Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Client has requested return of funds from escrow.

Ace Contributor
Ankit A Member Since: Jan 5, 2018
1 of 10

I started a contract named Need UI/UX designer for Invisionapp Design. In this, I was supposed to design screens for mobile+ desktop+tablet versions of an app. 


Basically, it was an uncompleted project. I had to complete them.

We started working with mobile. After that, I completed desktop version. Then client realized that previous designer didn't even start the tablet version. 


After receiving designs for Mobile and Desktop version client became unresponsive. He/she is online every day but stopped responding to my message. 


Now when the fund was automatically going to be released after many days client requested for return of funds from escrow.

Now I have two option whether to give 150$ back to the client or raise a dispute and at least get my 100$ for mobile and desktop versions. 


My main concern is that I don't want to let this job affect my ratings. If I get 100$ then am sure cheater client will give a bad rating and will ask for refunds in returns. 

Am ready to give all 150$ back to the client, will it still affect my ratings?

I got a notification that your contract has been ended by inactivity and showing CANCELED in the job.

Is it still going to affect my ratings anyway?


I don't understand upwork cuts 20% fee from freelancer earning and still very cold towards them! 





Community Leader
Marina R Member Since: Sep 30, 2016
2 of 10

Wow, that's really terrible. I'm so sorry you're going through that. 


When a client cancels the project, he sends a request for a refund automatically. 


Also, the client does not give you any star ratings when they cancel the job - they only see the  Would you recommend this freelancer on the scale of one to ten.  You don't get star rating or a comment from him. 


I believe a refund does affect your score. Let's wait for someone from UW to confirm. What a terrible person to do that to you. I'm guessing there are all sorts of message confirmations of them receiving/accepting your solution?

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
3 of 10

If the contract was closed due to inactivity the client did not request the return of the Escrow funds, the Upwork system did that automatically.


It would mean that the OP never requested the funds by submitting the work through the contract using the appropriate button. It would also mean that it all just sat there for a whole 90 days.


If he had used the "submit work and request payment" function, the funds would have been released to him automatically after 14 days.


The contract CAN have a significant negative effect on his JSS if the contract ends up being a "Nothing paid and no feedback!" contract.



Ace Contributor
Ankit A Member Since: Jan 5, 2018
4 of 10

Please read my situation again, I completed 2/3 of the job. I needed files from client to complete the job 100%.

Client Don't have more files to get the job done completed.


How could I ask for money via submit button if it's not completely done?


I knew it's going to effect my rating anyway even if it's not my fault by any means!

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
5 of 10

@Ankit A wrote:

Please read my situation again,

 No need. I understood it just fine the first time.


@Ankit A wrote:

I completed 2/3 of the job. I needed files from client to complete the job 100%.

 Then you could have requested 2/3 of the money after the client became unresponsive.


And again, the client did not request the return of the Escrow funds, that happened automatically when the job closed due to inactivity.



Ace Contributor
Ankit A Member Since: Jan 5, 2018
6 of 10

As I told, after receiving 2/3 of the job client became unresponsive, and now contract is cancelled because of inactivity by upwork.

Client Now asking to remove funds from Escrow.(but still not responding in chat)

Am sure client knows how to deal with such situations.

Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
7 of 10

If you have finished the project, or was able to complete some parts of the project you may dispute the remaining money in escrow. You may opt to settle an agreement with the client where he can send you partial payment for what you have done so far. Please check out this post for more information about disputes on fixed-price contracts.


Refunds themselves do not have an effect on a Job Success Score. If no money has been paid on a contract, no public feedback will show on the Work History. Contracts with no earnings and no feedback, whether closed or not, can significantly lower your JSS because they indicate client dissatisfaction. When client feedback is received, even without earnings, it will be factored into your JSS. You may read more about it here.

Ankit, you have a stellar profile, and have had very good feedback from your past clients. Work harder on your future contracts, and if you become a Top Rated Freelancer, you will have the option to remove a contract with bad feedback on your profile, and/or your Job Success Score. 

Ace Contributor
Ankit A Member Since: Jan 5, 2018
8 of 10

I didn't know that I can request a partial amount for this job done by me, that's why also didn't request for it. 

I have already faced this type of situation where I have suffered without my fault. 

If it happens again, I don't think I will survive on upwork even after delivering 5-star work to every genuine client. 


Am totally confused, I don't want any pinny but want to keep my ratings safe.

 Can you suggest what should I do now? 

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
9 of 10

@Ankit A wrote:

 Can you suggest what should I do now? 

 Dispute the return of the escrow funds. One of two things will happen:


1) The client will reappear and you can discuss things with him - come to an agreement whether you get 2/3s of the funds for 2/3 of the work, or whatever. If the client wants the last third done, he can set up a new contract.


2) The client will remain gone, not respond to the dispute, and you get paid the whole of the Escrow funds. You can then refund a third to be fair.

For your JSS it is important to avoid 2 things:


1) A nothing paid contract


2) Bad feedback.


Send a message to the client that you are disputing as 2/3 of the work are done, and could he get in touch to discuss what solution will work best for both the client and yourself. What is vital now is "damage limitation" - the client dropped the ball and is clearly no longer invested in the projected.


In a best case scenario the client wakes up and the whole thing can be agreed and the contract closed successfully.

Second best case scenario is the client stays stumm and you just get paid



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

I don't think he was trying to do anything wrong, but ultimately this is the freelancer's mistake.


Upwork is designed so that freelancers get paid for their work even if a client becomes unresponsive. Always.


When a freelancer does work, and does not submit it because he doesn't hear from a client, then he is using the Upwork tool incorrectly.