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umiiariyan
Community Member

Got into a dispute, what will happen now?

Hi Everyone, 

I hope are you are all doing awesome. 

My query is little complicated or may be easy to answer. I am in dispute with a client. I have search alot on available answers to my question but I am not able to find a right answer to my question below.

Q. Will client be able to or can release any amount I work on the contract. Or if client stopped responding to the dispute and justed wanted his all money back will lead me to just failure ? What is purpose of escrow when client will go away with the design ideas and all his money? 

Looking forward to get a straight / easy answer to my question. 

Thank you

ACCEPTED SOLUTION
wlyonsatl
Community Member

Yes, Umair. If you and the client don't agree on a mediated amount for you to be paid instead of the original amount, your only options will be to give up (giving the full amount in escrow back to the client) or to insist on arbitration.

 

This is a major weakness of fixed price projects on Upwork. There is no real payment protection if a dishonest or obstinate client understands how mediation and arbitration work to their clear advantage in the dispute process. The client is gambling you won't go to arbitration, which gives him all his money back and allows him to leave feedback for you. "Escrow" does nothing to help the freelancer in this situation.

 

So, your only option would then be to agree to arbitration and pay your portion of the fee for that. If the client also pays the same amount, then arbitration will go forward. If the client doesn't pay for arbitration, you win the dispute and the money you paid for arbitration will be returned to you.

 

Upwork should remove all feedback from a freelancer's profile and JSS that is posted by a client who refuses arbitration. Whether or not Upwork does this, I don't know. I suspect that many/most projects on Upwork are so small that freelancers don't want to risk or can't afford arbitration, so such clients win by default.

 

And I'd still like to see how many disputes, project cancellations and arbitrations (rejected and paid for) each client has had.

 

 

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18 REPLIES 18
prestonhunter
Community Member

If you have a fixed-price contract and the client didn't release escrow money, so you disputed, it means that the contract goes to "mediation."

 

In mediation, an Upwork employee will try to facilitate communication between freelancer and client, so that they agree who gets the money, or how the escrow money is divided.

 

Upwork WILL NOT MAKE A DECISION about the money.

The client can not get money back unless YOU agree to refund money to him.

 

So if you don't want to give the client money, be clear about this. And tell Upwork that you will require the client release all escrow money to you.

 

If no agreement can be made, then the next step would be arbitration, which costs the freelancer and client about $325 each. Non-refundable.

umiiariyan
Community Member

Thank you for reply Preston,

 

And if I can't afford the arbitration fee , then client will win or get his all money back ? 

wlyonsatl
Community Member

Yes, Umair. If you and the client don't agree on a mediated amount for you to be paid instead of the original amount, your only options will be to give up (giving the full amount in escrow back to the client) or to insist on arbitration.

 

This is a major weakness of fixed price projects on Upwork. There is no real payment protection if a dishonest or obstinate client understands how mediation and arbitration work to their clear advantage in the dispute process. The client is gambling you won't go to arbitration, which gives him all his money back and allows him to leave feedback for you. "Escrow" does nothing to help the freelancer in this situation.

 

So, your only option would then be to agree to arbitration and pay your portion of the fee for that. If the client also pays the same amount, then arbitration will go forward. If the client doesn't pay for arbitration, you win the dispute and the money you paid for arbitration will be returned to you.

 

Upwork should remove all feedback from a freelancer's profile and JSS that is posted by a client who refuses arbitration. Whether or not Upwork does this, I don't know. I suspect that many/most projects on Upwork are so small that freelancers don't want to risk or can't afford arbitration, so such clients win by default.

 

And I'd still like to see how many disputes, project cancellations and arbitrations (rejected and paid for) each client has had.

 

 

Thank you for the answer, Will 

Just 1 small query , Refunding the full amount in escrow will give client the eligibilty to leave the feedback ? 

Asking a good feedback from client and returning the money in the escrow is Bribe ? 

Umair,

 

Once you agree to a contract, the client has the permanent ability to leave feedback for you, regardless whether you or the client cancel the contract, take a dispute to mediation or arbitration or you return some or all escrowed funds to the client.

 

Upwork says it disregards private feedback from consistently "hard to work with" clients from calculation of those clients' freelancers' JSS, but those freelancers have no way to know whether that applies to any particular client. And we don't know how "hard to work with" clients is defined or determined. I don't know whether Upwork also removes such clients' public feedback from their freelancers profiles.

Didn't find answer for the last small query , 

Is asking client to leave a good feedback and get his money return. When the client already decided to move away with out paying anything will count in BRIBE ? 

It's an incentive for the client that may or may not work. You could also call it a bribe but that's a term usually reserved for getting a person of authority to do something in return for being paid, rather than doing their job honestly without expecting special compensation.

Thank you so much for answering my queries & I appreacite your valuable time. 

Stay Blessed.

> bribe

 

If you're talking about feedback manipulation which is the closest thing in the ToS. I think it's not. I think feedback manipulation is when 2 people (client & freelancer)  conspire for building good feedback. Asking 5 stars is just annoying in a normal case. In your case I think it may be seen as negotiation.

Thank you , Radia 

I really appreacite your answer becasue that's exactly what happen and asking a client to leave a positive feedback is not a Bribe.

Why use that word again? People got confused ๐Ÿ˜€ I don't think bribery is mentioned anywhere in the terms of service. Even actual bribe (if applicable) is okay. Feedback manipulation is I think the closest to what you mean.

 

I just searched to make sure, and although I found someone said asking 5 stars IS feedback manipulation, an article in support doesn't mention anything about it. Asking for 5 stars should be okay. Mods will correct me if I'm wrong.

 

ps: I think the closest thing to the word Bribe is actually the boost thing. ๐Ÿ˜‚

I call it "feedback manipulation."

 

Feedback manipulation can take many forms.

It is not just one thing.

 

In my opinion: Freelancers should not be discussing feedback with clients.

 

I'm not talking about Upwork's rules.

I'm talking about my opinion as a client and freelancer.

I don't want ANY freelancer asking for 5 stars. I don't want ANY freelancer asking for good feedback. You can click on my job posting and see my feedback history. You can see that I am an easy client to work with.

 

If you work for me, please don't pester me about this.

I don't ask usually but this is other case , client refuse to pay. See the idea of design and want to go by changing his mind without paying anything for the work I do. 

You mean to say as a freelancer we give the design ideas and work 2-3 days and then just let the client run away with it and without paying anything ? Including giving bad feedback. Obviously this client is threatning me for my favor request. 

Radia,

 

Boosting a proposal with extra connects can't be a bribe.

 

Upwork gets the additional income, not the client. And Upwork has no influence on the client's decision on whom to hire.

My client saying that I asked a good feedback which leads me to bribing. Exactly that what I thought as you answered above. 


Radia L wrote:

I just searched to make sure, and although I found someone said asking 5 stars IS feedback manipulation, an article in support doesn't mention anything about it. Asking for 5 stars should be okay.


No, it's not okay for a freelancer to say to a client, "I'll give you a refund if you give me good feedback," any more than it's okay for a client to say to a freelancer, "Give me a refund or I'll leave bad feedback." I think that both of those things would fall under the definition of feedback manipulation. (It's also correct to call it a bribe, BTW.)

 

It's pointless to ask for 5 stars anyway, because if a refund is given, no public feedback will appear on the OP's profile, and there's nothing to stop the client from leaving bad private feedback even if they've agreed not to. (After all, they initially agreed to pay the OP, and now they're going back on THAT agreement.)

A bribe and coersion/bullying are not the same thing, Christine, though I suppose they are kissing cousins.

wlyonsatl
Community Member

I see.

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