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Accepted offer with funds in escrow, but report page says it wasn't funded

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Active Member
Seth M Member Since: May 1, 2017
1 of 8

I accepted an offer for a job recently, and it said "$_ in escrow," as usual. I completed the work, but didn't hear back from the client. I went to to my "Active Contracts" page to request payment, but it says that it is not funded and that the client's payment method is unverified. How can the milestone have been funded if the payment method was unverified?

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Moderator
Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
2 of 8

Hi Seth, 

 

I would like to confirm that clients can post a job before verifying their billing methods. Clients who don't have verified billing methods are most likely just new. This is not against the Upwork ToS.

 

When you accept an offer from a client, you will see an icon that shows if the client's billing method is verified or unverified on your Contract page. If the billing method is unverified, this means the client has not yet to verify their billing method, and any work done on a contract without a verified payment method will not be covered by fixed-price protection.

 

When communicating with a client prior to accepting the offer or staring work you can speak to them about verifying their billing method. In this case, you may contact your client directly about verifying their billing method so that they can pay for the work you have completed. 

as this would benefit you in having payment protections in place."


-Avery
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Seth M Member Since: May 1, 2017
3 of 8

Thank you, I didn't realize that a client could put money in escrow if their payment method wasn't verified. Can you explain how there can be something in escrow if their payment isn't verified?

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Moderator
Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
4 of 8

Hi Seth, 

A client's billing method can be charged without the client verifying their billing method. This is working as designed. When a client's billing method is charged, the money goes through Escrow and will stay there until the client verifies their billing method and releases the payment to the freelancer, or the freelancer refunds the money in Escrow (it all depends on the situation). In cases of fraud, abuse or ToS violation the funds will be returned from Escrow to the original billing method.

 

You may read more about unverified billing methods here.


-Avery
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Ace Contributor
Mary S Member Since: Jan 4, 2016
5 of 8

This needs to change. No way to set up milestones or hourly contracts until payment method is verified, period. You can't pay, don't hire anyone. I just finished a job that I thought was funded and now the client had a change of mind and disappeared without paying. Normally I would just wait for the payment to be released, but in this case, it will be returned to the client. I won't get paid and it likely will affect my rating as well. Not a good solution.

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Moderator
Joanne Marie P Moderator Member Since: Nov 26, 2017
6 of 8

Hi Mary,

 

Thank you for sharing your feedback. I'll be sure to share this with the team for consideration. 


-Joanne
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David K Member Since: Jul 19, 2019
7 of 8

This is current Fixed-Price Protection messaging on the Upwork help site:

 

"Qualifying for Fixed-Price Protection

All escrowed funds are covered by Fixed-Price Protection.

  • Protection won't cover milestone payments in excess of the amount in escrow, funds from unverified payment methods, or additional amounts that are discussed or promised between you and your client"

The bullet contradicts the header and is easy to miss, especially when the unverified blurb is sandwiched by much more obvious situations.

 

It's inaccurate to say "All" when anyone can have an unverified payment method and create job listings. It's v confusing as a freelancer to see that there are funds in escrow, but not know if you should proceed with a job. Asking a client to verify their payment method is also an unpleasant way to start a relationship and I feel like the delayed start can impact their satisfaction with my work — I'm okay with Upwork taking such a significant fee because Upwork is supposed to handle all of that and let me focus on work.

 

 

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Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
8 of 8

David K wrote:

This is current Fixed-Price Protection messaging on the Upwork help site:

 

"Qualifying for Fixed-Price Protection

All escrowed funds are covered by Fixed-Price Protection.

  • Protection won't cover milestone payments in excess of the amount in escrow, funds from unverified payment methods, or additional amounts that are discussed or promised between you and your client"

The bullet contradicts the header and is easy to miss, especially when the unverified blurb is sandwiched by much more obvious situations.

 

It's inaccurate to say "All" when anyone can have an unverified payment method and create job listings. It's v confusing as a freelancer to see that there are funds in escrow, but not know if you should proceed with a job. Asking a client to verify their payment method is also an unpleasant way to start a relationship and I feel like the delayed start can impact their satisfaction with my work — I'm okay with Upwork taking such a significant fee because Upwork is supposed to handle all of that and let me focus on work.

 

 


Wait until you find out that there really isn't any protection at all.

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