re: "whether Upwork considers Freelancers customers or not might be questionable"
Upwork considers freelancers to be customers only in the most tangential, ancillary sense.
Upwork's customers are the clients. It is the clients whose credit cards are charged and whose money pays dividends to Upwork shareholders and whose payments fund Upwork employee salaries.
Upwork considers contractors/freelancers to be resources or partners in the business. Upwork contractors may be confused by many of Upwork's decisions if they fail to realize that Upwork is client-focused.
Let me see if I have got this right?
You had an hourly contract, and logged 3 hours. You then decided not to go on working on the contract and closed it. After closing the contract you wanted to delete or refund the three hours.
The client disputed.
Is that it?
Unfortunately it does not matter who you ask to talk to, once you have closed a contract, (or after Monday midday UTC for hours logged the previous week) you can no longer delete screenshots (hours). Nor can anyone in Support. It makes absolutely no difference who you ask to talk to, it can not be done. All you can do is accept the dispute or issue a refund.
If the hours were from last week and the client has started a dispute you can simply accept the dispute which will automatically return the money to the client, or you can go to the contract and click on "issue refund."
Issuing a refund and the client closing the dispute as resolved may be the better option from a Job Success Score point of view
As far as public feedback is concerned, once you have refunded the contract value in full, no feedback, good or bad, will show on your profile.Feedback only shows for contracts where $ 1.00+ has been paid. Refunding in full makes the contract (and its feedback, and any trace it ever happened) vanish from your profile. The contract outcome and any private feedback left by the client will still factor into your JSS calculations though.
As far as this is concerned:
" And according to Upwork policies, I am supposed to refund and have money deducted from my account without ever receiving payment. "
That is not correct. Of course you are not expected to refund money which will never be paid.
If the client has been charged (which will have happened yesterday if the hours were logged prior to Sunday midnight UTC) the client HAS paid - the money is working its way through the system and would currently be under "In Review" as the review period is up until Friday midnight UTC.
@Preston H wrote:
....It is the clients whose credit cards are charged and whose money pays dividends to Upwork shareholders and whose payments fund Upwork employee salaries....
Client revenue has to be supplemented by venture capital investment to pay salaries and keep the lights on, and to find the elusive path to profitabiity. Dividends, and public shareholders, are presumably on the roadmap, though no time frame can be predicted.
I'm sorry you're not satisfied with the assistance you received from our Support agent. Looking at your conversation, I see our agent explained our processes in case of Hourly jobs and closed contracts, and the available options for refunding the client. I can reiterate our agent's confirmation that we can't remove screenshots from the Work Diary once it's locked and you won't be penalized by the fact that a dispute was raised on this contract.
I see you are very concerned about receiving a bad feedback and it seems there's some confusion about the way feedback works on Upwork, so please take a look at the explanation Petra posted.
Thanks everyone for their reponses.
I was concerned about the feedback as I pride myself in receiving 5.0 on each and every job. There has only been one exception in the past which I am not even sure why and that was a 4.0. I was trying not to leave it get to that stage and went into risk prevention mode. As a Freelancer, feedback is our brand on Upwork and that is how I treat it.
**Edited for Community Guidelines**,
I was never unhappy with the explanations, response time, etc. However, as I mentioned before, I knew or assumed that front line support would not be able to handle my issue. The frustration was not having a vehicle to access a higher level of support. And, seemingly the agent did not either, which is very concerning to me.
I have already refunded the client and I will see if it works out as suggested. I will treat it as a lesson learned.
re: "I was concerned about the feedback as I pride myself in receiving 5.0 on each and every job."
You don't need to be concerned with that. I have feedback scores of 2, 3 and 4. My Job Success Score is 99.
Clients don't see your average feedback score. They see your Job Success Score.
Giving full amount refunds makes your Job Success Score lower, not higher. Your current goal may be based on emotion or outdated information rather than current optimal tactics.
@Preston H wrote:
Giving full amount refunds makes your Job Success Score lower, not higher.
No it doesn't.
On job that did not work out whether you refund or not makes no difference to the JSS, the outcome of the contact, the private and public (if money changed hands) feedback DOES. The fact that a refund by and in itself has no effect on JSS has been confirmed over and over again.
@Joseph D wrote:
However, as I mentioned before, I knew or assumed that front line support would not be able to handle my issue. The frustration was not having a vehicle to access a higher level of support. And, seemingly the agent did not either, which is very concerning to me.
I can confirm you would have gotten the same information from our team leads or from me as a Community moderator.
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