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grilady
Member

Client not paying or responding. What's next?

Just wondering what happens, if money is in Escrow, job wasn't funded and client is unresponsive. Payment was requested, client said she would verify her payment method but never did. Haven't heard from her since. I resubmitted my request a little less that a week ago. The client still hasn't paid yet but also hasn't taken the money out of Escrow. So, what's next? What will happen if 14 days pass without payment? What if I leave the contract open? Will the money just stay in Escrow forever? Will her credit card be charged for that?

15 REPLIES 15
prestonhunter
Member

re:  "Client not paying or responding. What's next?"

 

Clients are not required to release payment manually.

Clients are not required to respond to freelancers.

 

This is fine.

 

re: "Just wondering what happens, if money is in Escrow, job wasn't funded and client is unresponsive."

 

Clients are not actually able to create a fixed-price job contract without funding an escrow payment.

 

So you are incorrect.

The job WAS funded. That money that you said is in escrow? That is what we refer to when we say the "job was funded."

 

re: "Payment was requested, client said she would verify her payment method but never did. Haven't heard from her since. I resubmitted my request a little less that a week ago."

 

Do not resubmit your request unless the client actually clicks her "request changes" button.

 

Clicking the Submit Work and Request Payment button again causes the countdown clock to reset. So only click it once.

 

re: "The client still hasn't paid yet but also hasn't taken the money out of Escrow."

 

Clients are not required to release payment manually.

Clients can not take the escrow money back unilaterally. A client must get YOUR PERMISSION if she wants the escrow money back.

 

re: "So, what's next? What will happen if 14 days pass without payment?"

 

14 days after you click the Submit Work button, Upwork releases ALL of the escrow money to you AUTOMATICALLY.

 

re: "What if I leave the contract open? Will the money just stay in Escrow forever? Will her credit card be charged for that?"

 

The client's credit card was charged when she created the contract and funded the escrow payment. The money will not stay in escrow forever. It can't, because it is a true escrow account and legally can't stay there forever. It isn't a bank account. If the client does nothing, then the money automatically goes to the freelancer 14 days after she clicks Submit.

Thank you for your response. As you can see in my screenshot, the money is in escrow, but it says "not funded". There have been discussions about this topic before about why milestones can be created without having to fund the project first, so it seems to be an issue.

Jeeez, Mary.

 

I've been on this platform since its birth but I see these sorts of strange problems (be them logical issues or pure bugs) becoming more annoying every year. It could be just a bug with getting the payment through, or just about anything else. ๐Ÿ˜ž

 

Interested to see if this is solved eventually.

 

Good vibes in your direction!

No funded milestone. No money. If you don't get paid, the work belongs to you. You might as well wait and see if she actually verifies the payment and funds the milestone though. It's a holiday weekend and she may legitimately need time to get the financial side fixed. 


Mary S wrote:

Thank you for your response. As you can see in my screenshot, the money is in escrow, but it says "not funded". There have been discussions about this topic before about why milestones can be created without having to fund the project first, so it seems to be an issue.


It's only an issue if you choose to do the work without a funded milestone. It is up to the freelancer to decide if they want to avail themselves of the processes designed to protect them. In the past, I've chosen to work for some clients who had not yet funded a milestone and one who hadn't even verified her payment yet. But, in each of those instances, I knew the client and I knew the risk I was taking (which is the same I'd be taking if I worked for anyone on any platform or off without an upfront payment.) No one can protect you from non-payment but you. 

Besides, since freelancers can (or could the last time I tried) create milestones when sending a proposal, there is always the possibility of milestones being created that aren't funded. (Escrow is a pot from which funding for one or more milestones can be pulled.) 

I'm confused. How can there be money in escrow if the payment method wasn't verified?

 

Christine, yes, it doesn't make any sense.

 

I suspect some exception-handling bug in the software.

 

If something else, I'll be REALLY confused. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tonya, what happens after the 14 days are over?


Mary S wrote:

Tonya, what happens after the 14 days are over?


Nothing. If the client does not verify their payment method, eventually the money goes back to the payment method it was taken from.


Preston H wrote:

 

14 days after you click the Submit Work button, Upwork releases ALL of the escrow money to you AUTOMATICALLY..


No it will not. 

Payment method not verified = funds can never be released to the freelancer.

 

Christine A wrote:

I'm confused. How can there be money in escrow if the payment method wasn't verified?

 


Clients have to fund the first milestone when they hire the freelancer. The money indeed goes into Escrow. At the same time the verification process begins. It typically takes minutes, but can take a couple of days in some countries.

 

Until the card is verified, it says "Not funded" because unless and until the card is verified, the only place the funds in Escrow can go is back to the credit card they came from.

Petra. Which other company has to verify a person's payment method before they can receive payments through the client's credit card? None that I know of. Imagine Amazon, Walmart or any other company having to do that. Upwork can put money into Escrow but not release it to the freelancer. Must be some kind of a security thing to protect themselves, nothing else makes sense. Security at the cost of the freelancer. At a 20% service fee I really think they could offer a little more protection.


Mary S wrote:

Petra. Which other company has to verify a person's payment method before they can receive payments through the client's credit card? None that I know of. Imagine Amazon, Walmart or any other company having to do that. 


Amazon don't offer the opportunity to turn a stolen credit card into enormous amounts of hard cash with little chance of tracing and retrieving it.

 

Ultimately it protects the freelancer. Imagine being paid $ 2000 and having it taken back from you 2 weeks later when the real owner of the stolen credit card processes the inevitable chargeback.

 

I've always started work, but not handed anything over until the client verified their payment method. So far every client who hired me before they had completed verification did verify their payment method within a day, except one, who took 4 days. 

Protection would be to require verification before a milestone can be created.


Mary S wrote:

Protection would be to require verification before a milestone can be created.


If you pay attention to the contract you are offered, you can protect yourself.

 

I'm fairly certain this won't happen to you again. 

I'm sorry, but it shouldn't have to. How many new people join this platform and have no idea. Do they really have to learn their lesson first before they're protected? Why not just make it mandatory to get all set up before you can hire people? It really isn't that difficult. And what does protection mean anyways? I once opened a case because a client wasn't willing to pay $100 for a ridiculously underpaid job, just because he decided he didn't need the work done after all after I had finished. All I got from Upwork was a "The client agreed to pay $30" despite the history that showed, what was asked from me, that I did all the client had asked for and that he was happy with the result. I never opened cases again after. I just return the money to the client and take the loss.

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