I must say as an Elancer, one thing I prefer about Upwork as compared to Elance (and I mean one thing...) is that freelancers are able to give clients feedback.
If I was in your situation I would dispute, get your money and leave a review about what happened. You can be assured that no real freelancer would go near the client again.
I certainly will. Although, let's be honest - if I were to win this dispute, what are the odds of someone with no previous history on upwork hiring here again? If you get caught once, you're unlikely to try again.
I do see that they have another job posted. Hopefully it's a legit job opening. I do hope Upwork looks into it.
"I ended the contract as we agreed. contract was closed as completed, with payment of 50%
overall rating I gave was 4.8 over 5"
Erhm, I haven't agreed on anything? He asked for a refund in escrow of 50% and managed to approve 50%.
how is it possible for him to do that?
Can someone elaborate? I can decline the refund in escrow
For some bizarre and never fully explained reason Upwork has a feature that lets clients release less than the agreed amount from escrow, and goes out of its way to tell them about it. Decline the refund.
As I understand it, when clients short you, your only recourse is a dispute. I don't know if that is automatic when you refuse to agree to the refund, or is a separate process. I'm sure a more knowledgeable person will be along shortly.
"Upwork has a feature that lets clients release less than the agreed amount from escrow, and goes out of its way to tell them about it."
Hmm, seems to defeat the purpose of escrow as a protection for freelancers. Promoting it encourages clients to agree to the rates of top freelancers and then pay whatever at the end of the contract.
"seems to defeat the purpose of escrow as a protection for freelancers"
That's exactly what it does - although, given the confusion over the six-day "security" hold, it's an open question just how much protection Upwork escrow provides anyway.
If the client wants to release only part of the amount, he would have to end the contract and request for the rest to be refunded to him from Escrow. You will be notified about that and have an option to either approve the refund or dispute.
Why not simply remove that option? It should be up to clients to initiate a dispute if they don't want to pay the full amount. I don't see why freelancers should have to take that sort of action just to get the fee that was already agreed on. I don't know of any other freelancing site that makes it possible for clients to abuse the process in this way. An agreed fee is an agreed fee, and that should be what the client releases.