I have a problem with a client. I hired them to do a job with various tasks. The freelancer began the work on my wesite and was paid in full. At the last payment I expressed that I needed to review work that was doin again before we end the contract. Thats when I realized that much of the work that was completed was overwritten. So I lost much the work that they had done. They also had not completed the work. The freelancer continues to tell me he will complete the job. And begins working on the site again. He completely destroys the biggest part of this job. And because my website is based on images my users can not upload pictures at all from a desktop computer anymore due to the freelancer maliciously destroying the work. Note: Prior to hiring him users were able to upload images. He tells me he cant do some of the work that was requested in our agreement now and if I want him to fix what he broke he wants me to close the contract and hire him and pay him again! Thats extortion! So I ask Upwork to step in they say well when you pay the milestone the work is considerred completed. Well even if it were which it wasn't it still gives the freelancer NO right to destroy the work on my site then ask for more money! The freelancer is clearly attempting to extort more money out of me by destroying work on my site after payment and demanding that I pay more money to do the job I already paid them for. When they refuse, Upwork says, well pay us $291 for legal arbitration! I thought UpWork didn't allow such illegal activities!
I do understand that when funds are released they work is considerred approved. I was not aware of this when I trusted the freelancer with payment and explained that I did not have a chance to review it. But the freelancer was fully aware that the work was not approved. And then freelancer malisciously destroyed work on my site after recieving payment and according to the rules if the work is considerred approved he should not have touched my site again with out another contract. And should not have destroyed the work that was done.
What to do next?
re: "What to do next?"
Do not work with this freelancer any more. He is not a person you can trust. Do not pay this freelancer any more money.
Hire an independent project manager or perform the tasks that a project manager would perform yourself. Important among these is securing the files that are submitted for your project in a safe place that you have access to but no freelancers have access to. This way you will not run into difficulties if anybody working on the project either accidentally or intentionally deletes files.
Hire other freelancers and only continue working with people whose work you value and who demonstrate that they can be trusted. I think you hired only one freelancer for this project. For a project of this size, that is a mistake. How do you know the one freelancer you hired is the best person for the project? You don't.
But the very most important thing to do at this point is to accept 100% that you will not get any money back that you paid to this freelancer. You can only move forward and succeed if you let go of the problems you had in the past and move forward with a team you can trust.
Thank you for your feedback. I would never work with this freelancer again anyway. Its actually a company that he works for and they continued to upload and overwrite files. At this point they are the worst company/freelancer I have done any business with. I am surprised that UpWork allows this type of conduct though. I called and they told me they would deactivate my account if I put in a Paypal dispute regaurding this kind of fraudulent activity. This is a hard lesson learned.
"You can only move forward and succeed if you let go of the problems you had in the past and move forward with a team you can trust." So true...
Eric, you can leave a feedback on the his profile wnen you close the job. You need to do this.
As you already figured it, the right way do to subcontracting is:
- review the job
- pay the contractor.
Never the other way around.
These kinds of shenanigans are one of the main reasons many Upwork clients refuse to work with agencies and companies.
There are good agencies and good companies. But many clients have been burned too many times in their dealings with these groups. So there are indeed many clients who only hire independent freelancers. For larger projects, they hire multiple freelancers and will often hire project managers to work with the team.
But the "team" is a group of freelancers that the client or project manager or hiring manager choose to hire - not a formal agency or company.
Eric wrote, "I am surprised that UpWork allows this type of conduct though. I called and they told me they would deactivate my account if I put in a Paypal dispute regaurding this kind of fraudulent activity."
I'm sorry you had this horrible experience and even though Upwork rules may prevent them from refunding your money, they should immediately terminate the freelancer instead of threatening you with termination.
ETA: Incidentally, this is a classic case that shows the importance of making frequent, redundant backups of important websites, so you can always revert back to an older version of the site that works properly.
John, I agree with you. For what ever it is worth, when ever a freelancer or client has been proven to display fraudulent aftivity such as destroying work on my site when they claimed they would be completing it, that members account should be deactivated. I should not be penalized because I upheld my end of the agreement. After payment has been made there should be rules regaurding Freelancers tampering with the work.
I guess its a loop hole for freelancers to take advantage of clients.
I am extremely sorry for the advice which you posted, but i am associated with such a company who never fools client and we allocate dedicated project managers who handels the job in much more efficient way than a freelancer can do by his own.. However i do agree that most of the clients do like to work with freelancers..
Why upwork introduce a way via which agencies need to be bound to provide a support for few days or months if anyone trust them. I am not sure if this can be a solution but it will definately make our upwork much cleaner and equal to freelancers and agengies..
I'm sorry you've had a bad experience with a freelancer. As others have already suggested on this thread, please share your experience in your feedback once your close the contract. I also see that our dispute team has been helping you with the case and will also review freelancer's actions.
Unfortunately, only the amount in Escrow is covered by Upwork Fixed-Price Protection. Once the payment is released to the freelancer, it's not covered. In the future, please make sure to release the payment from Escrow once you received and reviewed the work.