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udem06
Member

Does dispute resolution last forever if the parties do not come to an agreement or use arbitration?

Beacuse my argument for not paying the contractor technically falls under the category of "subjective" and "my opinion", please review my altered version of events and assume that it is 100% fact so that we can stay on the topic of the dispute resolution process itself and not whether or not I am right or wrong.

 

Assume I work in a business where I create children's books. In the book I am creating, I need an image of a purple rectangle. So I created a job in which the contractor was asked to create a jpeg of a purple rectangle. The contractor DID work on the project and I am convinced he DID put forth his best effort; however, what he did not do was deliver a jpeg of a purple rectangle.  He submitted a blue square.

 

It turns out, the software that the contractor uses is not capable of creating the color purple. Blue is as close as it can get. His software is also not robust enough to create rectangles. Squares are as close as it can get.

 

The contractor and I both agree that the work is not what I wanted but he argues that he should be paid anyways because he did the work (which he did). I, on the other hand, can not use the work and do not feel I should be forced to pay. We entered dispute mediation and have been responding through the "dispute mediation specialists" for an eternity now. After realizing that no solution wouldnt be reached, the specialist told me that the only option I had was to escalate to arbitration ($200 is my portion of the fee) to get a refund of my money they're holding in escrow (my contract in dispute is $200). She ultimately suggested that I come up with an amount that I am comfortable giving to the freelancer to make him release the dispute. Leaving my emotions out of this and the fact that I feel its completely unfair, I am now only concerned with what happens if neither side budges. It was a fixed price contract and the money is being held in escrow by upwork. So does it just stay there forever or until one of us dies... Let me know what you guys think. If anyone had a similar situation, please let me know how you handled it.

Spoiler
 

 

Thanks.

ACCEPTED SOLUTION


@Marcus U wrote:

The freelancer knows that the work did not meet the specifications but argues that "that's as close as it will get". (Which is correct, given hes current resources)...


Well, in that case, the freelancer needed to inform you the moment he realized he could not produce. Technically, he violated the contract, thus is not not entitled to payment.

 

HOWEVER.....

 

Since the next step is arbitration and the fee is $200 and the contract is $200, you gain nothing by going that route. If I were in your position, I would offer $50.00 to the freelancer for the "best effort" attempt. That cuts your loss by 75%. Hopefully, the freelancer will accept. 

 

To avoid this situation in the future, if specific tools/ software are needed to complete the work to spec, then make sure to include that info in the job listing and confirm the freelancer has the tools during the interview.

 

Hope this helps.  

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5 REPLIES 5
jadt65
Member

If I put my mediator hat on, they way I see the situation as you described: 

 

  1. The freelancer agreed to deliverables as per your specs
  2. When they freelancer could not do the work as agreed, he/she modified w/o consulting you. 
  3. You agree the freelancer did make a "best effort attempt,"  but the work product was not usable. 

Question: Did the freelancer know the work did not meet specs?

 

The freelancer knows that the work did not meet the specifications but argues that "that's as close as it will get". (Which is correct, given hes current resources)...


@Marcus U wrote:

The freelancer knows that the work did not meet the specifications but argues that "that's as close as it will get". (Which is correct, given hes current resources)...


Well, in that case, the freelancer needed to inform you the moment he realized he could not produce. Technically, he violated the contract, thus is not not entitled to payment.

 

HOWEVER.....

 

Since the next step is arbitration and the fee is $200 and the contract is $200, you gain nothing by going that route. If I were in your position, I would offer $50.00 to the freelancer for the "best effort" attempt. That cuts your loss by 75%. Hopefully, the freelancer will accept. 

 

To avoid this situation in the future, if specific tools/ software are needed to complete the work to spec, then make sure to include that info in the job listing and confirm the freelancer has the tools during the interview.

 

Hope this helps.  

iaabraham
Member

If you made it clear in the job description that you required a purple rectangle, and if the contractor agreed to deliver this to you, then I don't see why you should have to pay. A deal's a deal; no purple rectangle = no pay.

(I'm of course assuming that you clearly stated the requirements and that you didn't change these later on.)

I see it the same way.

 

No purple triangle - work was not completed as directed and not delivered.

 

You should not have to pay anything unless the purple triangle is delivered.

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