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Refund the money in the fund and cancel the contract

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Active Member
Chen Fong G Member Since: Oct 8, 2017
11 of 12

 

Just want to share my bitter experience. I may lose my Upwork account soon, so I might not be able to reply to you guys.

 

I have a dispute with a freelancer I will call AS. I hired him to create an image library for me. He agreed to contract terms, then delivered close to nothing.

 

Along the way AS behaved in a very unprofessional, lazy and plain irresponsible manner. I had to teach him how to draw. It is normal to expect illustrators to do different drafts and revise them, but AS refused to try different sketches or versions. He even claimed in his dispute that I didn't teach him.

 

I am a good writer. I was once a freelance copywriter and writer myself. My discussions with him have been very clear from my side. AS has deliberately ignored or repudiated my instructions all the way.

 

There is no dispute that AS has delivered practically nothing on the contract.

 

He was unreasonable. He made just a few poor quality sketches for instance, but wanted full pay for what he called 'honest work'. (See attachments). I paid AS $10 hoping to back out from contract, but $52 remains in escrow.

 

AS is claiming the full remaining $52 for doing practically nothing.

 

I valued AS' work as worth no more than $7 and that a $10 payment, which I already made, was way more than what AS did.

 

The Upwork dispute specialist agreed with all of my claims. All of my claims.

 

But despite all that – she still formally recommended I make an additional payment of $10 to AS. But I have already paid $10. AS has taken that money and still insists on disputing. And now I have to pay more? I am refusing of course.

 

Upwork dispute specialist urges me to go with her recommendation so that it is possible to make AS end his dispute.

 

If there is no agreement, money will remain stuck in escrow.

 

AS has earned practically nothing, and Upwork dispute specialist agrees. But as long as AS is not paid off, his dispute remains good and Upwork cannot release my funds. Upwork refuses to get involved in passing judgment even though it is clearly a case of 'work not done', 'work not delivered', 'refusal to work' and 'contract terms not met even long after the original deadline'. Upwork's TOS does not require it to pass judgment, and they don't.

 

I have no doubt AS knows he would lose arbitration, but he just wants to be difficult hoping that he can extort something from me via noncooperation.

 

What would most normal people do? They would pay at least part of AS' demand, just so that he can be 'bought off' and walk off with more money than he is entitled to. This arrangement costs the freelancer nothing, so the customer is the only one that suffers.

 

The only way to get my money out, is to pay for arbitration. It will cost $875 to go for arbitration, more than the value of this contract. So my money will be stuck in escrow for an indefinite time.

 

I am seriously considering choosing arbitration. I have two business days to decide. I'll lose money, but the point is to teach AS a lesson that he cannot behave so badly without consequences from angry customers. In arbitration, Upwork, freelancer and customer all have to share costs. This means each party is in for $291. If AS had to share arbitration costs with me, he will think twice about using disputes to make money in future.

 

AS has spent almost no time on this contract and demonstrated all kinds of bad atittudes, yet he now wields power. I can't get my money out from escrow without him agreeing, so this is a great way for a lazy freelancer to make money after doing just a nominal amount of work. Dispute everything knowing that you can lock up people's monies and force them to pay you off.

 

I almost want to be a freelancer again. Looks like a great way to run perfectly legal scams. And to think that when I was a freelancer I worked so hard!

 

Let me quote a senior member of this community, Preston H. He said this on another post that I agree with 100%. This is the bitter lesson I learnt:

 

"""One thing that may not have been stated explicitly, but which I think most of us would agree on:

 

Don't try to negotiate work quality with a freelancer who has demonstrated that they're not up to the task.

 

You might discuss how to end the project, how to finalize payment, how to deliver files created thus far.

 

But if a freelancer can't produce what you need, discussing the matter with her isn't going to help. It is not a client's job to teach a freelancer how to perform the tasks the freelancer claims to be an expert in.”””

 

When younger I used to do a lot of volunteer work. As I got busy I donated money. After falling victim to a major scam 3 years ago I have donated no money for 3 years. Now I am faced with paying $291 for arbitration, and I'm thinking maybe it is the right thing to do. A dishonest freelancer needs to find that it can be expensive to try and defraud clients. It's the equivalent of giving a schoolyard bully a bloody nose.

 

I have another possible option. I can bring this case up with my bank for credit card chargeback. However as Upwork's rep has warned me, I will lose all access to Upwork.com if I file a chargeback. And in the meantime AS doesn't need to do anything. He clearly did not deliver, yet he won't be the one losing his account!

 

So in other words, I can't complain. I can only pay more money. That's my only possible option. And I have gotten almost nothing delivered.

 

This is a totally great system for freelancers to abuse.

 

I don't even understand how AS could have built a good rating based on projects done. Yet he has done hundreds of projects, supposedly! He did not show good attitude, or even basic competence, right from the start with me. Because attitude is a habit, and because someone who has done hundreds of projects should have no problem doing very basic cartoon faces, what I suspect is that AS is not an individual, but a bunch of people sharing the same account. Or maybe his cousin and other relatives are piggybacking on his account due to his good reputation.

 

In my country, average working hours are very long. We work very hard. Our culture is extremely unfriendly to cases of 'work not done'. So you can't deliver close to nothing and expect the credit card companies, the banks, or the court system here, to take your side. 

 

In any case, I'm out. Will never do business on this website again. I'll probably send this for arbitration in a few days. At some point credit card chargeback might be filed and I will lose my Upwork access. Thank you all for reading.

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

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Moderator
Vladimir G Moderator Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
12 of 12

Hi Chen Fong,

 

I'm sorry you feel this way but would like to reiterate that you received proper information regarding the dispute process and Payment Protection on your support and main dispute ticket, as well as here on the thread I merged your latest comment to. 

 

I read you comment and would like to point out the following:

 

But despite all that – she still formally recommended I make an additional payment of $10 to AS. But I have already paid $10. AS has taken that money and still insists on disputing. And now I have to pay more? I am refusing of course.

 

Upwork dispute specialist urges me to go with her recommendation so that it is possible to make AS end his dispute.

 

1. Our dispute agent is not urging you to issue a payment to your freelancer but proposed an option which woul enable for the dipute to be closed and for you to receive the requested Escrow funds since an agreement couldn't have been reached in your communication thus far, in line with our procedure in the mediation staghe of the dispute.

 

If there is no agreement, money will remain stuck in escrow.

 

2. Please rerefr to the information shared above, on your dispute ticket and in the dispute-related resources we shared with you, and note that if there's no agreement reached dispute will proceed with arbitration.

 

AS has earned practically nothing, and Upwork dispute specialist agrees. But as long as AS is not paid off, his dispute remains good and Upwork cannot release my funds. Upwork refuses to get involved in passing judgment even though it is clearly a case of 'work not done', 'work not delivered', 'refusal to work' and 'contract terms not met even long after the original deadline'. Upwork's TOS does not require it to pass judgment, and they don't.

 

3. To clarify, our team is not allowed to pass judgement but only propose solutions to both parties, before a third-party arbitration service is involved.

 

The only way to get my money out, is to pay for arbitration. It will cost $875 to go for arbitration, more than the value of this contract. So my money will be stuck in escrow for an indefinite time.

 

4. Please see point 2 above and additionally note the time frame for accepting or declining the arbitration request. 

 

So in other words, I can't complain. I can only pay more money. That's my only possible option. And I have gotten almost nothing delivered.

 

This is a totally great system for freelancers to abuse.

 

5. Please review all the information shared and let us know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the dispute process.

 

 

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