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How Upwork and *Edited* stole $27.5K


Dear fellow clients:  I know you are busy so the short story is this

1) I had been working with **Edited for Community Guidelines** for a year no problems


2) He convinced me to sign to contract with a predetermined milestone--don't ever do this no matter what


3) I cancelled the contract the next day because I realized we didn't specifythe functionality for the product


4)I then tried to figure out if the money had been tken out and Upworks policy to not to tell you


5) I decided to see if he had done the work by the due date for th product and there was none


6) I told all this to Upwork I paid cancelled one day later and had no product


There response--too bad and we will help you find another freelancer.


I**Edited for Community Guidelines**

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Andrew,


I'm sorry to hear a contract with a freelancer didn't go as expected. I see the team has been communicating with you and assisting you with the issue. Unfortunately, there isn't much Upwork can do once the payment is released to the freelancer. We always advise our clients to use the fixed-price system as described here and release the funded amount only once the freelancer delivers the work for that milestone.

~ Valeria

Andre G wrote,


Dear fellow clients:  I know you are busy so the short story is this

1) I had been working with **Edited for Community Guidelines** for a year no problems


2) He convinced me to sign to contract with a predetermined milestone--don't ever do this no matter what


5) I decided to see if he had done the work by the due date for th product and there was none


Rather difficult to decipher exactly what happened here, but if the freelancer had supposedly worked on one product for one year and the client never checked once how much work had been done until the due date came, then the client shares some of the blame for the negative outcome. GIven the milestone, it was apparently a fixed price project, so the client also had one year in which to learn not to approve a milestone until the work is completed in a satisfactory manner. By no means do I condone the freelancer's alleged misbehavior but if there are clients reading this, Upwork provides plenty of safeguards to clients to prevent freelancer fraud, and this client's accusation that Upwork participated in stealing his money is groundless.

"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

It is very difficult to determine what the original poster is talking about from his post. And I read it many times.


If the original poster would like to ask any questions, please feel free to do so. If you would like some feedback or advice about a situation, please feel free to clarify what happened and many of us here would be happy to help.


From what I can tell, a very unethical freelancer asked the client to fund a fixed-price contract and then release the payment BEFORE the work was received and reviewed.


Of course a client should never do that.


But I have no idea why the original poster suggested that Upwork stole anything. There does not seem to be any basis for saying anything like that. I have no idea what the "$27.5K" figure mentioned in the thread title refers to.


That is a really insanely large amount of money. Is there a source for this figure, or is meant only for illustrative rather than factual purposes?


The Upwork fixed-price model is almost ridiculously tilted in favor of the client in terms of who is safe and who has risk. The risk involved in such projects lies almost entirely with the freelancer. There is really only risk for the client if the client tries to used the fixed-price contract model in (a) a way completely contrary to how Upwork intends and (b) in a way completely contrary to common sense.


Under normal use circumstances, the most money that a client stands to lose EVEN IF the client hired a completely criminal freelancer AND if the client is simply unwilling to trigger a dispute (which is free, and would almost certainly be decided in favor of the client) is about $100 to $200.


If any amount of money more then that is lost, then it means that the client was making extreme incorrect choices about how to use a fixed-price contract.

Actually no no one ever advised me and **Edited for Community Guidelines** encouraged me to sign the milestone--I am not disappointed I am so angry that your organiztion can treat people this way--**Edited for Community Guidelines**  I cn poay and not get q project and tht is fine with you--shame on you.

Andrew you are spending a lot of money but failing to understand trivial things. Imagine you and your contractor go to your bank. You ask your bank to transfer some amount to contractor's account. You sign the document and money is transfered. Next day you come to bank and tell them they are scammers. Where is the logic??? Why on earth you released your money? Why on earth you released so much money? Why on earth you released your money without deliverables? And why on earth yoy are calling upwork scammers now?

Andrew, honestly no one understands exactly what happened to you because your messages are so unclear. But if by any chance you put money in a milestone and you released the money to the contractor without receiving any work, then I honestly don't know what to say.


I have hired people on Upwork and the first thing you do before hiring anyone is to have a look at the help section to understand how the site and its payment protection works.


You don't just give money to people before thy turn any work and Upwork has protections in place. Both clients and freelancers have to use them.


If (and this is an if since I have zero idea about what happened) you released money to someone before receiving any work, then unfortunately Upwork is not to blame.

"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless

Dear Clients--*

*Edited for Community Guidelines** Not only did I cancel the contract in 24 hours but upwork would not tell me when the money was actually taken. I know it was after the cancellation which means Upwork should have demanded my money back.  But as you can see they said there was nothing they could do--they could of at least asked for some money back or told me when the money was taken but they didn't and I didn';t mention **Edited for Community Guidelines** hacked into my site and deleted me from my site-- Upwork took his side. **Edited for Community Guidelines** and it was hard to determine who it was but Upwork wanted me to prove it which I could that someone was in but without knowing his signture there is no way to see it was Ihor--but my site was not even llaunched so why would I be the only one deleted.  So all the cards are fir the freelancer and the clients gets **bleep**.  Look they took Ihors name off and her is as guilty as can be. **Edited for Community Guidelines**

Andrew, I think you are sincere and honest. But you are unfamiliar with some important techniques used by experienced clients, project owners and project managers.


We would love to have you consult with us here in the Forum the next time until you post a job or work with freelancers on Upwork.

Hi Andrew,


Please, note that once the client releases the money from Escrow, it's paid to the freelancer who can withdraw it after a 5-days security period. Past that moment the money is not accessible for Upwork team. You can also familiarize yourself with the terms of Upwork Fixed-Price Payment Protection here.

~ Valeria
Community Guru

You are saying that you worked with a freelancer for a year and also that you cancelled a contract within 24 hours - which is it?


If you chose to release a fixed price milestone without receiving a deliverable, for whatever reason, then unfortunately the case is not that anyone "stole" anything from you - you chose to release those funds, which is why Upwork are probably saying they can't help you.


While I sympathise with your frustration, the system is set up to be in the client's favor when used correctly.

re: "I am not disappointed I am so angry that your organiztion can treat people this way"



Nobody wants you to be disppointed or angry.


But you have not once explained what happened to you.


You have only said that you're angry and you have posted vague suggestions that Upwork may be involved. Or maybe it's the Post Office or a relative. We don't know.


Often we can offer concrete advice and help people out. But there's no context here. We can't offer any advice for dealing with the situation you already encountered, for recovering any of the money you claim (without explanation) to have lost, or for doing things differently in the future.

re: "Why on earth you released so much money?"


Giorgi: We really don't know what happened. The original mentions "$27.5K" in the title of this post, but has provided no context or explanation about the number.