Joshua, before entering a dispute, we always suggest freelancers communicate with their clients and make sure any misunderstanding is sorted out. If all the terms are set clearly before the project starts and both parties communicate clearly and professionally, majority of disputes can be avoided.
@Joshua T wrote:
When you file a dispute, is it not handed over to Upwork arbitration, who charges the fee?
Nope. It first goes through a dispute mediation stage, where the aim is to get client and freelancer to reach a consensus. Only if this fails do both parties get the option to go forward with third party arbitration, which does cost all 3 parties (client, freelancer, and Upwork) money.
Most disputes never get to the arbitration stage.