Client blackmails me :(

Hi to all!


Unhappy story is happened to me. I had two small Fixed price contracts ($27 and $18) with one client and they were successfully approved and completed by client several days ago with both sides positive feedback. Actually, all of work which we negotiated and even some extra work was done. We negotiated that all work will take maximum 2 hours and calculated price, based on this estimate. Actually it took days, client was endlessly adding and adding new tasks, which we didn't negotiate to be done in contract and chat. Because it was one of my first contracts, and in order to earn reputation, I did anything, all requests that he asked (now I realize that it was for nothing). After some time, he offered me the next, third small job ($9), but I was busy with another contract (much more profitable), and for several days I likely to take a long-term Hourly job (I successfully passed the interview) and I am not interested in cheap contracts any more.


When I said the client about that, he started blackmailing me he will create problems for me by saying to Support that I didn't complete the work, that I didn't fix the bugs etc. His words are impossible to believe because of fact that he meticulously checked every small change of my work, and finally said that my code is perfect (it is proved by Upwork messaging history). He threatens me that he will achieve my account suspending. And he began to take revenge: today I got to remove porftfolio items related to our contracts because of his complaint to technical support and my profile's hold on threat.


Now, he sends me a lot of negative messages, writes me that he gives me a final warning, he offends me and interferes with work (a continuous stream of messages), while I remain always polite and explain things him calmly.


This is a new client with no history and now I wished I had got in touch with him, because I can lose my profile when I'm not guilty ๐Ÿ˜ž


The question: now client can not rest and threatens me that he is going to open a dispute to refund the money (despite the fact that both contracts are successfully closed with positive feedback) and to suspend my profile. How do I solve this problem? I've already contacted the Support with no success.


I attached a proof screenshot (client name and photo is blurred).


Save your messages and send to upwork. Don't delete anything. Plus, I am sure they can read all the messages regardless.

Thanks, Adriane. I didn't delete anything. Client tried to move our talk into email, but I guessed that Upwork's internal chatting history is very important and answered him by Upwork's internal messenger.


I would report the client, don't work with them again, and accept that you did work you now regret doing and simply learn from that mistake.


If the client is blackmailing you, threatening to falsely accuse you of not doing the work, then Upwork will see that in your messages, so you don't have to worry about proving your innocence. The proof is all their, sitting on Upwork's own servers.


If you're not able to get a response from Support about this, then just forget about it and deal with it should they get in touch with you about it.

Thank you, Daniel. I've already said to client that I can not continue to work with him. Just after that, he threatened to submit a dispute against me in order to suspend my profile. Thanks for the support!

Report and move. 


Cheap clients = pain in the a**.

"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   โ€”William Ashbless

Rene, now I agree with you 100 percent. It's a pitty I realized it too late Smiley Sad

I think by your description you have 3 jobs with this client and it is only the last 9 dollar job that is still outstanding.  I would refund him the 9 dollars so you don't have to deal with the possibility of negative feedback (especially since the amount is so little and you said you have other work) and then you can just ignore him.  I doubt upwork would change feedback on something that is already submitted so the first two jobs will still show as a positive on your profile.  Other than that, he does not own you and you have the right to refuse work if there is no existing contract and/or no money paid.  

Amy, thank you for reply. No, I have 2 jobs (2 contracts) which were successfully completed with 5-star feedback. Client wanted to hire me again for the third job, but I didn't want it ($9 - too low price for me and with such difficult client). So client didn't like that I refused and started revenge through technical support. The situation really irritates me. Maybe I'm too worry about it? I am afraid to be blocked because of possible injustice and possible client priority over freelancer.

 I guess IMO since the job only involved $9.00 and probably even less once Upwork takes out their fee, plus the coversion rate and any additional fees that PayPal, your bank, wire transfer costs and/or other account fees, it might be best in this case to refund the money.


Although it's the principal of the thing in this case it's not worth it. Save ALL communication you've had with this client, including any threating messages just in case he does file a dispute. I highly doubt it over $9 considering the cost the client will incur to file a dispute.


I sure hope that Upwork, with the documentation you provide can suspend this client's account, providing the documentation is valid.


What's really sad is that even if it went that route, and the dispute process was in your favor that a client on this site even with documentation saying they will give you bad feedback unless you do this extra work for free, THAT UPWORK WOULD ALLOW THAT FEEDBACK TO BE PUBLISHED, or allow any feedback to be published if a contractor has documentation stating that.

Kathy, thank you for your answer. Actually there is nothing to refund. The third contract was not concluded and it doesn't exist. It was only the desire of the client to sign a third contract with me. There are no open contracts with this client now. The client really was satisfied with my work, put a positive feedback, and only when I didn't want to sign a new contract with him, he decided to pretend to be cheated by the client, to get back at me Smiley Sad

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Khurshed,


Thanks for submitting a support request regarding this problem. I see our team is reviewing the evidence you and your client provided, and is communicating with you on the open ticket. I'll have to ask you not to share any more details about this case in the Community since we can't discuss policy cases here.


Hi, Vladimir. Thank you for reply and assistance. Ok then, I will wait for the decision of Upwork team. Sorry if I did something wrong.


Its wrong to lure a client with free work in exchange for great feedback and then let him down because you dont take cheap contracts anymore.


P.S.  You can respond to client's feedback "this client wanted free work" ... double blind feedback still doesnt stop abuse

Thanks, Claudia. I won't take revenge on the client and respond with bad feedbacks, because I a man of peace. Regarding client luring, it's my right not to enter into the following contracts and choose another more adequate client, isn't it? And, you know, sadly, but being novice freelancer is very hard to find more expensive contracts with no reputation.

Thanks to all, will wait for the decision of technical support.

Hi, I had the same experience with a 5 star client. He first gave me a 5$ contract, then good feedback. So I did the other contract for 7$. After that was completed, he offered me 20$ contract, slowly gaining my trust. Then he told me to communicate for other jobs on google hangout. This job my friend never ended. He kept adding milestones for several different project. I requested him to end contract several time. But I continued because I was a new freelancer and he was a 5 star client. After 2 months working like this, I managed to agree him to end contract and refunded 40$ of a milestone. But I still ended up having bad feedback.

My advise to new freelancers:

if your client wants to add aditional work with milestone, agree him to end that contract and create new contract for the next job. That way even if client gives negetive feedback, then that will be for a specific work. Which better that bad feedback on months of work.

I gave the client a good feedback and ended all relation with him.

@Mirza I wrote:

if your client wants to add aditional work with milestone, agree him to end that contract and create new contract for the next job. That way even if client gives negetive feedback, then that will be for a specific work. Which better that bad feedback on months of work.

I gave the client a good feedback and ended all relation with him.



I think your point about starting a new contract, is very good advice, but I don't agree about leaving good feedback if it is undeserved.


Freelancers' feedback should reflect a truthful opinion of the job, because this sort of cheapskate client is one who indulges in scope creep and will, in any case, give bad feedback.


If this client goes on getting good feedback, because freelancers are frightened of repercussions, he knows that he can get away with it, and his profile will always look good which will encourage other freelancers to work with him and the cycle will continue.

Hi, I reported that event to upwork. Upwork suggested that I discuss with the client to resolve this. But that didn't turn well. So there is not much left to do about it.

I'm sorry it didn't work out for you, but better luck with your next client, and make sure you get the terms of the job absolutely clear before you start.