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truedon
Member

Client won't pay after work is done

Hi guys, 

 

I am new to working here and just signed up. My first client messed me around, but I have been able to report him to the support here. Now my second client got me to setup his server, install wordpress and get his VPN made. Now he is not coming online or replying to messages any further.

 

What can I do about this?

 

 

34 REPLIES 34
noirre
Member

If this was an hourly job and you used the time tracker, unless he disputes the hours, he will be charged and you will get paid.

 

If you used manual time, there is no guarantee.

 

If this was a fixed price contract and and the money was put into escrow, if you used the "submit work" button and he does not dispute, you will get paid.

 

If this was an fixed price contract and the money was NOT put in escrow, you are screwed.

I couldn't use the tracker as both clients refused to answer my questions about accepting the contract and just wanted to talk on skype. Foolishly I have done the work thinking they would pay me the common respect but obviously not. 

Can I report them?

Tom, reporting them will bring no benefit to you. You could be suspended for policy violations, specifically for working without a contract or getting paid outside Upwork. You did not do that, but what you did could be easily interpreted that way 

 

The money is gone.

 

It is important to understand that there are proper procedures and also effective strategies and techniques that contractors use to avoid the negative outcomes you experienced.

 

You need to learn these things before your next job.


@Preston H wrote:

Tom, reporting them will bring no benefit to you. You could be suspended for policy violations, specifically for working without a contract or getting paid outside Upwork. You did not do that, but what you did could be easily interpreted that way 

 

The money is gone.

 


 Preston, with all the due respect there is, clearly this client has taken advantage of this new freelancer and it is most likely that this is a predator who does it all the time.

 

So OF COURSE the client needs reporting to Support and I would say with 99.9% certainty that Tom is not going to get his account suspended for being new and naive. And whilst we're at it, strictly speaking NOT reporting the client is as much of a policy violation as being dumb and doing free work.

 

Please don't keep telling people not to report fraudulent clients. That just means the client gets away with it and preys on the next innocent newbie for some more.

 

Yes, you are right, the money is gone.

 

Tom, without having hired you the client CAN NOT pay you. Not on the site, anyway, and I hope sincerely you haven't agreed to be paid off the site because that would actually indeed create an issue for you. Does the client even have a verified payment method?

 

And I agree with Preston that you need to STOP, read up on how things work around here, how you should and should not go about things, what the rules are, and how to protect yourself. Ask questions in the forum, read the pinned threads, read the help files etc etc...

 

It never seizes to amaze me that people swan in, don't look at a thing, agree to all the terms and conditions, spend significant time (freelancers) or money (clients) without a hint of a clue, then have a rude awakening when it all goes to hell in a handbasket.

 

 

 

 

 

re: "clearly this client has taken advantage of this new freelancer and it is most likely that this is a predator who does it all the time."

 

Yes, I agree 100%.

 

Petra, thank you for you note.

I know you want to help Tom and contractors generally.

 

I don't think I routinely tell people to not report fraudulent clients. I think fraudulent clients are terrible.

 

I think Tom acted naively, and didn't do anything wrong, and I certainly hope if he reports this that no ill effect will come from doing so. I hope you are right. But I can't guarantee it. What if he accidentally triggers a dispute? That would be bad for him, and potentially financially costly, as well as burdensome to his job success score.


Preston H wrote: What if he accidentally triggers a dispute? That would be bad for him, and potentially financially costly, as well as burdensome to his job success score.

 What are you talking about???

 

THERE IS NO CONTRACT. HE WAS NOT PAID

 

No contract - no dispute.

 

What the hell would the dispute be over?

 

He is as likely to "accidentally trigger a Tsunami" as he is to "accidentally trigger a dispute!"

Petra, you are correct that Upwork won't allow a dispute to be created if there's no contract.

 

At the time it wrote that, it wasn't clear to me that the original poster had never actually started an Upwork contract with any of the clients he was complaining about. This became clear soon thereafter.

 

I think you may well have perceived the nature of what had happened earlier, despite the imprecise and incomplete description of events.


@Tom W wrote:

I couldn't use the tracker as both clients refused to answer my questions about accepting the contract and just wanted to talk on skype. Foolishly I have done the work thinking they would pay me the common respect but obviously not. 


 There ya go.

truedon
Member

Listen we are not ruled like savages yeh, we work under the law of the land. No country allows fraud or extortion so to not report it is just crazy. These man have tricked me and probably will do countless others. 

 

I'm not new to working online, just new to this upwork website. I have worked online for 15 years and gave benefit of the doubt to these gentlemen because they seemed polite and like they was serious about the job.

 

No where did it warn me not to accept the work without them starting the contract, I had no idea how to get that done. 

 

It seems really difficult to use this site because there is loads of nonsense going on, no way to report it and nothing happen once its reported. 

 

I done the work, I should get paid. If this was an actual physical work agency then I would of been covered, but because it is virtual we degenerate into a lawless wild west where extortion can take place.

 

Those who are complacent in it and call themself a good christian / muslim / jew / buddhist / 'athiest' or whatever are just seriously miss-guided this is a joke of a system and I bet you extortion like this takes common place and that is why there is so many spam like users who just hit up every job with pre-written cover letters and why there are websites dedicated to just that.

 

In my experience of being a hirer all you get is **Edited for Community Guidelines** (no offense to any one from **Edited for Community Guidelines**, it is just my real life experience) who **Edited for Community Guidelines**. Later in this mad system you're saying the freelancer can get reported by the client because they mess him around? Stupid system that is **Edited for Community Guidelines** by design - the freelancer has no right to dispute.

 

All in all I think this website needs to be investigated in general into its work ethics and how it operates and I will be taking the correct steps to contact the governing bodies, because I know how gateways work and there are strict rules what has happened here is a joke and the support offered also does not help at all. 

I cannot even report it? What a mockery.

"No where did it warn me not to accept the work without them starting the contract, I had no idea how to get that done. "

 

Surely this is common sense? If you work as a freelancer in the off-site world and  you are invited to make a quote on a project, after which the client wants to discuss it at length, you still would not start work before they have signed a contract. I wouldn't. 

 

I understand you are upset Tom, as I've had work stolen from me as well (not here, but on another similar website), but lunging at Petra is really bad form. She may be harsh, but she is only telling it to you like it is. 

 

And like has been said - of course you can report it. You SHOULD report it. But support can hardly do anything for you since there is no contract for them to dispute. 

I fell for the same exact thing. His name is **edited for Community Guidelines**. He gets you to talk on Skype, makes you believe you will get paid, asks you to make phone calls, and then does not pay. Don't fall for his scam. I have to do my part to help others not make my same mistake. Sure, I should have known better. I trust people too much. Lesson learned. The difficult part is that I did report it, but it seems like they do nothing to help you out. There should be a way to write a review about your experience with each employer so their actions are transparent and therefore would not be in their interest to treat people like this. I couldn't find a way to do this. Most of the "employers" I have come across here on Upwork are scams. It seems the scammers are more protected on here than the freelancers. There needs to be a better review system and more transparency to avoid this from happening to freelancers. 

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Tom,

 

I'm sorry to hear about your bad experience. For future reference, don't start working without an active contract, which would show in your "My Jobs" tab.  You can find more details here.

Please report this client so we can take a look and address the case.

 

Please keep in mind our Community Guidelines when posting here.

~ Vladimir
Upwork

I was told this rules ( check attached screenshot ) This rhetoric from Upwork.com states I will get mediation help if the client refuses to pay. I have not had that. That is why I am reporting this website to the standards of work and labour in California when their office opens because you are now in breach of the law. No one has offered mediation support and now 24 hours have passed with no response from your customer support. 

So I was told as pack of lies and nonsense yet again, good old capitalism. No matter how many times I read your guides, it doesn't excuse the fact that you are slack do not help and most obviously incompetent at dealing with scamsters that abuse your service.

 

Did you really think you have dealed with the matter? Provided help? I am completely unsatisifed and owed money. I will get my money because I did work and god is watching. Justice will prevail over all headens.


@Tom W wrote:

1) I was told this rules ( check attached screenshot ) This rhetoric from Upwork.com states I will get mediation help if the client refuses to pay.

 

2) I have not had that.

 

3) That is why I am reporting this website to the standards of work and labour in California when their office opens

 

4) because you are now in breach of the law.

 

5) No one has offered mediation support and now 24 hours have passed with no response from your customer support. 

6) So I was told as pack of lies and nonsense yet again,


7) I am completely unsatisifed and owed money. I will get my money because I did work and god is watching.

 

๐Ÿ˜Ž Justice will prevail over all headens.


 1) IF you have a contract. If you have no contract there is nothing to mediate.

 

2) Because you have no contract.

 

3) Good luck with that.

 

4) Nope. Wrong.

 

5) All they can do is investigate the client. They can contact the client and ask them to contact, hire, and pay you. They can not FORCE the client to do so because there IS NO CONTRACT. You decided to deal with the client without following procedure. You now see that this was not a good idea, and are blaming Upwork for your "client's" dishonesty and your own inability to inform yourself how the system works before jumping in head first. Take some responsibilty for your own actions and decisions. If you jump off a bridge and break your legs you won't sue the bridge owner for failing to stop you. Same thing!

 

6) No, you failed to inform yourself and you failed to read the terms of service and now you are trying to find someone to blame. Blame the so called client!

 

7) Hint: You are owed money by the client, not by Upwork.

 

๐Ÿ˜Ž OK then. Good luck with that, too.

truedon
Member

 

Sorry there is some problem in attaching the screenshot previously it is in the post above this. As you can see rule 3 states I will get support. That has not happened and I have been fobbed of with nonsense that is hypocritical to what you told me so you have fradulently lead me to believe the service would be protected and helpful when in reality you do not look after your workers. 

 

 

I done the work. The client has the VPN setup. Upwork.com is not going to help me, regardless of contract or not they should atleast shut off this users account and do the right thing.

 

Your decision to resort to using huge letters to keep reiterating about a contract goes to show how weak a grasp you have on this situation. 

 

So you think it is right that I got stitched up and it is ok for someone to trick me out of work? Just because a contract which I requested several times did not get created.

 

I am new here, I followed the guides and help.

 

I have posted the screenshot of what I was told. I have been lied to and tricked. Now the public can make up their own mind of it as this is already published online.


@Tom W wrote:

1) I done the work. The client has the VPN setup. Upwork.com is not going to help me, regardless of contract or not they should atleast shut off this users account and do the right thing.


 They WILL be investigating the client.

 

Tom, let's go back a step, shall we?

 

Was the client's payment method verified?

 

Did the client have a history of hiring and paying freelancers, with feedback?

 

The way it works is as follows:

 

The client posts a job posting.

 

You apply.

 

If you are chosen for interview you agree the terms of the contract with the client.

 

The client hires you, either on an hourly basis, then the client gets automatically charged for the hours you log, oron a fixed rate basis where the client gets charged the amount for the first milestone, or the full contract, in advance, the money is put into Escrow, and upon satisfactory completion you get the money that is in Escrow released to you.

 

THAT is the protection offered.

 

Without having been hired, and without hours logged OR the funds put in Escrow, there is no way to dispute it because there is nothing to dispute (no funds in Escrow)

 

Upwork can't pull money out of a client when there is no contract, it's not physically possible. They CAN contact the client and ask them to do the right thing. Theycannot FORCE them.

 

Just learn from this.

 

In future do NOT start doing any work until you get the notification that you were hired and that the first milestone was funded and the job is as an active contract in the "My Jobs" tab.

 

It will look like this,listing your hourly and fixed rate contracts:

 

my jobs.jpg

 

You were not actually lied to by Upwork, you were lied to by the client.

 

 

Tom, let's go back a step, shall we?

 

Nah I'm ok. I stay forward. I don't know who you are even to be talking to me, you are not qualified and you have no control of your font-size.

 

Was the client's payment method verified? 

 

Don't know how to check this or what it means.

 

Did the client have a history of hiring and paying freelancers, with feedback?

 

Again don't know how to check that, his name is just his name that is it. Where is said links? Provide URL please?

 

 

The way it works is as follows:

 

The client posts a job posting.

 

You apply.

 

If you are chosen for interview you agree the terms of the contract with the client.

 

The client hires you, either on an hourly basis, then the client gets automatically charged for the hours you log, oron a fixed rate basis where the client gets charged the amount for the first milestone, or the full contract, in advance, the money is put into Escrow, and upon satisfactory completion you get the money that is in Escrow.

 

THAT is the protection offered.

 

Without having been hired, and hours logged OR the funds put in Escrow, there is no way to dispute it because there is nothing to dispute (no funds in Escrow)

 

Upwork can't pull money out of aclient when there is no contract, it's not physically possible.

 

Just learn from this.

 

In future do NOT start doing any work until you get the notification that you were hired and that the first milestone was funded and the job is in the "My Jobs" tab.

 

You were not actually lied to by Upwork, you were lied to by the client.

 

Yes I have been lied to by upwork - they are not doing anything about it and said they would. That is a false premise. Thank you very much but I know what happened.

 

 

So you see people NO JUSTICE NO PEACE IS WHAT WE MUST RESORT TO!


@Tom W wrote:

Was the client's payment method verified? 

 

Don't know how to check this or what it means.

 

Did the client have a history of hiring and paying freelancers, with feedback?

 

Again don't know how to check that, his name is just his name that is it. Where is said links? Provide URL please?


 Sure:

 

Go to any job posting, preferably the one you applied for with this particular client.

 

Screenshot_2.jpg

 

This window on the right (see above) gives you lots of useful info, including whether the payment method is verified.

 

Underneth the actual job posting you see the previous contracts the client had with other freelancers, and their feedback.

 

As for whether I am qualified to comment or not, that is clearly up to you to decide.

 

One of us has been screwed over twice in 2 client interactions. That's a 100% failure rate.

 

One of us has successfully completed over 80 contracts, and logged over 6400 paid hours here, pluscountless fixed rate contracts, with clear 5star feedback.

 

The latter is also the one who's never had a problem getting paid for any of the work they did.

 

I rest my case.

 

 PS, one would have thought you'd have figured out SOMETHING after the first client messed you around. You didn't make the same mistake twice in a row, because only the first time it is "a mistake" - the second time it's called "a choice"

truedon
Member

Recently I started to work on here, my first two clients have had me do work for them and then refused to pay. Because they did not open the contract (which they told me they would do) I am being barked at by some woman that I have no rights and that there is nothing i can do.

 

I do not want any of you to get in this mess either, so I would recommend if you get in this situation just share the knowledge as much as you can with other freelancers because upwork will not help for jack and they have a real bad attitude about it also like they are above what they said.

 

Ultimately they are a bunch of hypocritical theifs that are fine in taking a percentage of your money, but not fine in helping you when you get stitched up using their website.

 

Don't expect them to help as you can go and see my thread in this forum and they will not do jack about it just want bark at me and write nonsense - even themself is have an argument over what information to provide. What a mockery of this profession. I have been tricked into doing work for free and not got paid. If this was a physical work agency we would have human rights but becasuse it is virtual online they do not care at all and are fine with a it being a lawless wilderness.

 

Upwork.com = Pure Thiefs.

Hi Tom,

 

It's horrible that your first experience was a bad one.

 

As a regular user of this website, my advice is two-fold :-

1. Where possible do hourly jobs via the time-tracker as you are better protected and pretty much guaranteed to get paid.

2. If you get a fixed price job, do the work on your own hosting account (get a cheap one of you don't already own one) and protect the source code. Let the client test it but don't hand over source code until the bill has been paid.

 

Stick with it and hard as it is now, try to put this behind you and chalk it up to experience.

 

Best regards

Martin

Yeh I would do that if they would of opened it but they just tricked me out of it. I thought upwork.com helped people and would ban them or something but instead they just protect them.

 

So no justice, no peace.

Tom, I've met clients who want things their way and trick you into working without a contract, etc, but I am always cautious about such behaviour and just stop communicating with them.

 

My advice to you (and often to my clients) is - Start work ONLY after the contract is started here at Upwork. Only then can Upwork help you, you can dispute the client's behaviour, etc. You have a way to prove that you actually have a working relationship. Also, communicate as often as you can via Upwork. I do that mainly because, if anything should happen (like the situation you describe) I will have proof that I submitted work and we were active in communication. It never came to use all that, but it's kind of like a safety net for the future. I am very careful what clients to work with and if I feel like the client is too rude or talks little or shows little respect, I just never open a contract with them. Spend some time getting to know your future client before committing to a contract.

 

I know that being new to a freelance platform (or freelancing in the first place) requires time to get used to it, and also to know what to look for and how to protect yourself, but you will have to learn. I sincerely wish you luck with your future clients and never work without a contract! I can't stress that enough! Once you actually approve their job offer and you see it part of your job contracts page, only then can you start working.

 

P.S. You seem to be really qualified in your field, so I am sure will quickly find new work. Take that experience as a lesson learned. Of course, I can only imagine how frustrated you are right now, I feel for you! My work had also been exploited, but I learned that I value my work and time, and don't work unless I have some sort of proof that I will actually get paid. At least, here in Upwork, you can dispute when you have a contract. And again, post your work here at upwork, via the messaging system as another proof that you actually worked. I know that the client may want to communicate with you via skype, etc. and you can definitely do that, but persist in posting your work via Upwork. Explain it to the client if you must, if they are reliable and understanding, they won't mind. At least I hope so. That's how I've been working so far and my previous (and current) clients don't mind.

 

Another thing is of course, if posted work via Upwork, is deemed 'proof' that you worked and if it may help in any dispute.

Too bad you are tricked twice. Try to be a little carefull. You said-

 

Tom W wrotetruedon wrote:

Recently I started to work on here, my first two clients have had me do work for them and then refused to pay. Because they did not open the contract 

 


 

It apperas that you start working without getting a contract. In this regard Upwork cannot help. Next time start work only after contract has been awarded.

 

Hope that you have better experience. Good luck.

 

 

 

Upwork aren't thieves. Some of the people that use Upwork are thieves. To stop those thieves, Upwork have processes in place to protect clients and to protect freelancers. You either didn't know about these processes or you chose to ignore them.

 

I'm sorry you got scammed, but if you'd read up on how Upwork works and how to stay safe, then this wouldn't have happened... twice.

 

Like Ebay... if you email a new seller and they tell you to send $100 directly to their Paypal account and they'll send you the item.... Ebay aren't thieves if you never get the item and they won't help. The seller is a thief. You need to stick in a bid or click the buy it now button before you can take advantage of their safety measures.  

"Welcome, humans. I'm ready for you!"
- Box, Logan's Run (1976)

You received a lot of encouragement and understanding in this thread.

 

I have a zero ounce of empathy for you and I think you knew exactly what you were doing when you were taking work of the platform. 

 

The thing that amazes me though is such self-entitled, bratty attitude and a total lack of insight-you really are a gem in that regard. 

 

So you don't want to pay 10% to the platform but you expect that they help you when your "client" disappears? What for? For what money? Out of goodness of their heart?

 

Anyway I am a moron for commenting on this at all, but due to this type of people, my tickets are left unanswered for days at the time (and I am paying my 10% fee.)

 

To Upwork -please stop accommodating people like this and focus on problems of us who actually pay you for a service.

"I have been tricked into doing work for free and not got paid. If this was a physical work agency we would have human rights but becasuse it is virtual online they do not care at all --."

 

But this is not an agency. This is a job posting platform where you create a profile and that, when certain conditions are met, guarantees your pay. These conditions have not been met in your case. You have not worked for or through UpWork, you have worked on a contract posted on their website, which you have effectively done off-site, since there is no contract in place. 

 

You should read Scott's eBay example with some thought. That is exactly the sort of situation you are in.

 

And like said in another thread, lunging at this "some woman" is really bad form.

I do not believe that there is some OTHER freelancing platform out there where you can do work after just talking to clients via Skype, and the platform will guarantee payment even though no formal agreement was reached through the platform.

how do you manage to get "tricked" into no contract? Twice? LOL

 

Fool me once, shame on you.

Fool me twice, shame on me.

Maybe if you didn't advertise having done work for a brothel in 'your' portfolio you might attract a better class of client?

evetodew
Member

Tom,

 

Exactly because, as you mentioned, this is a virtual space and we don't offer physical labor work, the rules are different (or at least more strict) than those of on-site work.

 

Since we never physically see or meet the clients, nor do they, or, even Upwork (neighter of these three sides can have physical contact), rules must be more strict to ensure the protection of the client and of the freelancer. Yes, freelancers can get scammed now and then, because they never learned their rights on the platform called Upwork in this case. Even in court you need actual proof that a crime has happened, but then the state is in charge. Since the thrid-party right now is not the state, but Upwork, we all must comply with Upwork's procedures and rules first! If the offence is larger or more serious, who knows... maybe even the state may be employed. I honestly don't know. In your case, wherever you go to seek the help of the law they will tell you one thing - did you read the rules of the platform? Did they state 'Don't work without an active contract' (or similar)?

 

It's clear that there are many things you don't know yet about Upwork. I am surprised that you accuse a system you don't know. Also, don't compare Upwork or any other freelance platform for not being exactly what you want it to be. It's not the state, it's not another freelance platform, it's nothing else but Upwork. Like I said before, I can only imagine your frustration, but the fact is, you won't find the help you seek without having complied with the rules of the current virtual third-party system called Upwork.

kcraw1985
Member

@Petra, oh, I was suspended temporarily. I've accepted the job offer without a contract and agreed to be paid through PayPal. Like Preston stated, you as the Freelancer get in trouble. Not really the client. Never again.


@Krystal C wrote:
@Petra, oh, I was suspended temporarily. I've accepted the job offer without a contract and agreed to be paid through PayPal. Like Preston stated, you as the Freelancer get in trouble. Not really the client. Never again.

 Actually, clients are often suspended for just mentioning the word Paypal in a message, even if they haven't made an offer of payment outside the platform.

 

If you and the client both agreed to violate the rules, why wouldn't you both be penalized? Since you tried to steal from Upwork, a permanent ban wouldn't have been out of line.