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Fixed price project, 90% money paid (not in escrow), freelance closed the project and not responding

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
11 of 17

Preston H wrote:


Refunds are a waste of your time, and have nothing to do with accomplishing your goals.


Well, unless you need the money to hire someone else to do the job. You always seem to overlook that possibility.

Active Member
Slawomir R Member Since: Nov 24, 2015
12 of 17

Hello Promaple,


I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately there is no way for you to avoid losses.

You may get part of the funds back, but I assume at least part of it is lost forever.

You have made few mistakes and, unfortunately, there is no way to avoid consequences. At least you can learn something of it. My few propositions:

1. Every software development milestone should be accepted only after source code is delivered. If you have no source code you have got nothing

2. Be prepared that freelancers may try to deceive you in a clever way. That can always happen and Upwork can do nothing about it

3. Don't believe that you can save 90% of the cost by going to Upwork. Get a quote from your local provider. You will need the budget equal between 30% and 70% of that quote to do the same on Upwork, depending on your location. If you find somebody willing to do the job for less, then become really cautious.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
13 of 17

re: "I hired a freelancer for my mobile app developemnt, 90% of the money is alredy paid ($2200 in milestones) however the build he has delivered has bugs and the app is dysfunctional (totally useless)."


Obviously this freelancer has let you down.

But for the sake of your project, I hope you realize that this means the project manager COMPLETELY FAILED at her job.

Obvioiusly you need a different project manager.

If you are using Upwork properly, and working with a competent project manager, it simply isn't possible to lose that amount of money on "useless" or "dysfnctional" work.


Your project manager is supposed to evaluate the work as it is delivered, check out the source code and files, test it, etc. She should tell you if the work is useless, and she will advise about which freelancers to stop working with and which to continue using on the project.


It sounds like she did none of these things.

Active Member
Promaple S Member Since: Jun 5, 2019
14 of 17

hey Preston- thanks for responding.

I dont really agree that it was PM's fault. To give you a perspective, we were working together quite well and there is always that human factor. the only mistake i did was, i got very comfortable with the developer and trusted him to finish the project.

Even if i would have asked him for the code after every milestone it would still be irrelevant because we made some changes and increased project scope and budget for the last milestone This last milestone was crucial and there is where he let me down. 

Active Member
Irit H Member Since: Jun 5, 2019
15 of 17

Hello Promaple

I believe you can file a dispute to request a refund unless the freelancer will fix the bugs. If you already asked for a refund, wait untill you get a respond from upwork. You may need to hire another freelancer to fix the bugs. I am doubtful  if this application could be comleted with one freelancer, and I am not sure if this is a fair expectation from one freeelancer to complete a mobile up by himself. It seams as these applications need teamwork of freelnacers untill they can be completed .One of my cousines developed a mobile application and I know he hired several freelancers untill the job was done. I have a client that constantly develop applications for mobile and she hires many freelancers to make a progress, not just one. It takes a lot of work to develop a good moble application. 


Active Member
Promaple S Member Since: Jun 5, 2019
16 of 17

Hey Irit- Thanks for responding. I have already lost money by hiring a wrong agency and this was my second attempt. I was close to finish and then this happened. This was a challenging project for sure but because the developer could not fix the recurring bug, he decided to close the contract instead. 


When i opened this dicussion on the forum, Upwork got in touch with me immediately but since then there hasnt been much development. I have emailed support team multiple times but no respone as yet, not sure what is happening. 


Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
17 of 17

re: " I have already lost money by hiring a wrong agency and this was my second attempt"



It really sounds like your approach to this project is insufficiently modular.


All of the money you are spending should be going towards functional, usable pieces which are demonstrated and tested.


You shouldn't be losing money at all. You should be assembling the pieces needed in a stepwise fashion, regardless of changeover in personnel.