I have a large contract running with a freelancer on this site. The job is to develop a website from a template created in Photoshop, basically doing all the actual coding etc.
Unfortunately, I'm running into some problems working with this freelancer, and I'm not sure what to do.
First of all, this freelancer was very overeager an over-optimistic and overestimated how quickly he could finish the job. He said he could have it done by the 12th, but I gave him until the 14th. That date came and went, and now he's saying he can't even have it done by the 20th, and the progress so far seems, optimistically, 50% done. He's also now saying that he straight-up doesn't know how to do some crucial aspects of the design.
Even more frustratingly, this freelancer has displayed very poor communication, and sometimes goes multiple days without a response.
Finally, as someone that's relatively capable in doing similar work, I know that some of the things he's done with the coding are rather janky and not how they should be done correctly.
This has been a very frustrating experience and at this point I would rather just cancel the contract completely and have someone else start it from scratch. However, I'm not sure of my rights here. Under what circumstances can I request a refund from Upwork? I don't believe the freelancer would voluntarily give the refund, so what recourse do I have? Any advice?
Are all funds still in Escrow?
Whatever funds you have released already is gone unless the freelancer agrees to refund.
You "can" close the contract and request the Escrow funds back but the freelancer can (and, if he has sunk a lot of time and work into it, probably WILL) dispute this.
Your best bet is open communication with the freelancer. If you are convinced that this will not work out offer a partial payment. It is best to avoid a dispute if at all possible.