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Community Member

I want bring to the community's attention how poorly my dispute was handled

I had to open a dispute for the freelancer that I hired since he had logged over 60hrs and all the work he had to show was some auto-generated code from AWS. 


When asked for work he kept showing the same code that was a number of days old and couldn’t justify where all the hours logged had come from. In the screenshots provided by the Upwork tracker it just shows him switching on and off from the code to MY team’s work that was shared with him with no changes being made to the code he was 'writing'. I'm a software engineer and have been programming for over 14 yrs. I can freely say I know a thing or two about coding, this is why called the freelancer out and opened the dispute.


Additionally, it was odd how similar all the clicks and keyboard stroke were from minute to minute. I have a strong feeling he was using a program that automatically clicks, once again 60+ hrs logged and there’s ZERO changes in the code. No one clicks the same amount of times minute after minute on a computer. Take a look at how many times he clicked 29 times.


The freelancer was fired, he emailed us apologizing for the poor work and for threatening to break the NDA and despite this he logged an additional 16hrs. I was charged a whopping $1300+ by Upwork for his ‘service’. 


I contacted upwork, provided the evidence and the conclusion was that I should be refunded $26. Attached is the evidence. 


Where is the seriousness in resolving this dispute? We’re talking about $1300+ that was ultimately ripped off and zero effort was done to resolve this. This an amount that is considered a felony and Upwork took it as a joke.


I looked up the work this freelancer has as is portfolio (after being threatened by him) and it seems it was taken directly from dribbble.com. 


I've also attached his response towards the dispute.


**Edited for Community Guidelines**

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

**Edited for Community Guidelines**Screen Shot 2023-02-20 at 16.31.46.pngScreen Shot 2023-02-20 at 16.28.06.pngScreen Shot 2023-02-20 at 16.26.26.pngScreen Shot 2023-02-20 at 16.30.20.png**Edited for Community Guidelines**

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

Community Member

Very sorry it didn't work out. I don't know squat about coding. Have you considered arbitration?

Hi Christopher,


I'm sorry to learn about this disappointing experience you had with a freelancer. I had to remove some content from your post because including names of persons or companies (or other identifying information) in an accusation of misconduct, incompetence, or other wrongdoing is not allowed.


I can see that you've already entered into Upwork’s Dispute Assistance process where a dispute specialist will assist both parties in reaching a mutual agreement. If you and the freelancer are unable to come to a mutual agreement, the dispute specialist may provide a non-binding recommendation as part of the process.


If the recommendation is rejected, you and the freelancer may choose to proceed to arbitration for a fee. You may want to check this announcement and this help article to learn more about Disputes.


~ Arjay

Arbitration is now available for Hourly???

Community Member

I don't think so as Upwork covers freelancer under hourly payment protection. 

re: "Arbitration is now available for Hourly???"


I don't believe so.


Arbitration applies only to fixed-price contracts. It can be used to resolve a dispute over who gets money that is in escrow.


Arbitration is not a part of hourly contracts.

Hi Jonathan and other,


Apologies for the confusion in Arjay's response. I would like to clarify that Hourly contracts do not qualify for Arbitration. You can refer to this announcement for more information.


Thank you,



Pradeep, thank you for clarifying and retracting that statement about arbitration on Arjay's post. I suspected that it was a mistake, but wanted to be sure.

Community Member

I'm sorry this happened to you. This is not new, you can find similar threads around, along with good advices to prevent those things from happening (which of course are too late).


It's too late for me to look at some of your screenshots but most likely the $26 is the freelancer's doing. Upwork's dispute doesn't care about evidence, they basically only hold the money and tell the other 2 parties to solve the problem on their own.


How's it going with Upwork's Support? I've also been seeing that they sometimes do something unexpected to help, if the "scam" is obvious like you described.


Can you tell us about the freelancer's profile, about why did you pick him/her at the first place? Did you have a clear understanding about how things work here (such as my explanation about dispute above), before posting the job?

Community Member

re: "The freelancer was fired, he emailed us apologizing for the poor work and for threatening to break the NDA and despite this he logged an additional 16hrs."


I am very sorry that had a disappointing experience while using Upwork.


You need to study the Upwork client-side interface more and learn how to fire freelancers on the platform. It is not actually possible to "fire" a freelancer on Upwork and then see the freelancer log additional hours.


Please ask additional questions in this thread if necessary.

Community Member

It says in the link the mod posted that arbitration is not available for hourly. Upwork says you are free to seek other legal recourse if you want.

Community Member

Being a developer my self I can say that it was total ripped off by freelancer. no one type 56 times on keyboard while working on API. I am sorry to see all this and for your loss.  I am not trying to be harsh but did'nt you have all this activity info on daily basis ?  as a coder your self you should be able to figure out what was going on. Or as Preston always advise on having a Project Manager to handle all that stuff.

Community Member

I am also an intermediate software engineer who has a six year experience developing desktop software applications with .NET core. I am really sorry to hear that Upwork reviewed the hours logged and only issued a 26 dollar refund. Some of the reason that could have made upwork refund such an insignificant amount out of 1500 dollars is the hourly protection they do offer freelancers. If your not satisfied with the decision then you can file for arbitration by a third party but both you and your freelancer will pay for the mediation. I know what it feels like paying more than what you really owe, feels like you got scammed. Since you have the evidence you can demonstrate how the hours might have been fraudulently logged to the team and justice will be done, Good Luck.

Refund thinking hurts clients.


re: "If you're not satisfied with the decision then you can file for arbitration by a third party but both you and your freelancer will pay for the mediation."


Arbitration is not available for hourly contracts.

I meant the arbitration that requires a fee. He can proceed to that kind of dispute resolution. Arbitration is for fixed Price Contracts only? That is news to me, I am also kind of a newbie to the platform.

That's right:
It is possible for a client to DISPUTE an hourly contract's hours.


But ARBITRATION is only for fixed-price contracts.



Arbitration is not part of the Dispute Resolution workflow on Hourly Disputes. To engage in arbitration for Hourly, the Client and FL must do so - jointly - outside of Upwork. (But any proceeds to the FL must have the Upwork cut taken out and given to Upwork). Since it requires both FL and Client to agree to setup arbitration on their own, that most likely will not happen. So, the only recourse at that point is for the Client (or FL) to sue in the appropriate court - and figuring out which court has jurisdiction is a task all its own.

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