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my money was stolen

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
11 of 15

re: "Small jobs are essentially without the protections sought by using Upwork!"


Yes, that is correct.


I do not expect any protection from Upwork. So I create my own protection.



Mainly by starting only with small projects, until the other party demonstrations they can be trusted.

Community Leader
Andrea G Member Since: Mar 2, 2020
12 of 15

Hi Nunaisi,


I'm curious, did you agree initially on 2 hours but then asked her to do more work?

If not, and she entered the 20 hours manually then that payment is not protected for the freelancer so I don't know why Upwork can't refund you. Also, you have a few days to review the hours before they charge you, I guess you did not notice and did not speak up then? Does Upwork notify clients when they have hours that need to be reviewed?

The only way the payment is protected for a freelancer on an hourly contract is if they use the Time Tracker which takes screenshots and records activity, the freelancer would have had to demonstrate they were working on your project all of that time!

Could you elaborate on exactly what happened?

Active Member
Nunaisi L Member Since: Mar 9, 2020
13 of 15
Hi there
thanks for asking!
I was thinking whether or not do something on WP my self or ease my time and effort and give someone else.
I know it is an easy and quick job especially if you know what to do.
I have posted the request on upwork and many people replied, this freelancer was writing to me non stop. She initially quoted me for 5 hours which I felt was too much and we agreed on 2. She installed a theme for me on WP which is a click of a button and than I had to provide her with 7 images to upload. she already charged me for the 2 hours at that time. I was sure she will not charge me again as it is part of the agreement.
The next thing (she knew I was away with no reception for 5 days) I see a charge of 20 hours! I was so shocked and when I approached her she said she is so sorry she didn’t use the time tracker, later she send the screenshots of the time tracker, which I am sure is fabricated.
I immediately opened a dispute and after 2 weeks of writing back and forth (so much for my time saving efforts… !)
up work eventually replied that freelancer refused a refund so they blocked her account but they can only refund me their commission of 30$
(BTW I got someone from Fiverr to do it for my other site for 10$)
I am working with upwork for years but I can’t carry on if i am not protected as a client
what do you think about it?
Community Leader
Andrea G Member Since: Mar 2, 2020
14 of 15

Nunaisi, I am not familiar with the field but I think from the way you described the work this could have been a fixed contract. If you are going to agree on a number of hours it may be best to add up the hourly rate and create a fixed contract for that price, I believe hourly contracts are best fitted for ongoing work.

You can see for yourself if the hours were included manually or not in the Work Diary, the screenshots are not something that is sent to you, they are registered in the Work Diary by an application from Upwork we install in our desktops, I would think it is very unlikely for them to be fabricated. For Upwork not to return your money the freelancer must have proven they were working on your project, is that what they told you?


From the amount of fees you mentioned I can tell this was not a very high paying job, again I am not familiar with the field, but when a project's budget is too low, the most professional and qualified freelancers tend to avoid sending proposals. It makes me sad that you bring up Fiverr, I used to do some work there and as an Architect with years of experience and pursuing a Masters Degree, they just undervalue work too much, it may take me one click to fix a problem in your model but guess what it took me years to be proficient enough in the program to know which button to click. 


I think clients and freelancers both need to be protected and Upwork is great at that if you use the tools they give you correctly, I just remembered, there is a feature where you can limit the amount of time the freelancer can work on the contract and any time over that is not protected for their payment, so I guess my advice would be to familiarize yourself with all of the tools Upwork gives you to be safe and you shouldn't have any more problems.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
15 of 15

If I want a freelancer to work for only two hours, then I set the maximum allowable time per week to two hours.


If I only want the freelancer to work for two hours total, and not work for two more hours the next week, then after the freelancer works for two hours, I close the contract.