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Community Member

Why would a free lancer want to delay a refund.

I'm new to upwork. I have been working with a freelancer for a couple of months now. At the start it was ok but as the contract wore on working with this person became increasingly slow. It got to the pont where tasks where taking over double the time and what was delivered did not work in the way it was intended. Every other build was broken and in the end it was costing far too much time. We got to a point where I could not continue so I asked for my money back on the features that had not been delivered. The payment has already been made and now the freelancer is saying that he can't pay me untill the 20th. He cliams he does not have the money in his account. Does my ability for recourse on upwork expire? Is there any reason that he would want to delay paying me back the agreed upon amount  for 9 days? Please advise.

Community Member

Stewart -  since the payment was already sent, then I doubt that this freelancer will refund what he already has. Normally, you could get back whatever is in escrow (if this is a fixed rate job) or you could only dispute hours worked if they are manual or not related to your job, if this was an hourly job and the hours are current.


The reason this freelancer is delaying, is probably because they are trying to stall you. IMO this freelancer has no intention of refunding you anything. At the end of 9 days, you'll probably get another excuse from him, IF, he still responds to your messages.  



Community Member

Stewart, as far as I know, there is no point in delaying the refund.

Even if the freelancer don't have amount in their Upwork account, they can initiate a refund and Upwork will process it.

Please go through this link : https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/articles/211068538-Give-a-Refund


Once you submit a refund:

  • Upwork creates a credit on your client's account and a debit on your account for the balance of the refund.
  • The credit becomes available on the client's account right away.
  • The refunded amount (including refunded fees) is deducted from your lifetime earnings with the client for determining your relationship’s service fee.

@Ramesh K wrote:

Even if the freelancer don't have amount in their Upwork account, they can initiate a refund and Upwork will process it

 Wrong. If the freelancer has no actual or at least pending balance no refund can be given. The freelancer has to wait until they have at least a pending balance, equal or mor than the amount to be refunded, or communicate with Support to send money to Upwork via PayPal (only) so there is a balance to refund from.


Obviously if there is no money, none can be refunded. 


That is one reason why the freelancer might be delaying the refund. The other reason could be that they are waiting for funds to become available, to be able to withdraw ssome pending funds and run without issuing a refund.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Stewart,


I'm sorry to hear about the outcome of your contract and the status of your project. I checked and since the payments were already processed on your Hourly contract, you need to communicate with your freelancer directly about issuing a refund you mentioned. Note that you will have the option to describe your experience on this job and rate the freelancer once you close the contract.

~ Vladimir
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