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First time in mediation

So this is my first time I had to go into mediation with a client. I have been on Upwork for just over a year, I have a 98% Job Success and 94% of my clients would recommend me. Without going into details, I agreed to work on a job with a same day deadline. The client kept asking for changes and I kept doing them. All the sudden, the client stopped communicating. So, not sure what to do, I sent over a file that they could work with , if they chose. All the sudden, they popped back on Upwork Messenger and said they were ending the job. A week went by, and they messenge me that they want a full refund. 


I've made mistakes before with Upwork and Non Upwork clients and I will always go out of my way to try to fix whatever issue the client has, whether it means extra work or cash for me. This client, however, became rude and unprofessional. My suspicion is that this was for a class project and they were trying to get out of doing homework and now they don't want to pay. In the complaint, they said that I said things in Upwork Chat that I didn't actually say, so now I'm pretty angry. 


I'm know I'm venting here. I do want to know what other people's experience in Mediation has been.

Retired Team Member
Retired Team Member

Hi Matt,

I`m sorry to hear about the bad experience you had.
I can share this Thread with you where you can learn more about our Disputes process and how it works.

~ Goran
Community Member

@ Matt --


I could suggest that this is exactly the sort of behavior and lack of ethics that you could expect from someone who is cheating on his or her homework. 

Community Member

Are you actually in mediation, or just dispute?


Either way, just stay professional, back up your story with screenshots, etc. Hopefully you followed the requirements for payment protection.


Clients like this are maddening, and venting is completely warranted - just not within the dispute itself. 🙂

It's in dispute right now. I'm waiting for the Upwork Mediation to start.

Hi Matt,


Sorry to hear about your experience. The link Goran sent appears to have some information on it, but for some reason it lands you on the third page of the thread. The information is on the first page.

If it's an hourly contract and you've used the time tracker to document it, there shouldn't be much for the client to dispute and it's likely to be awarded in your favour. 

As for the client claiming that you said things in UpWork chat that you actually didn't say, everything's recorded so if the client can't come up with the conversation they claim happened, they've got nothing to support those claims. If the client continued to ask for changes through the UW system and you made the changes in response to the client's request and billed for the time, there's not a lot to argue.  

Community Member

By "mediation" do you mean the mediation that you pay $291 to initiate or the messaging that takes place during the dispute process?


At the non-fee paid dispute level, Upwork's input is limited to looking at what both sides have said and encouraging them to resolve their differences. In some cases, Upwork may choose to pay the freelancers fee as a courtesy. But the process is nothing like a formal mediation. It is important that you understand the difference and use the proper terminology so that others can give you accurate advice. 

Community Member

Hi Matt and I fully sympathise with you.  I am in a similar position so I understand how you feel. 


I would like to think that Upwork supports hard working freelancers; my client accepted my work, stopped communicationg and now wants a refund of Escrow.  I regard his actions as a total violation of the Terms of Service (6.5) and perhaps you should too.  

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