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Community Member

It seems like clients have found a way to not pay

I was contacted byba client for a job. After the first job, he gave me another. Because, I had noticed previously that the client had a way of trying not to fund a milestone before the job is done or delivered, I proved him to fund the milestone, but he kept on saying he would start it. Because of the payment relying to the timeline in which I complete the job, I decided to start it even though the milestone had not been funded, because I was worried that If i insisted, it would affect my rating. After completing the job and sending the output to him, he said that the job had another section which he was working on. What he was working on was some kind of 'generator or formatter' that I would use to complete the section. He said that after he was done on working on the 'generator ' for the section, he'll give me what I had to do so that the job will be complete. I worked for 7hours without getting paid. It's been almost three weeks now. I have to send him text messages repeatedly before I get a response saying that he'll soon conclude the   section of the job he needed me to work on. That's how I worked without getting paid. He even tried to distract me by giving me another underpaid job but I refused it. I wanted to confront him but I am worried about my rating and how it will be affected of I confront him. Upwork, you need to find a way to protect your Freelancers from someone like him. I've wanted to end the contract, but I am really worried about my rating. 

Community Member

Just close contract. And leave true feedback to warn others.

Upwork won't protect you here: it was your choice to work for non-prefunded job. Take lesson and never do it in future.

Yep, this trick exist long time, many freelances was scammed in such way, incl me.

Don't worry about rating. Only one way to keep it safe - never work. Accept it as-is and move forward. 🙂

Community Member

Zebras don't change their stripes, Franca U.


Even if you were desperate for a job, after working for an hour or two without pay you should have stopped working, telling the "client" that Upwork doesn't work that way. Until he set up a project and funded milestone(s) and you accepted the contract, he would have had no way to leave feedback for you. Many of Upwork's rules are in place to protect freelanceres from fraudsters like this clown. 


Now, he can't leave feedback for you and you worked seven hours for free. And you can't leave feedback for him to warn other freelancers how this "client," who shouldn't be allowed to use Upwork, cheats freelancers. I hope Upwork suspends "clients" who pull this, but there's usually no way of knowing what, if anything, Upwork does about this behavior.

Community Member

I know this is harder said than done, but sometimes, we freelancers worry so much about our JSS that we allow clients to take advantage of us. Working without a funded milestone is a huge mistake. Even Upwork makes it apparent that without a funded bid, you are working for free. I 100% agree with you that Upwork should up its game in protecting freelancers, but at the same time, we should also be accountable for our actions. 


I had a client who asked me to resume work on an ongoing project; he usually pays and is reliable. Still, I politely requested that he fund another milestone before conducting further work, and he accepted. We need to remember that we are independent professionals and act accordingly. Otherwise, some clients will take advantage of the situation, and from the community page, unfortunately, this seems to be happening quite frequently.  

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