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Partial refund... will it affect me in any way?

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Community Guru
Mattia G Member Since: Mar 10, 2014
1 of 11

Hello there!

 

I'm currently working on a fixed price job, providing my client with article translations. The payments are being sent weekly. However, the last payment included money for translations which my client already paid for. I contacted her as soon as I noticed the mistake, but she said she wasn't able to reverse the transaction (probably she doesn't know how to do that). I agreed to send her a partial refund. My question is: does the refund affect me in any way? 

 

 

Mattia

“Go then, there are other worlds than these.”
―Stephen King, The Gunslinger
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Community Guru
Ronald T Member Since: Sep 14, 2009
2 of 11

I believe, subject to confirmation from oDesk , that refunds are among the "hidden" metrics taken into account during reviews of freelancer accounts and similar activities. How much "weight" such metrics carry is unknown to the membership.

If the contract is active and work still needs to be done, work with the client in order to provide deliverables (milestones) without payment equal to that considered for refund.

Kudos to MG for being a trustworthy freelancer!

Ron aka LanWanMan
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Community Guru
Mattia G Member Since: Mar 10, 2014
3 of 11
Thanks for the suggestion... I've already sent the refund, anyway. It is a small amount, after all, and I did the right thing (imho)... just wanted to figure out if that could lead to some negative effects towards my oDesk "career", despite the fact it was client's fault ("mistake" sounds better than "fault", actually).
“Go then, there are other worlds than these.”
―Stephen King, The Gunslinger
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Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
BEST ANSWER
4 of 11

Thank you, Mattia, for your question and Ronald, Preston and Dianne for your support.

 

I have confirmed this information with the Team and I would like to clarify.

No, a regular refund issued to return the money paid by mistake or in any other similar work situation will not affect the freelancer's account in any way. Refunds that may affect the account are those associated with disputes, intended to remove feedback or refunds that come together with bad public and private feedback given by the client.

 

So, in your situation, Mattia, you have nothing to worry about.

~ Valeria
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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
5 of 11
Valeria, thank you for your note about this. It is a relief to hear that oDesk's intention is that refunds of this kind can happen without negative consequences for the contractor.
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Community Guru
Dianne M Member Since: Jul 25, 2013
6 of 11
thank you for confirming this Valeria, highly appreciated! Smiley Happy


❄❄❄ Just A Forum Contributor --- This isn't against forum guidelines ❄❄❄
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Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
7 of 11

Sorry Valeria but I have to disagree with you.

 

If refunds to clients reflect negatively on freelancers, it is because some algorithm automatically monitors the accounts. I honestly don see how the oDesk algorithm would know if a refund is legit or not.

 

I would strongly suggest that the OP look for another way tot refund the client.

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
8 of 11
Mattia, I do not want to panic you, and I do not work for oDesk, but I have studied this subject quite a bit and I believe Ron is exactly correct here.

For future reference, and for any other contractors reading this, you should never use the refund/partial refund system as a method for funds transfer back to a client, nor should you use any method outside of oDesk. The best way to handle this would have been to do what Ron said here, which is to continue working for client, and when you have continued working to earn at least as much as the refund, to deduct the amount you owe the client from what the client pays you, so that you are even.

If you can't make that work, then the second best method to resolve this would be to contact customer support and explain the situation and hope you get somebody who understands you enough to help you rather then penalize your account for doing something out of the ordinary.

The automated algorithms that oDesk uses to monitor accounts and check for activity related to poor customer service are just computer code. They can not see into your heart and see that your motives were pure and that you were providing great customer service. Giving a partial refund is always considered a negative customer service outcome. This single incident will not get you automatically put under review, but it will be combined with other factors to put an account under review. You should be able to get your account back to normal (not under review) after this, but it is not worth the headache or risk.

Of course, I am speaking generally and not about Mattia's specific situation, because I did not create nor have I seen oDesk's automated algorithms or their reaction to this refund.

If I were in Mattia's specific situation, and if I had just learned of the negative way that oDesk perceives refunds, I would contact customer support, try to explain the situation in extremely simplified English, asking them to undo both the client's fund transfer and your refund.

You probably won't be able to get them to actually change or undo anything, but it will be good to have the facts behind what happened on file in the customer service records so that when your account is reviewed they will be able to understand the reason for the refund and push your review toward a positive result. Also, posting your situation here its a good idea, because there ARE oDesk forum moderators and representatives who read these forum posts and sometimes intervene directly in very helpful ways, including contacting customer support behind the scenes and expediting action.
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Community Guru
Dianne M Member Since: Jul 25, 2013
9 of 11

Hi Mattia,

 

Did you state the reason for the refund? There is a box that usually pops up when someone is sending a refund...I know because I've sent refund for various reasons like the client paying in advance but the project was cancelled for reasons beyond both our control and so far, I have not been suspended/affected negatively as far as I know.

 

Maybe when the oDesk robot flags an account for refunds, the risk management team reviews the reasons so maybe that's why I'm still okay...so far Smiley Tongue

 

I'm thinking the robot is not that strict and maybe, just maybe, the cases we've seen here in the forum saying they never did anything wrong before being punished/reviewed did something wrong but just won't admit it. Either that or maybe they're just warming up and I'm going to be reviewed next haha! Smiley Very Happy

 

Btw, I've ended a bad contract and that's the 3rd client in the last 2-3 months which is plain baddddddd (that's bad in a super way). Again, no reviews/punishment for me yet.

 

I think that as long as you do what is right and don't violate the TOS you're good.



❄❄❄ Just A Forum Contributor --- This isn't against forum guidelines ❄❄❄
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Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
10 of 11

It is my pleasure, guys!

~ Valeria
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