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Client disputes payment

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Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
11 of 28

Dena S wrote:
Any suggestions for keeping this from happening again? As a new freelancer, I have to occasionally take chances with new clients (and some of my favorite clients were the first time I accepted a job from them). I had everything in writing, and somehow thought that offered some protection. So, $291 to have Upwork look at it, for a job that was worth less than that? No way to dispute private feedback? So the client wins by default every time and they know this? IF that is how it works, I am surprised we get paid as frequently as we do.

Maybe break your jobs into smaller milestones. It might be a little bit of a hassle but if, say, you did one or two chapters as a milestone (at least for the first couple of milestones) then you would never have invested a lot of time without getting paid.

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Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
12 of 28

Dena S wrote:
So there really is no way to help yourself in this situation? That’s extremely disappointing as I have been working very hard to maintain a decent reputation on this site and hoped for top-rated. I have been overall very happy with the platform, but you guys are saying someone can just decide to not pay and leave negative private feedback, regardless of the job you have done for them?

Well, no. You can choose to go to arbitration, as described above. Of course a client can leave whatever feedback they feel is appropriate--feedback is subjective, and that's true of every customer of every type of business on virtually every platform where feedback is an option.

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Ace Contributor
Dena S Member Since: Aug 25, 2019
13 of 28
I agree with feedback being subjective, but when it’s kept private we can’t learn anything from it. Again, looking back, I NOW realized this client never intended to pay for a job, and I am concerned this will become an ongoing issue on Upwork.
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Ace Contributor
Dena S Member Since: Aug 25, 2019
14 of 28
And, I should expect a serious hit on JSS since I have less than 10 closed jobs right?
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Ace Contributor
Chris P Member Since: Dec 4, 2015
15 of 28

Just wondering, Dena.

Did you read the final post on page one of this thread already?

This contains all the information you will need to continue defending your dispute.

And, by the way, 92% JSS is actually a very respectable score for a relative newcomer.   Smiley Happy

Best of luck!

 

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Ace Contributor
Dena S Member Since: Aug 25, 2019
16 of 28
I have appreciated all the input. The client and I decided to do a flat rate, but she had set it up as an hourly contract (new client who didn’t know how to do it). So, in messenger here, we agreed to just split the work into two parts and I would manually enter time to equal 1/2 the payment. I know, now, that it was a mistake. I understand the money is gone, and chalking it up to another lesson learned. My only question is do I just approve the refund? And how do I best mitigate the damage to JSS? Thank you!
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Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
17 of 28

Dena S wrote:
 The client and I decided to do a flat rate, but she had set it up as an hourly contract (new client who didn’t know how to do it). So, in messenger here, we agreed to just split the work into two parts and I would manually enter time to equal 1/2 the payment. I know, now, that it was a mistake. I understand the money is gone, and chalking it up to another lesson learned. My only question is do I just approve the refund? And how do I best mitigate the damage to JSS? Thank you!

That was a bad idea. It means however many hours the client chooses to dispute, she will win by default.


You might as well just accept the dispute because you will lose it anyway.

How to best mitigate the damage to your JSS... did that contract end before or after the last update?

 

In general, the only way is having a bunch of contracts end really well...

 

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Community Guru
Abinadab A Member Since: Sep 26, 2016
18 of 28

Hi!

I would suggest that no further action is required on your part.
Do not approve or reject the refund request, at least just to delay the
client's money a little Smiley Wink
The client will eventually get their money after a few days, whether you
dispute or not.
If you dispute your JSS will take a greater hit as disputes do indeed
affect the JSS (separately from the negative review, and also separately
from the fact that you earned nothing from that contract).

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Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
19 of 28

Abinadab A wrote:


If you dispute your JSS will take a greater hit as disputes do indeed
affect the JSS (separately from the negative review, and also separately
from the fact that you earned nothing from that contract).


The damage is done. This is an HOURLY contract and disputes only have an additional negative effect in some fairly rare cases, not automatically. Most of the time they have no "additional" negative effect at all.

 

There is no benefit to delaying the outcome, other than sheer malice.

 

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Community Guru
Abinadab A Member Since: Sep 26, 2016
20 of 28

There might indeed be benefit to the OP in delaying the outcome by a few days by failing to take action.

The "zero-pay contract effect" on her JSS might not take effect by the next update if she delays a little (next JSS update is this Sunday). I say "might" because I don't know the exact timeline for the dispute - I don't know the date the refund request was initiated.

 

If she delays a little, the JSS hit might be small, and she might be able to do two contracts within the next week or two to neutralise the next one.

And yes, disputes on hourly contracts do have an additional effect separate from the negative review. Though I can't comment on if that's is also the case in a contract where all the time is manual time.

 

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