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bd2175a2
Community Member

Should I dispute manual hours?

I started a project with a freelancer to do some photoshop work in regards to placing my designs onto provided t shirt mock ups and making them appear realistic.  We were doing this by t shirt style and I was alarmed to see that the first style with about 8-10 colors and 4 designs took the freelancer 14 hours to complete.  I asked him about it, concerned that the 40 hour limit for the week which I figured to be more than sufficient would be quickly consumed. His response was that he did some additional work that was not shared as he was sending over only the complete styles, which makes sense.

 

Day 2 was even worse at 15 hours, with only minimal progress.  I should have stopped him at this point, as I am completely new to photoshop and could reasonably produce similar(not quite as good) quality in a fraction of this time.  My concern is the hours he logged did not nearly justify the quality difference in the work.  Day 3 I cut him off and ended the contract, he had exceeded the 40 hours at this point and provided a half completed style in this time frame.  I reached out to another freelancer that applied for the gig, which she completed about the same amount of work, same quality in a total of 5 hours time.  This to me was a much more reasonable amount of time for the project.

 

Question is, I don't want to dispute this with bad intentions, I just feel like the manual hours that were entered for this project were grossly inefficient.  Should I dispute this or take the losses?

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2a05aa63
Community Member

14 hours a day is too much. 29 hours in 2 days is even less realistic.

Allow manual time only with trusted freelancers or when the work is done off the laptop. And these numbers need to be talked about beforehand. I only use it when I forget to turn on the tracker.

You should absolutely dispute. Manual time is not forced upon the client so you can get back all of it too. There is 0 reason for someone to use the manual time when they shouldn't unless they just want to use all the budget.

Also leave at least some manual time, so your review will be visible on their profile.

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19 REPLIES 19
prestonhunter
Community Member

Thomas:
I'll be really blunt about this:

 

Whether you CAN dispute these manual hours is a different matter than whether you SHOULD dispute these manual hours.

 

To put it simply:

Upwork doesn't care.

 

If you dispute manually-logged hours right now, during the 5-day review period... then Upwork WILL REMOVE those hours from the time that you need to pay for.

 

It doesn't matter if those hours were legitimate. Or fraudulent.

Upwork will remove them.

 

Because that's sort of the point when it comes to manually-logged hours.

How can Upwork possibly know if they were legitimate or fraudulent or not.

 

So, as the client, you are in the driver's seat with this.

 

I guess my advice to you is:

Given the fact that you have already found somebody else to work on this for you, and you really don't need continued help from that freelancer, you can go ahead and dispute as many hours as you want.

 

At this time, because the week has ENDED, you can't ask the freelancer to remove hours. Because his ability to delete time segments ended when the work week ended.

 

As a client, I have had tremendous good fortune with hiring artists on Upwork. I have obtained great results for very low costs. But not EVERY hire of an artist has worked out. So I assume that a certain percentage of hires will fail. I'm not interested in spending more time with underperforming or potentially fraudulent freelancers. "Getting to the bottom" of things is of no interest to me. I don't know all the details of your situation, but if you want somebody to make a decision for you, then you can follow my recommendation to split the difference and dispute HALF of the manual hours logged by the freelancer.

 

And remember that you only have 5 days after the close of a work week during which you may dispute hours:

https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/articles/211062158-Dispute-an-Agency-or-Freelancer-s-Hours

You previously gave me some advice re a freelancer not performing. I'm wondering if I should continue with Upwork or use a competitor?

Also, re fraudulent freelancers, how do you protect yourself from this?

Thanks

re: "I'm wondering if I should continue with Upwork or use a competitor?"

 

You should use whatever platform or tool helps you to achieve the best results.

 

Many clients use Upwork repeatedly, even though they are familiar with other freelance work platforms.

 

Many clients are like me, in that they are familiar with other major freelancer work platforms (and several minor ones), and yet they continue to hire using Upwork. Why is that?

 

Personally, I do NOT use Upwork for everything.

When I hire local people to do work on my house, such as patching drywall, matching texture, mortar work, then I DO NOT use Upwork for that. In theory, I could use Upwork. But I don't use it. Upwork's specialty is not that type of local work. Upwork's specialty is remote work.

 

You are welcome to try out as many platforms as you'd like.

 

There are many ways to fail when using Upwork as an inexperienced user.

When one knows how to use it effectively, Upwork is a powerful tool for getting work done.

 

re: "re fraudulent freelancers, how do you protect yourself from this?"

The most important part of protecting yourself from fraudulent freelancers is to proactively decide that you will never try to get money back from freelancers. Once you have made that decision, everything else falls into place.

Thank you - super advice
2a05aa63
Community Member

14 hours a day is too much. 29 hours in 2 days is even less realistic.

Allow manual time only with trusted freelancers or when the work is done off the laptop. And these numbers need to be talked about beforehand. I only use it when I forget to turn on the tracker.

You should absolutely dispute. Manual time is not forced upon the client so you can get back all of it too. There is 0 reason for someone to use the manual time when they shouldn't unless they just want to use all the budget.

Also leave at least some manual time, so your review will be visible on their profile.

I hire a lot of artists and always allow manual time. It is extremely rare for any of them to use manual time.

 

Photoshop is not something an artist does using pen and paper. Photoshop work is done on the computer. Why would a Photoshop freelancer be using manual time?

Yes not sure the rationale, he used it all three entries as well so not like it was a one off situation.

While design and photo alterations are done on the computer and can use the time tracker, itโ€™s not always the best.

Photoshop requires a lot of computer resources. And Iโ€™ve found that the time tracker is a resource hog and slows down my creative programs making me less efficient. This is one of the main reasons I prefer to not use the time tracker.

Lesson learned on manual time, will be more careful moving forward.  I'm not intending to dispute all hours for sure. At the end of the day he did complete work and it was decent quality.  Just feeling out the etiquette on suspected manual hours abuse.


Thomas P wrote:

Lesson learned on manual time, will be more careful moving forward.  I'm not intending to dispute all hours for sure. At the end of the day he did complete work and it was decent quality.  Just feeling out the etiquette on suspected manual hours abuse.


If the second freelancer completed the same work in 5 hours, I would offer to pay 5 hours max.

That makes sense since it was about half the work, and it's more accurate since it was not manually input.  Will dispute for sure, and give the freelancer that completed the work a bonus Smiley Happy

A lot of times I simply hire multiple artists from the outset to work on the same assignment.

 

But I intentionally limit the maximum number of hours per week.

 

Most all artists I hire these days do a lot of work "by hand", but they use digital drawing tablets (Wacom, etc.). So they aren't using any manual time, even though I allow it.

 

I can see the work in near real-time, and I can end contracts if I like one artists' work more than the others.

 

Everybody gets paid for their time, and I typically tell the artists from the outset that it's a group project. So everybody has been cool about it. I think a lot of times the artists have read my client hiring history and feedback, so they know I'm not going to jam them up with bad feedback or something.

I had limited the hours to 40 hours, not expecting the original freelancer to go near that much time.  On the 3rd day they actually requested for me to increase the limit as they had already 'gone over' by nearly 5 hours. I think that was enough for me there.  I think I was a bit more lenient than I should have been due to the previous feedback on the freelancers profile.

 

Either way, this is resolved.  I disputed all but 10 hours(twice the amount it took to finish, which I feel is more than fair) and freelancer accepted my refund request. Appreciate the insight.


Thomas P wrote:

I had limited the hours to 40 hours, not expecting the original freelancer to go near that much time.  On the 3rd day they actually requested for me to increase the limit as they had already 'gone over' by nearly 5 hours. I think that was enough for me there.  I think I was a bit more lenient than I should have been due to the previous feedback on the freelancers profile.

 

Either way, this is resolved.  I disputed all but 10 hours(twice the amount it took to finish, which I feel is more than fair) and freelancer accepted my refund request. Appreciate the insight.


After they "accepted" do you see only 10 hours in the diary?

Not yet, I still see 44:40 hours in the diary.  The credit is visible in time and payments section of the freelancer's contract.


Thomas P wrote:

Not yet, I still see 44:40 hours in the diary.  The credit is visible in time and payments section of the freelancer's contract.


I wouldn't trust the verbal agreement with them. You still will be charged for the 40 hours. Just file the dispute form to be sure:
image.png

the whole manual:
https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/articles/211062158-Dispute-an-Agency-or-Freelancer-s-Hours

I'm not sure about this process though. As a freelancer I cannot removed any time from In Review.
Someone with experience needs to confirm how this works.

Oh yes I did file a formal dispute, sorry for confusion.  I did get an Upwork notification of the refund and the refund is documented in the contract as well.

petra_r
Community Member


Viacheslav K wrote:

Allow manual time only with trusted freelancers or when the work is done off the laptop. .


Actually, Manual time is the very safest thing as far as clients are concerned. If a freelancer uses manual time, the client will, by default, get their money back (As happened in this case).

 

Had the freelancer used tracked time correctly, the client wouldn't have had a chance of getting anything back.

mipaparazzi
Community Member

I'm a photoshop expert myself and if we need to be realistic the freelancer consumed time in the project, on my side when I recieve any hourly contract and I notice that there are things which can take me off my pc during the time of working on that project, I'll request for a fixed instead of hours and put the charge accordingly. If I happen to accept any hourly contract, it will be based on proper agreement.

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