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Re: Freelancer Fraud?

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Active Member
Ron W Member Since: Jan 28, 2020
1 of 14

I believe a freelancer has committed fraud against us.  Being new to UpWork, I mistakenly entered a new contract in the site when I meant to send this freelancer a message. He took it as a contract, and contacted me.  In his first message he was snippy that my not responding immediately to him would hurt his rating (I was traveling).  We had one phone conversation, in which I outlined our project, and he promised to send me a proposal for services. A week later, after no contact from him, I received an email from the UpWork site saying that he charged us more than $1,000! There was no proposal, no pre-approved fees, and certainly no work submitted to us. I have cancelled the contract, but that appears to have made my ability to demand a refund from him go away.  How do I get a refund in this situation?  Thank you.  

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Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
2 of 14

Was this an hourly contract or fixed price? It seems odd that you sent a contract instead of a message. As a client I have done both, and I'm not even sure how you would mistake a contract for a message.

 

If it was hourly, you should be able to dispute the hours. For them to have billed you for $1000 fixed price, you would have to put the funds in escrow, which it does not sound like you did. I believe you can still file a dispute and take it to arbitration if necessary. Hopefully a moderator will chime in and address your concern directly,  as it sounds like you need direct customer support rather than feedback from the community. 

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Active Member
Ron W Member Since: Jan 28, 2020
3 of 14
I know, it was a beginner mistake. I explained that to the freelancer and he understood. How do I pursue with UpWork? Thanks
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Moderator
Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
4 of 14

Hi Ron, 

Please give me some time to review your case, and I'll get back to you with more information on how you can move forward with your concern. 


-Avery
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Community Guru
Richard W Member Since: Jun 22, 2017
5 of 14

Amanda L wrote:

Was this an hourly contract or fixed price? It seems odd that you sent a contract instead of a message. As a client I have done both, and I'm not even sure how you would mistake a contract for a message.


As a freelancer I've had several clients, new to Upwork, who've clicked the Hire button instead of the Invite button, and so they've sent me a job offer immediately. Since the default job type is Hourly, these have been hourly job offers. And I believe the default time limit is 40 hours. So if I was unscrupulous I could have immediately accepted the offer and clocked up 40 hours on the time tracker before the end of the week, and before the client was aware of what was happening. I suspect this is what happened to Ron.

 

P.S. I think clicking the Hire button should bring up a warning screen telling the user they are about to enter into a contract, and that it's usual to invite the freelancer to an interview first.

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Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
6 of 14

Richard wrote: 

 I think clicking the Hire button should bring up a warning screen telling the user they are about to enter into a contract, and that it's usual to invite the freelancer to an interview first.

 

 Richard I very much hope that the mods have seen your suggestion, and will see that it is implemented. I also hope that if the OP does not get his money back, the freelancer has his account removed. 

[ETA: sorry about the name mix-up if you saw it! ] 

Active Member
Ron W Member Since: Jan 28, 2020
7 of 14
Thank you. With the help of UpWork’s team, the freelancer has made a full refund.

Ron

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Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
8 of 14

Ron W wrote:
Thank you. With the help of UpWork’s team, the freelancer has made a full refund.

Ron


That's good to hear. Often we hear negative outcomes. 

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Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
9 of 14

Amanda L wrote:

Ron W wrote:
Thank you. With the help of UpWork’s team, the freelancer has made a full refund.

Ron


That's good to hear. Often we hear negative outcomes. 


It's a negative outcome for the freelancer if (!!) he's done $ 1000+ worth of work that he won't get paid for...

 

To be fair to the freelancer, Ron must have clicked on a button called "Hire Now" and gone all the way through the not insubstantial process of setting up a contract, including Title of contract, Terms, Description,  rate, weekly limit, a confirmation and another "Hire XYZ person" button, plus plenty of info on the same page. There will also have been an email that the contract started.

 

Most people would notice that this is a little more than just sending a message...

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Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
10 of 14

Petra R wrote:

Amanda L wrote:

Ron W wrote:
Thank you. With the help of UpWork’s team, the freelancer has made a full refund.

Ron


That's good to hear. Often we hear negative outcomes. 


It's a negative outcome for the freelancer if (!!) he's done $ 1000+ worth of work that he won't get paid for...

 

To be fair to the freelancer, Ron must have clicked on a button called "Hire Now" and gone all the way through the not insubstantial process of setting up a contract, including Title of contract, Terms, Description,  rate, weekly limit, a confirmation and another "Hire XYZ person" button, plus plenty of info on the same page. There will also have been an email that the contract started.

 

Most people would notice that this is a little more than just sending a message...


Thanks for reminding me of this, Petra. When I  initially responded, having just sent a contract to someone, I recalled it not being as easy to mistake.   So I am still curious as to why that didn't raise a red flag for the client. Recently when I was trying to send a job invite to one person that the job was for specifically,  it seemed very clear to me that Hire Now means exactly that - setting up a contract. Whereas  Invite to Job is the place to begin the discussion.   

 

However, it sounded like the freelancer was charging for work that hadn't been discussed yet? The whole situation is confusing. 

 

 

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