Regardless of the type of transaction (hourly payment, fixed-price, recurring weekly payment, bonus, etc.,) when it’s refunded, the service fee for it is refunded as well. I checked the refund status for you and can confirm that your refund was successful on our end. You can check this in your Transactions. After the refund is initiated, it typically takes 2 to 5 business days for the money to be refunded back to your credit card.
re: "What is a phone number I can contact to discuss the issues with Upwork?"
It is not Upwork's intention that you call them on the phone.
re: "A client is requesting a refund on the work I did for the project. How do I contact customer service to dispute this?"
Normally a freelancer does NOT need to contact Upwork Customer Support if a client asks for a refund.
If the client is sending you an informal message asking for a refund, you can politely decline to give them a refund.
If the client uses the client-side interface to close a fixed-price contract while changing the amount of escrow money to be released to zero (or less than the amount in escrow), then this will cause an automated request to be sent to you asking you to decline or accept the refund request. You should be able to click a button to decline the refund request.
Do you have an hourly or fixed-price contract?
Is the contract still open, or closed?
How much money is the client asking for?
Exactly what was the form of this refund request?
re: I have an hourly contract. How do I decline the refund request? The contract is now closed. The client is asking for all of the money back that was paid to myself for this project. The refund was requested through the messaging function. I don't know how to reject the refund. Do I have to do anything to dispute it?"
The client has sent you a message. That's all. As far as the Upwork software is concerned, the client could have said "I like fish."
The client has not actually initiated a process that causes ANYTHING to happen.
There is no button or "formal" way for you to decline this refund.
So... what should you do?
First of all, you need to understand that this client is unprofessional, unethical, and immoral. This contract is over. The client hired you to work, you did the work, and then the client is trying to get back the money you were paid. Does that sound right to YOU? I doubt that YOU would do that to somebody YOU hired.
It is good to have a proper perspective when you deal with a situation like this.
Also keep in mind that the contract is CLOSED. She already gave you feedback. So she can't give you "bad feedback" or anything.
But no matter what you do, you must communicate in a polite, professional manner.
Don't argue with the client.
You should also undestand that within the first 5 days after a work week has ended, a client can formally dispute time segments, and Upwork will reverse payment or not charge a client for ANY time segments that were recorded using manual time, or which have no memos, or which have screenshots that don't show the freelancer working on the project. So if any of this applies to your work, it is POSSIBLE for the client to dispute time and not pay you. Of course you won't mention to this to the client if she could use this technique against you.
After an hourly contract has closed, there is a period of time during which a client can request "mediation".
"Disputes must be filed by the Friday after the freelancer bills the hours. If you miss this window, you and your freelancer should work together to resolve any issues and discuss your freelancer submitting a refund. Still can’t resolve the issue and within 30 days of payment? Please contact customer support to learn about our mediation assistance."
This is pretty toothless. It basically means that Upwork will try to get the freelancer to talk to the client about a possible refund. If that happens, you (the freelancer) can politely listen to what the client has to say and then explain that after careful consideration you have decided not to issue a refund. Or you can offer a token refund or something, like 10%.
After the initial 5-day review period, and then the initial 30-day period during which a client can request mediation, it is even more unlikely that Upwork will do anything at all to help a client. But the client could theoretically violate Upwork ToS by doing a chargeback on their credit card. This would get the client kicked off Upwork. But it could cause you to lose your payment.
So no matter what, you want to be polite. You want to listen respectfully to a client. But as you can see, the more time that passes after time has been logged or after a contract has been closed, the less there is anything that a client can do to get money back from you, no matter how dishonest the client is.
What I recommend you do FIRST is ask the client why she is asking for a refund. She probably knows full well that she is simply trying to steal money from you. So she may be too embarassed to even answer.
I think you should ask her a question, and then report back here if she responds. Ask her:
"Carol: Thank you for your note. If I understand correctly, you are referring to a contract that has now been closed, and you are asking for money back from what you paid? Can you explain why?"
Thank you so much, Preston for your message! It really did help calm down my anxiety of the response I received from the work I did. I will send a note like you stated below and move on. Thank you for your help again!
So Preston, you are basically telling me they are handling my money and there is NO customer support if something goes wrong, I have to wait on someone to reply on a forum?? What a joke, you can't be serious. I will miss a deadline because a freelancer can't accept my offer and there is no support, amazing, top notch service!!
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