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gillanidigital
Community Member

Client asking refund

Hello Upwork Team! Hope you guys are fine. Actually I recently conplete an order on upwork which is related to SEO stuff. The client mentioned a little bit about the WordPress website design in yhe title but their description is all about on page SEO. And they also send me a file which have all the on page seo issues which they want ne to resolve. But after completing the job and resolving all the onpage issues the client is asking me for refund because bow he's saying me to also do the website design and development stuff too because they also want that thing too. Now can you tell me does i have to refund his money if i don't do the development tasks. Or does i get paid for the SEO services which i did for him.

19 REPLIES 19
prestonhunter
Community Member

re: "Client asking refund"

 

My opinion:

 

As a general principle:

Clients should not ask for refunds.

Refund thinking hurts clients.

 

When a client asks for a refund, 99% of the time the client is doing one of the following:

a) behaving in an unprofessional, unethical, immortal manner; essentially the client is trying to steal money from a freelancer

[or]

b) behaving in a counter-productive way that puts the needs of others (including the freelancer) AHEAD of the client's own needs

 

The purpose of the "refund" mechanism is for a FREELANCER to issue a refund to a client if the freelancer is unable to complete the task. Refunds are for FREELANCERS to decide to use. Not clients.

 

re: "But after completing the job and resolving all the onpage issues the client is asking me for refund because bow he's saying me to also do the website design and development stuff too because they also want that thing too."

 

Yeah... that's ridiculous. Apparently this client has no concept of how Upwork works.

And the client has no concept of how "work" works.

 

It's not complicated:

a) Client hires a freelancer to do something.

b) Freelancer does something

c) Client pays freelancer

 

Apparently YOUR client thinks it works this way:
a) Client tosses a few coins into a magic wishing well

b) Client gets an indentured servant/genie who will do whatever he wants for the rest of eternity

 

re: "Now can you tell me: Do I have to refund his money if i don't do the development tasks?"

No, of course not.

 

re: "Or does i get paid for the SEO services which i did for him."

The client needs to pay you.

 

Hassan:

I'm very sorry that you are facing this situation, with a client who has no idea how fixed-price contracts work.

 

DO NOT REFUND his money.

DO NOT do any extra work.

 

Also:
Do not argue with him.

Do not defend yourself.

Be polite, no matter what.

 

You should have AS LITTLE CONVERSATION AS POSSIBLE with this client.

Tell him:

"Thank you for your note. The original agreed task has been completed. I will be happy to work on this project and do whatever I can to help you. But first, you will need to release the current escrow payment and close the contract. After that, I will be able to help you further."

 

Remember: DO NO MORE WORK

 

If the client doesn't release payment, you may need to do this:

 

https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/articles/211068528-Dispute-Non-Release-of-a-Milestone-Payment

Thanks, Preston for your Reply. your Reply helps me a lot to understand the situation. Also, I want to ask one more thing if a client left negative feedback on my profile after ending the project then what will I do. Actually, I'm a Top rated freelancer and my Job Success Score is 100%. Does it affect my current JSS and Badge?

When you're top rated, you can remove feedback if you haven't done so for the last three months or 10 contracts. If you do that, it will have no effect on your JSS.

 

Feedback Removal โ€“ Upwork Customer Service & Support | Upwork Help

pgiambalvo
Community Member

Do not agree to the refund. You did the work you were supposed to so you should get paid for it.

sh_jyoti
Community Member

Possibilities when you refuse to give refund

  1.  Client will realize he can't defraude you, and walk away.
  2. Client will file a dispute.
  3. If the client files a dispute, Upwork moderator will find a middle path, probably split the funds between you and the client. You will at least get to save half of your hard earned money. bad come to worst, you will have to refund the full money.

I don't want to paint a gloomy picture, but same thing has happened with me. Client paid only for half the work, dissapeard, came back after 15 days and asked for a refund. I refused, he filed a dispute. I missed the Upwork notification. Upwork closed the case and blocked my financial a/c. Asked to refund the client or the a/c will stay blocked. I agreed. 13 days and counting. Agreed for a refund 5 days ago. Till today, nothing has happened. Client didn't pay half of my money, now he will walk free with the other half too. I'm surviving on tea and stale bread.

This is the reality. Better give refund and move on.

So do I give the full refund to the client in the fear of account suspension?

No. You should not give a refund out of fear of account suspension.

 

There is no reason to think that your account will be suspended.

 

Upwork does not want freelancers to issue refunds.

Upwork only earns money when you earn money. If you issue a refund then Upwork earns no percentage fee from your earnings.

 

Refunds are meant to be used rarely, in extreme, unusual situations. Upwork does not intend for refunds to be used just because a client wants free money.

Are you sure Preston? because I do too much hard work to achieve the badges and projects on Upwork and I don't want to keep my account at any kind of risk.

Hi Hassan, I am in a similar situation and am also afraid that my account will get suspended. I am waiting for a response from Upwork on what to do.

Ashley/Hassan:

I don't work for Upwork. But I am familiar with how things work due to being an experienced Upwork user and reader of the Forum.

 

If a client asks you for a refund and you don't give him a refund, that is not a reason for a freelancer to be suspended.

 

I don't even know why you think that. Nothing like that is in Upwork's documentation or ToS.  Nobody has described such a thing in the Forum.

 

The closest thing I can think of is that a freelancer might get suspended if he refuses to participate in an official Upwork procedure such as mediation, which csn be the result of a refund request.

 

Jyoti described an unfortunate incident, but she failed to respond to an official Upwork notification. So... just make sure you respond if Upwork contacts you and asks you a question.

Thanks, Preston for your reply.  Actually, I'm very confused about this situation, and some of my friend's Upwork accounts got suspended for few reason that's why I'm also afraid about my account. And I thought if I don't refund the payment or if the client left negative feedback then it can affect my reputation. but by the way thanks for your response and it really helps me a lott.

AveryO
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Ashley, 

It looks like you're already being assisted through your support ticket. Don't hesitate to post on the same ticket thread if you have follow up questions regarding your account concern. 


~ Avery
Upwork

None of the moderators have replied to this thread. Draw your own conclusions. 

@ Preston H,

With utmost respect, I wish I could trust your "If you issue a refund then Upwork earns no percentage fee from your earnings" statement. 

Unfortunately, I am experiencing exact reverse of this situation.

Thanks to someone, somewhere, the moderator refunded the client in my case. When the client had paide me, Upwork deducted 20% fee. When Upwork refunded the client (just a few hours ago), they refunded the whole amount (including the 20% fee) from my account. 

So, Upwork retains its 20% fee, the client gets paid in full, I pay 20% from my hard earned money.

Not only this, even after the refund, my finanacial account is still blocked. 

If anybody wants to avoid all this hassle and loss, just refund and move on, no matter how hard you had worked on the project and how wrong the client was.

AveryO
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Jyoti, 


I'm sorry for the confusion. Please, let me explain how service fees work. As a freelancer, you pay the freelancer fee on all billings, including hours, milestones, projects, and bonuses. It is included in the amounts clients see on your proposals, contracts, and profile. The total billed to your clients is your income, and the fees paid may be considered deductible business expenses.

So if your rate for a fixed-price project is $20, the client is billed $20. This $20 is then charged the corresponding freelancer service fee. If a refund is processed, Upwork returns the service fee too. In your case, t
he withholding taxes were also refunded. There is a similar discussion in the past that you may access here for your reference.  

 

If you have other questions regarding the refund, please don't hesitate to post them on your open ticket thread and the Mediation Team will assist you further.


~ Avery
Upwork

Hi Hassan, 

I can confirm that this refund request will not suspend your account. How you wish to proceed with this refund request will be up to you and how you manage your freelance business. I recommend that you settle this amicably with your client since they offered a partial refund for the work you have completed. I want to think that they requested a partial refund in good faith. There may have just been some miscommunication when the scope of the contract was being discussed, so hopefully, it gets sorted. 

 

I hope you get this resolved soon!


~ Avery
Upwork
sh_jyoti
Community Member

8 hours after refund, my finacial account is still blocked. God knows why.

Thank Avery for your kind response. Actually, I've seen my friend's accounts are suspended suddenly that's why I'm afraid that if I don't give the refund to my client then maybe it can suspend my account. But thanks for your clarification. Definetly I'll try to resolve the issue by discussing it with the client.

starrynightastro
Community Member

It happens sometimes that a client wants more work. 

One thing I do with new clients is to provide a Statement of Work that defines what I do for them. We did this on Elance and it still works. 

 

When a client asks me for more work, I say, "I'm glad to do it, but that falls outside the four corners of the original contract. It will cost XX number of dollars to this other word. Should I put it on my schedule?

 

Calm and matter-of-fact works nearly every time.

 

Good luck. 

 

 

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