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Client wants refund after almost 13 months

Active Member

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!




Christy, I'm not quite sure how you can see a client's activity.

Often, if you find the client's job on your profile and click on it, there will be a "view entire job post" option at the very bottom.  Clicking on that will take you to the old job page and you can see their current platform stats.

@Bram R wrote:

Christy, I'm not quite sure how you can see a client's activity.


Nope, that's not there anymore. Honestly, I don't think that that person is very active on Upwork. Doesn't even have a profile picture...

Community Guru

I really hope someone from CS weighs in here.  I'm curious as to what UpWork would actually do in a case like this.  I like to believe that the client's request would be treated with the disdain it deserves, but one never knows.  I cannot even imagine anybody having the chutzpah to complain, much less ask for a refund, over a year later.  Sounds like his real grief should be with the translators, anyway, if even that.

Even if a freelancer gave cr**, the client has no right to ask for a refund – Fixed Price or Hourly.


The client was given a review period. Period.

"Certa bonum certamen"

For the record, this was a fixed-price job with multiple milestones, which were all submitted in time and were all approved by my client.

I would point him to the process for filing a dispute. He's lied to cs about not being able to contact you and is trying to get more money than he actually paid for the job. If Upwork doesn't back you up on this- please let us all know. 

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Bram,


I would like to clarify that Upwork team sent you a ticket because the client was trying to get a hold of you and asked the team for assistance. If possible, please address any misunderstanding or problems directly with the client.


Thank you.

~ Valeria

Hi Valeria,


I received my client's message at 1.20am last night and Upwork's ticket at 4.59am. In his message, he literally said "I will take action against this with upwork". Clearly, he didn't even give me the chance to respond to him first nor did he seem to want to discuss this with me.


After waking up this morning, I immediately responded to his message, after which I replied to the Upwork ticket. I have been and will discuss everything privately with my client, as long as he's reasonable.


I only posted on this forum to ask for feedback and see if anyone has had similar issues with a client in the past. I assume that this kind of stuff is the very reason this forum exists. Any help from your side, however, is welcome!


Kind regards,



Bram - Do NOT have any more of any type of conversation with this client no matter what they may tell you. ONLY commucinate with Upwork IF. that is required. Also do mot mention or indicate that you are willing to give ANY refund back to him. It's been well over a year. and more than enough time for the client to find fault with your work. Upwork give a specific time period in which a client can view the work before they release payment to you. And if I'm not mistaken Upwork also give additional time in which to file a dispute.


And yes, I had a long time ago, create a spreadsheet where time is calculated. When I sent it to the client, they were very happy and gave me excellent reviews. Maybe a few months later the client contacts me and says nothing is working (and blamed me) She sent the work I did back to me. and when I looked at it, all I can figure out is that somehow she was able to cut each cell out, throw them all up in the air and where ever they fell back down in the spreadsheet that's where she put them. It was all messed up, Labels were deleted, Content was in the wrong cells, it was just one big mess.  I told her that is NOT what I originally gave her, and if she wanted me to fix it, it would cost XXX. After I sent that message I never heard back from her again.



@Kathy T wrote:

Also do mot mention or indicate that you are willing to give ANY refund back to him.


 Unfortunately it looks like he's already agreed to refund $ 60... If he did, and in writing, and on the platform, he might be held to that.

Community Guru

Just a couple of points to note for interest:


1) It's not possible to refund a transaction to a credit card if more than 6 months have passed, or to PayPal if more than a year has passed. Which is why I expect you can't even see that option on Upwork.


2) In general, it's not possible for someone to initiate a chargeback with their credit card company after more than 6 months, or 12 months in some cases, but some jurisdictions give up to two years.


However, yeah if you have actually agreed to a refund you might have a problem. Definitely the better way would have been to not agree to one at all.