If a client has a complaint about the quality of a freelancer's work, then proper responses are:
- discuss it with the freelancer and see if the freelancer can adjust the work
- stop working with the freelancer; work with other freelancers whose work meets the client's expectations.
A client DOES NOT need to give a freelancer any warning if the client doesn't like the freelancer's work.
A client can close the contract AT ANY TIME, for any reason.
But it is inappropriate for a client to file a dispute because she doesn't like the quality of the freelancer's work.
Clients have EXTENSIVE tools for monitoring a freelancer's work, pausing a contract, requesting revisions, etc. Filing a dispute is not intended as a way to avoid paying for work that a client claims is of insufficient quality.
Having said that... sometimes offering some kind of refund is a smart business decision on the part of a freelancer, or a courteous thing to do if the client had expectations that genuinely were not met. So although a freelancer may indeed grant a refund request when a client complains about the quality of the work, it doesn't mean that it is acceptable for a client to ask.
So it's not your fault if a client leaves you a bad review as long as you did the job as agreed and to your best.
In any case, sometimes, a client doesn't even know what good work is. They just know what they want and to them, that's the best.
So you might have done excellent work, just not according to their expectations or definition of 'excellent'.
At this point, unless the client disputes and wants a refund, if you are convinced you did your best and as agreed, then you shouldn't feel compelled to refund.
Either way, you have no control over the feedback you'll get.
Just focus on giving your best with future jobs and learn how to evaluate difficult clients before agreeing to any contract.
As I only have a few jobs on UpWork I find it unfair that even if I end the contract and issue a refund, they can still leave feedback that while it won't show up publically it will still affect my JSS. Also I should not have to refund them for generating such a high quality product, but I'm open to it as I care more about not having this negative review from this client who I feel has now trapped me.
It has become way to common lately that as soon as a client doesn't respond or asks for a refund that freelancers immediately issue a refund with the reasoning that doing so will not have any impact on their JSS. But they fail to realize that closing a contract with no payment made will also negatively impact their JSS. They also forget that the client can leave Private feedback which also negatively affects their JSS. Freelancers are hellbent on the assumption that everything will be great once funds are returned. They forget that they put in the time and effort to produce quality work and they should get paid for it. IMO, you should not refund your payment. There is no reason to.