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Community Member

Client is exploiting me.

I have been working for a client for the past three months prepared two complex websites for him. Now he doesn’t want to pay Because I won't do tasks out of my scope, he has delayed payment for the past one month and I have been working for free after I completed my job just to not get the contract cancelled.

.What can I do in this situation?

Community Member

Nothing.  You decided to work for free.  Why? How come you didn't have milestones? Now if the final milestone is not funded,  you are out of luck.

Previous milestones are funded. He is threatening to those. 

How is he threatening you? Is he threatening to physically harm you? Is he saying he isn't going to pay you?

Previous milestones he funded but not releasing payment and blackmailing.

If you set up the milestones correctly, the client isn't even involved, the payment is automatic. If he didn't fund any more milestones, you shouldn't have done the work. I know it can feel like you are not being taken seriously, but if you don't follow the rules, no one can help you.


If the client is threatening you or actually blackmailing you, then report it to Upwork. You need to go back to the beginning and learn about the Terms onward through Upwork 101. You will keep getting scammed until you learn and follow the rules.

Community Member

Why did you work if he didn't release the money? You should have stopped working for him, take your loss and move on.

Community Member

Mediation-arbitration or refund. Those are your choices.

Community Member

Also, you charge so little.  At your price you will only attract cheap buyers.  Most of them might be farmers.

Community Member

Did you click the "submit work/request payment" button when you completed all of the work that was included in the milestone? 

yes he rejected request

You should probably initiate a dispute.

Community Member

Hey Sydil, in my experience I submit my work on Upwork for payment when the job is completed. Once in a while a client might want a small modification which is no big deal. Also the majority of my Projects are broken into 4 fixed fee Milestones so I don't run into a all or nothing situation. If I can't get past a Milestone, the project and work is ceased. However, these are very rare situations because I am careful to interview the client before working with them. Thanks!

Community Member

I would really advise you to do two things.

1 -  Read the ToS they are how upwork WORKS!!!!

2 - Submit work for the milestone and stop working further the funds will be release within 14 days and you can leave a review of how the client expolited you.


There's really nothing much else either you or the client can do.

Community Member

If you are working for free, it is your fault.


It is not the client's fault.

Clients can not force you to work for free.


If the client isn't paying as you expect him to, you need to stop working.

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