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Client committed fraud. Upwork reversed all the money earned while under Hourly Payment Protection

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Active Member
Alexandru M Member Since: May 7, 2015
1 of 41

I completed the work for client (hourly based). Once everything was done, client disappeared. In a week I received the following email from Upwork:


**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

The money were transferred to "Available" funds the next day, but I didn't withdraw cause I trust Upwork and didn't forsee issues. In exactly one week after that email the Upwork reversed all the money earned by me during this project, without explanation:

"Mar 12, 2018 Returned Hourly (ref #### Reversed) ($1,515.00)"

 

I messaged customer care and that was the response: 


**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

Basically now they are telling me I am not protected in any way if the client commits fraud or violates user's agreement. Even though Upwork earlier ensured me that all my hours are qualified for protection program. I responded to the rep asking to review my case again, since their words and their actions didn't match. They are leaving me completely unprotected against any violation client performs, even with all my activity properly logged, matching the protection criteria. Furthermore they decided to take the money AFTER the funds successfully passed "in review" and "pending" stages and were already available for withdrawal (also after the upwork rep assured me by email that my earnings are protected). 

 

I never received an answer and representative Carlo simply closed the case without replying to me. I reopened it and messaged him asking for answers or to escalate this case to the manager. He didn't reply. I messaged him again 3 more times. Yesterday (after 7 days of ignoring me) I received a template response: 


**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 
Please let me know whom can I contact to resolve this issue. It's been a month. I am not receiving any support or respect, I'm not offered any explanation. I currently have no trust in Upwork safety, protection program or even information I receive. I've been constantly working on Upwork for three years and now I'm simply afraid to find new clients or keep any earning on Upwork.
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Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
2 of 41

Hi Alexandru,

 

I see that the team is currently reviewing your case and will update you with more current information shortly. Unfortunately, we won't be able to share further information here in the Community so please expect a direct message via a ticket soon.

 

Thank you!

~ Valeria
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Active Member
Alexandru M Member Since: May 7, 2015
3 of 41

Does this mean I will only get template responses from Carlo from now on? Can anyone take my case and actually review why this happened?

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Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
4 of 41

Upwork will only cover hourly work if it is entered using the time tracker (no manual entries are covered) and the freelancer has filled out the memo line with information on what he or she was working on during the recorded time frame. In addition, they may deny payment for any screenshot showing low activity levels. 

 

Do any of the above exceptions apply to your situation? 

 

To you general observation-- Yes, when a client commits fraud or reverses a credit card charge, freelancers have very little recourse. I have yet to see a freelancer post that Upwork went to bat for them with the credit card company to fight a reversal. 

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Active Member
Alexandru M Member Since: May 7, 2015
5 of 41

Yes I have all the screenshots and no low activity. They reconfirmed that themselves

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Community Guru
Reinier B Member Since: Nov 3, 2015
6 of 41

@Tonya, I saw the OP's post before it was edited. Basically, CS told him that his logged hours did qualify for houly payment protection, but they reversed this determination a week later- citing Tos violations by the client. 

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Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
7 of 41

Wow, that's a new twist. Even more ways for Upwork to avoid payment protection? So pretty much you are only covered in situations where you don't need coverage? 

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Active Member
Alexandru M Member Since: May 7, 2015
8 of 41

Basically so. If the client is a good client - you are protected by that fact. If not- there is no hourly protection program , even if you meet the requirements

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Community Guru
Andrei T Member Since: Aug 30, 2016
9 of 41

There’s a big difference between a client that refuses to (or cannot) pay, and one that commits fraud(e.g. uses a stolen CC). Including fraud under the payment protection would encourage many scammers to just hire themselves, pay with stolen funds, and let Upwork deal with the mess.

You might still get paid after they make sure there is no link between you and the scammer, but it will take some time - it’s a very difficult case to handle.

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Community Guru
Reinier B Member Since: Nov 3, 2015
10 of 41

@Tonya P wrote:

Wow, that's a new twist. Even more ways for Upwork to avoid payment protection? So pretty much you are only covered in situations where you don't need coverage? 


 Isn't it just?

 

I seems that the only payment protection that is worth more than Upwork's paper its written on is based on the relationship freelancers have with their clients. If there is trust and respect on both sides, payment is all but guaranteed. Conversely, if there is no mutual trust and respect, there is no payment protection, regardless of what Upwork says.  

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