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No Protection of Fixed Price Contracts

Active Member
Haider I Member Since: Sep 6, 2017
1 of 29

I just wanted to share my recent experience so anyone can learn out there.

 

While on the Interview, the client (New to Upwork) asked to make payments out of Upwork, which I refused. Then he shared the requirements for his task and said that he wants me to work on a little Free Trial before getting to the full task. I asked him for activating the first milestone of $10, as the trial he wanted was worth it.

He activated the first Milestone, I worked on that trial according to his requirements, I sent the file via Submit Button, He Copied the file, Cancelled the Contract, Sent an Escrow Refund Request. 

I sent him messages asking about the problems in the work, he never responded because the work was good and exactly what he asked for.

Lead Generation is just like Maths, it's either up to the Criteria or NOT. There's No Design or something Creative involved so you can't say "I don't like it".

I searched for the matter herein community, as I didn't want to pay the refund. So technically there are two options in such case:

 

1) Pay the Refund

2) Refuse to Pay Refund and open a Dispute

 

A dispute is a Nightmare for Freelancers and most of the Freelancers take it the wrong way, they think that it's something like Upwork Judges the Facts and Conversation that who's right and who's wrong, but actually it's totally different. Dispute resolvers just motivate you to resolve the matter with each other. In such cases like mine, there's No Output, as I want the money which I worked for, and the Client simply has thousands of junky reasons to NOT TO PAY. So let's discuss the Next Phase...

 

If the Dispute resolve system doesn't work, you'll be forwarded to the Arbitration phase.

Arbitration is provided by the American Arbitration Association (AAA), a neutral third-party arbitration provider. The fee for arbitration is $875 and is split three ways, with the client, the freelancer and Upwork each paying one-third of the fee. AAA handles the arbitration process in full. The process may take up to 30 days before the arbitrator provides the decision.

 

Facts of Arbitration:

  • If one party pays for arbitration and the other does not, the dispute is found in the paying party’s favor. Escrow is released to the paying party and the arbitration fees are returned.
  • Arbitration fees are non-refundable once the case is filed with AAA.
  • Upwork carries out arbitration rulings within 2 business days of receipt

 

So Upwork really thinks that I'll pay $292 for Arbitration to get my $10?

 

Only those are going for Arbitration who have more than $292 Disputed Money.

 

I'd like the Community Gurus and my other seniors to leave their feedbacks on this.

 

Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
2 of 29

I'm sorry that this happened to you, but your protection on Upwork is that at least they do have a dispute process and a mediation process in which they contribute 1/3 of the fee. It's expensive because that's what arbitration costs - it can't be done for $10. So how do you think that problems like yours ought to be solved? Should Upwork pay out of their own pockets every time a freelancer decides to accept a low-paying job from a bad client?

 

Active Member
Haider I Member Since: Sep 6, 2017
3 of 29

Christine A wrote:

Should Upwork pay out of their own pockets every time a freelancer decides to accept a low-paying job from a bad client?

 


Thanks for your response, in my opinion, Upwork should handle the disputes like Judges, based on the facts and conversations, even if they've to hire some Legals. And as I said, the client was New to Upwork, who knows if a Client is Bad or Good with No History on the Platform. I previously had those newbie clients, but this was the first time the client turns out to be the bad one.

Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
4 of 29

Haider I wrote:

 


Thanks for your response, in my opinion, Upwork should handle the disputes like Judges, based on the facts and conversations, even if they've to hire some Legals. 


No, they should not. My fees would go towards paying for this kind of thing, and I do NOT want Upwork to take more of my money so that they can pay legal experts to settle $10 disputes.

 

Active Member
Haider I Member Since: Sep 6, 2017
5 of 29

Christine A wrote:

No, they should not. My fees would go towards paying for this kind of thing, and I do NOT want Upwork to take more of my money so that they can pay legal experts to settle $10 disputes.

 


Well Said Smiley Happy You're right. Kindly skip this $10. Let's say it was $250 then what?

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
6 of 29

Haider I wrote:

 


Thanks for your response, in my opinion, Upwork should handle the disputes like Judges, based on the facts and conversations, even if they've to hire some Legals. 


They can't do that, and I agree with the others: I would rather my fees did not have to be increased to pay thousands for lawyers to argue over pathetic $ 10 contracts between clients and freelancers who don't have the business-skills to sort their own *bleep* out.

 

"Hire legals" over a $ 10 contract? Or even a $ 250 one? Do you have even the faintest clue how much money it takes to get "a legal" to even look at your pathetic $ 10 contract?

 

Do you want fees to treble? Learn to choose your clients wisely and to manage your contracts professionally, then you likely won't need "legals" to fix $ 10 worth of contract-gone-wrong.

 

The whole mess would have been avoided had you had the common sense to walk away from this when it was clear that it would not end well: Before it even started.


Why do people need so much protection from their own poor judgment? And more to the point, why do they expect me (through my fees) to pay for the consequences?

Active Member
Haider I Member Since: Sep 6, 2017
7 of 29

Petra R wrote:

Why do people need so much protection from their own poor judgment? And more to the point, why do they expect me (through my fees) to pay for the consequences?

I really don't have the faintest idea how much legal are gonna charge, I just added that not thinking of the consequences, I agree with you on the Legal part.

 

You said "Your Poor Judgment", so that means No New Clients should be accepted on the platform? Just in my case, the client was a Red Flag, doesn't this seem too easy to blackmail a Freelancer by showing off nothing suspicious so the Client doesn't alarm the sixth sense, and then after receiving the work he Cancels the contract and throws a Refund Request.

 

All the time you're mentioning $10, and I'm dragging you to the conversation of such things involving big amounts.

Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
8 of 29

Haider I wrote:

 


Thanks for your response, in my opinion, Upwork should handle the disputes like Judges, based on the facts and conversations, even if they've to hire some Legals.


As escrow agent, Upwork is forbidden by law from doing any such thing. It can release funds once both buyer and seller agree that the terms of escrow have been met. In the absence of such agreement, it can encourage a settlement between buyer and seller. In case of non-response to a dispute, it can release funds to the disputant. Beyond that, it can offer no recourse but third-party arbitration, which has inherent expenses and risks; neither those expenses nor risks are determined by Upwork, though they do mitigate the expense by putting up a third of it themselves.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
9 of 29

Haider I wrote:

 

While on the Interview, the client (New to Upwork) asked to make payments out of Upwork, which I refused. Then he shared the requirements for his task and said that he wants me to work on a little Free Trial before getting to the full task. I asked him for activating the first milestone of $10, as the trial he wanted was worth it.


Next time, walk away at this point and save yourself all the drama that was always going to follow.

 

This kind of nonsense is why I do not do paid trials / paid tests.

 

Life's too short to end up with hassle over $ 10

 

Active Member
Haider I Member Since: Sep 6, 2017
10 of 29

Petra R wrote:

This kind of nonsense is why I do not do paid trials / paid tests.

Life's too short to end up with hassle over $ 10

 


Thanks, Petra, I always like your straight forward posts here. 

What if this wasn't a paid trial but a full contract, let's say $200, who on earth would pay $290 and their precious time of 30 days to get their $200. Thank God that was Low as $10 for me, but I learned that there's no such thing as Fix Price Protection as long as the disputed money is lower than that of Arbitration.

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