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Dispute over a project and Upwork's Lack of Support

Active Member
Abrar A Member Since: Jan 26, 2016
1 of 6

Hello there, 

This is first time I am posting something as I am hihgly frustrated after waiting for over 25 days for Upwork to respond and support my case.

I am a top rated developer here and I was promised Top Rated Support but until now I don't even have any causal support.

Anyway: I posted a project that was supposed to be completed in 3 weeks but the developer tooks 4 months. 
I was patient because a developer before him had already tried and didn't complete the project. So I was patient.

I even paid the first milestone (300UD) as soon as I saw some progress and I mentioned on the invoice that certain features were not working and the money was released in good faith.

Anyhow, four months later the issues from the first mileston were not fixed and he did some work from the second escrowed milstone.

Well after going back and forth for 4 months I gave him a deadline and he disappeared for 3 weeks before I cancelled the project.


The developer filed a dispute request and Upwork sent me a haliarious email telling me that the escrow funds would be released to the incompetent devleoper after 14 days.

Anyway, I reached out to them, explained the whole thing but they don't respond (they did once but that's it).

I wanted to ask for my 300USD back from the first milestone as the developer didn't give me any source code. He didn't even give me the paid version (that I intended to sell to other users) to review even. He kept saying I had to release the money to see it and I kept telling him that things don't work from the first milestone, how one earth I would release money for an unfinished project.

Anyway the situation is that Upwork is quiet. The developer is quiet and he is NOT giving me the source code for the first paid milestone. ( I would like my money back though instead of that buggy mess)

I consider it fraud on his behalf as he never let me see the paid version of my OWN app (second and third milestone). And Upwork is not doing anything. I never had any issues on Elance but It's a shame I wasted my 4 months and Upwork can't even resolve the issue. On the other hand I work very hard for my own clients and I am a top rated developer who is now left alone without any help paying 10% of his hard earned money to incompetent support and incompetent developers. (Arrgghh!!)

I thought I should atleast get it out to the community as no one else has time to hear this story.


I think the money from the escrow is in my account but not sure how to take it out. The navigation isn't user friendly at all.



Active Member
Mirza B Member Since: Dec 30, 2015
2 of 6

I think your post is in wrong Sub-Forum. Try "Clients" one...

Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
3 of 6

Hi Abrar,


I have checked and it looks like the money for the second milestone that were funded in Escrow has been refunded to you and is currently on your Upwork account.


As for the funds that you released to the freelancer 4 months ago, Upwork has no access to them anymore and they can't be disputed. Please, note that the client releases funds from Escrow at their own discretion and we suggest doing so only once that milestone is completed.


I apologize if this has caused you frustration and inconvenience.

~ Valeria
Active Member
Abrar A Member Since: Jan 26, 2016
4 of 6

Thank you for your response.

But 2 things:

1. No matter what the situation is, I should be responded to.

2. I can understand how money can't be returned from a paid milestone but I was promised on a support chat (logs avialble) that I am entitled to get the source code of the first milestone. Ofcourse I do not need that buggy code but atleast I get something. 

But given that my freelancer isn't giving me the source code (Chat is available) , this is a violation, and it should be dealt with. I was promised that in that case help will be given. Should a freelancer not agree with the terms Upwork should be able to freeze their account or something. Ideally, if the case is proven then you should be able to take the funds out of the freelancer's account.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
5 of 6

Abrar, there is no excuse whatsoever for the contractor's actions.


A programmer who accepts payment for his programming work, but does not provide you with the work product (including source code) that you paid for is committing a serious ethical error. Such a programmer should, if I had my way, never be hired again to work as a programmer.


But there are limitations to what Upwork can do when it comes to getting in the middle of disputes between contractors and clients. You made tactical and procedural errors with regards to your use of Upwork as a tool. Upwork can't undo all those errors.


With fixed-price contracts, a contractor should submit the work that he did for you, and then you should review the work and pay for it. This is a fairly straightforward and logic process.


If you already paid the contractor months ago, and the contractor has your money, it is not clear to me what it is you want Upwork to do at this point.


If the main issue now is simply that you want the second milestone money returned to you, then this might be something others who have had such an experience can explain better than I can. It was my understanding that such a payment, never released to a contractor, would automatically be refunded to your credit card.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
6 of 6

re: "No matter what the situation is, I should be responded to."


I believe that as both a contractor and client, the most tactically sound strategy, the strategy which maximizes my profits and minimizes wasted time, is to plan to do everything possible using the Upwork interface as it currently exists, communicating directly with clients/contractors and working out issues directly with them.


No matter what, I never count on being able to resolve any conflict between myself and another Upwork user through customer service. I advise against thinking of customer service as a resource which will be able to fix things if a contractor or client wrongs me. I proactively act in such a way that I will not need to contact them.


There is a difference between "Upwork should do something" and "Upwork will do something."


There is a difference between "Upwork says we can contact customer service if..." and "I personally will contact customer service if..."