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Client is taking too long to pay

Active Member
Arely M Member Since: Apr 7, 2015
1 of 9

Hello!  Somebody! I need some light here. 


I am new on Upwork and recently working on my second fixed-price job, which I am starting to feel fooled. 


I was invited to do a translation for this one client. I reviewed the job post and opened the linked file. It was some sort of sentence in txt format that seem to be for a game or something. So  I go ahead and tell him that by looking at the file, I think I am qualified for the job. Asked him an aproximate of words to translate, which he never responds and then he almost immediately sends me the link to three zip folders. He says "do folder 1" (as his english has been very short in all his answers) without having send me a contract. This sentence was his only instruction throughout the entire job, by the way. 

Then I requested to please send me the contract and he did. When I finish folder one I request my first milestone and he says in short words "The price of the job is for three folders". So by this time I was late on the duedate and I kindly asked him to give me a a little more time to finish the rest of the work. I told him it was OK to pay me the total amount that he posted for the three folders. 


This client is not such a big company, they have only spent in the house of the $1,000´s, but I trusted anyway. 


Then, before I turn in the complete work he says "I would like to negociate more folders for a total amount..." and deliberately sends me one more folder. All this with minimum to no  instructions or deadline even. So he says he´ll send the rest of the folders when they are translated (from another language to english). So, I say OK to all this



Now, trying to be brief, when I was done I send him an e-mail saying I finished the work (three files) and request my first milestone, which by common sense is what the job post says regardless of the forth file he sends on the side. 


I also send him another e-mail saying that I only needed him to confirm one word in order for me to finish the last file (outside of the first milestone for three files) . He took like three days to respond with the corrected word I needed and says "I am waiting folder 4" and this after a week that I requested the first milestone, meaning after the 6 day hold. So he has not paid me until now. 

So as of today, I requested my milestone AGAIN, and sent him another e-mail saying that I need the first milestone for the three files agreed, and only after that I would send me the forth file.


Finally, he hasn´t respond in three days nor has paid me. I am starting to feel that I am experiencing my first scam !!! So dissapointing...

Smiley Sad




Community Guru
Tony H Member Since: Nov 10, 2011
2 of 9

Frustrating. Sounds like a scam to me too. Problem is, any way you look at it now, you're Job Success score will probably take a major hit...


In the eyes of Upwork algorithms. this is your fault and you will be punished, lol. Great huh?


Try contacting support and see if they can do anything to get you out of this without penalty.

Community Guru
Lyam B Member Since: Nov 3, 2014
3 of 9

Three days isn't too long. Also (unless it's changed): if you submit your work for approval and the client doesn't respond, your funds are automatically released after 14 days. 


Despite the client only spending $1,000 on oDesk, he's still spent money and paid which should give you a little ease. 


But, from what I've read - s/he seems like the kind of client you should avoid. 


Edit: bear in mind, because of the fixed-price contract escrow system, clients have to deposit funds to cover the first milestone and before a client can withdraw that, oDesk need to investigate whether or not the client is in the right to do so. 

Community Guru
Setu M Member Since: Jan 26, 2014
4 of 9

Arely, each time you resubmit the same milestone for approval it resets the 14 day clock Lyam mentioned. So do not resubmit again*. You will be paid in 14 says as stated. It is not the nicest of things to wait, but be patient especially based on the client's demeanor.

It sounds like you settled with doing the 4 folders for whatever the milestone cost, is this so? Then just wait it out. If you ate to be paid more for the last folder, the I would not submit it. Let the client set a new milestone - you did the work.

In any case, as Lyam said, it seems your JS score will be made to suffer by this client. So might as well get paid for the work your did.


Oh, and I dont think it is a scam, just a poor client.

---- easy like Sunday morning ----
Active Member
Arely M Member Since: Apr 7, 2015
5 of 9

The agreed work was only three folders, he sent me the fourth one on the side, and I assumed it was under "the more folders" he was going to send me. He clearly stated in an e-mail, that certain amount of milestone for three folders. So this is why  I am holding the forth one, because he has not respond. 

Thanks for your advice!!! I clearly hope this does not damage my score for sure. 



Community Guru
Setu M Member Since: Jan 26, 2014
6 of 9
No worries. Keep us posted of the outcome.
---- easy like Sunday morning ----
Community Guru
Jean S Member Since: Oct 22, 2007
7 of 9

Did the client fund the first milestone?

Ace Contributor
Arens M Member Since: Mar 15, 2015
8 of 9

A contract is useless if the client doesn't fund with milestones or the total amount. So if they funded you are one step above in this situation, if not hmm,,, I'm sorry but stop working right now,

Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
9 of 9

Hi Arely,


I am sorry about the situation you found yourself in. Please, always make sure the client funds enough funds in Escrow to pay for the task before you start working on that task. At this point I would suggest first writing to the client and asking him to release the agreed amount (he would need to edit the amount he releases). If he does not do so, please contact Customer Support for further assistance.


I hope it will get resolved soon.

~ Valeria