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Client not activating /paying last Milestone payment ?

Active Member
Imran Y Member Since: Mar 28, 2017
1 of 10

Hi , 


I am new to UpWork and I did a FixedPrice Job. Its first MileStone was "Begin the Project" . I was expecting when I will start working on it and share my initial status with the client he or 'system' will approve this milestone but it did not happen and I had to request him (waiting after 2 days) to approve the 1st Milestone , that he did after 1-2 days...


It was short contract and meanwhile I completed the job (I was expecting now as Milestone 1 is completed so 'system' will automatically trigger the 2nd milestone...but later I found it does not work like this - in hard way) and share the screens of my final work and I offered to share executable with him for his testing but he asked for the complete source code... as he himself is a freelancer on UpWork so I trusted him (thinking a freelancer will not deceive a freelancer !!!) and sahre the complete source code. 


And now he is gone all quite...not responding at all from last 5,6 days !!!


So my questions are:


1- Do I need to raise a dispute to get Milestone 1 payment ? or it will be released automatically from escrow?


2- What would be the status of my Job, would it be marked 'Completed' automatically ? or do I need to terminate it after payment of Milestone 1 ?


3- My client is a freelancer on can I report him ?


Thanks for your help and time.




Vladimir G Moderator Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
2 of 10

Hi Imran,


I see the first Milestone was approved and the payment is currently subjected to a standard security period. Please go to Report > Overview and you'll find the payment under Pending. Click the question mark icon above it in order to learn more about its current status.


The second Milestone isn't funded and that's why you don't have the option to submit it. Please make sure to accept Fixed-Price contract offers only if Escrow is funded for the agreed amount through one or multiple Milestones. Alternatively, don't start working or submit any work on a Milestone until the previous one is approved and the subsequent one funded for the appropriate amount. You'll be able to confirm if Escrow is is funded by checking to see if there's a "(funded)" tag next to the Milestone amount.


If you don't hear back from your client regarding the remaining payment, you can consider closing the contract yourself since it won't be closed automatically.


Please note that Upwork Payment Protection covers only funds deposited in Escrow and you'll need to discuss the payment for the remaining amount with your client directly.

Active Member
Imran Y Member Since: Mar 28, 2017
3 of 10

Thanks for the prompt response and guidence.

Active Member
Muhammad Ata Ul M Member Since: Jan 17, 2019
4 of 10

If client is Not available from 4 days then

Active Member
Sara H Member Since: Apr 20, 2017
5 of 10

This is my 1st experience with upowork, I also had a fixed price contract with a client who did not release the payment of 2nd milestone after getting 1st milestone done and received source.

1- What shall I do?
2- Have I lost all the money including 1st milestone? What is current status?
3- Do I need to close the contract myself, what happens when I do?
4- shall I file a dispute ?
5- If I write a review on client to warn other people , will she be able to delete it?

It feels bad to be scammed, kindly advice.
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
6 of 10


No, you should not file a dispute.


If you received money already for the first milestone, then nothing associated with the 2nd milestone will change that.


If the client did not fund an escrow payment for the 2nd milestone, and you did the work for the 2nd milestone, then it means you worked for free.


You may ask the client to pay you for that work, but he is not obligated to do so.


If you are not paid for the work on the 2nd milestone, then all of that work belongs to you.

You are welcome to post that work in your portfolio, or use it however you like.

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

re: "What shall I do?"


It depends on whether or not the client funded the milestone.


If the client funded the 2nd milestone but then disappeared or isn't responding, then you will AUTOMATICALLY receive all of the money for that milestone 14 days after you submit the work using the "Submit Work / Request Payment" button.

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

Hi Sara, 

To add to what Preston shared, you may want to check this help article and see if you qualify for Fixed Priced Protection for Freelancers.

EDIT: Sara, I just checked your account and can see that the contract is still open, you only requested payment a day ago, and the milestone is currently funded. You will automatically receive your earnings after 14 days if the client does not come back with a request to revise the work you submitted.

Active Member
Rebecca B Member Since: Jun 29, 2018
9 of 10

I am dealing with literally the same exact issue with a client right now. It was a fixed price agreement with milestones. Client paid first milestone, but then skipped town and is not responding to my requests. I've sent 2 requests already on Upwork and he is unresponsive which has me worried. All work is complete and he has the files in his hands. Should I close the job? Or should I keep it open until he pays?

Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
10 of 10

Hi Rebecca,


If the milestone has already been funded and you completed the work for it, you can submit it on the contract page by clicking the Submit Work For Payment button. If the client doensn't take any actions, the money in Escrow will be released to you 14 days after you send the request through the system. Please, make sure not to re-submit it again, unless the client asks for revisions, as it resets the clock.

~ Valeria