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Upwork won't let me pay a worker.

exzackley
Active

I had a great experience with a new upworker that upwork had marked as "rising talent." She is based in Russia. She completed the job perfectly. Then upwork suspended her account for violation of terms of service. They won't say why. They refunded my payment instead of paying the upworker and now say that I don't have to pay her. That is not right. If someone does the work, you have to pay them. Upwork says I can pay the worker directly. But the worker says they don't have paypal or anything. The upworker wants to get on skype. Is there a chance this is a scammer? I'm really frustrated at upwork for getting me into this. Very unprofessional. How can they not pay people who've done work?

11 REPLIES 11
petra_r
Community Guru

@Zack E wrote:

 How can they not pay people who've done work?


 If those people are not who or where or what they say they are...

But what does that mean? This person wants to get on skype. What is the scam?

And how can Upwork allow people to do work while keeping the option open to not paying them? This seems illegal. They should make people go through the checks before letting them enter in to contracts. 

 

Zack

If a freelancer comes here and lies about who they are so they can participate in the benefits of membership then they risk having their account deactivated / closed.  If you contacted the Upworker and they asked to Skype with you it's up to you if you want to do this.  Chances are if they are willing to lie to Upwork then they will lie to you as well. 

So how does Upwork figure out if someone is lying? And why don't they just require ID etc up front before letting people get into contracts? (I thought they did.)

 

AND even if someone is lying, if they do work, they need to get paid. For example, in the US even if a worker uses false documents, they still need to get paid for the work they did. 

 

This is a bad look for Upwork.  

If you feel the work should be paid for then stop looking here and find a way to pay them.  Just don't be surprised if something goes wrong because you chose to pay someone who couldn't even follow Upwork's simple rules.

I would really love to get an answer to my question about why Upwork allows people to enter into contracts without verifying their identity to their satisfaction. 

 

If you accept someone's identity and enter into a contract with them, and accept valuable work from them, you can not then later say, "Actually, we now don't believe you, and thanks for the free work."

 

Does anyone else here not think that's crazy?

Zack,
How do you know this is about identity? Maybe the freelancer was getting paid off the platform from another client, which is again strictly against UW rules and can be a good reason for suspension.

If they find out that an upworker broke terms or whatever then they should terminate their account. But they need to allow clients to pay up for work done. 

 

Doesn't anyone think it's wrong to not pay someone for work done? Are only clients on here or something? 

 

It's illegal in most countries to not pay workers for work done -- doesn't matter if they used false documents or whatever. This makes it look like Upwork is using the cross border thing to stiff workers. I don't think they intend to -- and they should change their policy to pay up with workers who've done work before terminating their accounts. 

 

It's also strange that they've allowed me to keep communicating with the upworker on their platform. So if this person IS a scammer, Upwork is letting them work their scam. Though it's really hard to see what scam starts with doing a weeks worth of unpaid programming work. 

Zack, I agree with you. And you sound like a great client. As long as the freelancer wasn't misrepresenting themselves or having someone else do the work in their make, I agree that they deserve to be paid.

We don't know why your freelancer was suspended and I think it's admirable that you're giving them the benefit of the doubt.

But that freelancer, had they read the terms of service, probably knew that their payments could be withheld in the case of suspension. They could have done anything from having two accounts to submitting too many copy paste proposals without getting many jobs. We'll never know.

If your freelancer doesn't expect you to pay them, don't worry about it. If they don't have PayPal or a bank account, then something fishy was probably going on because you need a method of payment to be a freelancer on Upwork in the first place.

But it's really nice of you to worry about that and you're a good client. Most clients would take the money and run; however, so good for you for being a decent person.

@Zack E wrote:

If you accept someone's identity and enter into a contract with them, and accept valuable work from them, you can not then later say, "Actually, we now don't believe you, and thanks for the free work."


 Oh you can, there are many situations like that, where it would actually illegal to pay them. Say, for example, the freelancer said they are in Russia but are really in Crimea, Upwork would be legally forbidden to have any business dealings with them because of the US sanctions. Any company that handles funds is also bound by KYC (Know Your Customer) legislation so that comes into it.

 

Generally if a freelancer is kicked off the platform they DO get paid. It is only in serious cases that funds are refunded to the client.

 

Zack E wrote:  Though it's really hard to see what scam starts with doing a weeks worth of unpaid programming work. 

 I would hazard a wild guess that when / if you get on Skype you may possibly find your programmer in China or not too far from there..............

 

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