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Client is forcing me to give refund

Community Guru
Sandra T Member Since: Nov 26, 2014
21 of 34

If I were the OP, I would try to take a real honest and as objective as possible look at the situation with all its turns and events and ask myself if I deserve the money or not. If it comes to a yes, I would try to mentally/emotionally walk away from this client situation and try to focus on what I would normally focus on. I'd leave the feedback as it is, swallow it and move on. If the client wants to take any action, I'd let him spend time and energy and resources, but would only act upon them if I absolutely have to (e.g. if prompted to make a statement to Upwork).

Community Guru
Jean S Member Since: Oct 22, 2007
22 of 34

I just want some clarification on this:


You logged your time using the time tracker?


The client had to approve that work by looking at the work diary?


Client approved all work diary entries?


Has he initiated a dispute yet?


From what I am reading in the support files the client does not have a case.


Read the article here:


Why can't I file a dispute based on quality of work or missed deadlines?


Upwork clearly states:


If the freelancer was working on your contract, but the work just isn't good enough for you, you do have to pay for the work (but you can ask for a refund).


Disputes made based on missed deadlines or inaccurate time estimates must be handled directly between the client and freelancer (or agency's staffing manager), as Upwork does not provide these estimates, review work specifications, or guarantee deliverables. You are paying for time, not a product. You have full control and visibility of hours logged through your freelancer’s Work Diary. Managing your freelancers to ensure quality work is your responsibility.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
23 of 34

@Jean S wrote:

I just want some clarification on this:



From what I am reading in the support files the client does not have a case.


 If he had not agreed a refund you'd be right. As he has, in writing(he shared some email screenshot earlier), and confirmed on his feedback response, all bets are off. If the client takes this far enough the OP will likely be asked to refund what he agreed to refund, especially as he tried a deal on feedback against refund.

Community Guru
Jean S Member Since: Oct 22, 2007
24 of 34

You may be right I don't know how they handle that part. To them an hour worked is an hour paid.


At the very least I would wait and see what the dispute team does with this. They may settle it or send it to arbitration. With the Dispute Team you have nothing to lose so wait and see what they say.

Active Member
Md. A Member Since: Apr 10, 2015
25 of 34

Hello Petra,


I did not agree beacause I did not say  "I will refund" (rather said should be able). Ok, if you still think that means I agreed, I said that with condition that he would not give me bad feedback. Now if you think this type of word is policy violation, please read my previous message on this disscussion -


"4. After that he totally stopped the project and asked me to refund. He said that, if I do not, he whould give me very bad feedback with 1 star rating.

5. So to save me from this bad feedback, I just let him know that I should be able to refund if he hold giving the feedback. Please I did not offer him but I put a condition to save me."


So I did not say to give me good feedback first. Once he said that he will give me bad feedback, if I don't refund him. Then I asked him to keep it paused untill I refund him.



Community Guru
Jean S Member Since: Oct 22, 2007
26 of 34

Let the Dispute Team handle this and do nothing more at this point.


Then abide by there decision.


If the client then takes it to arbitration or the Dispute Team recommends it, then you have a choice to make, but for now, let Upwork handle things and see what they recommend.

Active Member
Md. A Member Since: Apr 10, 2015
27 of 34

Hello Jean,


Thanks for your reply. Here are the answers -


Q: You logged your time using the time tracker?

Ans: Yes


Q: The client had to approve that work by looking at the work diary?

Ans: Yes, the clients have (1 or 2 weeks) time to review the work diary.


Q: Client approved all work diary entries?

Ans: Yes, by that time I did not hear any objection from the client. All money for the logged time was deposited to my account after the safe time period.


Q: Has he initiated a dispute yet?

Ans: Yes. He already did. Also me, as he was threatening and forcing me to give the refund which was my legal money.



Active Member
Md. A Member Since: Apr 10, 2015
28 of 34

Hello all,


Thanks for your valuable suggestions, some of them went against me though, I appreciate the honesty and being nutral. Thanks!


Updates are:


I contacted the customer support and live chat (two tickets). I let them know my scenario and both of them let me know that the money is absulatey legal and the client wont be able to harm me.


The client also contacted the customer support and the customer support contacted me. I replied them with all my explanations about what happened with me. Today the customer support thanked me and closed the ticket without asking me to give the client refund.


Thank you all guys!

Community Guru
Oreofe J Member Since: May 8, 2015
29 of 34



You have been fortunate to get some great advice and input on this post.


I think there are still one or two pieces that are still missing - as it is usually the case with disputes.


You have a 'great' history of satisfied clients. Technically , you know what you are doing.


All of a sudden a client threatens you and you are rattled ? That means you think  you have done something wrong and hence he holds sway or leverage over you ?


Going forward , you need to take this on the chin , if the amount involved for both of you is worth going through CS and dispute , by all means go ahead.


If you think the customer is still willing to look at how you can salvage the project , try that option - although from the way it is , communication has totally broken down b/w both parties and you have to accept your fault in this regard.



Finally the take home should be this: Never negotiate/batter review for money on this platform.


Your own words: "But as the client wanted the refund and I always tried to make the client happy, I just tried that.


I did not say him that I would give him the money back, rather I said that I should be able (not surely). I gave him condition that he would hold giving Upwork feedback for the job."



You will have great clients and difficult ones. Each has the right to leave a negative/positive/no review ,just as you do.


This has clearly affected you but a good lancer knows that reviews are not the end of your career. As long as we all choose to , and do the right we will get back up again.


Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
30 of 34


Md. A.:

Thank you so much for coming here and telling us "the rest of the story."


This is some difficult stuff, but I hope that all (or most) of this thread will remain in tact, as this is a story that both clients and contractors can learn a lot from.