We had hired a freelancer for an animation video project. After the fixed payment was release to him, he cancelled the contract. The only work he sent us was a very rough draft of the animation which is completely unusable. Is there a process to request a refund after a contract has been cancelled? We lost a significant sum of money and only have a rough draft of an animation to show for it.
I'll ask someone from our team to follow up with you directly. Please note that clients are advised to release funds only after reviewing the work their freelancer delivered, in order to successfully complete their job and benefit from our Payment Protection.
Michael, I am sorry to hear that you had a disappointing experience with this freelancer.
Whatever Vladimir and the Upwork Team are able to do with this situation (if anything) is a separate matter. I won't comment on that.
But for future reference, the Upwork fixed-price contract model is designed to provide quite a bit of protection to clients. As I hope you now realize, you used the system incorrectly.
The mistakes here were mostly yours. This is a good thing. It means you can correct those mistakes in the future.
In the future, to avoid losing time and money:
- use hourly contracts as well. You can monitor a freelancer's work and close the contract at any time
- don't set up large all-encompassing fixed-price contracts with freelancers you have not worked with before; break projects down into smaller contracts or milestones
- do not release payment until you have received and reviewed the deliverables
@Michael H wrote:
We had hired a freelancer for an animation video project. After the fixed payment was release to him, he cancelled the contract.
On a fixed rate job such as this, there should have been several milestones, not just the one at the end. And for each milestone there should be a well defined set of deliverables required Before any funds in escrow are released.
The only work he sent us was a very rough draft of the animation which is completely unusable.
This could have been a deliverable for maybe the first milestone. And if you approved it, and were satisfied then you could have released a portion of the total amount for the job (which would have been funded into escrow before the work for that milestone started.) If the work did not met the deliverables or requirements of that milestone, then the problem could have been fixed by making sure the freelancer fixed whatever errors there were, or if the job was so off course, the contract could have been closed right then and there without you having to lose any money.
Is there a process to request a refund after a contract has been cancelled? We lost a significant sum of money and only have a rough draft of an animation to show for it.
Yes there is a process ONLY IF there were funds still in escrow. If you closed the contrat at that point all funds would automatically be returned to you unless the freelancer declined that request. at would point, both of you would probably start the dispute process.