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work not done as required

Fixed price job.

Can I refuse work not done as required? and do not pay until is done as requested?

Community Member

re: "Fixed price job. Can I refuse work not done as required? and do not pay until is done as requested?"


The answer is "yes".
But: It is important to understand that the answer is "yes with serious limitations."


When you hire a freelancer for a fixed-price task, the money for the task goes into escrow and is IMMEDIATELY charged to your credit card.


It is best to think of that as "money that you will never get back."

As a client, YOU DO NOT HAVE A BUTTON that you can click to simply get that money back.


But you DO have this button: "Request changes"

If the work was not done as specified in the original written agreement, you may click "Request changes," which blocks release of payment to the freelancer, and asks them to make changes.


But that button does NOT return the money to you.

If you decide that the freelancer will never be able to do the work correctly, then you have these choices:
a) Release the money to the freelancer anyway
b) Request a refund

Keep in mind that when you request a refund, the freelancer has the opportunity say "yes" or "no."

So be wise and cautious with how you use fixed-price contracts.
Is it smart to fund a $5000 payment to an unknown freelancer?
Probably not. Because the possibility exists that the freelancer will provide you with nothing you can use, and you will never get that money back. Upwork does NOT guarantee that you'll get what you paid for.


So what could you do instead?
Rather than funding a $5000 milestone for an unknown freelancer, you could fund a $50 milestone which represents the first step in the project.

Then, if you love the freelancer's work, you can fund a milestone for the next step. And so on.
If you don't love the freelancer's work on that first step, then maybe you get money back, or maybe not. But it's only $50. Which is easier to lose than $5000.

If you really want to save time and money, then the best advice I can give you is to proactively plan to never ask freelancers for money. Never try to get a refund. Never dispute.


Because these things are GAMBLING.

And you'll usually lose out. You'll either lose time, or lose money, or lose both.

The way to WIN is to not play that game.

Rather than sending money to a freelancer and then asking the freelancer to give that money back to you, it is far safer and easier to NOT send money to an underperforming freelancer in the first place.


So don't send $5000 to a freelancer only to realize that his work is terrible, and then ask if he will please give you that money back.. If you find a freelancer's work doesn't meet your needs, immediately fire the freelancer and assign work to other members of your team. Or hire other freelancers if necessary.

Hire wisely. Refund thinking hurts clients.

Community Member

so Until the developer doesn't complete the job he doesn't receive the money

I wish you all the best with your project!

Just remember that a project of significant size and complexity CAN NOT SUCCEED if handled as an "all or nothing" proposition.


If your project is simple enough, then "all or nothing" is fine.


"Create a simple function that combines the Zeta objects with the new Henley set."

Cost: $100


That's fine.


But: If you have a complex project, lots of functions, lots of functionality, lots of screens, etc., you must NOT do it as a single all-or-nothing "milestone." Because you will fail.


Projects that are not super simple need to be done either using an hourly contract, or fixed-price contracts with multiple milestones.


With fixed-price:

Your goal should be to have Module 1 completed. And then you test it and verify it and archive it. And pay for it.

And then Module 2.

And then Module 3.


And so on, and so on.

Until completion.


And your goal should be to complete the total project through an accumulation of sub-steps and sub-modules.


Your goal should NOT be to have a single developer complete the project.


Your end-users don't care whether the project was created by one developer or 10 developers.

You should PLAN to have multiple people work on any project that is significantly large and complex.

Having only one person work on a complex project is simply bad design.

Community Member

what do you think of this project? 🙂


**Edited for Community Guidelines**

re: "what do you think of this project?"


What project?


Can you tell us something about your project?


We love to talk about these things and offer advice to help people use Upwork more effectively. So if you can describe what it is you're trying to do and ask a question about it, we would be happy to reply.



 **Edited for Community Guidelines**

Community Member

You can request revisions if a freelancer has done something incorrectly, but they don't have to agree to do unlimited amounts of work until you're satisfied.  If it looks like they simply don't have the skills to complete the project, then you'll be wasting your time. In that case, you should close the project and hire someone else, and you can request a refund or offer a partial payment, but the freelancer can dispute this. There's no "satisfaction guaranteed or your money back" deal on Upwork. 

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