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Dispute comes to light after contract ended - how to raise the problem?

Active Member
Alpesh P Member Since: Nov 27, 2018
1 of 9

I used bookeepers who were charging me per week on Upwork. They made lots of errors and my accountants in the UK had to charge me extra to fix them. The bookeepers on upwork knowing I would raise a dispute then once my year end accounts were completed, quickly closed the contract.

I have proof from my accountants the errors were costly and substantial and could only be discovered after the work was done, and the help of the bookeepers was needed to correct them at the direction of my UK accountants, so we could not raise the dispute during their weekly billing.

The bookeepers are now ignoring communication and I cannot even find where to leave feedback - as its after they closed the contract, but I need to reclaim $2500 from them which is aprox half of what I paid them during the life of the contract. The firm is **edited for Community Guidelines**. They have lots of people who have 'no feedback left' as they must have done the same trick on them too - leaving a trail of costly mistakes. I even had the UK authorities sending a letter to shut down the company. These people are dangerous in my opinion. 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 9

re: "I need to reclaim $2500 from them which is aprox half of what I paid them during the life of the contract"

 

Alpesh:

I'm sorry that you had a bad experience with the freelancers you hired on Upwork.

 

But that's not how this works.

 

You paid money for the work that they did. That's in the past. There is no "reclaim" button or dispute process that can be used in your situation.

 

There ARE a number of payment protection policies that protect clients, but they don't apply to this situation.

Active Member
Alpesh P Member Since: Nov 27, 2018
3 of 9
Not via Upwork, but there is in the courts. Our lawyers have told us due to
the negligence of the bookeepers, there is a claim in tort. That it was
discoverable after the Upwork contract closed doesn’t matter. So that’s not
how it may work on Upwork, but freelancers are not above the law.
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
4 of 9

I don't disagree that you had a bad experience.

 

But you're saying you want to go to court to try to recover $2500?

 

I guess in England it MIGHT make sense, because losers pay winners' legal fees. But if the bookeepers don't live in England as well, you won't have jurisdiction. So you won't actually be able to sue them or recover any judgements.


In the United States, this wouldn't work because it would cost so much more in lawyer's fees than you could recover.

 

Whether you're in England or the United States, it's simply not economical to hire substandard, error-prone bookkeepers and then pay more expensive people to fix the other people's mistakes, and then take people to court.

 

The solution you're looking for is better bookkeepers and accountants and/or better record-keeping software and systems - not tort and lawsuits.

Community Leader
Matthew T Member Since: Nov 18, 2017
5 of 9

Alpesh P wrote:
Not via Upwork, but there is in the courts. Our lawyers have told us due to
the negligence of the bookeepers, there is a claim in tort. That it was
discoverable after the Upwork contract closed doesn’t matter. So that’s not
how it may work on Upwork, but freelancers are not above the law.

Had an attorney or a representative counseled you about the situation with the individual you hired I would think they might have also counseled you from making posts regarding the issue until such time as they were able to contact their fellows here.

 

In Texas, a tort claim can only be filed against a government agency, involving personal injury... I must be way oversimplifying it though, this came from a quick Google about tort claims, does a tort claim have a different meaning in the UK.

 

Community Guru
Vivek K Member Since: May 28, 2016
6 of 9
There is a difference between having 'a valid cause for legal remedy' and 'being actually able to get that remedy.'

If the freelancer just returns your money on receipt of legal notice, then that is one thing but otherwise it is going to be very difficult, time consuming, extremely costly with no guarantee of success, especially when the freelancer is in a different jurisdiction.

If you ( and not just your lawyers) find it worthwhile to pursue it despite all the troubles and cost which you will need to undertake , you should definitely go for it.
Just be sure that you are not cutting your nose to spite the face as the saying goes.
Good Luck with whatever you choose to do.
Personally, I tend to agree with Preston that you should invest in better systems and people more than in lawsuits.
Community Guru
Vivek K Member Since: May 28, 2016
7 of 9
About not being able to leave feedback:

Feedback can be left within 14 days of contract closing. If the contract was closed within 14 days, you can go to Upwork>Jobs>All contracts
Then select specific contract and go to terms and setting section, you will be able to leave feedback from there.
Moderator
Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
8 of 9

Hi Alpesh, 

I'm sorry to hear that this contract with this freelancer didn't work out. I understand you are frustrated about it, but I encourage you not to share specific details about the issue here in the Community especially since it may misrepresent the situation. We will not be able to discuss the details here because it's a public Community but please be assured that a member of the team will reach out to you to assist you further.


-Avery
Untitled
Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
9 of 9

If the freelancers are not in the same area/country as you, it's fruitless to pursue a law suite against them. I'm not a lawyer, but I think that would involved international law and that will be a LOT more expensive then the amount you paid to the freelancer(s). In the U.S. I think as long as both client and freelancers are in the same jurisdiction, you can go to small claims court. 

 

If this was an hourly job, you had something like 5 days to review a freelancers work. If you found errors, you can close the contract at any time, and for whatever reason. If this was a fixed rate contract, you have 30 in with you can initiate a dispute. 

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