I hired a freelancer to write a Wikipedia article. He was expensive, but had a very high rating. He did the research and wrote an article. He offered to submit the article to Wikipedia and said he would send me the link. Submitting the article was not set as a milestone. When the writing was done, but before submitting to Wikipedia, the freelancer convinced me to close the contract. The freelancer has never submitted the article to Wikipedia and no longer responds to my numerous messages. I wrote to Upwork customer service but they have never responded either.
It was my mistake not setting the submission as a milestone. I was acting (and paying) on good faith that the freelancer would follow through. Do I have any recourse?
Not every freelancer hire is successful.
Effective clients know this and plan for this.
You should look for underperforming members of your team and quickly fire them. Only continue working with the freelancers who provide you with the most value.
With regards to your specific situation: it is Upwork's intention that you release payment after you receive the work and review it... after the task has been finished.
Do you have any recourse?
Maybe. When did you close the contract? When did you last release a payment?
You may be able to dispute. Read this:
Sounds like a waste of time to look back on this.
How much money did you pay that freelancer?
Thank you for the reply. This was my first hire.
A team member from Upwork reached out to me and told me that it was too late to get a refund and dispute. They did offer to write directly to the freelancer on my behalf. I appreciate that Upwork is trying to help.
I feel like I got burned on my very first, one and only hire. The work was subpar and the freelancer did not follow through on all the tasks. However, I accept full responsibility for getting burned. I put too much faith in someone that I thought was an expert. I put too much stock in the "95% Job Success". I accepted the subpar work. I was naive enough to release the funds before the task was complete. It was a $600 lesson.