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How do I know I can trust a client?

Active Member
Dimas O Member Since: Oct 7, 2019
1 of 7

I recently got accepted for a job where I have to write a 3000 word article. It is my first job in upwork and I dont understand completely how it works. I'll have to send the work in a week in the form of a file. How can I know he will not just copy paste my work once I send it and decide he "doesn't like" my work? I mean, he can perfectly do that and not pay me.

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
2 of 7

If it's an hourly job, make sure his payment method is verified before you start working and that you always use the time tracker and make good memos about what you're working on.


If it is fixed price, make sure that ALL of the funds are in escrow (and don't let him play that game where he escrows like 10% for the first draft and promises the rest at the end). When you send him the draft, don't send it through messaging--use the "Submit work/request payment" button to send your work. Do not worry about him needing to review it before you submit for payment--the system gives him 14 days to review and request revisions if he needs them.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 7

If this is a fixed-price contract, then the client funded a milestone.


You are doing the work that the milestone has ALREADY BEEN BILLED FOR.


The client agreed to pay you a certain amount for the 3000 word article. The client's credit card has already been billed to pay for that work. That money is in escrow.


When you submit the work, the client can NOT simply decide to "not pay you."

The only options the client has are:

- release the full payment to you

- ask for a refund


If the client asks for a refund (partial or complete), then YOU are the one who needs to authorize the refund. If you don't want to grant a refund, then you don't have to. That means the client can't get any of his money back unless you say it is okay.


If the client insists on asking for a refund, then a dispute is filed. In a dispute, you do not need to do anything. Upwork can't force you to refund any money. Nor can the client.


If a dispute does not resolve things, then the next step is arbitration. Obviously you don't want things to go that far.


But the point is, the client can't simply say he doesn't like your work and then get his money back. That is not how this works.

Active Member
Dimas O Member Since: Oct 7, 2019
4 of 7

Perfect! It is really good to know I am protected by upwork.

Community Guru
Jamie F Member Since: Mar 7, 2010
5 of 7

Also... take a good look at their profile. Look at the feedback freelancers have left them, look at the feedback they have left for freelancers. 

If they are new, then you'd be a bit blind in that regard. But if their track record looks sound then that should give you some confidence. 

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
6 of 7

Dimas O wrote:

Perfect! It is really good to know I am protected by upwork.


Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
7 of 7

Okay... so yes... Upwork DOES offer quite a bit of protection to freelancers.


That does not mean that you are "completely" protected.


I think that MOST Upwork clients are professional, highly ethical, and great to work with.

But SOME Upwork clients are not like that. And SOME Upwork clients can cause real pain to freelancers out of ignorance. Not every client has the capacity for working properly with fixed-price clients.


If a client asks you to do "out of scope" work, or asks you to work for free, or tries to avoid paying you after you did the work that was agreed upon, then feel free to come here to the Forum to discuss and get advice.