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gwynethhamann
Community Member

Dispute - is this a scam?

This seems like such a basic one that I feel I should know.

 

I was provisionally accepted to write 8x articles a month for a platform, but they first wanted to 'test' me out with one article.

 

The agreement was that they would set a 'milestone' payment and that I would write them a 1000 word article. However, they stated "we will pay you *if we decide to use the article*". 

 

I was given a very suffocating brief to write an 800-word article, which I felt I managed - doing far more research than similar articles out there seem to have done, cramming their SEO words into the text in the least awkward way possible, etc. 

 

However, they sent me a message saying "after reviewing this with our team, we have decided it would need too many revisions so we have decided to end the contract."

I am pretty sure that there is a high chance this article will mysteriously make its way onto their website anyway, but I asked for feedback. They told me very coldly "we asked specifically for you to talk about <Place> in the month of <month>, outlining why these activities were chosen". I would love to show someone the brief and what I produced to see what you think - I definitely did bring the article back to the specific month, over and over again. 

 

Should I dispute? It wasn't a lot of money but I feel annoyed. I've had only positive feedback on my work on this platform in the past, but it feels like it's gone downhill a lot since I was most active here (almost 10 years ago). 

7 REPLIES 7
martina_plaschka
Community Member

What dispute? You were hired and you were paid. Nothing to dispute here. 

You might feel that you agreed to be underpaid, but there's nothing upwork can do about that.

Edit - unclear if you were hired or not. 

If not, you own the work and can have it taken down if they use it. 

Otherwise - never work without being hired.  

gwynethhamann
Community Member

I was hired - it was set as a milestone. I completed the work and now they are saying they won't pay me because it's not good enough. In my experience, it's normal to ask for a revision or two if something is off. Comparing the brief and the example articles they gave me, I am quite confident I did what they asked. So can they now 'cancel' the contract even though I have submitted the work? 

No, they can't just cancel. They can request a refund, which you can dispute. 

petra_r
Community Member


Gwyneth J wrote: Should I dispute? 

If you feel it's worth the hassle and the time?

 


. However, they stated "we will pay you *if we decide to use the article*".  

This was the point at which I would have walked away.

feed_my_eyes
Community Member


Gwyneth J wrote:

The agreement was that they would set a 'milestone' payment and that I would write them a 1000 word article. However, they stated "we will pay you *if we decide to use the article*". 


You should never have agreed to that! If a client says something like that to you, the best thing to do is run a mile. If they want you to do a "test" (especially an underpaid one), then they owe you the money whether they use it or not - that's the whole point of a test. Otherwise, what they're really doing is asking for a no-obligation free sample. Personally, I don't do "tests" at all, ever.

 

How much money are we talking about? If the client is an *insert word that I'm not allowed to use in the forum* - and it sounds like they are - then it might not be worth the aggravation. It'll be difficult for you to argue your case, since you agreed to not be paid if the client doesn't use the article. Plus, if you give a full refund, no negative public feedback will appear in your profile (although it'll affect your JSS when you get one).


Christine A wrote:

It'll be difficult for you to argue your case, since you agreed to not be paid if the client doesn't use the article.

It's against ToS for a client to ask for free work, whether or not they use it. But it's probably too late to bring up that now. Best thing is to let the matter rest, give a refund, and hope the client just goes away without leaving any feedback. Working on a "pay if you use it" basis is bad business under any circumstances.

Yes, I think it's much too late to bring it up, since the OP has already agreed to that condition and finished the job. 

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