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5bd959bc
Community Member

How to start a dispute with freelacers?

Hi,

We hire a lot of freelancers for writing content for our blog. We pay them every week for articles they wrote (we pay per word).
Unfortunately, with time it occurred that some of them were using AI tools to generate texts which are worthless. 

As soon as we found out about the situation, we deleted these articles from our blog, ended contracts with freelancers, and requested a refund from them of all money paid (I used the "Request a refund" option). We're talking about 7 freelancers and almost $10k paid to them. None of this money is in escrow anymore.

As far as I understand, these requests go to freelancers and they can accept a refund request or not. Am I right?

I didn't receive any response from any of them on a refund request, messages, or emails sent to them.

What I can do in such a situation? I found an option that it's possible to start a "Dispute". Can I use it here?
If so, can you explain how I can start disputes with them?

 

Best regards,
MN

4 REPLIES 4
NikolaS
Moderator
Moderator

Hi MacIej,

 

Thank you for reaching out to us. One of our team members will reach out to you directly via a support ticket to assist you further. You can access your tickets on this page.

 

~ Nikola
Upwork
prestonhunter
Community Member

MacIej:
I do not work for Upwork. As a client, I have hired over 180 freelancers on Upwork. This is my opinion:

 

Straight up? Disputes are for freelancers to file.

Not clients.

 

As a client, I have all the tools at my fingertips that I need to manage my projects and freelancers.

Filing "disputes" is NOT one of those tools.

I strongly advise all clients to SAVE TIME AND SAVE MONEY by proactively planning to never file a dispute. No matter what.

A dispute is a waste of my valuable time. And refund thinking leads clients to LOSE money.

 

Rather than sending money to a freelancer or funding an escrow payment for a freelancer and thinking that maybe you will get that money back... It is far safer to plan to NEVER got money back. Instead, monitor a freelancer's work carefully, especially early on. And if you don't love the freelancer's work, end the contract.


Trying to get money back from a freelancer through mechanisms such as a "dispute" is a big gamble. Usually clients can NOT get money back from freelancers.

But if you identify that a freelancer is not right for your project, then you can END the contract. THAT is a sure thing. Once you end the contract, the underperforming freelancer can't get any more money from you.

prestonhunter
Community Member

re: "As far as I understand, these requests go to freelancers and they can accept a refund request or not. Am I right?"

 

That is correct.

The freelancers may choose to send you a refund, or NOT send you a refund.

 

re: "We're talking about 7 freelancers and almost $10k paid to them. None of this money is in escrow anymore."

 

Upwork doesn't have that money any more.

Sorry.

 

re: "What I can do in such a situation?"

Learn from your mistakes, and don't make those same mistakes again.

 

Keep in mind that this has nothing to do with you as an individual client.

ALL clients who hire writers through Upwork face this possibility.
It is useful to know that most freelancers who identify themselves as "writers" are not actually writers in the sense that you and I typically think of the word.

 

Most Upwork writers are actually spinners.
This is not meant as a criticism. This is simply identifying a fact.

 

re: "...with time it occurred that some of them were using AI tools to generate texts which are worthless."

That is a judgement call.

Many Upwork clients hire freelancers for writing tasks while being fully aware that the output from those writers is not "original writing" in the sense that you and I typically think of the term. They know that they are receiving spun work, but such work meets their needs.

williamtcooper
Community Member

Maclej,

 

Why did you pay the 7 freelancers if their work was worthless? Yes you can dispute, however against 7 different people that you approved their work - doesn't sound good. I have had 10,000+ articles written for me in the past 15 years and 100% of the time I read the articles and tested for plagiarism - it was my responsibility before paying. Hopefully the business lesson is learned going forward.

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