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Need a Quick Vent, and a Question For Next Time

katrinabeaver
Community Guru
Katrina B Member Since: Jan 9, 2011
11 of 32

Really??? I have never been in this situation but I thought you could dispute  or not accept it if you wanted to. 

"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"
tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
12 of 32

@Joshua T wrote:

@Rene K wrote:

@Joshua T wrote:

 

 

Oh, and since clients can fund a milestone for $100 and then edit the amount to be something like $5, 

 


Just a quick note: the client may change the milestone on delivery but if the released amount is lower than the milestone, your approval is required by the system.


Nope. You're wrong. Just had it done by a client. Mod replied and said that yes, it is possible that they can edit the milestone and release less than it had been funded for. No approval required from me.



@Joshua T wrote:

@Rene K wrote:

@Joshua T wrote:

 

 

Oh, and since clients can fund a milestone for $100 and then edit the amount to be something like $5, 

 


Just a quick note: the client may change the milestone on delivery but if the released amount is lower than the milestone, your approval is required by the system.


Nope. You're wrong. Just had it done by a client. Mod replied and said that yes, it is possible that they can edit the milestone and release less than it had been funded for. No approval required from me.


While that's true with regard to the individual milestone, the client cannot get the funded amount back out of the project unless you release it or he files and wins a dispute.
 

kochubei_valeria
Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
13 of 32

Joshua and Katrina,

 

Tiffany is correct. In other words, the client can't have the money refunded to them from Escrow without freelancer's approval (or if the freelancer fails to dispute it during 7 days after the refund request).

~ Valeria
Untitled
goldenseal
Community Leader
Joshua T Member Since: Apr 18, 2016
14 of 32

@Valeria K wrote:

Joshua and Katrina,

 

Tiffany is correct. In other words, the client can't have the money refunded to them from Escrow without freelancer's approval (or if the freelancer fails to dispute it during 7 days after the refund request).


Yeah. Sounds great. That is, until you complete work for a fully funded milestone, then they "alter" the amount and only release a fraction of it, then go idle and do not create any more milestones. 

 

So then you sit there for weeks, at the client's mercy. They have their work, but a large chunk of money still remains in the system, and you have no way of getting it except by ending the contract and raising a dispute (which I'm assuming costs $$$).

 

 

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
15 of 32

@Joshua T wrote:

 

Yeah. Sounds great. That is, until you complete work for a fully funded milestone, then they "alter" the amount and only release a fraction of it, then go idle and do not create any more milestones. 

So then you sit there for weeks, at the client's mercy. They have their work, but a large chunk of money still remains in the system, and you have no way of getting it except by ending the contract and raising a dispute (which I'm assuming costs $$$).


 Disputing doesn't cost anything (only arbitration does) but I do agree with you. It seems quite wrong that a client can alter the amount they pay out for a milestone without the freelancer's permission.

 

The money may be quite save sitting in Escrow, but it's not of any use to me there.

 

That said, it's never happened to me, but I would not be best pleased it it did......

 

 

goldenseal
Community Leader
Joshua T Member Since: Apr 18, 2016
16 of 32

@Petra R wrote:

 Disputing doesn't cost anything (only arbitration does) but I do agree with you. It seems quite wrong that a client can alter the amount they pay out for a milestone without the freelancer's permission.

 

The money may be quite save sitting in Escrow, but it's not of any use to me there.

 

That said, it's never happened to me, but I would not be best pleased it it did......

 

 


 Thanks for understanding where I'm coming from. It can be frustrating to feel so powerless.

 

When you file a dispute, is it not handed over to Upwork arbitration, who charges the fee?

 

 

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
17 of 32

@Joshua T wrote:


 Thanks for understanding where I'm coming from. It can be frustrating to feel so powerless.

 

When you file a dispute, is it not handed over to Upwork arbitration, who charges the fee?

 

 


 My understanding is that those are two different steps. At the dispute stage, Upwork attempts to facilitate an agreement, and there is no charge. If the parties can't reach a resolution, then one may submit to arbitration by paying a fee. The other must then pay the fee if he/she wishes to continue the fight.

 

It would be nice if a moderator would lay out for us exactly how this situation would play out.

 

For example, a client funds a milestone for $500, then changes the milestone to $75 and pays it. Now, there is $425 funded and the client can't get it back, but the freelancer also has no means of requesting payment. If the client simply doesn't assign a new milestone, what happens?

 

Presumably, the freelancer could initiate a dispute at that point, but what if he doesn't? If no one takes any action, what happens? We know the money can't stay escrowed for more than (90 days?). When the clock runs out and Upwork closes the contract for inactivity, where does that remaining money go? By what process?

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
18 of 32

@Tiffany S wrote:

For example, a client funds a milestone for $500, then changes the milestone to $75 and pays it. Now, there is $425 funded and the client can't get it back, but the freelancer also has no means of requesting payment. If the client simply doesn't assign a new milestone, what happens?

 

Presumably, the freelancer could initiate a dispute at that point, but what if he doesn't? If no one takes any action, what happens? We know the money can't stay escrowed for more than (90 days?). When the clock runs out and Upwork closes the contract for inactivity, where does that remaining money go? By what process?


 If the freelancer does not dispute the funds are eventually returned to the client.

cupidmedia
Community Guru
Jennifer D Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
19 of 32

@Tiffany S wrote:

@Joshua T wrote:


 Thanks for understanding where I'm coming from. It can be frustrating to feel so powerless.

 

When you file a dispute, is it not handed over to Upwork arbitration, who charges the fee?

 

 


 My understanding is that those are two different steps. At the dispute stage, Upwork attempts to facilitate an agreement, and there is no charge. If the parties can't reach a resolution, then one may submit to arbitration by paying a fee. The other must then pay the fee if he/she wishes to continue the fight.

 

It would be nice if a moderator would lay out for us exactly how this situation would play out.

 

For example, a client funds a milestone for $500, then changes the milestone to $75 and pays it. Now, there is $425 funded and the client can't get it back, but the freelancer also has no means of requesting payment. If the client simply doesn't assign a new milestone, what happens?

 

Presumably, the freelancer could initiate a dispute at that point, but what if he doesn't? If no one takes any action, what happens? We know the money can't stay escrowed for more than (90 days?). When the clock runs out and Upwork closes the contract for inactivity, where does that remaining money go? By what process?


I'm a little fuzzy on fixed price contracts, but it seems like what Joshua is saying is that if the client sets up one milestone for $500, then changes the amount released to $75, there is still $425 in escrow with no milestone set up and therefore no way for a freelancer to request payment. If this is correct (that you can't actually do a release request) then the news is bad, according to the fixed price escrow terms

 

3. DORMANT ENGAGEMENTS

To be fair to Clients and Freelancers, Upwork has a procedure for Fixed-Price Contracts that appear Dormant. For purposes of determining Dormant status, “activity” means business term or milestone updates or requests, Fixed-Price Escrow Funding, Fixed-Price Escrow Release, Fixed-Price Escrow Refunds, Funding requests, Release requests, Engagement Cancellation requests, Status Report submittals, or actions under the Fixed Price Dispute Assistance Policy.

If a Fixed-Price Contract has a Fixed-Price Escrow Account with a balance but has had no activity for 90 consecutive days after the last milestone date contained in the business terms, then the Engagement will be “Dormant.” Dormant Engagements are subject to the following rules:

  1. Upwork will notify Client when the Engagement becomes Dormant (“Dormant Date”).
  2. If no activity other than Release requests has occurred within 7 days after the Dormant Date, Upwork will notify the Freelancer that the Engagement is Dormant.
  3. If Freelancer and Client take no action for 7 days after the Dormant Date, Freelancer and Client agree that Upwork Escrow is authorized and irrevocably instructed to immediately release escrow funds to Client.
  4. If Freelancer submits a Release request and client does not take any action for 14 days from the date of the Release request, Freelancer and Client agree that Upwork Escrow is authorized and irrevocably instructed to immediately release to Freelancer the amount related to the milestone with Release request.
  5. All funds released to Freelancer under this Section, Dormant Engagements, will be subject to the applicable Service Fees for Freelancers.

 

My understanding of that, to answer Tiffany's question, is that if "nothing happens" the funds will eventually be returned to the client.

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
20 of 32

It looks like you're right, Jennifer. And, since there would be no active milestone, the freelancer wouldn't even have the option of requesting a release of funds through the normal process, so it appears that opening a dispute would be the only remedy.

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