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Client requests full amount refund from my previous two weeks of work.

I'm NOT a writer, so please bear with me from how I lay my points.

I have an existing (now paused) hourly contract with a client. We started Feb.4,2020. It is an Engineering related work, quantity surveying and bid preparation. He offered me to work 40 hours per week.

On the very first day, he sent me projects via email. I received 15 unique multi-level building projects right away (with individual due dates). And i have done 12 projects in a span of three weeks at about 80 hours in total.

It is an Hourly contract, so I was already paid for 2 weeks. My work was well documented and tracked. Everything went well at first,. He praises my work as he says "Excellent job". But then during our 3rd week, he suddenly dispute my worked hours from the previous two weeks and current week work. He wants me to refund the FULL amount. Yes, he wants everything back, including the payment i have received in the previous weeks. He said, "How the hell you can charge me and be paid without my approval?","I should've been notified first before you receive payment", "Give me back my money". So i talked to him and I said that the contract he offered is an Hourly contract and there is a work diary for him to use in verifying and checking my work.

I also mentioned that hourly contract is different from fixed priced contract that has milestones that he will be approving every now and then. He still stand on his argument that he has been on upwork for long time and this is the first time he encountered such a thing. I went to his profile and checked, it really is his first time to have an hourly contract because all of his past contracts were fixed price.

So i have 1 count of dispute (the present week) and 2 refund requests. The 3rd week is urgent because at that time it is in the "in review" window. He also said the 12 project I submitted should have taken an hour each to finish. He wanted to pay me 12 hours of work instead of what I actually worked for 80 hours. I talked to my client, i negotiated with him and we agreed that i will just work the hours off to his satisfaction (about 30 hours in total). We agreed but at the end of the current week, Upwork refunded the amount where the hourly payment protection is not met, so in 24 hours of work in that week, Upwork refunded about two hours. So I have to work for him for 28 hours.

But things changed after he received the 2 hours refunded by Upwork. He now doesn't want me to work off the 28 hours that we have agreed. He wanted to continue with the refunds.

So, I still have two refund requests pending. I don't know what to do next. I explained my side on Upwork, I submitted all the documents, justifications and proof that i really had worked hard for the projects, and I want to fight for my right to be paid for the hours I really have worked for.

Anyone who has experienced this?

1. Will Upwork automatically send refund to the client if I ignore client's request?
2. Is it okay if i'll just ignore the client's request?
3. Can i initiate to end the contract since the client is not responding on me anymore?
4. What should I do best?

I read different threads regarding this issue but i didn't get exact scenario.

Please share your thoughts. Thank you so much for taking time reading and understanding my concern.

ACCEPTED SOLUTION
wlyonsatl
Member

If you did the work the client hired you to do, don't agree to issue a refund of any amount. It isn't up to freelancers to mollify unreasonable/clueless clients with unjustified refunds.

 

It's unfortunate this client didn't understand how Upwork works, but that is not your responsibility and has nothing to do with whether he is held responsible for paying you for performing the work you were assigned. 

 

If Upwork contacts you about any element of this project, reply promptly and follow any instructions they provide to the letter. 

 

Good luck!

 

 

View solution in original post

6 REPLIES 6
petra_r
Member


Jamaica Neil C wrote:

 

1. Will Upwork automatically send refund to the client if I ignore client's request?
2. Is it okay if i'll just ignore the client's request?
3. Can i initiate to end the contract since the client is not responding on me anymore?
4. What should I do best?


1. No

2. No, it is not ok to just ignore them. You should politely decline to refund.

3. Yes, you can end the contract at any time.

4. Close the contract if the client is no longer responding but if you have already agreed to "work it off" the client can hold you to that if he wants to. The client can also leave feedback.

 

Thank you Petra for your time reading my concern. I appreciate your thoughts so much.

1. Is there no time frame for the refund request to expire? Say, I have to respond within 30 days or so. If no response, refund will be granted to Client. Are there something like that?
2. Okay, I will do. But i think my Client will get mad if I decline his request because we agreed to work it off. It made me hard to decide because he has changed his mind after he received the refund from my 3rd (final) week work. Now he wanted to pursue on the refunds. He asks for full amount refund from my two weeks work. And that i think is crazy.
3. Okay, thank you. I don't feel like working with him anymore.
4. If I closed the contract upon declining the refund requests, what might happen next?

The client is already mad. Get paid for what you are owed and don't work with him anymore. 

wlyonsatl
Member

If you did the work the client hired you to do, don't agree to issue a refund of any amount. It isn't up to freelancers to mollify unreasonable/clueless clients with unjustified refunds.

 

It's unfortunate this client didn't understand how Upwork works, but that is not your responsibility and has nothing to do with whether he is held responsible for paying you for performing the work you were assigned. 

 

If Upwork contacts you about any element of this project, reply promptly and follow any instructions they provide to the letter. 

 

Good luck!

 

 

lysis10
Member


Jamaica Neil C wrote:



So i have 1 count of dispute (the present week) and 2 refund requests. The 3rd week is urgent because at that time it is in the "in review" window. He also said the 12 project I submitted should have taken an hour each to finish. He wanted to pay me 12 hours of work instead of what I actually worked for 80 hours. I talked to my client, i negotiated with him and we agreed that i will just work the hours off to his satisfaction (about 30 hours in total). We agreed but at the end of the current week, Upwork refunded the amount where the hourly payment protection is not met, so in 24 hours of work in that week, Upwork refunded about two hours. So I have to work for him for 28 hours.

But things changed after he received the 2 hours refunded by Upwork. He now doesn't want me to work off the 28 hours that we have agreed. He wanted to continue with the refunds.


This is where you lost me. Why would you refund/work for free THIRTY hours if you really worked those hours? This makes no sense unless you're just admitting to running the clock and overcharging.

 

eta: nvm, looked at reviews for both of these people. A perfect storm of bad. Moving on...


Jennifer M wrote:

eta: nvm, looked at reviews for both of these people. A perfect storm of bad. Moving on...


Yes.