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58e0f06c
Community Member

Client refuses to pay after work delivered, upwork defends client unlawfully

My client refused to pay despite the fact work was delivered . The client continues to have l  delusional epectations of the contract for freelancer to commit to full time job beyond scope of job description despite the contract simply one implementation alone which was completed. 

Furthermore, in the dispute process the client throws abuse and harassment and low and behold upwork turns a blind eye , and client lies are considered truths , how is anyone getting paid on this service ? 


Additionally, Upwork has proof work was submitted and yet clearly on the side of the client .

 

To conclude, It is evident that such abuse by a client is normalised on the upwork platform and that it is also understood that clients are allowed to lie and allowed to refuse payment, and what's worse despite all of

this upwork has no say in the matter one bit .

 

Therefore, there is NO job security at upwork. 

Shame really . 

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58e0f06c
Community Member

Just my luck upwork came through with some credit as they could see I delivered work and the client was abusive - perhaps all of which put upwork in a position to pay me , but I think the client is going to risk a chargeback as they didn't get back to the dispute other than to say they'll contact their bank and chargeback the funds locked in escrow ... either way arbitration isn't worth it for anything below 300-400$ surely ? In that case what happens ? I don't see why arbitration is even an option for anything less than costs of arbitration for either freelancer or client ? I would like to know more about letting people go without a fight if the escrow funds are for example a 100 bucks 🤣

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18 REPLIES 18
58e0f06c
Community Member

Upwork should add a disclaimer stating very clearly that if a client escrow dispute is initiated the client is 100 percent likely to take all funds in escrow due to the fact upwork has no say on the matter, regardless of evidence, effectively making disputes useless process . 

25005175
Community Member

You lack knowledge of the dispute process. Upwork does not arbitrate on Fixed-Price disputes - they mediate. Their sole goal is to get you and your Client to reach an agreement. If you don't, they will issue a non-binding decision. Once they have done that, then you can apply (and pay the fee) for arbitration - an actual binding judgement recognizable in a court of law.

 

Go to the Support website and the Terms of Service Fixed Price agreement and learn everything you can about the dispute process. In this process, knowledge truly is power. I've been through it as a freelancer with a horrible client - I won.

 

Re: your claim that the client is 100% likely to take all funds in escrow, regardless of evidence

Browse the Client forum. You will find many claims to the contrary.

 

Re: your claim that your client is abusive in the chat

Report those messages directly from the chat room. See CJ's post about how to do so.

How is arbitration a good result if the payment was less ? For example if a job offer for 150 dollars ends up in dispute and arbitration is 250 dollars for example why would either the client or freelancer see this as a viable option ? Both would be down either way . You may take note that many jobs on upwork are less than 100 dollars - in this case it's a fools game to take them even if they are simple and often minutes to complete because arbitration costs way more . The client should really accept 50 percent deal at this point and not arbitration, however their ego refuses to pay out for work complete and instead has forced upworks hand to propose the 50 percent or arbitration offer - client has decided they'll chargeback their bank account, but perhaps this means upwork will ban them from the platform ? I hope so.


You miss read, it was abusive messages in the dispute discussion, upwork turns a blind eye to these it seems even after agreeing that they whiteness such abuse . 

You miss read, it was abusive messages in the dispute discussion, upwork turns a blind eye to these it seems even after agreeing that they whiteness such abuse . 


Upwork won't tell you about any actions (or even investigations) that they perform against another user's account. I know this first-hand, because I have reported a former client for circumvention (after a Direct Contract, I discovered that he already had an Upwork account, which made him ineligible for Direct Contracts) and fraudulent location, which affected sales taxes and possibly affected Upwork's adherence to the laws of two countries. I was thanked for my time and told that I would hear nothing more from them, because privacy policy.

 

And that same client was also abusive in the dispute ticket and threatening in emails that I submitted to Upwork at the same time. But I won arbitration - granted, it was for a few thousand dollars. But arbiters are allowed to decide that the losing party must reimburse others for the filing and legal fees - you would just need to ask for it.

58e0f06c
Community Member

Jonathon,


I am not talking about good behaving clients but the ones who lie - after deliverable has been delivered - refuse to pay out . sorry for the confusion , I am sure there are good clients , but if a client behaved the way I have experienced it's highly likely that upwork has no say in the end result and must listen to the client , however the client appears to abuse us both (upwork staff and myself ) and threatens chargeback with their bank .  

In any case I've accepted upwork proposal to take 50 percent as a good will gesture and to move on , but the client doesn't appear to be playing ball at this time , will they soon wake up from their ego emotional rollercoaster and concede or chargeback upwork, time will tell .

This is why I wish Upwork would make public the history of clients on Upwork in terms of number of disputes, project cancellations, no-hire job postings, etc. We need to know whom we're dealing with as clients.

I agree . I am confident that this client has dropped multiple freelancers , he even told me he did when one didn't reply in "2 days" , this is the type of risk we take and job security is reduced to 0 percent if we are unlucky with a client ? I am only glad I wasn't busting my _____ for a month for this client 😂 . I can't even begin to tell you how unrealistic the client was - he thought hiring me to implement a library would turn his software into professional software overnight and would come with all of those features , little does he know he has to pay people to implement them features they don't just come from a single library implementation , if the client has no comprehension of the work even set out it's a pretty stupid set of circumstances that will inevitably result in their expectations meeting you with a dispute - or if a miracle was to occur and they didn't have any such ego , perhaps the client could be educated ? But I doubt that 🤣

wlyonsatl
Community Member

I know this isn't possible across all types of projects, but I make a point of precisely defining what I will and what I won't do as part of a project before I accept a contract. If a client later claims I haven't done what I was supposed to do, our pre-contract agreement in writing is available for either of us or Upwork or an arbitrator to review.

 

And I never accept a contract without at least one Upwork Zoom call to get a feel for the client's experience, abilities (including ability to communicate clearly) and understanding of his/her own project. I'd rather waste an hour or so on such a conversation than accept a contract I end up regretting working on. LIfe is too short.

 

But I'd still like to know more about potential new clients' history of freelancer relations before I agree to work with them.

Great advice .


I guess though there's no way I could have known that the client had unrealistic expectations though and would start comparing my work to 10+ year old software and trying to imply that I did my job incorrectly because it isn't 1:1 with such software , I knew immediately my client was in the dark when it comes to this kind of technology and how the features the client wanted do not come from the job contract work alone and would require months if not years of work there after, trying to learn from this experience but it's only made me feel like job security on here doesn't exist or at least if you get a bad client . 

Job security? You are a freelancer. Job security and freelancing are incompatible concepts.

lysis10
Community Member

Freelancers should really be aware of the new arbitration rules. Upwork is using a new service soon and will no longer pay into arbitration. This means that they have no incentive to stop it from going into arbitration. They'll mediate, but probs no more courtesy credits and will let people go into arbitration without much fight. Just know this. It's $375 now too. You could still pay up and have the client bail, but no more getting money out of Upwork to stop it.

58e0f06c
Community Member

Just my luck upwork came through with some credit as they could see I delivered work and the client was abusive - perhaps all of which put upwork in a position to pay me , but I think the client is going to risk a chargeback as they didn't get back to the dispute other than to say they'll contact their bank and chargeback the funds locked in escrow ... either way arbitration isn't worth it for anything below 300-400$ surely ? In that case what happens ? I don't see why arbitration is even an option for anything less than costs of arbitration for either freelancer or client ? I would like to know more about letting people go without a fight if the escrow funds are for example a 100 bucks 🤣

lysis10
Community Member


Chris M wrote:

Just my luck upwork came through with some credit as they could see I delivered work and the client was abusive - perhaps all of which put upwork in a position to pay me , but I think the client is going to risk a chargeback as they didn't get back to the dispute other than to say they'll contact their bank and chargeback the funds locked in escrow ... either way arbitration isn't worth it for anything below 300-400$ surely ? In that case what happens ? I don't see why arbitration is even an option for anything less than costs of arbitration for either freelancer or client ? I would like to know more about letting people go without a fight if the escrow funds are for example a 100 bucks 🤣


You got in right before the cutoff. I think the new arbitration rules go into effect March? February? If the client doesn't pay, you get the money by default and get your fee back. I've done it before.

 

I had a client threaten a chargeback until she was told that she'd get banned, so she reversed it. If the client has no other freelancers, then he might do it. If he has other contracts open, he'll get suspended but will be forced to pay it back if he wants to keep the contracts active. You're still out money though so that doesn't help you at all, just Upwork. I don't know if that's ever happened, but most services will give people back their accounts if they pay back the chargeback, so I assume Upwork will do the same.

 

You might want to consider hourly. Hourly gets rid of this hassle, and you have *true* payment protection. I don't know why Upwork says there is payment protection on escrow. All you know (and upwork for that matter) is that some card was charged somewhere to someone but that's it. There's no payment protection. 

25005175
Community Member

What is this about new arbitration rules?

lysis10
Community Member


Jonathan L wrote:

What is this about new arbitration rules?


Upwork no longer puts in $300. Now, it's $375 per person (client and freelancer), and they are using a different service. Before, you could get money out of Upwork to stop arbitration and get max $100 from Upwork to walk away, but now Upwork isn't contributing to arbitration, so they have no incentive to do this anymore. Now, I would assume you can say "give me my money or arbitration" and Upwork will say "cool, pay up now" without hesitation. Before, they'd attempt to get you both to compromise because obviously they would lose money if it went to arbitration.

Upwork paying people money to avoid going to arbitration was probably always a bad business decision.

 

It may have made sense numerically to make courtesy payments to avoid having to pay $291 to go to arbitration... but why should they pay their own money if two of their site users can't agree?

 

It makes a lot more sense from a business perspective to NOT pay for arbitration, not even one third. That's just losing money.

 

And yes, by NOT paying, there is no reason to pay off the freelancer and/or client if they get into an argument about who gets escrow money.

 

My hope would be that Upwork also tightens up its messaging and policies and practices surrounding fixed-price contracts to significantly decrease the amount of abuse by clients of this system.

 

Clients should not expect to get refunds from freelancers. Clients should not expect to get escrow money back. I think it is bad project management to think that way.

Preston,

 

Upwork's new policies and procedures (going into effect tomorrow) in relation to funds and escrow address some of what you say.

 

https://www.upwork.com/legal#fp

 

As a side note, as a client do you see your payment method charged in full for each milestone when you fund it?

re: "As a side note, as a client do you see your payment method charged in full for each milestone when you fund it?"

 

Yes.

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