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Client's Payment Failed - Freelancer Left Out of Pocket

emmac6248
Active Member
Emma C Member Since: Nov 26, 2017
1 of 12

I have had a very unpleasant Upwork experience.

 

Let me start by saying that I've been on Upwork for over 5 years, I have completed over 435 jobs and am a consistent, top rated freelancer.

 

I am a copywriter (and a very good one). 

 

I had a recent client, **Edited for Community Guidelines** via Upwork who asked me to write his website.  It was not a huge job, $154 in total.  It was an hourly (manual hours allowed).

 

I regularly do hourly jobs and I always log manually.  Why?  Well, firstly, I have never had a problem before.  Secondly the Upwork system does not allow "thinking time" or note taking.  As an example, another client wanted me to come up with a load of slogans - I did it in bed two nights ago and wrote my notes on my iPhone.  It's a bit difficult to capture that "time."  Anyway, I've never had a problem.

 

Needless to say  the client's hours were logged two weeks ago.  A week ago I received an email to say the client's account was temporarily suspended due to payment problems.  I contact Upwork help to make sure my payment would go through and I was assured by the customer help rep. that it would and I should not worry.

 

The payment was due to clear yesterday.  It didn't and Upwork refunded the uncleared money back to the client.

 

I was horrified - no payment for me and so I contacted Upwork help who to put it bluntly, didn't help.

 

I am not protected.  The bottom line is the client does not have to pay me, Upwork couldn't care less about my longstanding work, my top rating, the amount of money I've made for the company.  The client is unscathed, Upwork have not suspended him and he keeps saying he will pay me but he has his credit card on hold.  He's actually behaving is such a disgusting manner that it should be a concern for Upwork but it isn't.

 

So, luckily for me, I work on three other platforms and I will continue to grow my client base elsewhere seeing as I feel so undervalued on Upwork but let this be a lesson to all of you freelancers.  

 

Needless to say, I'm sure he will leave me poor feedback and I'm also 100% positive that Upwork won't do anything to change that, short of me using my perk to get it removed (but client shouldn't be allowed to leave any feedback if payment wasn't made).

 

I am sure that I am not the first freelancer with this issue but really, Upwork should think carefully about looking after good freelancers because sooner or later, freelancers feel uncomfortable with their level of protection and support they receive.  While we are all busy making money for Upwork, no one is looking after us properly.

ronlorraine
Ace Contributor
Ron M Member Since: Oct 25, 2016
2 of 12

Well you learned that manual time is not gauranteed. You are in a different field than myself but for me in web development and design I use two computers. One has the website that I'm working on with the tracker turned on. On another computer I'm doing the actual work since I don't care for Upwork to see what programs I'm using and coding I'm doing. Every time I make a change to the website I'm working on I refresh the other computer so it can take a snapshot of the changes made. Sorry to here about your bad experience but one thing to remember is he didn't pay for the work you did so you own that work and he can't use it!

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
3 of 12

Ron M wrote:

I use two computers. One has the website that I'm working on with the tracker turned on. On another computer I'm doing the actual work since I don't care for Upwork to see what programs I'm using and coding I'm doing. Every time I make a change to the website I'm working on I refresh the other computer so it can take a snapshot of the changes made.


That does not track protected time either.

How do you get high enough activity levels to count, let alone produce high enough activity levels to qualify for protection  in the work diary when you are working on a different computer? (Considering the tracker works on keyboard and mouse activity, segments without activity are not billed and segments with low activity are not protected)

g_vasilevski
Moderator
Goran V Moderator Member Since: Mar 24, 2017
4 of 12

Hi Emma,

 

I`m sorry to hear about the bad experience you had with your client.
I would also like to confirm that manual hours are not protected under our Upwork Hourly Protection.


Please keep in mind that for Fixed price contracts unfunded milestones or promised funds are also not protected under our Fixed Price payment protection.

I can also suggest to check out the Safety First section on this Thread and learn more on how to protect yourself. 

 

Regarding your feedback question, we will remove feedback only if there are violations on our TOS. You have the option to use your top rated perk Feedback Removal and request a feedback to be removed, if you haven't used it recently.

If you have any additional questions let me know, thank you.

~ Goran
Upwork
petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
5 of 12

Emma C wrote:

 

The payment was due to clear yesterday.  It didn't and Upwork refunded the uncleared money back to the client.


No. Upwork did no such thing. The client never paid in the first place.

 


Emma C wrote:

 

I am not protected.


So when you are clearly told that you are not protected every single time you add manual time you consider that to mean what, exactly? Other people are not protected but you somehow are?

 


Emma C wrote:

The client is unscathed, Upwork have not suspended him


Says who? They WILL certainly have suspended him pending sorting out their credit card issues.

 


Emma C wrote:

Needless to say, I'm sure he will leave me poor feedback


Nothing was paid under the contract so no feedback will show on your profile anyway.

 


Emma C wrote:

no one is looking after us properly.


So you expect Upwork to pay you out of their own pocket for manual time you know (or should know) is not protected, because it's you? Or pay all freelancers out of their own pocket when clients don't pay?

 

Manual time is not protected. When I use it (and I do) I know that should fertilizer hits fan, I am out that money. Upwork tells me exactly that every flipping tie I add manual time.

I am at a loss how you can be so surprised about that fact.

 

tlbp
Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
6 of 12

Emma C wrote:

I have had a very unpleasant Upwork experience.

 

Let me start by saying that I've been on Upwork for over 5 years, I have completed over 435 jobs and am a consistent, top rated freelancer.

 

I am a copywriter (and a very good one). 

 

I had a recent client, **Edited for Community Guidelines** via Upwork who asked me to write his website.  It was not a huge job, $154 in total.  It was an hourly (manual hours allowed).

 

I regularly do hourly jobs and I always log manually.  Why?  Well, firstly, I have never had a problem before.  Secondly the Upwork system does not allow "thinking time" or note taking.  As an example, another client wanted me to come up with a load of slogans - I did it in bed two nights ago and wrote my notes on my iPhone.  It's a bit difficult to capture that "time."  Anyway, I've never had a problem.

 

Needless to say  the client's hours were logged two weeks ago.  A week ago I received an email to say the client's account was temporarily suspended due to payment problems.  I contact Upwork help to make sure my payment would go through and I was assured by the customer help rep. that it would and I should not worry.

 

The payment was due to clear yesterday.  It didn't and Upwork refunded the uncleared money back to the client.

 

I was horrified - no payment for me and so I contacted Upwork help who to put it bluntly, didn't help.

 

I am not protected.  The bottom line is the client does not have to pay me, Upwork couldn't care less about my longstanding work, my top rating, the amount of money I've made for the company.  The client is unscathed, Upwork have not suspended him and he keeps saying he will pay me but he has his credit card on hold.  He's actually behaving is such a disgusting manner that it should be a concern for Upwork but it isn't.

 

So, luckily for me, I work on three other platforms and I will continue to grow my client base elsewhere seeing as I feel so undervalued on Upwork but let this be a lesson to all of you freelancers.  

 

Needless to say, I'm sure he will leave me poor feedback and I'm also 100% positive that Upwork won't do anything to change that, short of me using my perk to get it removed (but client shouldn't be allowed to leave any feedback if payment wasn't made).

 

I am sure that I am not the first freelancer with this issue but really, Upwork should think carefully about looking after good freelancers because sooner or later, freelancers feel uncomfortable with their level of protection and support they receive.  While we are all busy making money for Upwork, no one is looking after us properly.


Do the three other platforms offer payment protection in the event that a client's credit card payment fails? 

feed_my_eyes
Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
7 of 12

I'm sorry that this happened to you, but I'm curious as to why you work on an hourly basis instead of using fixed price contracts? I don't like using the time tracker for the same reason that you don't (because it doesn't cover "thinking time"), so I often ask clients if I can switch to fixed price contracts if it's more appropriate. So far, nobody has had a problem with that. Then I'm protected by having the payment in escrow before I get started. 

tlbp
Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
8 of 12

Christine A wrote:

I'm sorry that this happened to you, but I'm curious as to why you work on an hourly basis instead of using fixed price contracts? I don't like using the time tracker for the same reason that you don't (because it doesn't cover "thinking time"), so I often ask clients if I can switch to fixed price contracts if it's more appropriate. So far, nobody has had a problem with that. Then I'm protected by having the payment in escrow before I get started. 


If the client's credit card fails when you attempt to collect the escrowed funds, you aren't protected. Smiley Sad

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
9 of 12

Tonya P wrote:

Christine A wrote:

 I often ask clients if I can switch to fixed price contracts if it's more appropriate. So far, nobody has had a problem with that. Then I'm protected by having the payment in escrow before I get started. 


If the client's credit card fails when you attempt to collect the escrowed funds, you aren't protected. Smiley Sad


I am not sure what you mean?

 

Attempting to collect escrow funds does not trigger any process that could cause a payment method to fail. The money is already successfully charged at that point.

 

If the client's credit card fails when Escrow is being funded, there won't be a milestone. The client's credit card failing for something else after that time does not affect the Escrow funds. The only way Escrow funds can be "not protected" is if the payment method used to fund them was not kosher (stolen card / hacked account)

 

 

tlbp
Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
10 of 12

Petra R wrote:

Tonya P wrote:

Christine A wrote:

 I often ask clients if I can switch to fixed price contracts if it's more appropriate. So far, nobody has had a problem with that. Then I'm protected by having the payment in escrow before I get started. 


If the client's credit card fails when you attempt to collect the escrowed funds, you aren't protected. Smiley Sad


I am not sure what you mean?

 

Attempting to collect escrow funds does not trigger any process that could cause a payment method to fail. The money is already successfully charged at that point.

 

If the client's credit card fails when Escrow is being funded, there won't be a milestone. The client's credit card failing for something else after that time does not affect the Escrow funds. The only way Escrow funds can be "not protected" is if the payment method used to fund them was not kosher (stolen card / hacked account)

 

 


I would call that a fail. Smiley Happy

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