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e2563770
Member

Sense for arbitration for jobs under 300 USD

Hi,

 

I have a dispute with the freelancer who just ignores the task description, all terms, and now requires full payment. We are in the mediation process, but it looks like Mediation Specialist is a robot scrip because it doesn't answer my questions, just posts fixed phrases after a fixed time. That's why I'm asking about the details here.

 

As I said, I have a dispute. I'm a client who ordered some kind of work, fully described in the task, with fixed payment 300 USD and fixed time frame 1 month.

 

From the start freelancer showed strange behavior - he was irresponsible, very passive, I waited for each answer several days, he ignored all accepted task requirements, for the month he did nothing. Just spent 5 minutes on the project - I think just to have a chance to say "I worked" at the mediation process. Moreover, in chat, 1.5 weeks before the deadline, when I already saw that he didn't have time to complete project, he again accepted term - project completed before the deadline, or I'll request a refund.

 

After the deadline, I didn't get any results, even didn't get a message about a new term or time frame, he even didn't answer on my last request. So I completed the project and requested a full refund as I needed to move forward with my project asap. From this time the freelancer became very active - he started comment each message in a few hours, he started a dispute and requested FULL payment. He said that he worked with the project a lot, spend all time, and completed all that required. But in facts, even in attached to dispute proofs, work results are empty.

 

So, my question - now everything goes to arbitrage with AAA, and I have to pay an additional 291 USD for the project with locked 300 USD. But, does it make sense - to spend money and time to return 9 USD? I see the freelancer planned all of it - of course, most of the clients with projects under 300 USD will not spend time and money, will not risk an additional 291 USD, and will release funds with thinking "hell with him". And who will work with Upwork after this?

Do I have any other way to resolve this situation?

 

Even if it is possible - I can't push freelancers to return to the project and complete it, by his history now I see - he holds projects for ages without result, even if it 60 USD project. Now he has at least two projects with 1 star and with the same situation in the feedback like mine. Does anyone control such freelancers?


Thanks.

5 REPLIES 5
g_vasilevski
Retired Team Member
Retired Team Member

Hi Vitaliy,

 

I`m sorry to hear about the bad experience you had. I would also like to clarify our dispute process:

If the client and freelancer are unable to come to a mutual agreement, the dispute specialist may provide a non-binding recommendation. If the recommendation is rejected, the client and freelancer may choose to proceed to arbitration for a fee.
To learn more about our dispute process you can check out this Thread

If one party pays for arbitration and the other does not, the dispute is found in the paying party’s favor. Escrow is released to the paying party and the arbitration fees are returned. Thank you.

~ Goran
Upwork
prestonhunter
Member

Vitaliy:
You are correct in your understanding that there are real problems and assocaited with the dispute and arbitration processes on Upwork.

 

You have pointed out that it may make very little sense to go to arbitration for a job that is under $300 in cost. Because mathematically, does it make sense to pay $291 for the CHANCE that you might get $300 or less back?

 

Let me help you out by pointing out that a wise, effective client plans to NEVER USE the arbitration OR the dispute process on Upwork.


As a practical matter, these processes are really only for FREELANCERS. They're not meant for serious clients.

 

The dispute and arbitration processes are "officially" available for clients as well. I am aware of that. But from a business perspective, clients are better off in the long run if they approach Upwork while planning to NEVER USE these.

 

Instead: Hire and manage freelancers proactively and effectively. Never think of dispute and arbitration processes as "get out of jail free" cards. Never think that if things go wrong, you have a way out.

 

What does this mean in practice, if I decide RIGHT NOW that I will NEVER file a dispute against a freelancer?

It means that I don't hire a freelancer with a fixed-price contract expecting that I can get the money back.

 

Maybe that means I hire freelancers using only relatively small contracts to start out with.

 

I don't know FOR CERTAIN if this freelancer will be able to write the book that I need.

So instead of hiring him to write the whole book and putting down a substantial amount in escrow, I just hire him to write ONE CHAPTER. If I don't like his work, I close the contract and don't continue working with him again. What I DON'T do is try to avoid payiing him for that one chapter. Not because I'm nice. Not because I'm trying to do the "right thing." But because it is a waste of my time and resources.

 

My time is valuable. My time is money.

 

So that freelancer let me down? I don't care about him. His writing is terrible. I'm not going to tutor him. I'm just going to fire him from the project and not talk to him any more.

 

I have hired 4 other freelancers to write the same chapter.

3 of them actually did an okay job.

1 of them did a GREAT job.

 

I fire ALL of them from the project and I have only the BEST one write the rest of the book.

 

And I don't even feel bad about it. I never actually told any of them that they would be writing the whole book. I only said that this was the first chapter in a 20-chapter book. They were all hired to write one chapter, and they were all paid for their work.

 

I throw away 4 versions of Chapter 1, and I keep the best.

 

I save a lot of money with this approach, and I get the work done that I need, with the level of quality that I need.

 

And see how I never once used the dispute or arbitration processes.

re: "I have a dispute with the freelancer who just ignores the task description, all terms, and now requires full payment. We are in the mediation process, but it looks like Mediation Specialist is a robot scrip because it doesn't answer my questions, just posts fixed phrases after a fixed time. That's why I'm asking about the details here. As I said, I have a dispute. I'm a client who ordered some kind of work, fully described in the task, with fixed payment 300 USD and fixed time frame 1 month."

 

I don't believe it is possible to know with certainty how a freelancer will work out before actually hiring the freelancer.

 

So I, too, might have hired this same freelancer.

 

Except I never would have gone to the dispute process, and I never would have considered arbitration.


Because I would not have put $300 into an escrow payment that I couldn't afford to walk away from.

 

Instead, I would have hired this freelancer using an hourly contract. And after the first hour, I would have seen that this freelancer is not providing me anything at all of value. So I would have simply closed the contract, and I would be out only one hour's worth of this freelancer's time. Which is how much? Ten dollars? Fifty dollars? Either way, it is better than losing $300. And I don't lose ANY more time on this because I just fired the freelancer and blocked him.

Or if I had used a fixed-price contract, it would not have been for $300. It would have been for the first part of the task. For $50.

 

And then when this freelancer did what you described (ignored the task desription, ignored terms, etc.)... Then I would have just closed the contract on my own and blocked him. And there's nothing he could do about it.

 

So I would never be in the position of trying to decide if I should pay $291 for the POSSIBILITY of getting $300 (a possible net "win" of nine dollars).

 

Also, I know that the overwhelming majority of arbitration situations are decided IN FAVOR OF THE FREELANCER.


So as a client... really, what is the point in even thinking about disputes and arbitration? I purge these from my mind.

tta192
Member

If you're sure he does not have a case, just pay the arbitration fee and wait. The freelancer most probably won't pay his part as he very well knows it would be in vain. At that point you'll get all funds back: the arbitration fee plus the escrow.

When it all ends make sure to leave him appropriate feedback with comments describing the situation.

 

I'm thinking about this way.

 

But that’s what bothers me: one time I've already thought that I protected by service, and now I see that working with freelancers from freelancers boards, without 3rd parties, I have better protections. And, at the same time, there are we don't pay so big commission as on Upwork. And what I may expect from the next step, if I will have to have frozen here 600 USD and zero result?

 

For me, this situation is too obvious - I spent money, I got zero results. Why I have to pay again to return my 1-st part of money and risk again? Can somebody imaginary the same situation anywhere more? In a shop, tickets, booking...

 

Of course, I'm going to leave "good" feedback for the freelancer, and for Upwork too.

 

Does anybody already have any experience in this way - to go to arbitrage using AAA?

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