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Freelancer isn't working on project - anything I can do?

40810124
Active Member
Marc T Member Since: Jul 8, 2019
1 of 13

Hired a freelancer to be paid weekly.  He's been paid for two weeks so far and all of the screenshots are blank/youtube etc.  Nothing has been produced to the production of the poster, but he has been paid for two weeks of work.

 

Anything I can do to dispute the work? Thanks in advance.

m_sharman
Community Guru
Miriam H Member Since: May 16, 2017
2 of 13
You can pause the contract..and there is a dispute process. Others more familiar with it will advise. I would pause the contract immediately.
mthornton-cpc
Community Guru
Melissa T Member Since: Dec 5, 2014
3 of 13

On hourly contracts the client is given the opportunity to review the worklog (including screenshots) before a freelancer is paid. In that review window you have the chance to dispute any/all of the timed working segments. 

bstojadinovic
Moderator
Bojan S Moderator Member Since: Mar 9, 2018
4 of 13

Hi Marc,

 

I'm sorry to hear about your experience. Our team will reach out to you directly via support ticket to assist and advise you on further steps.

 

Thank you for reaching out to us. 

~ Bojan
Upwork
prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
5 of 13

Marc:

There is a dispute process.

But it is mostly something meant for freelancers to use, not clients.

 

As this is an hourly contract, you could dispute the time spent that appears to NOT actually be working on your project. That could lead to you NOT needing to pay for your that time.


But that is mostly irrelevent, and doesn't actually lead to you getting your project done.

 

The most important thing for you to do is to simply close the contract, preventing any more billing by this freelancer. Work only with the freelancers who provide your project with the most value. Don't work with low-performing freelancers. Do NOT expect all freelancers to be high-performing. You must PLAN to fire a certain percentage of freelancers due to low-quality work.

feed_my_eyes
Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
6 of 13

Preston H wrote:

Marc:

There is a dispute process.

But it is mostly something meant for freelancers to use, not clients.

 

As this is an hourly contract, you could dispute the time spent that appears to NOT actually be working on your project. That could lead to you NOT needing to pay for your that time.


But that is mostly irrelevent, and doesn't actually lead to you getting your project done.

 

The most immportant thing for you to do is to simply close the contract, preventing any more billing by this freelancer. Work only with the freelancers who provide your project with the most value. Don't work with low-performing freelancers. Do NOT expect all freelancers to be high-performing. You must PLAN to fire a certain percentage of freelancers due to low-quality work.


I couldn't disagree more. If the freelancer has been watching You Tube instead of working, then they should NOT be paid. Period.

 

As for "you must PLAN to fire a certain percentage of freelancers" again, I strongly disagree. Vet your freelancers carefully, pay them well, treat them fairly, and you can expect to receive good work in return. 

cupidmedia
Community Guru
Jennifer D Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
7 of 13

I agree with Christine. Preston's advice is not great, especially if you're already working with a limited budget. The only thing Preston got right is to vet freelancers early and often. I completely disagree with the idea that I should be assuming that any freelancer I hire is going to under-perform and rip me off. That starts any freelancer-client relationship off on completely the wrong foot.

 

Upwork does give you tools to dispute work on hourly contracts, especially if the work diary screenshots are showing no work actually being done. However, you must use that option straight after the work week closes. You only have 5 days to dispute before you are tacitly accepting their work, so if it's been 2 weeks then you probably can't do anything about that first week, but you should still be in the window for the second week. You can see more about the dispute process here: https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/articles/211062158-Dispute-a-Freelancer-s-Hours

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
8 of 13

Christine/Jennifer:

It is fine with me if you disagree with things I actually said.

 

But I certainly did not say that a freelancer should be paid for watching YouTube instead of working on the client's project.

 

I specifically pointed out that a client can dispute time the freelancer spends NOT working on the client's project.


re: "I completely disagree with the idea that I should be assuming that any freelancer I hire is going to under-perform and rip me off."

 

Jennifer: I do not believe that either. I did not say that. I said that a "certain percentage" of freelancers will be under-performing. In no way do I believe that clients should assume that any freelancer she hires will under-pform or rip her off.

 

I think there may have been some confusion about my post because I was emphasizing the importance of firing the under-performing freelancer. That is a much more important thing for the client to do, when compared to filing a dispute. But if you will re-read what I wrote, you will see that I did not tell the client to NOT file a dispute. And I did not excuse any bad behavior on the part of a freelancer.

feed_my_eyes
Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
9 of 13

Preston H wrote:

Christine/Jennifer:

 

I think there may have been some confusion about my post because I was emphasizing the importance of firing the under-performing freelancer. That is a much more important thing for the client to do, when compared to filing a dispute. But if you will re-read what I wrote, you will see that I did not tell the client to NOT file a dispute. 


Yes, you did say that the client should close the project. But you also said that the dispute process was "mostly something meant for freelancers to use, not clients" and that trying to get a refund was "mostly irrelevant". So it certainly sounds to me like you were telling the client that it wasn't worth trying to get their money back, as well as telling them to resign themselves to having to fire a certain percentage of freelancers. This is not the first time that I've seen you give advice like this, so I'm taking the opportunity to post an alternative opinion.

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
10 of 13

Christine:

Thank you for taking the time more accurately characterize what I said.

 

Let me reiterate some of my positions which you may indeed disagree with:

 

- The dispute process is mostly a waste of time for clients. It has some value for freelancers.

 

- Clients would be better of if they either DID NOT KNOW about the dispute process, or pretended that disputes do not exist. That would help clients focus on better was of managing their projects and freelancers, such as reviewing the work done by freelancers and firing low-performing freelancers.

 

- It is an indisputable fact that there are low-performing and under-performing freelancers on Upwork. And some are outright scammers. So mathematically speaking, it is simply true that "a certain percentage" of Upwork freelancers fall into this category. I am not saying it is a "high" percentage. I don't believe it is a high percentage. The percentage varies depending on the job niche and pay level. I assume that you would agree with this mathematical assertion.

 

If you don't like the advice that "a certain percentage of freelancers will need to be fired," that's fine. But I think you are uncomfortable with that advice. I don't think you actually have different beliefs about the underlying facts.

 

This is not meant to be an "anti-freelancer" statement. This is meant to be advice that helps and empowers clients. If clients understand PROACTIVELY that not every freelancer is perfect, and not ever freelancer/client relationship is meant to be, then it will help clients to have a more positive Upwork experience. If they encounter an under-performing freelancer, clients will benefit from the knowledge that this is something that CAN happen, and that the right thing for them to do is to fire the freelancer.

 

That is better than what we sometimes see in the Forum, when clients allow under-performing freelancers to continue working for an inordinate amount of time, which only undermines the client's project and can cost them money.

 

Those of us who are regular Forum participants generally have an accurate and similar understanding about how Upwork works. I think there are relatively few actual points of disagreement. One area where I do disagree with some other regular Forum participants (including Christine, based on her previous post in this thread) is on the topic of interviewing and vetting freelancers.

 

Christine said: "Vet your freelancers carefully, pay them well, treat them fairly, and you can expect to receive good work in return."

 

I agree that clients should treat freelancers fairly and pay them well. But I am a regular and consistent skeptic about the value of "vetting freelancers carefully" when that means trying to "vet" freelancers PRIOR to hiring them.

 

I do not believe it is possible for a client to pick the best freelancer for a project simply by looking at profiles, looking at job proposals, looking at portfolios, and interviewing freelances prior to hiring them. I think Christine would place a higher value in pre-hire "vetting" than I do.

 

I regularly place more emphasize on evaluating freelancers carefully AFTER hiring them, especially in the early stages of their work.

 

I believe that Upwork clients "can expect to receive good work" from freelancers ALWAYS, minus a certain percentage of the time, which percentage will differ based on the job niche and pay level. I do not believe that doing the following things:

a) carefully vetting freelancers before hiring them

b) paying freelancers well

c) treating freelancers fairly

 

...can ensure that clients will always receive good work.

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