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Community Member

Freelancer Complaint

I paid a freelancer for work ages ago and the work should have been delivered February 25th.  I have still received nothing.  The whole experience has been a nightmare as the team in charge of our new website have long since finished.  He constantly makes excuses on the rare occasions that he feels fit to reply to my prompts.  I would like my money back and him banned from your platform!

Community Member

February 25?


That is five months ago.


Are you looking for money associated with something that happened five months ago?


I am sorry if you are feeling disappointed with an experience you had on Upwork, but this is an unusual request. There may be nothing that anyone can do to help you get money back after such a long period of time. But if you provide more information, I will try to answer your questions. Maybe there is a way to get some money to you. It depends on the specifics.


Was this a fixed-price or hourly contract?
How much money in total did you pay that freelancer?
Do you still have an open contact with that freelancer?
What was the freelancer hired to do?

Community Member

Never pay beforehand on upwork. Most of the time it's a scam or it will delay the work, since the freelancer already got their reward.


Hi Andrew,


I'm sorry to hear that the freelancer failed to submit the work on time. I've escalated your concern to the team. One of our agents will reach out and assist you directly via a support ticket.

~ Joanne
Community Member

Andrew S wrote:

 I would like my money back!

Unless the freelancer volunteers to return the money, it won't come back because it has been withdrawn and spent months ago and the 30 day dispute deadline expired months ago


In future, don't pay in advance. Set reasonable milestones, fund them one at a time so the money is in escrow, providing some degree of protection for both the client and the freelancer, then release each milestone payment upon receipt and review of the corresponding deliverables.

As Petra alludes to:

The main way that you can get money back at this point would be if you were to ask the freelancer for a refund, and she voluntarily gave you a refund. Depending on the specific details of your current situation, there are effective strategies that could help make that happen.


Also, if there is any money still in escrow in an open contract, then it is possible for you to end the contract while editing the amount of money to be released to be zero, and then concluding the contract closure process. And then if the freelancer does nothing, all escrow money will be released back to you. (But it seems unlikely that this is a possibility, as you said you already paid the freelancer a long time ago.)


Some tips for anybody reading this thread:
The time to deal with any situation is now. Not later.


It is the CLIENT (not the freelancer) who decides what the time table is for a project. I have personally fired a freelancer five minutes after hiring him, because I stated that I was hiring to work on a project immediately, and he wasn't ready to work. I hired the next candidate, who was indeed ready to work on the project immediately.


If you require a task to be done within a certain amount of time, you can fire the freelancers who fail to do as you require, and continue working only with the members of your team who deliver on time.


If deadlines are important, be sure to use hourly contracts. With hourly contracts, you can fire freelancers at any time, without paying them any money at all if they have not logged any time. If you use a fixed-price contract, then by definition you are tying up money in escrow, and you can't get that back unilaterally. If you hire a freelancer using a fixed-price contract to do a task by Tuesday, and the freelancer doesn't do the task by Tuesday, there IS NO BUTTON that you can click to unilaterally get your money back. You would need to ask for a refund. The freelancer can say no. Even if the freelancer clearly didn't finish the task by the deadline, the freelancer can say no. The client can't simply complain to Upwork about the deadline. It doesn't work that way. So any time you are really focused on a DEADLINE, it make sense to use HOURLY contracts.

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