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l_mcqueeney
Community Member

Inequitable Refund Policy Unfair To Freelancers

I am providing my invoice here for reference, which is Invoice #: 500431664, and posting this matter in a discussion forum, due to there being no avenue whatsoever for a Freelancer, in "refund" situations.

In my instance, I provided 10 hours of work for a client, whose matter had her in financial difficulty to begin with. My effort was in good faith and in keeping with her requirements, and I have the work product to support this. 

I received notification today that the 10 hours of work in question had been refunded to this client, without any opportunity for response by the Freelancer. In my particular case, I do not want any client to be dissatisfied with work that I take great pride in, and always go above and beyond what is required of me. In the name of fairness, however, a refund of half of the amount which was actually refunded, was in order. I am not an unreasonable person, but the amount of that refund was unreasonably unfair to me.

At the very least, Freelancers should be provided with the opportunity to have refund requests submitted for some sort of "arbitration." While it may be said that "the customer is always right," in reality, this is not always the case. I am very disappointed to have not been provided with at least a "heads up," and would now like to end this contract, to ensure that this client will not try to "get all of her money back," to fund her extended stay in Greece on the beach, Something that I'm sure Upwork is not aware of.

Like I said, the customer isn't always right. 

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wlyonsatl
Community Member

Lorraine,

 

If a "client" doesn't pay Upwork for your work on a fixed price project either due to a fraudulent payment method or a chargeback by the issuing bank for the credit card used by the "client," Upwork will not pay you (or will reverse previous payments made to you). You have no recourse, but Upwork isn't any better off than if you had not entered into a contract with the fraudulent "client."

 

Only hourly contracts on Upwork offer some degree of real payment protection against such payment fraud, which Upwork pays out of its own pocket, and there are specific rules for whether such protection is available. https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/articles/211062568-Upwork-Payment-Protection

 

If this was a fixed price project Upwork might be able to help you through mediation to get you paid some portion of what you are owed, but this is a voluntary process. Arbitration, which is a less voluntary process, may or many not be economically worthwhile for you or Upwork (at nearly $300 each upfront just to get the process going).

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11 REPLIES 11
prestonhunter
Community Member

I'm not sure if it is useful to think of Upwork in terms of "fair" and "unfair."

 

Nowhere does Upwork claim to be "fair."

As it turns out, the problem is with the client's verified payment method now "having problems processing payment."

 

Translation: Client may be trying to renege on paying Upwork Freelancer, to keep those funds for "other obligations." No dispute as to quality of work - just someone who may not end up upholding their end of an Agreement.

 

Upwork was great in providing me with an explanation of an "automatic reversal" if a verified payment method is "decommissioned" by a client, in order to avoid being charged for services received. 

 

If this ends up being what happened, then it's not shame on Upwork, it's shame on this woman!

Normally, chargebacks occur when someone uses a stolen card and then the rightful owner has the fraudulent payments reversed. But it looks as if this client asked her bank to do a chargeback, stealing your hard-earned money back from you. It probably had nothing to do with the quality of your work, That's really bad, but it very rarely happens. 

You are right. Most people complain that upwork stole their money, when it in fact was the client. That is definitely disappointing for you, but at least you know who the culprit is instead of ranting at windmills. Or chasing, don't remember what Don Quixote did. 

 

(jousted or "tilted")

feed_my_eyes
Community Member

Upwork does offer arbitration for fixed price contracts. If this contract was refunded, I assume that it was an hourly contract, and you didn't use the tracker to track your time properly? If not, then it must have been a chargeback, against which Upwork has no recourse but to take the money back from you.

wlyonsatl
Community Member

Lorraine,

 

If a "client" doesn't pay Upwork for your work on a fixed price project either due to a fraudulent payment method or a chargeback by the issuing bank for the credit card used by the "client," Upwork will not pay you (or will reverse previous payments made to you). You have no recourse, but Upwork isn't any better off than if you had not entered into a contract with the fraudulent "client."

 

Only hourly contracts on Upwork offer some degree of real payment protection against such payment fraud, which Upwork pays out of its own pocket, and there are specific rules for whether such protection is available. https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/articles/211062568-Upwork-Payment-Protection

 

If this was a fixed price project Upwork might be able to help you through mediation to get you paid some portion of what you are owed, but this is a voluntary process. Arbitration, which is a less voluntary process, may or many not be economically worthwhile for you or Upwork (at nearly $300 each upfront just to get the process going).

Hi Will, thanks for your reply.

 

In a nutshell, this particular client may turn out to be a fraud.

 

No I do not use the tracker, because I often put in more hours on legal research (my time) before I start my legal drafting,  and that would prevent clients on a tight budget, from being able to have the legal pleadings they need, in order to represent themselves Pro Se.

 

I have reached out to this client with regard to a "technical difficulties" about payment processing. Now let's see if she does the right thing here, by straightening it out, or does end up stiffing me.

 

Out of all the clients that I have worked with, this is the only one that has been a problem.

re: "No I do not use the tracker, because I often put in more hours on legal research (my time) before I start my legal drafting,  and that would prevent clients on a tight budget, from being able to have the legal pleadings they need, in order to represent themselves Pro Se."

 

Okay...

 

But these are strangers on the internet. This isn't my aging aunt who I have known since birth.

 

If a client wants my services, but can't afford them, I am under no obligation to work for them for free.

Hi, Lorraine.

 

You might think this idea is a non-starter, but if you want to give some clients a break on the cost of your services, why not lower your hourly rate and still track all work time on TimeTracker? 

tomzilla1
Community Member

Sorry you're in this situation, but we're all at the mercy of Upwork's policies. I usually like to think I don't have a right to anything when using any website, the website owner determines what rights I have. In your case, I'd just say move on. It's not worth all the headache, if you can claim as a business loss on your taxes then do so.

 

Upwork has to keep up with banking rules of so many countries internationally, sometimes the decision isn't even theirs but rather whatever banking rules of that country.

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