been in mediation for 6 days, we would like to know if for any reason our Escrow money will not be released back to us? It is quite urgent that we complete this project which was due on June 1st, however we have lost confidence in client protection through Upwork, and dont want to put up another $500 into Escrow , leaving us $1000 out of pocket, and begin the hiring process again.

 

On a side note, at the beginning of the project, the freelancer got us to sign up to his hosting company and pay 12 months subscription up front, which we foolishly did. We have had to fight this with him also via Paypal.

 

Your thoughts and advice is appreciated.

 

Highlighted
Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
2 of 40

Richard,

 

From everything you wrote, you should win the dispute hands down, but, Upwork has the benefit of hearing the freelancer's side of the story. As a web developer I would never lock your 'website with a username and password, so we cannot see what work has been done so far,' nor would I sign you up for webhosting. If you didn't have webhosting to start with, then either you would get one of your own choosing or I would temporarily host it for you gratis. And while I may ask you not to modify the site while I worked on it, there would be no need to prevent you from viewing it.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Highlighted
Active Member
Richard M Member Since: Jun 1, 2016
3 of 40

Hi John,

Yes it did seem a bit strange that we got locked out from our own website, especially just before the freelancer said they would present their completed work to us.  Thanks for the advice regarding hosting.

 

Regards

Highlighted
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
4 of 40

Freelancers love the hospital excuse! It makes me afraid for the day when I actually do get sick and have to maybe go to the hospital. I'm gonna feel like there is no way the client will believe me.

 

It's always they were in the hospital orrrr their kid is in the hospital. These are the goto excuses of the flakey freelancers.

Highlighted
Community Guru
Katrina B Member Since: Jan 9, 2011
5 of 40

@Jennifer M wrote:

Freelancers love the hospital excuse! It makes me afraid for the day when I actually do get sick and have to maybe go to the hospital. I'm gonna feel like there is no way the client will believe me.

 

It's always they were in the hospital orrrr their kid is in the hospital. These are the goto excuses of the flakey freelancers.


Ikr,  what's bad is I actually have that excuse, but I don't use it lolol because I think it brings bad luck to lie about something like that.  I have to go in twice a month and get blood for an anemia disorder.  I just started taking my laptop with me.  Nurses get a kick out of it.  

 

My husband had an employee one time that his grandmother died every other week and after about the fourth one he said how many grandma's do you have anyway?   

"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"
Highlighted
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
6 of 40

lol @ your husband's employee. I worked with a guy who would have his gf clock in and send a few emails early in the morning to show that he was there, but then disappeared. When our boss asked wehre he was he said he had to get a coffin for his grandma. He did this for a month until the stupids in the management seats figured out that he was just clocking in to go home for the day. lol

 

Whenever a freelancer flaked on me it was always hospital excuse. That's why if my car goes in the shop or I have something going on, I at least try to give a heads up before I do it so it doesn't look like I'm full of it. lol

Highlighted
Active Member
Richard M Member Since: Jun 1, 2016
7 of 40

Hi,
Yes in our situation the hospital sick note was all the more suspicious, as it was rang in one hour before the freelancer had arranged to present the webiste to us. Following that we were locked out from the website for the next two days whilst they were on the hospital bed, unable to check if any progress had been made, prior to the illness.
We don't wish anyone to be sick, and obviously the flip side is that you wouldn't want to be calling someone out when they are genuinely sick, as Katrina highlights, this is very possible. However in light of the evidence it did seem a little too convienient. 
Also to follow on from the Hosting Site saga, once we cancelled the contract with the freelancer, we recieved an email from the Hosting Company, telling us that our login information to the Cpanel of the hosting had now been changed (to our email address with a no.2 at the end). So we were now also unable to login to the backend of the website to check if any work that the freelancer claimed they had been working on for the past 8 days was present.

When we asked the freelancer to refund the years hosting subscription they had setup for us, they said they did not know when we would get the refund but would raise a ticket to the hosting company.

 

The back story of this is that during the intial few days of communication with the freelancer, we suspected something was not quite right with the line of questioing from them regarding our business. We contacted Upwork who suggested getting a confidentiality agreement signed. Eventually we got this signed by him, and requested a copy of the his Id card also. When we compared the address on the Id card to the Hosting Companies invoice address they were the same.

 

We did not get a reply regarding our refund from the Hosting Company, so we had to begin a claim with Paypal quoting the terms and conditions of the hosting company website, which stated a full refund if you were not happy within 30 days. After the refund request, the terms of the hosting companies website were also changed, to state that a refund would only be issued between 4 - 30 days if the website was found to not be working. The freelancer is a law unto himself. In the claim to Paypal the Hosting Company replied stating that they had no responsibility for the agreement between us and our web developer, failing to mention that they are one and the same person, and also as we found out, keen to advertise this on social media.

 

The good news is that Upwork seem to be taking action on this now, so hopefully we will get our money released back to us soon.

Thanks to those who have input.

Regards

Highlighted
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
8 of 40

Richard: Pretty much everything this "freelancer" did was completely unacceptable. It sounds like he is nothing but a scammer.

Highlighted
Active Member
Chen Fong G Member Since: Oct 8, 2017
9 of 40

Sorry, I have a similar problem to this opening poster so I was reading this thread, but Jennifer M I find your post really amusing.

 

Yup, we've hired people whose entire family 'died' in the course of 1 month. Eventually the claims got too outrageous. I can accept 1 family member dying and another being rushed to hospital for an unrelated issue within the same month, but when you multiply the odds of everything happening (6 family members going down for various reasons) it becomes a one in an octillion event. You're more likely to win that $1.6 billion Powerball lottery.

Highlighted
Community Guru
Ines H Member Since: Feb 15, 2017
10 of 40

@Chen Fong G wrote:

... (6 family members going down for various reasons) ...


I just spit my coffee all over the keyboard Smiley LOL

TOP SOLUTION AUTHORS
TOP KUDOED MEMBERS