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Dispute question,

Active Member
Tarek Z Member Since: Jan 29, 2019
1 of 7

Hello Folks,

 

I have not yet created a project on here, however, just preparing for the worst I only have a question related if a dispute ever happens.

 

I intend to create a contract document between myself and the potential freelancer about building a website for me. However, I am creating the contract in the form of delivering a 100% full functioning and accepted product, not as a paid service through effort and time.

 

So, If the freelancer agrees to those terms and a dispute occurs for whatever reason, normally, if the product has not been delivered and accepted then a full refund is expected to the buyer as per the contract, is that a safe assumption? Alternatively, will this go through a dispute process where the buyer will have to compensate the freelancer for work done even though the contract says otherwise?

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 7

Tarek:

Here are some tips for success as a client on Upwork:

 

- There are no disputes.

- There is no arbitration.

- There are no refunds.

 

None of these statements are "factually true."

 

But these are truths that successful clients live by.

 

re: "I am creating the contract in the form of delivering a 100% full functioning and accepted product, not as a paid service through effort and time."

 

This is what is known as "a recipe for failure."

 

If you don't want to pay for work you can't use, then you will never create anything worthwhile.

 

If you want to actually create a successful product, then you will want to hire a number of freelancers, and continue working only with those who provide you with the best value. Throw out the stuff that doesn't measure up. Keep only the work that meets your quality standards. Your project manager will help you review the work that has been submitted and help you decide who to fire and who to keep working with.

 

Do NOT try to get somebody to deliver a 100% fully functioning product, unless the size and scope of your project is trivial. For anything significant, work needs to be done in a modular fashion. Each piece should be reviewed and tested. You may still use fixed-price contracts instead of hourly contracts, but you would set up contracts for demonstrable, usable modules that will add up to constitute an entire system.

Active Member
Tarek Z Member Since: Jan 29, 2019
3 of 7

Hi Preston,

 

so you're basically saying that I should rely on trial and error until I find the right resource for me? , if that's the case then the whole dispute process is meaningless.

 

my project is a personal startup with very clear requirements, if the freelancer is capable and knows he can deliver, then he/she got nothing to fear, I actually want them to succeed because that's why I'm here, not to create disputes.

 

I had a past bad experience when a freelancer who claimed they know what they're doing and are able to deliver the project but ended up wasting 3 months on a dysfunctional landing page and was asking for compensation for the 3 months he spent working on it.

 

I guess you can understand where I'm coming from, I just want to know if Upwork would protect me if things went south.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
4 of 7

re: "so you're basically saying that I should rely on trial and error until I find the right resource for me? , if that's the case then the whole dispute process is meaningless."

 

You are correct.

The dispute process is meaningless for clients.

It can be helpful for freelancers, but it is meaningless and counter-productive for a client to use the dispute process. It is even more meaningless for a client to PLAN to use the dispute process.

 

re: "I guess you can understand where I'm coming from, I just want to know if Upwork would protect me if things went south."

 

I completely understand where you are coming from.

 

It is vitally important for you to understand that Upwork will not protect you if things go south. That is not something that Upwork promises to do.

 

If you want to:

- save money

- save time

- get the project done on time

- ensure quality

 

...then the first thing to do is throw out disputes. Don't just promise yourself that you will not use disputes. Make yourself believe that refunds and dispute processes don't exist. At least not for you.

 

Now that you have freed yourself from those anchors, you can move on to actually succeeding while using Upwork.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
5 of 7

re: "I had a past bad experience when a freelancer who claimed they know what they're doing and are able to deliver the project but ended up wasting 3 months on a dysfunctional landing page and was asking for compensation for the 3 months he spent working on it."

 

That is not how to use Upwork (or any platform) to ensure success and save time and money. Instead, do this:

 

Hire freelancers to work on the website. Don't wait 3 months. After A COUPLE HOURS review their work with your project manager. Three of the freelancers turned in mediocre, buggy work. After a few days, 2 of the freelancers haven't turned in anything at all. But 2 of the freelancers turned in good, quality work. Continue working with them. Close the contracts on all the others. Continue to work only with the freelancers who provide you with the work you want for the best value. If somebody isn't meeting deadlines, that's fine. Stop working with them and work with new people. Continue to build up your project with quality, confirmed work. Add functionality one piece at a time, all the while testing it.

 

This is not the only way to get a project done. But this description encapsulates some important principles:

 

- Upwork allows you to close contracts AT ANY TIME, for ANY REASON. Or for no reason at all. Use that flexibility!

 

- You want to have continued success and progress in developing your project. You don't want to sequentially hire individual freelancers to create monolithic failures, thus never getting closer to your goal.

 

- If you don't hire an independent project manager, and if you're incapable of serving as the project manager, then it means that the lead developer is the project manager. But only 20% of lead developers are capable of serving as their own project manger. So if that's your situation, it means that the project has an 80% chance of failure.

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
BEST ANSWER
6 of 7

Tarek Z wrote:

Hello Folks,

 

I have not yet created a project on here, however, just preparing for the worst I only have a question related if a dispute ever happens.

 

I intend to create a contract document between myself and the potential freelancer about building a website for me. However, I am creating the contract in the form of delivering a 100% full functioning and accepted product, not as a paid service through effort and time.

 

So, If the freelancer agrees to those terms and a dispute occurs for whatever reason, normally, if the product has not been delivered and accepted then a full refund is expected to the buyer as per the contract, is that a safe assumption? Alternatively, will this go through a dispute process where the buyer will have to compensate the freelancer for work done even though the contract says otherwise?


Upwork can't decide who gets the money when a dispute happens. You go into mediation where a mediator tries to get you to come to a settlement. If you don't settle, then it goes into arbitration. When it goes into arbitration, you are given the opportunity to upload your contract. 

 

So I suppose a freelancer might sign a contract like that, but if he/she is able to punch holes in it, you still might have to pay out. 

Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
7 of 7

IMO, Make sure all requirements are understood between both parties. I'm not a web developer/designer, but I've heard of problems concerning source files. If that is involved in your job, make sure it's addressed on if you get them or have to pay extra. 

 

Split the job up into milestones, (for a big job you never pay all at once at the end.) and make sure the requirements are presented to you before you move to the next milestone. 

 

If you are unsure as to how the work is going, whether the work is up to the requirements and if the freelancer is on time it's best to hire a project manager with Website experience to keep track of everything. He/she can let you know if the job is progressing as it should be, how good the work is etc. If you see anything not right, you have the right to close the contract, any time, any reason, and look for another freelancer. You shouldn't have to wait 3 months to find out that the work is not up to par.

 

Should a dispute take place, whether on your part or the freelancers, an Upwork mediator will basically tell you to try and work out an arrangement that's agreeable to both of you. If that can't be done, then you both go to arbitration where EACH party pays $291. Neither party gets that back unless one of you does not pay that fee. 

 

As long as you keep on track with the freelancer, everything should go ok. 

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