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Re: dispute with **Edited for community guidelines**

Active Member
Sam P Member Since: Dec 7, 2018
1 of 14

We hired an overseas company **Edited for community guidelines** to do a project for us, 10 milestones, totally $29,000, we paid the initial kick-off fee of $5800 as 1st milestone because they said they need to allocate resources, then they showed us some screen snaps that they are going to implement for us and we paid $1450 as 2nd milestone, so far we paid $7250 for several screen snaps, they kept sending us the exactly  same message as new updates and rarely responded to us in time, even if we sent inquiries it seemed they just ignored them. I want your help to tell me the procedures to get the $7,250 back?

I will archive all communication with ten and compile a PDF file to this thread so that everyone can see what happened.

Thanks!

Sam

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
BEST ANSWER
2 of 14

re: "we paid the initial kick-off fee of $5800 as 1st milestone because they said they need to allocate resources"

 

Sam:

Upwork has an escrow system in place that allows clients to allocate funds for a milestone, but not release the work until after the work has been received and reviewed.

 

I strongly urge you to follow this practice.

 

Honest, professional, highly-qualified Upwork freelancers can begin work on development projects such as yours WITHOUT any need to "allocate resources."

 

As a client, you should receive functional, reviewable source code, and receive aspects of a development project in a testable, modular fashion.

 

That way you can confirm the work that is being done and release payments for it as you receive it.

 

re: "I want your help to tell me the procedures to get the $7,250 back?"

 

Upwork intends for clients to use its fixed-price contract model in this way: You receive work from the freelancer, verify it, and only then release payment.

 

There IS a five-day security period after you release payment before a freelancer can withdraw the funds. If the freelancer has not yet withdrawn the funds you released to him, then it may be possible to contact Upwork Customer Support and ask for their help in recovering funds. This isn't the normal procedure, however.

 

I can't promise anything. Upwork may well NOT have your money any longer. They may not have any way of getting it back from the freelancer, other than you sending a note to the freelancer to ask them to issue a refund. Which is a request that the freelancer may decline.

 

Upwork Customer Support may not be able to do what you're asking. You could consider working with the freelancer. If the freelancer is actually working on this project, as you hired them to do, then ask them to provide you with the current source code and ask them set up a way to test some of the work they have done so far. Tell them this will be important in helping you decide whether or not to continue working with them on this project.

Active Member
Sam P Member Since: Dec 7, 2018
3 of 14

Hi Preston, I really appreciate your help and hope to get refunds from **Edited for community guidelines** soon, this morning I sent them an official email requesting for refund and now I am preparing all the back and forth communication messages into a PDF file so that I can attache to this thread.

Moderator
Bojan S Moderator Member Since: Mar 9, 2018
4 of 14

Hi Sam,

 

I'm sorry to hear about your experience. I have escalated your concern to our team, and one of our team members will reach out to you directly and assist you further as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

~ Bojan
Untitled
Active Member
Sam P Member Since: Dec 7, 2018
5 of 14

Hi Boja,  it is very appreciated!

Highlighted
Active Member
Sam P Member Since: Dec 7, 2018
6 of 14

Actually if you have time to take a look at the message thread in upwork, it is very clear how we were fooled by **Edited for community guidelines** and I hope this also alerts the other clients not to be a second victim. Thanks!

Active Member
Sam P Member Since: Dec 7, 2018
7 of 14

Hi Bojan,

 

The first milestone they calimed was for "Allocate resource", can I get this $5800.00 into the escow account and still pay them if they do a better job? Thanks!

Active Member
Sam P Member Since: Dec 7, 2018
8 of 14

I initially contacted with two persons of this **Edited for community guidelines** company, last week one of them, **Edited for community guidelines**  told me she did not work for the company any longer, the other one, **Edited for community guidelines** told me he would be off the office for several weeks, **Edited for community guidelines** sent me an email yesterday and said **Edited for community guidelines**  had transferred his work to another person, **Edited for community guidelines** never did not responde to my email and linkedin inquires any longer.

But from the very beginning I got all the promises from **Edited for community guidelines** including pay the $5800 "allocat resource " Fee .

Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
9 of 14

@Sam P wrote:

We hired an overseas company **Edited for community guidelines** to do a project for us, 10 milestones, totally $29,000,

 

Each milestone should have had a detailed set of deliverables and a portion of the total price of the job deposited into escrow. 

we paid the initial kick-off fee of $5800 as 1st milestone because they said they need to allocate resources,

 

You should not have paid a kick off fee of any amount until you had the deliverables of the 1st milestone sent to you and you were satisfied with the results of that work. Then you could have approved the milestone and funded the next one. I don't know what type of job you posted, but freelancers should have the resources they need to work and complete your or any job. 

 

then they showed us some screen snaps that they are going to implement for us and we paid $1450 as 2nd milestone,

 

Was the scope of work, for the 2nd milestone just showing screen snaps? If so, then they did complete that 2nd milestone. If not, then you should not have released any money from escrow.

 

so far we paid $7250 for several screen snaps, they kept sending us the exactly  same message as new updates and rarely responded to us in time, even if we sent inquiries it seemed they just ignored them. I want your help to tell me the procedures to get the $7,250 back?

 

The choices of getting your money back, is zero. IF there are still funds in escrow you can request a refund. If the freelancer disputes that request then you go into mediation and arbitration. Other then that, the only recourse you have is to ask the freelancer to refund what was already paid to them. (or ask for a partial refund as a partial is better then none at all.) I highly doubt that the freelancer will refund anything to you. They are oversees (as you state) they already have the money and are not obligated to refund anything because they know there's nothing you can do to them. 

 

I will archive all communication with ten and compile a PDF file to this thread so that everyone can see what happened.

Thanks!

Sam

 

To use this site correctly, what all clients should do, is to set milestones with detailed requirements/scope of work. Then fund those milestones. ONLY when work is delivered and meets the requirements that were defined for that milestone, AND you are satisfied with the results, and have the actual work in your hands (and not pictures) then and only then should you release those funds.  IMO, I believe that the amount funded should be smaller towards the beginning and larger at the end so that freelancers have the incentive to finish the job. If you pay most of the price in the beginning, the freelancer has most of the money so why finish the job. 

Of course, not all freelancers are scammers as this company/freelancer were. Most of us are professionals 

 

Upwork has escrow to prevent situations such as what happened to you and if you use it properly, those situations will not happen.

Client funds milestone, freelancer delivers work, client approves and releases funds.

 

Preston ( a freelancer) always recommends that large projects with a big budget such as yours = that a project manager should be hired to keep track of what is going on and to make sure everything is delivered and on track. They know what to look for, they know when things are not going right or not what they should be.


 

Active Member
Sam P Member Since: Dec 7, 2018
10 of 14

Kathy, I appreciate your help! Here it's a little details:

 

Sam P wrote:

We hired an overseas company **Edited for community guidelines** to do a project for us, 10 milestones, totally $29,000,

 

Each milestone should have had a detailed set of deliverables and a portion of the total price of the job deposited into escrow. 

we paid the initial kick-off fee of $5800 as 1st milestone because they said they need to allocate resources,

 

You should not have paid a kick off fee of any amount until you had the deliverables of the 1st milestone sent to you and you were satisfied with the results of that work. Then you could have approved the milestone and funded the next one. I don't know what type of job you posted, but freelancers should have the resources they need to work and complete your or any job. 

We did a small $250 job via upwork and was successful, the freelance was so good to finish that small job for me, this encourages me to post more jobs on upwork. But this time it is really our first time to work with a developer team with a big budget, I am paying all of this by myself, I hesitated in the beginning, but the own convinced me that everything would be fine (I will also put his promised email in this thread soon), I thought it was reasonable to pay first  for him to allocate his resources, but now based on the information we collected, he doesn’t have any resources to allocate.

 

then they showed us some screen snaps that they are going to implement for us and we paid $1450 as 2nd milestone,

 

Was the scope of work, for the 2nd milestone just showing screen snaps? If so, then they did complete that 2nd milestone. If not, then you should not have released any money from escrow.

 

The only thing we received so far were several screen snaps, no source code, nothing else. A professional company website design is a milestone of the project, they sent me a static one page HTML page and claimed it is complete, then I showed them a page that I designed three months ago by myself by using wordpress, it took me only a couple of hours to finish that website design, the one he showed us is nothing better than the one I finished. Also I will post their design here for you to take a look, and they are claiming its completed and I should pay $2,900  for that garbage, they already withdrawn that preview website link, but I do keep a copy here.

 

so far we paid $7250 for several screen snaps, they kept sending us the exactly  same message as new updates and rarely responded to us in time, even if we sent inquiries it seemed they just ignored them. I want your help to tell me the procedures to get the $7,250 back?

 

The choices of getting your money back, is zero. IF there is still funds in escrow you can request a refund. If the freelancer disputes that request then you go into mediation and arbitration. Other then that, the only recourse you have is to ask the freelancer to refund what was already paid to them. (or ask for a partial refund as a partial is better then none at all.) I highly doubt that the freelancer will refund anything to you. They are oversees (as you state) they already have the money and are not obligated to refund anything because they know there's nothing you can do to them. 

 

How about hiring an attorney of that country via Upwork? I already saw several freelancers. Also Upwork contacted me and they will help!

 

I will archive all communication with ten and compile a PDF file to this thread so that everyone can see what happened.

Thanks!

Sam

 

To use this site correctly, what all clients should do, is to set milestones with detailed requirements/scope of work. Then fund those milestones. ONLY when work is delivered and meets the requirements that were defined for that milestone, AND you are satisfied with the results, and have the actual work in your hands (and not pictures) then and only then should you release those funds. 

IMO, I believe that the amount funded should be smaller towards the beginning and larger at the end so that freelancers have the incentive to finish the job. If you pay most of the price in the beginning, the freelancer has most of the money so why finish the job. 

Of course, not all freelancers are scammers as this company/freelancer were. Most of us are professionals 

 

Upwork has escrow to prevent situations such as what happened to you and if you use it properly, those situations will not happen.

Client funds milestone, freelancer delivers work, client approves and releases funds.

 

Preston ( a freelancer) always recommends that large projects with a big budget such as yours = that a project manager should be hired to keep track of what is going on and to make sure everything is delivered and on track. They know what to look for, they know when things are not going right or not what they should be.

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