cristina89
Member

Freelancer Refund

Hi guys,

 

So, my client hired a freelancer, I helped him choose her and she was a rising talent just as I was when he hired me so we were very excited to work with her. She didn't perform as well as we expected and my client had some communication issues with her, so he decided to end the contract. He sought my advice on the best way to do it, I told him just to let her know that the job was done (most part of it was and he was going to finish the rest) and he wanted to give her a 5-star review so she wouldn't review him badly and I told him not to do that, that after all he also had his failures with her such as not replying promptly to her messages and not reviewing her time log before to make sure he was happy with her, and I explained how the review process worked. Even with me being a freelancer I think all reviews should be honest.

 

We ended the contract yesterday and wrote her that the job was done and thanking her for her help, and we reviewed her honestly. It wasn't that bad because she did the job, she just didn't have the skills she promised she did (she showcases herself as a google ads expert, but we got SO MANY screenshots on her log with her asking support how to do the things she supposedly knew). Anyways, she sent him a refund and a very rude message saying "enjoy the free work", we definitely didn't want a refund, we don't feel like she ripped us off, and she deserves the money for the work she did no matter how long it took her, after all, she got the job done. So my question here is, is there any way to send her money back? it is hers and we didn't want free work in the first place.

 

Thanks!

Cris

ACCEPTED SOLUTION
vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Cris,

 

There's no way for clients to reverse a freelancer generated refund.

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16 REPLIES 16
petra_r
Member


@Cristina F wrote:

Hi guys,


We ended the contract yesterday and wrote her that the job was done and thanking her for her help, and we reviewed her honestly. It wasn't that bad because she did the job, she just didn't have the skills she promised she did (she showcases herself as a google ads expert, but we got SO MANY screenshots on her log with her asking support how to do the things she supposedly knew). Anyways, she sent him a refund and a very rude message saying "enjoy the free work", we definitely didn't want a refund, we don't feel like she ripped us off, and she deserves the money for the work she did no matter how long it took her, after all, she got the job done. So my question here is, is there any way to send her money back? it is hers and we didn't want free work in the first place.



 The freelancer clearly knows that a less than stellar contract will cost her her Rising Talent Status, and count against her JSS when it happens, and that in addition to that the not-so-great review will severely impact her chances of winning more work.

 

So what she has done is "damage control" - The refund will make the feedback vanish from her profile once processed.

 

She will be severely impacted by the loss of her Rising Talent status anyway, so she wanted to remove the less than glowing review to not put off the much reduced number of potential clients who might stumble across her profile despite that.

 

You COULD send the money again as a bonus, but that would force the feedback onto her profile again and she doesn't want that, because it damages her chances of getting hired, which are severely damaged anyway by the loss of her Rising Talent status.

So isn't there a way to send the money back without the feedback showing on her profile? We really want her to have the money, I'm actually the one pushing for it, it's really not fair for her to have worked those 16 hours for free. I understand what she wanted to accomplish with it, but there should be a way for her to get the money without being so affected by it 😞


@Cristina F wrote:

So isn't there a way to send the money back without the feedback showing on her profile? We really want her to have the money, I'm actually the one pushing for it, it's really not fair for her to have worked those 16 hours for free. I understand what she wanted to accomplish with it, but there should be a way for her to get the money without being so affected by it 😞


 No, there is no way. The main damage is done (Loss of Rising Talent and impact on future JSS) - so now there are only two choices left: No payment - no bad feedback on profile to to put the nail in the profile-coffin - or payment and the feedback shows.

 

Frankly, the "being so affected by it" part remains either way. It's just a difference between "being so affected by it" and possibly being the end of her Upwork career if she doesn't get hired again.

 

The time to think about how a freelancer is affected by any given action is before acting, not afterwards.

PS - I am all for clients leaving accurate and fair public and private feedback. If a freelancer misrepresents their skills any effect a feedback has on their profile is on them.

 

Provided your client was paying her "expert rates" for the category he had the right to expect expert level work.

 

If the client paid "entry level" rates, however, they had no right to expect expert level performance.

 

The rate ranges your client will have seen for the category are:

 

adword expert.jpg

I understand that and I appreciate your responses. The feedback wasn't bad, it was honest. I don't think a 3.55-star well-explained rating is the end of a career in UpWork for anyone. It explained the job was done, but the communication was hard because the freelancer lives in a completely different time zone and meeting with her was almost impossible as she stopped working at 6 am our time, so the availability part was obviously not a 5, and the skills part wasn't so great either. I also don't think it would've been fair to give her a 5-star rating when the job was obviously not it.

 

I'm not concerned about how we should've thought on not affecting her rating, what concerns me is that there should be a way for her to get the money without having the feedback show on her profile if she doesn't want to have it, because, no matter what, she still worked for the money. 


@Cristina F wrote:

I understand that and I appreciate your responses. The feedback wasn't bad, it was honest. I don't think a 3.55-star well-explained rating is the end of a career in UpWork for anyone


 3.55, along with the lost Rising Talent status and the huge effect that has on search result and recommended placings, is quite possibly "game over" on a new profile.

 

Did your client pay "expert level" rates for an Adwords Expert?

No, he didn't, and he didn't need an expert, he needed basics, and the freelancer had an average rate. As I said before, we didn't have problems with the quality of the job completed, and that's said in the feedback, quality was 5-star because she did what we needed her to. 

 

The skills needed were pretty basic, the problem with it was that the freelancer spent most of the time finding out how to do the things she needed to do (screenshots of her asking google support how to do the most basic things). We didn't need an expert, and we knew she wasn't an expert, we wanted someone with basic knowledge to build a long term relationship for basic fixes in the long run.

 

Another thing that stroke me about her time logs was that every single of her 10 minute time thingies said 5 to 6 minutes of activity, which I found totally odd but I didn't know what to make up of it.

 

Anyways, she got the feedback she deserved, she also deserved the money though, but I think I've repeated this line many times already.

Cris, at the end of the day you and your client did what you could.

 

You left fair feedback and paid.

 

If the freelancer is "investing" that payment into not having that feedback show it's her decision.


@Cristina F wrote:

I understand that and I appreciate your responses. The feedback wasn't bad, it was honest. I don't think a 3.55-star well-explained rating is the end of a career in UpWork for anyone. It explained the job was done, but the communication was hard because the freelancer lives in a completely different time zone and meeting with her was almost impossible as she stopped working at 6 am our time, so the availability part was obviously not a 5, and the skills part wasn't so great either. I also don't think it would've been fair to give her a 5-star rating when the job was obviously not it.

 

 


I am interested that part of the problem was communication. The client should have been aware of the time difference and made allowances for it if the freelancer at the time of being hired met his requirements. If availability was key to the job, the client should never have hired someone whose time zone was not compatible.

 

I would have thought too that, after just a few hours, the client would have recognized that the work was not meeting his requirements, rather than waiting 16 hours - about 2 days work. There also seems to be a disconnect between skills and quality, which the freelancer received a five for.

 

 

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Cris,

 

There's no way for clients to reverse a freelancer generated refund.

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gerrys
Member

Don't prolong the agony.

 

She has every right to "buy" a pass.

 

(Also sounds like she had "two bosses" ... and THAT NEVER WORKS).

claudiacezy
Member

In such situations, I only reviewed and offered my honest opinion on the work that was provided by other freelancers. When I was asked to give a breakdown on rating and feedback, I said that is entirely up to them, I don't interfere in regard to how the client should rate the freelancer.

 

If I were the client, I would ask the freelancer if it's ok to send the money as a bonus and propose to enable the change of feedback (if the client wishes to change it).


If I were you, I'd take a step back and leave it up to the client to handle the situation.

cupidmedia
Member

First, I agree with Nichola. The client should know (from the freelancer's profile) what timezone the freelancer is in, and if it's critical that they're in a similar timezone, they should confirm the location is accurate before hiring. It's not really fair to knowingly hire someone in an opposite timezone and then ping them on availability.

 

But also, honestly, it's not your decision any more if the freelancer gets the money. Your client paid them, they chose to provide a refund. You can't *force* them to take the money if they don't want it.

 

Finally, I hope you explained to your client that the feedback system is double blind, i.e. there's no such thing as giving someone a 5-star review to prevent them from giving you a bad review. The other party can't see your review until either a) they've already reviewed you, or b) the 2-week review period has passed and they can no longer review you anyway.

kat303
Member

If a freelancer is rated top choice, that comes with a perk which is being able to remove a feedback. I am not sure exactly how that works, because when a client leaves feedback they leave 2 feedbacks, one public, which displays on their profile and one private which is used to determine a freelancer's JSS score. If that "perk" of removing feedback is used, I know public feedback is removed, but I'm not sure if Private feedback is also removed.

.

All in all, it was the FREELANCERS choice to give the money back regardless of the outcome. It'[s also NOT, IMO for a freelancer to be rude to you on the choices she made.

 

Different clients view feedback differently. This has been discussed many times. Some view feedback as a 5 being extrodanary, Some view it as excellent. So, although work might be excellent, to a client who views 5 as extrodinary, the freelancer will not receive a 5.  The main point, since we're dealing with thousands of cleints and thousands of freelancers, is that a client/freelancer give a truthful, honest evaluation of each other.

 

IMO this is not the end of this freelancers career. She will get jobs again, and this job will fall out of view and she will be top rated again. It will just take time.

 

What sort of concerns me is the statements It wasn't that bad because she did the job, she just didn't have the skills she promised she did. Yes she might have eventually floundered through and somehow completed the work, but if she didn't have the skills, then you need to rate her in that aspect. And if you seen that she was googled the questions you should not have let her continue working. You could have taken what she had at that point, and nicely closed the contract and hired someone else.

 

You paid her, she gave it back, and it's done. Don't dwell on it, Don't second guess yourself. Just move on.

 

And on another note, when clients/freelancer are from differrent contries, both time differences and communication (Language) may come into play. It might be a good thing, because a client can give directions, leave the work and go to sleep and while they are sleeping the freelancer will be working. When the client wakes up, their work will be done. And the client will have the day to review it, and modifiy it and present those modifications, or new instructions at the end.

 

It could be bad, if a client leaves the work and instructions, goes to bed, and the freelancer, starts working on the job but comes to a point where they can['t continue until something is cleared up, or important questoins need answers in other for work to continue. The freelancer can't communicate with the client, as it's night in their country, So the work remains unfinished.

 

These are some things that need to be taken into consideration. Plus there might be a language problem where communications is just not being understood.

 


@Kathy T wrote:

If a freelancer is rated top choice, that comes with a perk which is being able to remove a feedback. I am not sure exactly how that works, because when a client leaves feedback they leave 2 feedbacks, one public, which displays on their profile and one private which is used to determine a freelancer's JSS score. If that "perk" of removing feedback is used, I know public feedback is removed, but I'm not sure if Private feedback is also removed.


 Hi Kathy,

 

Feedback removal perk is available to Top Rated freelancers. It sounds like this freelancer was Rising Talent.

~ Valeria
Upwork