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Help! Rubbish Freelancer, what next?

Hi Guys


Im a very new and a bit lost at this.

I hired a freelancer last night to edit and format my 5500 word ebook.

on a fixed contract.


I got it back a little over 5 hours later (extreamly quickly) and the editing is terrible.

Some of the sentences no longer make any sense.

Words that were integeral to the story have been removed and there are massive gaps in the formatting.


I messaged the freelancer stating my unhappieness at the work done and that It wasn't the sort of work I expected to be paying for.  The responce I got back was pretty much Ive done the work and I expect payed??.. 

If the work was even half the standard I expected I woul djust probably have paid and got on with it but my book is ruined and Im going to need to try to find someone else to re-edit the whole thing.


I'm at a loss here, he's now saying that he is contacting support and he will happy to wait for them to force payment and that I am a bad client who does not want to pay.

This is not the case at all, I just want my book to be publishable.


Is this actually what will happen? I feel totally ripped off


Help apprecieated?



If it’s a fixed price job, either request changes or close the contract to get a refund. If it’s an hourly job and they used time tracker, you’ll have to pay for all hours logged with keyboard activity, and memos and screenshots appropriate to the job.
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

Ross E wrote:

I hired a freelancer last night to edit and format my 5500 word ebook.

on a fixed contract.


How much money are we talking about?


You are not obligated to spend ANY TIME on this freelancer.


If you want to, you can close the contract immediately and be done with it. You can close the contract and block the freelancer within the Upwork Messages tool and there is nothing that the freelancer would be able to do about it.


It is very fast and very easy for a client to release any remaining escrow funds, close the contract, and be done with a freelancer completely. That is for a fixed-price contract


It is also very easy for a client to close a contract on an hourly contract and just be done with the freelancer. If you close an hourly contract it becomes impossible for the freelancer to bill ANY more time on the contract.


Generally speaking that would be my recommendation to any client who has hired such an underperforming, undeserving freelancer. Such a freelancer isn't worth spending more time on. My time as a client or project manager is more valuable than the amount of money that will be paid out if I immediately close the contract and just move forward without giving the freelancer another thought. The freelancer does not even deserve the effort it would take to balance his karma by preventing him from getting any money from the contract.



If you want to get money back, then you may request a refund (if this is a fixed-price contract). Requesting a refund does not cost you anything, but it means that there will still be some potential need to communicate with the freelancer. Also, the freelancer has the option to decline your request.


If you request a refund and the freelancer does not want to give you a refund, then this would trigger a "dispute", whichwould mean that an Upwork mediator would encourage you and the freelancer to come to an agreement regarding the dispursement of escrow funds. If you can't come to an agreement, then the next step would be arbitration.


If this was an hourly contract and the work was done during the past week, then you can dispute any time segments that were logged manually or which don't have adequate memos or which do not demonstrate adequate activity levels or which do not show the freelancer working on your project.


It is even possible for you to request a refund from a freelancer if an hourly contract was being used. Again, this would entail additional communication and cooporation with the freelancer.


As a client, you would need to choose between the ease and speed of simply ending things unilaterally, versus experiencing some additional time and contact with the freelancer in order to try to get some money back.


You may read more about these topics in Upwork's Support section:






Hi Ross,


I'm sorry to hear that your contract with this freelancer did not go well. I checked, and it looks like you have already closed the contract. I can see that the freelancer has disputed the refund request. One of our disputes team members will assist you further in resolving this. Thank you.

~ Joanne