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I want to report a client for Abusing me. How do i do it?

Community Member


I do not doubt your sincerity.

I do not doubt that are feeling abused.

There are ways that you can report bad behavior by clients.


Every job post has a "Flag as inappropriate" link button in the top right hand corner of the page. That is one way.


Also, you can click on the name of a Forum Moderator and send them a private message.


Also, you may open a Customer Support help desk ticket.


But I don't know the details of your situation, so I don't know if those are the things I would do if I was in your situation.


One option that you may have is:

Don't let yourself be abused.


Another option you may have is: ignore it.


Whether or not these techniques apply to your situation depend on the details.


For example, if a client is sending you email messages in the middle of the night asking questions about the project, and you feel your sleep is being disturbed, then you can leave your mobile device in the other room when you sleep. Or you can set it so that the sound is off.


If a client is asking you to work on weekends and you feel that is abusive, then you can tell the client that you don't work on weekends, and that if he needs someone who does, then he may need to bring in an additional team member.


That's it. You can handle things on your own without involving Upwork.


Other things, you can simply ignore. For example, perhaps a client is playfully referring to you using nicknames: "Dalvy! Thanks for the update."

"Database Dude, what do you think we should do next for this screen?" Maybe these nicknames ARE abusive. But the money is good. So if your heart is sufficiently mercenary in nature, you can just ignore the abuse and pocket the cash.

Retired Team Member
Retired Team Member

Hi Dalvinder,

I`m sorry to hear about the bad experience you had. 

Please reach out to me via PM (click on my name) with more details and I will assist you further. Thank you.

~ Goran

I believe I have been defrauded out of £45,000 on Upwork. I hired someone who never delivered anything and kept stringing me out. They got miraculously sick twice (when I asked them for the code) and then disappeared. 

I cannot get any help from Upwork on the phone or through the platform. They have not helped me at all and I believe this person did this deliberately.

She kept closing the contract every month or so telling me that she needed to do it for her accounts - what she was actually doing (I now know!) was protecting herself from the inevitable dispute that would come when I realised I wasn't ever going to receive the code.

Every time I phone Upwork and start explaining my situation they hang up - they don't want to know. The platform have decided I can only get the last contract back which is just £1500 out of £45,000! 

I need help, please!!!!!! Anyone?

The only way to find yourself in that situation is by using the platform incorrectly. On hourly contracts, the client has five days to review the work performed during the previous week and challenge any hours he is unhappy with. Hours logged properly via the desktop tracker are protected, so even if the client doesn't pay, UW does. Hours logged manually are not protected, so if the client refuses to pay the FL is out of luck.


On fixed-price contracts, the client has 14 days to review work performed/materials delivered under each milestone. If not satisfied, he can Request Changes and the FL must then re-submit the work and request payment again to start teh 14-day clock over. Any time up to 30 days after payment of the latest milestone, a client can request a refund for the entire project. If the FL does not agree, they move to mediation and if necessary, to arbitration.


If you did not avail yourself of any of these opportunities to hold the FL accountable, then there is nothing UW can do for you.


Hi Stuart,


Thank you for reaching out to us. We will look into this further and will get back to you as soon as we have more information.


Thank you,

~ Nikola


I don't doubt your sincerity. I am sorry that this happened to you.

Your project manager demonstrated gross malfeasance. You should no longer work with that project manager. What did she have to say for herself when you asked her why £45,000 was spent on this project with no results?


Refund thinking hurts clients.


This is a prime example of that.

To illustrate this simply, I will tell you the tale of ANOTHER client:


"Sally" is a client. She had a big development project she wanted to hire a freelancer to work on. She hired a freelancer who is EXACTLY like the freelancer that Stuart hired: a scammer.


But Sally had long ago decided that no matter what, she will never try to get money back from an Upwork freelancer. This meant that she hired and managed her projects proactively. After she hired this freelancer, the freelancer did the same monkey business... claiming she had done work without providing the files and letting Sally test it... claiming she was sick, etc.


Sally fired this freelancer quickly, losing a total of £150.

Not £45,000.


Because Sally knew that she would never get money back from the freelancer - because she had proactively decided she would NOT try to use any sort of "dispute" or "refund" technique - when the freelancer was not clearly delivering usable work, Sally immediately fired her. As she did with all other underperforming or questionable freelancers.


Sally's "no refunds" policy enabled her to finish her project on time and under budget.



re: "I need help, please... Anyone?"

It is true that a Forum Moderator in this thread said that Upwork personnel will look into this and get back to you.


But that in no way prevents us from helping you here in the thread in the one way that you actually can be helped right now:

By providing you with information about how things work on Upwork.


You are free to ask as many questions as you want here. Non-employe Forum participants such as myself are just regular users of the platform, such as yourself. We don't have access to any information specific to your account or situation. But if you have questions about:

- how Upwork works

- how refunds work

- what you can do in the future

- how you can use Upwork effectively



Feel free to ask whatever you like and people here will help you out.

re: "I cannot get any help from Upwork on the phone or through the platform... Every time I phone Upwork and start explaining my situation they hang up - they don't want to know."


You have probably already figured this out by now...

But it really is not Upwork's intention that you call them on the phone.


Upwork doen't post phone numbers on its website for users to use to contact Upwork Customer Support.


If anybody posted a phone number here in the Forum, that phone number would be quickly removed.



But Upwork's Customer Support operation is NOT phone-centric.


There are many other, preferred ways for Upwork users to get information, get their questions answered, and contact Upwork Customer Support.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Stuart, 

Thank you for patiently waiting as our team looked into this further. I can see that you have previously been assisted regarding this concern through a different support ticket.


Just the same, a team member has reached out to you today through this ticket to assist you further regarding your concern. If you have other questions, please don't hesitate to update the same ticket thread, and the team handling your case will assist you further.

~ Avery
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