» Forums » Clients » Freelancer bailed
Page options
Community Member

Freelancer bailed

Hello everyone. I just had a bad experience and would like peope to weigh in on how to handle this. I hired someone I really liked to work on redesigning my website and paid $450 up front and now he is bailing because of "his other job time commitments and deciding he doesnt have the skills")  after 3 months with little to show for his time. He originally said it would take a month and listed in the agreement the many tasks that were included in the total project cost of $900. Apparently all he did was downloaded a webpress template with 2 plug ins and created a slapped together just a  home page design example that is nothing like what we discussed. He argues that it will be easy for someone else to take over the project where he left off, but him  bailing puts me in a worse position than before - costing me in time and money to start again.  He makes excuses to not speak or meet for a final meeting but says he  wants to email. I think it's fair that he should refund my money or complete the project. What do you think? 

Community Member

What do you mean when you say you paid $450 upfront? Is the money still in escrow or was the milestone released after he delivered some work or right at the beginning before any work was done?

Before any work was done. I sent him a letter and have requested a refund. Thanks for the reply. 

Community Member


Community Member



Never, never, never pay upfront. Pay when the work is delievered. Try to work it out with the freelancer, otherwise the only other major option is to file a dispute which will be a waste of your time because you paid upfront. Have a great day!

Community Member

Freelancers sometimes bail.


This is normal. A wise client plans for this.


Never pay an upfront payment.

You don't get that back.


An upfront payment means the client is paying the freelancer to take on the project, but not actually do anything.


If a freelancer receives an upfront payment of $450 and then leaves the project before doing any work, the freelancer HAS NOT VIOLATED ANY UPWORK RULES.


The client has no recourse.

It is the client who used the Upwork system incorrectly.


(Note that I am speaking generally and not referring to any specific situation.)

Community Member

re: "I think it's fair that he should refund my money or complete the project. What do you think? "


Absolutely not.

You DO NOT WANT this person working on your project.


He is clearly not on your team. He is not interested in your project.

And he does not possess the skills that this project requires.


YOU SHOULD PUT YOUR PROJECT FIRST. And put yourself first.

You should not be catering to this freelancer.

He is just a stranger from the Internet. You don't owe him any more of your time or attention.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Linda, 

I'm sorry to learn about your experience. It looks like the team contacted you with more information regarding your concern. If you have additional information you wish to share, don't hesitate to update the same ticket thread. I recommend reading the articles here to help you keep yourself safe on Upwork. 

~ Avery
Latest Articles
Featured Topics
Learning Paths