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sunrise000
Community Member

Client Wants Refund.

Hi,

I have a serious problem. I have been sccessfully working on Upwork for 4-5 years and never have had any trouble with a contract or any dispute. Recently, I accepted a contract for a Fixed-Price Project. I was supposed to write a 80-85k word novel after being provided with a plot. I tried my best to provide the client with what he needed, but now after 2 milestones, he wants a refund. I am still yet to be paid for the third milestone which I have submitted. 

 

In the course of work, as agreed, I re-edited the work 2 3 times as he asked. 

Now i am in trouble, because I really cannot refund the previous milestones. 

 

I offered to re-write the entire milestones from the beginning, yet he refused. 

 

What should I do now? i am a student and cannot re-fund the client at all. I am extremely worried. 

 

Any help will be appreciated. 

 

Thank you in advance. 

 

Meher

 

ACCEPTED SOLUTION


@Mehr Nadia M wrote:

Thanks for replying.

Unfortunately, I did get paid in the last 30 days for the first two milestones. He has now offered not to dispute the first two milestones if I write extra pieces for him (20k words that I wrote previously). He is not willing to pay for the third milestone at all.

What should I do? is there a way I can win this if it turns into a dispute?


 _________________________

I think you must stand your ground. Offer to refund the third milestone that is still in escrow, but tell your client you are not prepared to write a further (new) 20,000 words for no pay. You could offer to edit, yet again and only one more time, what you have already written, but that you will not give him new material. This would be extortion and is against Upwork's Tems of Service.

 

Upwork does not arbitrate in an dispute. This is the problem. If it goes beyond a dispute, then it goes to arbitration, which is judged externally and is quite expensive for all parties. 

 

The only way you can win (sort of) is to try and talk your client round. 

 

Don't forget that your client may not use any material of yours that has not been paid for. 

 

  

View solution in original post

15 REPLIES 15
colettelewis
Community Member


@Mehr Nadia M wrote:

Hi,

I have a serious problem. I have been sccessfully working on Upwork for 4-5 years and never have had any trouble with a contract or any dispute. Recently, I accepted a contract for a Fixed-Price Project. I was supposed to write a 80-85k word novel after being provided with a plot. I tried my best to provide the client with what he needed, but now after 2 milestones, he wants a refund. I am still yet to be paid for the third milestone which I have submitted. 

 

In the course of work, as agreed, I re-edited the work 2 3 times as he asked. 

Now i am in trouble, because I really cannot refund the previous milestones. 

 

I offered to re-write the entire milestones from the beginning, yet he refused. 

 

What should I do now? i am a student and cannot re-fund the client at all. I am extremely worried. 

 

Any help will be appreciated. 

 

Thank you in advance. 

 

Meher

___________________________________________

 


Mehr,

 

This is difficult. However, I think you need to stay firm, because your client should have said he was not happy with the first submission, instead of waiting for the third. What you could do is to offer a compromise and waive the payment for the third submission. 

 

If your client paid you for the first two milestones within 30 days, then he can dispute those. Otherwise, he can only dispute the third submission, which you can return. 

 

Can you tell us when the first two milestones were paid? 

 

 

Thanks for replying.

Unfortunately, I did get paid in the last 30 days for the first two milestones. He has now offered not to dispute the first two milestones if I write extra pieces for him (20k words that I wrote previously). He is not willing to pay for the third milestone at all.

What should I do? is there a way I can win this if it turns into a dispute?


Thanks for replying.

Unfortunately, I did get paid in the last 30 days for the first two milestones. He has now offered not to dispute the first two milestones if I write extra pieces for him (20k words that I wrote previously). He is not willing to pay for the third milestone at all.

What should I do? is there a way I can win this if it turns into a dispute?


@Mehr Nadia M wrote:


Unfortunately, I did get paid in the last 30 days for the first two milestones. He has now offered not to dispute the first two milestones if I write extra pieces for him (20k words that I wrote previously). He is not willing to pay for the third milestone at all.

What should I do? is there a way I can win this if it turns into a dispute?


 You can dispute, but if no agreement can be reached during mediation this might go to arbitration which costs all parties $ 291.

 

What is the client actually complaining about? Looking at the  feedbackhistory I'd never have worked with him (the ridiculously low rates aside) by the way... I wonder if this  is how he gets his books written always for so much  less than budget....

I did make the mistake of getting involved with this client. He sent me a plot of several pages to follow roughly. I was supposed to fill in the story. I was not given specific instructions for what exactly they wanted page by page. I have written so many novels of the same genre in the past and this has never happened before. He is now complaining that the story is not as they wanted it to be, that there are so many inconsistencies and confusion, telling me that otherwise I am a talented writer. Then, he told me he will have to terminate the project. 

 

I am honestly so anxious because I really cannot cough up the $300 he has already paid. 

 

You then suggest I should not take the extra work he feels I need to submit for the previous payments?


@Mehr Nadia M wrote:

Thanks for replying.

Unfortunately, I did get paid in the last 30 days for the first two milestones. He has now offered not to dispute the first two milestones if I write extra pieces for him (20k words that I wrote previously). He is not willing to pay for the third milestone at all.

What should I do? is there a way I can win this if it turns into a dispute?


 _________________________

I think you must stand your ground. Offer to refund the third milestone that is still in escrow, but tell your client you are not prepared to write a further (new) 20,000 words for no pay. You could offer to edit, yet again and only one more time, what you have already written, but that you will not give him new material. This would be extortion and is against Upwork's Tems of Service.

 

Upwork does not arbitrate in an dispute. This is the problem. If it goes beyond a dispute, then it goes to arbitration, which is judged externally and is quite expensive for all parties. 

 

The only way you can win (sort of) is to try and talk your client round. 

 

Don't forget that your client may not use any material of yours that has not been paid for. 

 

  

I'm going through the same thing. Did exactly what client wanted and more, she took the files, closed the contract and filed for a refund.

prestonhunter
Community Member

If you didn't do the work, then you SHOULD immediately refund any money associated with unfinished work.

 

But if you did the work, it is immoral and unprofessional for a client to hire you, receive your work, and then try to weasel out of paying for it.

Exactly my thoughts, Preston. 

 

Actually since I have never had any disputes, I did not know how to go about this. It is disconcerting that someone would actually try to do this. 

 

Do you suggest that I do not take the offer of extra work so that he does not dispute the previous payments?

 

 

re: "Do you suggest that I do not take the offer of extra work so that he does not dispute the previous payments?"

 

He is asking for free work. You could report him to Upwork for this.

 

 

lakitel
Community Member

I'm not sure of the specific rules and procedures Upwork would follow in this case, but I think that if a client hasn't disputed a payment after 30days, then any of that work is non-refundable. You'd have to wait for somebody from the Upwork team to actually answer this.

 

Regardless, it sounds to me like the client is just trying to get free work. If they wanted something different, they should have communicated that in the two previous points in the transaction where they had the clear financial power to do so. One rule that every single freelancer should follow is *never do work for free*, regardless of the situation.

 

As a fellow writer, I would say that you've covered your bases incredibly well. You agreed on the number of edits, you carried them out, you got approval, you submited your work, got the funds released to you, and most importantly, you've had no complaints for 30 days. You shouldn't be taking as a defensive position as you are.

 

It's one thing to be a good freelancer and help a client, it's another to fall all over yourself to please them. There's a limit and if you've had lots of great feedback before, then just one bad review shouldn't effect your JSS.

 

Honestly, at this point I would refund the third milestone, tell them they can keep the work as is, and then terminate the contract, because it looks like regardless of what you do, they will keep asking for more.

petra_r
Community Member


@Albert B wrote:

.... and most importantly, you've had no complaints for 30 days. You shouldn't be taking as a defensive position as you are.

 


 She already confirmed that both paid milestones were inside the 30 day window.   The client CAN dispute

lakitel
Community Member

 


@Petra R wrote:

@Albert B wrote:

.... and most importantly, you've had no complaints for 30 days. You shouldn't be taking as a defensive position as you are.

 


 She already confirmed that both paid milestones were inside the 30 day window.   The client CAN dispute


 My bad, I read it as if she hadn't been paid in the last 30 days.

 

 Either way, the point still stands. She was paid twice without any issues, at the very least the *first* milestone shouldn't be disputed.


@Albert B wrote:

 


@Petra R wrote:

@Albert B wrote:

.... and most importantly, you've had no complaints for 30 days. You shouldn't be taking as a defensive position as you are.

 


 She already confirmed that both paid milestones were inside the 30 day window.   The client CAN dispute


 My bad, I read it as if she hadn't been paid in the last 30 days.

 

 Either way, the point still stands. She was paid twice without any issues, at the very least the *first* milestone shouldn't be disputed.


_______________________

You are right, but what should or shouldn't be is immaterial. As it stands, the client can dispute. Stop muddying the waters. The OP needs to find a solution within the parameters set by Upwork. 


@Nichola L wrote:

 

You are right, but what should or shouldn't be is immaterial. As it stands, the client can dispute. Stop muddying the waters. The OP needs to find a solution within the parameters set by Upwork. 


 I am not mudying the waters at all. If anything I'm basically saying the same thing you said in your very first post about staying firm. Obviously OP is agitated and offering her words of encouragement and support is just as important as helping her finding a solution. Afterall, this is the freelancer's sub-forums, support and encouregment is definately one of the things it should be used for.

 

In regards to that final point, the only one who can definately respond to her issue is somebody from the Upwork team, and nobody else. Offering some emotional support and giving advice on how to act without Upwork's official word is really the best that can be done at the moment.

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