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Client abruptly cancelled contract

curiouslondon
Active Member
Jennifer G Member Since: Dec 29, 2017
1 of 12

Hello,

 

I just had a client abruptly cancel a contract. Everything seemed OK, fixed price contract with escrow funding. After delivering 4 drafts (I told him 2-3), he said he liked the first but to make a few changes...so I did 2 more drafts for a total of 6 designs...and I get notified this morning that he cancelled the contract & is asking for an escrow refund.

 

I denied the refund...am I right, or am I wrong?

 

Thanks Everyone 🙂

yitwail
Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
BEST ANSWER
2 of 12

Jennifer, you're correct to dispute the refund. Good luck with mediation.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

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browersr
Community Guru
Scott B Member Since: Nov 20, 2015
3 of 12

Jennifer G wrote:

Hello,

 

I just had a client abruptly cancel a contract. Everything seemed OK, fixed price contract with escrow funding. After delivering 4 drafts (I told him 2-3), he said he liked the first but to make a few changes...so I did 2 more drafts for a total of 6 designs...and I get notified this morning that he cancelled the contract & is asking for an escrow refund.

 

I denied the refund...am I right, or am I wrong?

 

Thanks Everyone 🙂


Right or wrong is going to be subjective as we don't know all of the details. From your perspective what matters is whether you feel you met the requirements of the contract. If you do, then it's your right to dispute the refund request. 

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
4 of 12

Jennifer:

You were correct to deny the refund request.

 

To be clear:

A client MAY cancel a contract AT ANY TIME and there is nothing wrong with that.

 

A client may cancel/close an hourly contract at any time.

A client may cancel/close a fixed-price contract at any time.

 

Either is fine.

 

But the professional/ethical way for a client to close a fixed-price contract is to:

- release all escrow funds to the freelancer

- close the contract

 

If a client does this, then the client does NOT need to get permission from anybody or explain herself to anybody.

 

If a client tries to close a fixed-price contract on which a freelancer has already started to do work, or has completed work, then the client must NOT click any buttons to request a refund. If she does so, then it means that she is a bad client and a bad person. She is essentially trying to steal the freelancer's work.

 

If the work is only partially completed, then it is ACCEPTABLE for the client to message the freelancer and ASK if she can stop working on the project and issue a partial refund. Note that this is "acceptable" (not recommended). It is up to the freelancer to decide what to do. It is up to the freelancer to decide how much of a refund to grant to the client. Most freelancers will be VERY WILLING to work with a client. If the task is only 50% completed, most freelancers will be happy to issue a 50% refund.

 

But freelancers are not obligated to do so. If the freelancer decides to not issue a refund, the client needs to accept the freelancer's decision.

 

All of this is done without needing to contact Upwork customer support or start any kind of dispute or arbitration process.

dzadza
Community Guru
Sanja D Member Since: Dec 18, 2013
5 of 12

that's a new trend, especially with the logo design projects/clients.
after 3-4 design suggestions, they decide to cancel the project  and ask for a refund. in most cases the amount is to low to go  arbitration (usually  the whole  project is around $250-300).   I've had a few of those, and, in one case, I even had to contact   a hosting company  with copyright claim, because the client decided to use the logo he was not happy with...or simply didn't want to pay for it

browersr
Community Guru
Scott B Member Since: Nov 20, 2015
6 of 12

Sanja D wrote:

that's a new trend, especially with the logo design projects/clients.
after 3-4 design suggestions, they decide to cancel the project  and ask for a refund. in most cases the amount is to low to go  arbitration (usually  the whole  project is around $250-300).   I've had a few of those, and, in one case, I even had to contact   a hosting company  with copyright claim, because the client decided to use the logo he was not happy with...or simply didn't want to pay for it


This is a great real-world example of why no one should give into a refund request unless they feel they did not live up to the parameters of the job. Too many otherwise do it because they are deathly afraid of the JSS even though a refund certainly won't help it.

dzadza
Community Guru
Sanja D Member Since: Dec 18, 2013
7 of 12

True...I just don't think $250 project is worth almost $300 arbitration fee
Don't forget that clients also have  a chargeback option - and, judging by recent freelancer posts - they're using it more and more...

Clients often use JSS and feedback as a method to blackmail freelancers - especially new ones. when that doesn't work - they initiate a chargeback.  Of course - there more great clients out there - but when they're bad - they're really bad...I don't work for JSS - but the fact is that ever since my JSS dropped below 90% (and that was almost a year ago) I stopped getting offers on upwork and had only 1-2 small projects  here. So - there are clients who found a way to abuse the system...

curiouslondon
Active Member
Jennifer G Member Since: Dec 29, 2017
8 of 12

Oh, geez. I guess I've been luckily and really only dealt with a few bad clients, and its always a different scenario. I suppose he could take my draft logos & try to get someone to do the same thing for much less, even through it was only $60!

curiouslondon
Active Member
Jennifer G Member Since: Dec 29, 2017
9 of 12

"All of this is done without needing to contact Upwork customer support or start any kind of dispute or arbitration process."

 

How do I do that? I initiated a dispute, as I thought that was the next step after denying an escrow refund.

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
10 of 12

Jennifer: I was talking about how professional, ethical, decent clients behave.

 

I wasn't necessarily talking about YOUR situation.

 

The client YOU are working for in this situation is not a good person. She should NOT have asked for a refund.

 

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