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Client Requesting Refund for Work Performed


Seeking assistance with a client who is refusing to pay the entirety of a week’s worth of work already performed.

I had communicated during the process stating that the project was larger than she had indicated however I would push to have it to her on time. She did not respond . Work was delivered on time and as per instruction, however now that we are at the payment stage she has requested a refund.

This is new territory for me. Please assist.
Community Member

Is this an hourly project, Charlene?


If so, did you use the TimeTracker app to record each segment of your work time?

Yes, and yes to both.

If you used TimeTracker, including short descriptions of what you were working on in the memo section of each time segment tracked, etc.




... Upwork's hourly project payment protection should work for you as well as it has worked for me.


I typically only do hourly projects and Upwork has stepped up with payment protection each time a client has tried to get away with not paying for my work.


Good luck!

Community Member

re: "Client Requesting Refund for Work Performed"

It is not appropriate for a client to request a refund for work that has already been performed.


I am sure that YOU would not do such a thing to a fellow human being.


Imagine this scenario:
You hire a painter to come to you house and paint the exterior. The painter spends three days in total, which includes time spent preparing the job, placing tape and covering to protect windows, cement, roof, etc., as well as doing the actual painting, using his own professional equipment.

After the work is all done, you paid the painter.
Then, a week later, you request a REFUND.

Or you call the credit card company to issue a chargeback, claiming that the charge was fraudulent and no painting was done.

Is that fair?
Would YOU do that?

I don't think so.
Thinking about whether or not YOU would do that can help you evaluate whether the client's request is appropriate or fair.

If the client's refund request is not appropriate, then of course you should not agree to it.

What would an APPROPRIATE refund request be?
If you paid the painter for the job up front, and then the painter NEVER DID ANYTHING (didn't even come to your house), then of course it would be appropriate to request a refund.


If you and Upwork freelancer, and you were hired to do a job... and you logged 5 hours of time on the client's contract, but you DID NOT ACTUALLY do any work. Instead you were playing video games during that time... Then YES, it would be appropriate for the client to request a FULL REFUND. If the client requested a refund, then you should immediately agree to it. You shouldn't have logged time while playing video games in the first place. If the client disputed your time with Upwork during the five days after the week ended, then Upwork would look at the screenshots and see you are just playiing video games. Upwork itself would remove the time segments and the client wouldn't need to pay for that time.


But you're saying you DID the work and then the client asked for a refund? That makes no sense at all.
That's just a client clicking a button to try to take your money from you. It is difficult to believe that such a person exists, but we have heard about this before here in the Forum.

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