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Ripped off by freelancer $2000 USD

Active Member
David H Member Since: Jul 26, 2017
1 of 13

I hired my first freelancer and need help to resolve the issue after the freelancer is not communicating now they have their money.

 

I hired a freelancer for a reasonable hourly rate of 60 USD/hr on the basis of their claimed qualifications (Oxford Uni and London School of Economics) and reviews.

 

They completed the work with the time tracker although with periods of inactivity and most of it being web browsing, without much actual typing or analysis. They mentioned they have a dual screen setup so Upwork wasnt capturing it properly.

 

I received the output for 30hrs work and nothing earlier, with a very low quality level, inconsistencies, plagiarism, copy and pasted charts from the web made to look as if it was specific work for me. An exmaple is charts and texts copy and pasted, inconsistencies in things said versus things presented, and generally not what I asked for. I am honestly surprised that this has happened given their skills, experience and reviews. I also reached out throughout the hours to see if they had any questions or needed guidance but with nothing in return. They acted as if they could do the job easily.

 

The result is I have paid $2000 for something worthless to me. The freelancer isn't communicating and I can't seem to get any help from Upwork. Can someone please help me? This does not seem right and it is a large amount of money that will impact me significantly.

 

Can anyone suggest what now? Can Upwork help me somehow?

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
2 of 13

lol Oxford. That's pretty doubtful. Did this person have a history on here?

 

Never hire a noob with 0 history on here for a large project to start off. For writing, just ask them to write something short and sweet for your blog and evaluate from there.

 

If the time is in the review period, you can dispute it. You need to do it sooner rather than later.

Ace Contributor
Damon H Member Since: Oct 4, 2016
3 of 13

Hello David,

 

If it is not too late, you can dispute their hours in the work diary. I recommend that you contact Upwork's support team for furthur assistance, they are the best people who can help you Smiley Very Happy

 

Good luck with getting your money back!

 

Regards, Damon H.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
4 of 13

As a practical matter... There may be extreme limitations to Upwork's ability to get any of this money back to you.

 

It is not clear that the freelancer you hired actually broke any rules. It would seem he was simply in way over his head.

 

I'm really sorry about the situation.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
5 of 13

Two main mistakes were made in this contract:

 

1) The client hired the wrong person for the job.

2)The client did not closely monitor the new freelancer's work in the beginning and evaluate the work that was being done.

 

The client apparently did not understand that it is impossible to know how well a freelancer will work out for a project. So the client hired only one freelancer and allowed that freelancer to log time worth $2000 before seeing the work. The client should not have done that no matter who was hired.

 

When a client hires a new freelancer... and by "new", I mean a freelance the client has not worked with... the client should only allow an hour or two of work to be do before closely reviewing the work results.

 

In this situation, it seems to me that the freelancer tricked the client in many ways. The freelancer managed to log a lot of time without allowing the client to review the work. Unfortunately, this does not constitute grounds for a refund.

 

A truly professional freelancer would have insisted on providing the work being done to the the client on a continual basis. The freelancer would have made certain that the client could review it at any time. That is what I do. A genuine profesional would not have wanted to produce work that was unusable. A professional would have desired to verify that the work being done was on track and was being done in the right style and manner that would fit the client's needs.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
6 of 13

re: "They completed the work with the time tracker although with periods of inactivity and most of it being web browsing, without much actual typing or analysis. They mentioned they have a dual screen setup so Upwork wasnt capturing it properly."

 

No, that is not how the desktop time-tracker application works.

 

Depending on the setting the use chooses, it either captures BOTH screens, or it captures the ACTIVE screen... the screen the user is actually using at the time that the screenshot is taken.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
7 of 13

For a project this size, an experienced client would either:

 

- serially hire freelancers for small test portions of the job, carefully evaluate their work, and close the contract on freelancers whose work does not measure up; then hire another freelancer

 

[or, better yet:]

 

- hire multiple individuals to work on the same test portion of the job, or even different sections; carefully evaluate the work that all of them do, consider how much value each provides, how much time each took to submit the work, etc. Then hire only the best to continue on the project until completion.

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
8 of 13

@Preston H wrote:

 

 

A truly professional freelancer would have insisted on providing the work being done to the the client on a continual basis. The freelancer would have made certain that the client could review it at any time. That is what I do. A genuine profesional would not have wanted to produce work that was unusable. A professional would have desired to verify that the work being done was on track and was being done in the right style and manner that would fit the client's needs.


 Preston, this is a great idea in theory, but it simply doesn't work in every arena. This project sounds like a perfect example. If I were working on this type of project, the first several hours would likely involve simply pulling resources and culling through them, with nothing to share with the client except perhaps copies of my marked-up printouts of various articles, studies, etc (which would not likely be especially informative to the client). The actual production of anything meaningful is (at least, in my process) the last or second-to-last step. There's simply no production to monitor in a project that is heavily weighted toward research and analysis in the interest of production of some final report or synthesis.

 

 

Moderator
Vladimir G Moderator Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
9 of 13

Hi David,

 

I'm sorry to hear you're not satisfied with the work your freelancer delivered. I see you're already actively communicating with our team and shared the request to initiate a dispute for the time they logged. Please keep checking your open ticket for further updates and our team will guide you through this process.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
10 of 13

Tiffany:

Excellent points about how a big writing project might entail significant up-front time doing research.

 

If I was working on that project as a freelancer, at the very least I would have sent messages to the client every couple hours updating them about my progress. One or two sentences.

 

And if my work involved collecting articles or taking notes or creating an outline, I would have made certain that the client knew these were available to him at his request.

 

An hourly contract means that all work done belongs to the client. Not just a finished, agreed-upon deliverable as is the case with fixed-price contracts.

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