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Re: Client requesting refund despite completed work, wants me to give him training

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You should be paid for the work you've completed.

He'll leave bad feedback anyway, but you can overcome that and still get your payment. You'll only be teaching him it's ok to scam extra work if you give into it.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
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I will be honest with you. We have heard too many stories like this in the Forum recently.

I think many of us - freelancers AND clients - are really tired of these stories of clients abusing the system this way.


Upwork's refund system is simply not meant to be used like this. It should be used very, very rarely.


And although I appreciate your distress at having a client asking for a refund without justification...


The truth is that the refund system is far more harmful to clients than it is to freelancers.


The possibility of getting a "refund" can be a terrible distraction to clients, and can prevent them from moving a project forward. The concept of "refunds" can also cause clients to incorrectly think they have some kind of "reset" button or "guarantee" when they are trying to get a project completed. But no matter how refunds work, they in no way can replace effective, proactive management of project.

Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
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Aiza F wrote:



One of my clients is requesting for a refund for a non release funds on a fix price contract.


I have set up his Dubsado account which our initial contract entailed. I have also sent him an update when I submitted the milestone. I even set up a Zoho account for him as additional support.

He then added a task wherein he wants me to provide him a training of how the application is used, without additional payment Smiley Sad


I feel that it is unfair for me to approve of the refund request since I was able to deliver but I worry that if I don't approve of the refund, he will leave me a negative feedback which can affect my profile reviews. 


Your thought would be of great help.


This client will probably give you a negative review one way or the other. And a job with no money paid will affect your JSS. So - if you give this client a refund, what would that accomplish.


  1. you'll (probably) get negative feedback,
  2. a hit on your JSS.
  3. and you would've worked for X amount of hours/days with nothing showing for that. 
  4. the client worked this system before, Probably got away with it many times, and well, why not use it on you. 

To give a refund would reinforce the concept that this is how it's done. Add more work and if the freelancer doesn't do it, request a refund -  Say the work isn't what they want, ask for a refund - Say they don't need the work anymore, ask for a refund, and tell the freelancer that they will get a negative review if they don't issue a refund.


Do NOT give this client a refund. Start a dispute and if the client doesn't FULLY pay you for the work you did, then take it all the way up to arbitration. . 


Active Member
Jacob G Member Since: Jul 5, 2020
5 of 7

How would one go to arbitration with the client. This just happened to me as well.

Ace Contributor
Albert B Member Since: Apr 11, 2016
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If you completed your job, the client paid and then asked for more work without pay, they are explicitly violating Upwork's TOS by asking for free work. If the training was not part of the service, package or work that was originally agreed on and paid for, then it is a request for free work if they are basically blackmailing for the extra work.


You should report them to customer support.


From this page:



The following are examples of uses that are prohibited on the Site or when using the Site Services:
. . .
  • Requesting or demanding free services, including requesting Freelancers to submit work as part of the proposal process for very little or no money or posting contests in which Freelancers submit work with no or very little pay, and only the winning submission is paid the full amount;

. . .



*Highlight of the relevant section made by me

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

re: "How would one go to arbitration with the client. This just happened to me as well."

Upwork does not offer a way to go directly to arbitration.


If you have a disagreement with a client, you should work it out with the client. Failing to do that, it is possible to file a dispute. That triggers a dispute/mediation period, in which Upwork will encourage the employee and client to work out their differences and come to an agreement.


If the dispute/mediation step fails to bring the contract to an agreed conclusion... then if both the freelancer and client agree to go to arbitration, they can both pay $291 (and Upwork also pays $291), and the matter goes to arbitration.