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Please Help - Advice Needed...Should I File a Dispute?

Active Member
Jessica M Member Since: Dec 13, 2018
1 of 3

First, sorry for the long post...I'm just not really sure what to do here. I love working on upwork and this has me completely stressed out this week Smiley Sad


On Dec. 9th I accepted a project - "**Edited for Community Guidelines**." The client needed the final files within 12 hours because that's when her presentation was scheduled for.  Per the client, she wanted the powerpoint design to be cleaned up and the script to be revised to sound more fluent in English. I spent the day going back and forth with her, until the powerpoint was completed, following her direction for the header, placement of various elements, etc. along with revising/touching up the entire script. I submitted my final finals/requested payment prior to the deadline.


48 hours later, I receive a message from her stating -

"**Edited for Community Guidelines**"


Of course I was floored, because this project that I accepted was not an ongoing project. She was fine with the layout/design two days prior, and it was my understanding that the project was completed for that day. 


I don't want negative feedback, or my job success score to drop, so I went back through the script, highlighted my revisions and also touched up a few things on the powerpoint, including every slide and recreating the animations. 


I sent her this message along with resubmitting the files for payment - 

"**Edited for Community Guidelines**"


Then, 48 hours later I receive another message from her - **Edited for Community Guidelines**



Is she just trying to get out of paying?? The script was revised as requested. The animations are flawless. 




So - should I just file a dispute? I don't mean to be harsh, but this is ridiculous- the original project was one that was due in 12 hours - not an ongoing project over the course of a week.  I've never run into this type of situation before and wanted to reach out to you fellow freelancers to get your take on it. 


Thank you so much for your time! 



Goran V Moderator Member Since: Mar 24, 2017
2 of 3

Hi Jessica,

I`m sorry to hear about the bad experience you had. In general when a freelancer has worked it means that they need to paid.

Before going for a dispute I can suggest to try and negotiate with your client and try to find a solution that best works for you and your client.
If you decide to move to a dispute, you can check out this Thread to learn more about our dispute process. Thank you.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 3


It is possible that the client you are dealing with is not a willfully atrocious person, but simply has a genuine deep lack of understanding about what the fixed-price contract model means.


Of course you do not want to be in a situation where you are committed to unending indentured servitude to a client who isn't paying you for your work. You need to get out of this situation.


It would not cost you anything to send the client a message (keep it as short as possible) and give her an opportunity to do the right thing.



Thank you for your recent note. I'm wondering if there was some misunderstanding about the fixed-price milestone or the nature of the fixed-price contract. The work was completed 3 days ago. I really want to continue helping you with this, but continued work on a completed task is against Upwork's rules. If you release payment or close the contract I will be able to continue working on this, doing any additional work that you need."


If the client asks for further details about how that would work, then you can explain that you would be able to agree to an hourly contract that would let her ask for any tasks, without needing to specify them in a contract agreement.


If you send her a note, then she has the chance to do what is right. That would be good for you. Worst case scenario is she DOESN'T release payment or close the contract, which is where you are at right now, so you wouldn't be any worse off.


And yes, you may need to file a dispute. But before doing that, I think you should try talking to her. She really may not understand how fixed-price contracts work.