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Freelancer stole from me and upwork let it happen

Active Member
Ava N Member Since: Sep 28, 2019
1 of 16

I just went through upwork dispute process for the first time. I’d funded an escrow milestone for $250, hiring a web developer to make login pages. The agency quoted 45 hours to get the job done, but eventually took a month. After 30 days the project sitill wasn’t completed and I asked for a refund. The freelancer disputed my refund request. Upwork looked into it and advised the freelancer to refund me, but they refused and instead paid their part for an arbitration, Which is $291.

To me it’s illogical to pay $291 to get $250 back. But upwork has this rule that whoever pays the arbitration fee gets a refund if the other party doesn’t pay. If both parties pay then it’s non refundable. 

 

The freelancer also violated my IP which is against the upwork terms and the dispute resolution specialist tells me that they’ve escalated the case for further investigation because the freelancer had evidently broken their terms of use. They ask for evidence and I send in screenshots some of which are right there in the upwork chat. I ask if if there’s anything else I can do during the investigation and I didn’t get a response back until 2 days later saying that my funds have now been released to the freelancer since I didn’t pay the arbitration fee but. I can file a claim if need be. 

 

So upworks  dispute resolution process seems like a backdoor for fraudulent freelancers to steal money and get away with it . Meanwhile they keep writing stating they imagine how frustrating it is for me. And I’m like really? You just let freelancers steal so what’s there to imagine?

 

has any client had a similar experience? What did you do or what do you recommend doing?

Ace Contributor
Jordon B Member Since: Jun 16, 2015
2 of 16

Violated your IP?

 

Lol

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 16

Ava: I am very sorry that you had a negative expehile using Upwork.

 

Unfortunately you far over-estimated what the dispute process can do for you.

 

There is never really a reason for a client to file a dispute. Clients need to understand the power they have within the standard Upwork user interface.

 

Basically, as a client, if you are filing a dispute, you are using Upwork incorrectly. There are far more effective ways to use Upwork, including carefully managing your projects in a proactive way and ckecking work submitted by freelancers and quickly firing freelancers who don’t provide the best value to your project.

Active Member
Ava N Member Since: Sep 28, 2019
4 of 16
I didn't file a dispute, they did. And once they did upwork told them to refund the money and they didn't.
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
5 of 16

Ava N wrote:
I didn't file a dispute, they did. And once they did upwork told them to refund the money and they didn't.

Upwork can only make suggestions during mediation.

To get a binding ruling, you have to go to arbitration, which you declined to do.

 

That's the end of the dispute part of it.

 

 

Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
6 of 16

Ava - To me it’s illogical to pay $291 to get $250 back. But upwork has this rule that whoever pays the arbitration fee gets a refund if the other party doesn’t pay. If both parties pay then it’s non refundabl

 

IMO, IF you have concrete proof of your claims then it's logical to pay the fee. If the ruling was made in your favor, you would only have lost $41 dollars which is much better then losing $250 for not paying the fee. 

 

The dispute specialist is an Upwork employee, They can only make suggestions and give advice, Their suggestions are NOT binding. Since the freelancer started arbitration first, you waited too long to pay your part of the fee. That's what the freelancer was hoping for. Since the freelancer started arbitration first, it was your part to also pay and during arbitration, that's when you show your "concrete" evidence because that's when a binding decision is made. 

Active Member
Ava N Member Since: Sep 28, 2019
7 of 16

I see. Well the main reason I didn't pay was the upwork specialist told me they were further investigating the case. So when I asked if there's anything else I needed to do he didn't respond until 2 days later to tell me the escrow fund has been released since I didn't pay.
So I'm so confused because I was waiting for the investigation that they escalated.
I can't understand what they did but I think Upwork really needs to own up for this mess and reopen the case or provide a refund themselves.
The part that irks me the most is these guys clearly violated their terms yet their keeping them on there to defraud other people. **edited for Community Guidelines**

Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
8 of 16

Ava N wrote:
I see. Well the main reason I didn't pay was the upwork specialist told me they were further investigating the case. So when I asked if there's anything else I needed to do he didn't respond until 2 days later to tell me the escrow fund has been released since I didn't pay.
So I'm so confused because I was waiting for the investigation that they escalated.
I can't understand what they did but I think Upwork really needs to own up for this mess and reopen the case or provide a refund themselves.
The part that irks me the most is these guys clearly violated their terms yet their keeping them on there to defraud other people. **edited for Community Guidelines**


Did Upwork release the payment before the deadline to pay your arbitration fee?

When you close the contract, leave an honest feedback. Considering the 500k they made so far, they might be inclined to refund you $250 just to make the public feedback disappear.

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
9 of 16

They probably already know they have bad feedback but they are both top rated and have tons of hours on here, so there is probably more to the story. They probably put up the $291 cuz they know the client will fold and they probably have the perk anyway. It's win-win for the freelancer and well played.

Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
10 of 16

Jennifer M wrote:

They probably already know they have bad feedback but they are both top rated and have tons of hours on here, so there is probably more to the story. They probably put up the $291 cuz they know the client will fold and they probably have the perk anyway. It's win-win for the freelancer and well played.


True, but if they use their perk now, then then cannot use it in the near future. I am wondering if a negativ feedback only shows on the agencies page or also on the freelancers involved.

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