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Client requests an Escrow Refund

victoriatodorova
Active Member
Victoria T Member Since: May 28, 2020
1 of 29

Hey there,

 

I have been working with a client who already paid me 100USD for the work I have done. Currently, in the Escrow there is a sum of 6OUSD and the client requested me to refund it, saying I should 'release' this 60USD. I am confused about what I have to do. Whom does this 60USD go to? Is this a normal procedure? I would really appreciate a reply.

 

Thank you in advance

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2 of 29

Victoria T wrote:

I have been working with a client who already paid me 100USD for the work I have done. Currently, in the Escrow there is a sum of 6OUSD and the client requested me to refund it, saying I should 'release' this 60USD. I am confused about what I have to do. Whom does this 60USD go to? Is this a normal procedure? I would really appreciate a reply.


How much did you agree for the work done? $ 100 or $ 160?

If you agreed $ 100 and were paid $ 100, agree to the request to return the $ 60 escrow funds. They will go back to the client.

 

If you agreed $ 160 and were paid $ 100, but have done $ 160 worth of work, don't agree to the request to return the $ 60 escrow funds. They will then not go back to the client.

 

So in other words, if you have been paid in full for what you've done, approve the request. If you have not been paid in full for what you've done, talk to the client and try to avoid having to dispute.

 

 

wlyonsatl
Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
3 of 29

VictoriaT,

 

If you have done all the work as orginally agreed you should not accept payment less than the full amount agreed to. The client should "release" to you the remaining amount in escrow.

 

If you have done $160 worth of work and only used the "Submit" button on the Upwork project page to request $100, use that same button immediately to submit work for the remaining $60 in escrow. The client will then have 14 days to object to the release of the final $60 to you.

 

If you do not do this, the client could cancel the project and the $60 will automatically be returned to the client. If that happens, you will have no recourse through Upwork to get paid that $60.

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
4 of 29

Will L wrote:

 

If you have done $160 worth of work and only used the "Submit" button on the Upwork project page to request $100, use that same button immediately to submit work for the remaining $60 in escrow. The client will then have 14 days to object to the release of the final $60 to you.

 


That would not be possible even if the contract was still open.The client has already paid her the $100. 

 

Also, Once the contract has been closed, there is no way to request anything.

wlyonsatl
Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
5 of 29

So, Petra, you are recommending she not formally submit work for the final $60 due to her?

 

If the client cancels the project before that, Upwork will take no interest in resolving any resulting dispute.

 

At least if she submits for the final $60 Upwork can consider a dispute, if the client objects to the payment and it comes to that.

 

If avoiding a dispute, rather than getting paid in full, is the freelancer's goal then she might as well agree to a refund of the remaining $60 in escrow.

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
6 of 29

Will L wrote:

So, Petra, you are recommending she not formally submit work for the final $60 due to her?


She can't formally submit anything on a closed contract.

 


Will L wrote:

If the client cancels the project before that, Upwork will take no interest in resolving any resulting dispute.


The contract is closed and we haven't even establised if she is owed the remaining $ 60 or not.

It does not matter whether the contract is closed or not, as long as there are funds in Escrow, the ability to dispute the return of the Escrow funds is exactly the same. It is plain false to say that Upwork would "take no interest" - the dispute process is exactly the same.

 


Will L wrote:

At least if she submits for the final $60 Upwork can consider a dispute, if the client objects to the payment and it comes to that.


Rejecting the request to return the Escrow funds initiates the dispute. That's how (almost all fixed rate with funds in escrow) disputes are initiated: The client closing the contract and requesting the return of the escrow funds. Then the freelancer either accepts the request (client gets the money back) or rejects it (which initiates dispute mediation)

 


Will L wrote:

If avoiding a dispute, rather than getting paid in full, is the freelancer's goal then she might as well agree to a refund of the remaining $60 in escrow.


I am not actually sure we know what is going on. She was paid and the contract is closed and positive feedback was exchanged, she may or may not be owed the $ 60. 

 

That's why I asked how much she should have been paid altogether. If she has been paid what she was due she should simply agree to the request.

If she is owed those $ 60, she should talk to the client to see why she isn't being paid and consider disputing the return of the Escrow funds.

 

wlyonsatl
Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
7 of 29

Petra, I won't clog up the board repeating all you have said, but where in this thread did the freelancer indicate the project is already closed?

 

She said, "I have been working with...", which implies the project is still ongoing.

 

If she had said, "I completed a project with..." that would be a different story.

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
8 of 29

Will L wrote:

Petra, I won't clog up the board repeating all you have said, but where in this thread did the freelancer indicate the project is already closed?


There is no function with which a client can request a return of Escrow funds on an open contract without closing it. There is no way a freelancer can return excrow funds on an open contract. That means the contract must be closed or the return of escrow funds wouldn't be possibe anyway.


The contract is showing as closed with 5 star feedback exchanged on her profile.

She stated that she was paid $ 100. There is ony one contract on her profile, and it's for $ 100. 

 

Really, the only question is whether she is owed the $ 60 or not. If she was not paid in full she should talk to the client to resolve it and possibly consider rejecting the request to initite a dispute, if she was paid in full, she should approve the return request.

 

wlyonsatl
Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
9 of 29

Petra,

 

In regards to dispute resolution, what happens if either the client or the freelancer does not agree to the recommended resolution of a dispute by Upwork's mediator and neither the client nor the freelancer agrees to go to arbitration?

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
10 of 29

Will L wrote:

Petra,

 

In regards to dispute resolution, what happens if either the client or the freelancer does not agree to the recommended resolution of a dispute by Upwork's mediator and neither the client nor the freelancer agrees to go to arbitration?


I can answer this one because I've been in this situation where it looked like it was about to happen on the phone call. If neither agree, the mediator will ask the freelancer to pay arbitration. If the freelancer doesn't, then the money goes back to the client and the case is closed.

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