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Client took my work and never paid

Hi to All great people here on Upwork! 🙂


Please let me know your thoughts on this problem:


I saw a job, submitted a proposal and got the job. He asked for a vector artwork to be done as soon as possible because the last freelancer let him down and he was running out of time.


After I have done what he asked, I submitted work for approval within one day, he then asks to redraw, which I did and after many other changes he says: "OK last thing, I think" and asks me to to something he never said in the beginning. Of course I did all that but he never said a thing and requested founds from escrow. Then he opens two jobs asking a freelancer to trace my artwork in Adobe Illustrator. Artwork which he never payed for!


Now we are in a dispute, saying he warned me he will end the job(which he did not), saying I am lazy, saying I did not follow his exact instructions, saying I missed all deadlines(which there was none-all he said is asap), saying he "had to hire another freelancer plus Pay more MONEY" ; " I find your business practices disgusting. You have a poor 84% work rate say it all really!" ; "No i didnt take his work" ...


The two other jobs are paying less money then the job I did.


Every little help counts.




Make sure to save all of your correspondences to support your case that he didn't "warn you" he would end the contract. It sounds like he's just trying to get cheap/free work. Also, you should change your profile pic to a real one of yourself before you get flagged.

Thanks a lot!


In my dispute, the guy told the arbiter that he wanted his money back so he could hire someone else. It doesn't work. 😄 


Disputes are stressful and you  naturally get angry because you've done what was asked. Just answer the questions promptly and strategically (no emo responses). 


I imagine design is difficult because people are idjits and needy and it falls on a designer to figure out how to make these people happy. I guess it's like anything else and experience like this help you set rules for yourself to avoid it in the future.

Thanks Jennifer! I will definitely be more cautious in the future...



Another thing you can do is in your proposal include exactly how many revisions you will do as part of the initial contract.

For example, I always include in my proposals the number of edits that are included free of charge.  I know your work is not the same as writing, but it can be the same challenge to discern exactly what the client wants when they can't express it clearly themselves.


As far as using your work without paying you, they don't get copyright until you are paid. You could let the person that is working on the project know the guy doesn't have rights to the art...not sure you want to do that..but you could


If a client asks for additional work, or work he didn't mention when project was awarded, make sure to write it on a message on Upwork workroom. "This is an additional feature, it will take x hours and cost x money. Do you want it?"

You may do it for free but remind the client that this extra work has nothing to do with the original project scope.


Hi, I believe this client has more than one account.


But he took my work without my permission to trace it, is this stealing?


Looking forward


Hi Victor,


I'll ask the team to check the client's account. If you have any additional evidence or details, please share them privately in a support ticket.


Thank you.

~ Valeria