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Source files/Escrow/Payment

Active Member
Scott K Member Since: Nov 12, 2015
1 of 4

The developer for our **edited for Community Guidelines** project is refusing to allow us to see the Unity file we paid them to do because they are saying they want payment first.  The money is already in escrow but that's not good enough for them.  We need to test the Unity file art before we release funds as otherwise we don't know if the job was done properly.  What do you recommend we do?

Community Guru
Scott E Member Since: Jul 26, 2015
2 of 4

Fair enough if escrow wasn't funded... but if the money is in place, and you need to see the final files to ensure the work has been completed to specification, then personally I'd say the freelancer doesn't really have a leg to stand on. Tell him you want to see the final files and you'll release escrow. Otherwise, you're more than happy to cancel the project and get a full refund if he's not interested in being paid for his work.  

"Welcome, humans. I'm ready for you!"
- Box, Logan's Run (1976)
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
3 of 4

Yeah, I understand it's standard not to give up the source until final payment is made, but the money is in escrow. That's what escrow is for. They need to give you the files and even if you disappear, they get the escrow in 14 days.


I was working with a client who got completely mowed over by their developers. He had to dispute and fight to get his source code. Had he released the final payment before getting a half developed product that did not work at all, he probably never would have gotten anything. These developers didn't want to give them the code either without release of the escrow. When they finally gave him the code, nothing worked, nothing was coded to spec, and it was only about 1/4 of the source code (they claimed ownership of custom DLLs). He still got shafted, but a little less shafted since he had the escrow leverage.

Community Guru
Darrin O Member Since: Jan 20, 2015
4 of 4

@Scott K wrote:

The developer for our "3D Basketball Design for Unity"

Well, that link wouldn't work for us and will probably be removed by Upwork anyway, but a search of the title turns up a still-open job where an apparently very experienced freelancer was hired.  What's odd, beyond the fact they show no JSS, is that their history shows only hourly jobs, and this job was posted as hourly, but it and a couple other recent hires were fixed price.  Something about it smells funny, as though the person doing the work for you isn't the person who has that history.

What do you recommend we do?

If the freelancer is unfamiliar with how fixed price jobs work, along with escrow, tell them they need to read up on how Upwork works in that regard.  If they want to take their ball and go home (ha!), you'll be out some time but no money.  Let them know you'll be happy to end the contract if they don't want to submit any work.


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