cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Client wants refund after almost 13 months

bramreusen
Active

Hi guys,

 

So this morning I woke up to a former client who's asking to be refunded for work I did more than a year ago. We had some communication issues in the past and, after my completion the assignments (milestones), we ended the contract in a mutual agreement. He even left me a 5-star review afterward.

 

Now, he wants me to refund (a part of) the money he paid me for my work. Here are my problems with this, though:

 

1) I delivered all my work within the deadlines and my client always approved the milestones.

2) It's been more than one year since the work was completed.

3) He went straigt to Upwork and filed a ticket without even discussing this with me.

4) Apparently, he had some of my work translated in four languages. Now, he says he's not happy with it and wants the refund to cover the cost of these translations. Keep in mind that he always accepted and approved my work and left a positive review afterward.

 

My questions are the following. Does he have any (legal) grounds to force me to refund him? From what I understand, there is a 180-day time limit for giving refunds. (I've looked and I can't actually refund him via my Upwork profile.) Any tips on how to approach and proceed with this (very annoying) issue?

 

Thanks a million in advance!

 

Bram

32 REPLIES 32
browersr
Community Guru

There is absolutely no chance I would refund this money.  It's a ridiculous request after that much time has elapsed.  If the client needed to check translations (or whatever was the issue here) he should have done that within a reasonable window during your period working together.  Coming back after a year is not reasonable.  Fortunately for you the review has already been written so he cannot damage your JSS.  Hard for me to see a path for him to gain any traction with UW on this one given the time, acceptance of the work, and positive review.

 

I would be firm but professional in my reply.  Indicate you are sorry he is unhappy but he accepted the deliverables and it has been over a year which is well past the point to raise arguments.  Wish him well and move on.  Obviously not a guy you want to do further business with at any point.

Thanks for your quick reply, Scott.

 

I tried to be accommodating at first, actually offering him a refund for the work he complained about.

 

To be precise: it would be a refund of only $60 for that particular part he claims to be unhappy with (a two-page text I wrote). But because he says he had it translated into four languages afterwards, he wants a 5 x $60 = $300 refund, which is absolutely ridiculous.

 

He basically wants me to pay for translations of a text I wrote 13 months ago, which he now says is not good enough. It's absurd to me.

 

I've been very professional in my replies and will continue to be in the future. It's hard, though, as he's starting to be insulting. This is the first issue I've ever had on or with Upwork. I guess it was only a matter of time when you're working online with and for people you've never met!


@Bram R wrote:

Thanks for your quick reply, Scott.

 

I tried to be accommodating at first, actually offering him a refund for the work he complained about.

 

To be precise: it would be a refund of only $60 for that particular part he claims to be unhappy with (a two-page text I wrote). But because he says he had it translated into four languages afterwards, he wants a 5 x $60 = $300 refund, which is absolutely ridiculous.

 

He basically wants me to pay for translations of a text I wrote 13 months ago, which he now says is not good enough. It's absurd to me.

 

I've been very professional in my replies and will continue to be in the future. It's hard, though, as he's starting to be insulting. This is the first issue I've ever had on or with Upwork. I guess it was only a matter of time when you're working online with and for people you've never met!


Bram -

 

Trying to accommodate this is a mistake.  Don't do that again.  What I would do now is nothing.  You responded in a professional way and took steps beyond what you should have.  I would not entertain any more conversations with this person.  If UW actually reaches out (which I would be very surprised about) you can have the discussion with them.  Otherwise consider the matter closed and move on with your life.

 

Bram, Scott B is right and the answer is simple - you do not refund under any circumstances. I don't think Upwork can/will take action. If they do, dispute it and if necessary take it to arbitration.

 

The client is trying to blackmail you. Don't give in to his ridiculous claims and ignore him.

 

 

Tell him to use Babblefish.

 

There's always "something lost in translation" unless the "translator" happens to be "creative" too.

 

Everybody gets a chance to inspect and approve the goods. There are no excuses for coming back after the fact.

lysis10
Community Guru

This is funny because I had something similar (not as severe though) happen to me about a month ago. I did about 5 projects for this one client. She approached me and basically accused me of not doing what was asked... one year later... on one of the projects. Not all of them... just the one and I'm reading her comments and I'm thinking "umm... so you think I scammed you on just one of the 5 projects?"

 

She's had multiple writers and editors work on it and I wasn't even the original writer for this particular project, so I'm not sure if she was not happy and just wanted to throw blame at me because I was active or what. 

 

First, be careful what you cop to. I would be very careful about admitting any wrong. I told her that of course I did what she asked and it's been a year, so I can't comment on anything that's a year old and has been changed since then.

 

She didn't ask for a refund and didn't open a ticket AFAIK, but there is no way I would give someone a refund a year later when you have no idea who has changed what. It's likely your work is not what you delivered anymore, and you can't be held responsible for that.

 

In my scenario, I told her that I did what she asked and denied what she was accusing me of. She left and I blocked her.

 

Is Upwork hitting you up with questions or did this person just tell you that they submitted a ticket? 

Seems to me that the client should be getting refunds from the translators...

He's likely not making any money off of his crappy site and now is blaming the writer. That's what I figure was happening in my situation. 1 of the 5 wasn't doing so great and so you gotta blame someone other than yourself.

This client's behavior is disgusting and Upwork should be ashamed of itself if it does anything to facilitate such a request.

 

13 months?!

 

If a freelancer accidentally sewed a packet of rat poison into my kidney instead of writing an article about qualifying for a mortgage, I still wouldn't ask for a refund after 13 months.

“If a freelancer accidentally sewed a packet of rat poison into my kidney instead of writing an article about qualifying for a mortgage, I still wouldn't ask for a refund after 13 months.”

 

From beyond? Smiley Happy

"Certa bonum certamen"

Haha, that's pretty extreme, but I see your point! 

That's what I figure is going on here, too.

Hey Jennifer,

 

So far, the client has only sent my a message saying he was going "to take action on Upwork" and I've received a message from Upwork stating that he did actually submit a ticket. That's about it so far. I've replied to both the client and Upwork, clearly outlining the problems I have with this refund request and why. I haven't (yet) received any follow-up questions from Upwork.

Just, no.  This sort of stuff drives me nuts.  

 

I agree with keeping responses professional but I wouldn't even begin to entertain the idea of a refund, nor would I let this drag out beyond the first couple of responses.

I agree. I've been accommodating, professional and reasonable with such an unreasonable request in my first couple of responses. But there's a limit to that.

 

I got the feels all the other writers/editors were not active, so I was an easy target I guess. Your client probably wants someone to blame, so you're an easy target. You care becasue this is your livelihood where maybe the translators were fly-by-nighters and are no longer around.

 

Did Upwork file a dispute against you? I really hope not.

“Did Upwork file a dispute against you? I really hope not.”

 

There is no way that Upwork can file a dispute.

 

The only way that client could possibly get back any money would be through a chargeback.

"Certa bonum certamen"

@Ravindra B wrote:

“Did Upwork file a dispute against you? I really hope not.”

 

There is no way that Upwork can file a dispute.

 

The only way that client could possibly get back any money would be through a chargeback.


 I don't know about that. I wouldn't put it past them.

 

@Bram, I'm a little curious too. Over $60 this seems really silly. Not for you. I wouldn't budge. But for Upwork to even take this seriously is silly. Hopefully, this is just a formality and they are really LOLing at the ridiculousness of it.

So far, I haven't heard back from anyone. But the client's based in Thailand, so his response could take a few more hours. As annoying as this is, I am kind of curious to see what Upwork would do if it ends up being their decision.


@Bram R wrote:

So far, I haven't heard back from anyone. But the client's based in Thailand, so his response could take a few more hours. As annoying as this is, I am kind of curious to see what Upwork would do if it ends up being their decision.


 Is the client still active on Upwork?

TOP SOLUTION AUTHORS
TOP KUDOED MEMBERS