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wiredjp
Community Member

Refund Request

Hello,

 

Upwork placed a client contract had been placed on hold  a week ago. Today, I received a notification about an automatic refund request to the client for a portion of  last week's work.  I am assuming that it is the manual work which I added to the work diary. However, I had discussed this issue with the client, the week before, and he said that it may have to  be added to the work schedule for last week. I am unclear about this refund request and I guess that Upwork will not provide an explanation for it. What should I do in this case?

Thanks.

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kat303
Community Member

Manual hours are not covered by Upwork's Payment Protection Plan. Which means, that a client can dispute any manual hours and they automatically don't have to pay for them. It doesn't matter if the client discussed this with you, or gave you the go ahead to add them. He can, if he chooses not to pay for them. The only thing you can do is to add them to this weeks work and hope that the client will accept them and pay for them. If not, then there's nothing you can do except us Tracker to record all the hours you spend on the computer working. 

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17 REPLIES 17
petra_r
Community Member


Laurence H wrote:

 

Upwork placed a client contract had been placed on hold  a week ago. Today, I received a notification about an automatic refund request to the client for a portion of  last week's work.  I am assuming that it is the manual work which I added to the work diary. However, I had discussed this issue with the client, the week before, and he said that it may have to  be added to the work schedule for last week. I am unclear about this refund request and I guess that Upwork will not provide an explanation for it. What should I do this case?.


It means the client failed to pay for your work, and any time that was not done strictly with the terms of the hourly protection, Upwork declined to pay you out of their own pocket.

 

Nothing you can do, other than hope that maybe the client fixes the problem and pays you in the end.

 

 

re: "I am assuming that it is the manual work which I added to the work diary."

 

Probably.

Manual work is never covered by Upwork Hourly Payment Protection.

 

Was there a reason you logged time manually instead of using the desktop app?

Thanks for the replies.

 

@Preston: the client said that he has a weekly budget and he was monitoring me to complete a task. i had reached my weekly time limit but I wanted to see the task completed. So I stopped my time tracker once the time limit was reached and I continued working to finish it. 


Laurence H wrote:

 

@Preston: the client said that he has a weekly budget and he was monitoring me to complete a task. i had reached my weekly time limit but I wanted to see the task completed. So I stopped my time tracker once the time limit was reached and I continued working to finish it. 


It is possible to continue using the time tracker once the weekly limit is reached. It will mark all logged time as overtime. Everything everyone else has said about such time being unprotected still applies. But if you want to document the nature of your work—after explaining to the client why you are doing so, and/or getting their permission to do so—there is no compelling need to abandon the time tracker, and an arguable advantage to keeping it going.

Note: I only discovered this recently, and only when a client volunteered on their own that in view of an accelerated deadline, they would be willing to pay above the stipulated limit.


Douglas Michael M wrote:


It is possible to continue using the time tracker once the weekly limit is reached. It will mark all logged time as overtime. Everything everyone else has said about such time being unprotected still applies. But if you want to document the nature of your work—after explaining to the client why you are doing so, and/or getting their permission to do so—there is no compelling need to abandon the time tracker, and an arguable advantage to keeping it going.

Note: I only discovered this recently, and only when a client volunteered on their own that in view of an accelerated deadline, they would be willing to pay above the stipulated limit.


The client can also revise the hourly limit to enable more billing.  Assuming you use the time tracker, it's all good memos etc, when you work overtime (as in over the limit) is that covered by the payment protection?  I would like it's not since the client placed a limit. While the client can say "sure, bill more," why wouldn't they just up the hourly limit? 


Miriam H wrote:


The client can also revise the hourly limit to enable more billing.  Assuming you use the time tracker, it's all good memos etc, when you work overtime (as in over the limit) is that covered by the payment protection?  I would like it's not since the client placed a limit. While the client can say "sure, bill more," why wouldn't they just up the hourly limit? 


Too busy to look it up last week, and too lazy to look it up now: I remain under the impression that the hourly limit cannot be changed during an active week. Since the client was already doing me a favor, I decided to trust their goodwill rather than sending them on a possible wild goose chase. Risky, but a risk I was willing to take for various reasons. Perhaps @Upwork will clarify.

Not sure how to quote on my phone, however I can confirm at least 2 clients have modified my limit during an active week.

I raise this point again as I suspect you were working with a trusted client on your project. For other freelancers to work beyond the hourly limits is risky when upwork makes it easy to change. In my two cases the clients handled it within 5 minutes.


Douglas Michael M wrote:

 

Too busy to look it up last week, and too lazy to look it up now: I remain under the impression that the hourly limit cannot be changed during an active week.


Yes, it can be changed at any time at all.

 

If the client INCREASES the weekly limit, this increase takes effect immediately for the current and all subsequent weeks unless changed again.

f the client DECREASES the weekly limit, this decrease takes effect the following Monday for next and all subsequent weeks unless changed again.

 

 

BojanS
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Laurence,

 

Unfortunately, when the client fails to pay for hours logged by the freelancer, any hours that aren't covered by Upwork Hourly Protection may be reversed.

 

Our team will be reaching out to you directly via email with more information about your specific account.

 

Thank you.

~ Bojan
Upwork
kat303
Community Member

Manual hours are not covered by Upwork's Payment Protection Plan. Which means, that a client can dispute any manual hours and they automatically don't have to pay for them. It doesn't matter if the client discussed this with you, or gave you the go ahead to add them. He can, if he chooses not to pay for them. The only thing you can do is to add them to this weeks work and hope that the client will accept them and pay for them. If not, then there's nothing you can do except us Tracker to record all the hours you spend on the computer working. 

Douglas is right:

 

If you are ever in a situation where you are working BEYOND the weekly-allowed number of hours...

 

You might as well CONTINUE using the Deskop time-tracker.

 

The client can see the hours you work, and see that you're working without getting paid.

 

If the client DOES increase the maximum number of hours you can work in the current week, then you will get paid for those hours, and they will NOT be considered manual time. Those hours will be covered by Upwork Payment Protection.

Thank everyone for the great advice. I really appreciate it. I will use this information for future reference.


Preston H wrote:

Douglas is right:

 

If you are ever in a situation where you are working BEYOND the weekly-allowed number of hours...

 

You might as well CONTINUE using the Deskop time-tracker.

 

The client can see the hours you work, and see that you're working without getting paid.

 


Maybe I'm missing something here, but it sounds like the client told the OP that there was a weekly limit that he didn't want to exceed. In such cases - in which a freelancer discovers that the hours aren't enough to complete a project - wouldn't it be a good idea to discuss it with the client, instead of just continuing to track the time and hope for the best? 


Christine A wrote:

Preston H wrote:

Douglas is right:

 

If you are ever in a situation where you are working BEYOND the weekly-allowed number of hours...

 

You might as well CONTINUE using the Deskop time-tracker.

 

The client can see the hours you work, and see that you're working without getting paid.

 


Maybe I'm missing something here, but it sounds like the client told the OP that there was a weekly limit that he didn't want to exceed. In such cases - in which a freelancer discovers that the hours aren't enough to complete a project - wouldn't it be a good idea to discuss it with the client, instead of just continuing to track the time and hope for the best? 


I think you, Preston, and I are all in agreement. Prior arrangement is best. The time tracker, if one pushes it into overtime, will also make this point to the freelancer.

In my case, the client and I had already reached and documented prior agreement that there could be overtime, at the point where the client accelerated the deadline. It was my misunderstanding of the procedure that kept me from suggesting they formalize the agreement by raising the limit.

My suggestion to the OP was simply that a post-facto case for overtime hours would be better documented by the tracker than by his say-so, and that the tracker provides for this.

re: "Maybe I'm missing something here, but it sounds like the client told the OP that there was a weekly limit that he didn't want to exceed. In such cases - in which a freelancer discovers that the hours aren't enough to complete a project - wouldn't it be a good idea to discuss it with the client, instead of just continuing to track the time and hope for the best?"

 

Yes.

 

Of course the right thing to do is discuss hours with the client.

 

My point is this:

IF you (as a freelancer) decide - for any reason - to work past the time limit... Then you may as well continue using the time-tracker. That's what I do.

 

Sometimes I get paid for those hours. Sometimes I don't.

But it doesn't hurt to track them using the tool which generates work diaries, screenshots, and potentially Upwork Payment Protection.

 

But Christine is correct: Any time you start going over the weekly limit, the best thing to do is talk to the client.


Generally one would want to get the hours increased, or wait until next week.

 @ Christine A.: yes - the client had set a weekly limit which he did not want to exceed. I agree with your point that I should have discuss with the client about overtime work. 

 

@ Preston H: I agree with your point

@ Douglas Michael M: i agree with your point.

 

Thanks to all for your helpful insight.

 

lucioric
Community Member

Ho, some times the clients appear to vanish.

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