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Refund Reversal

Community Leader
Colyn E Member Since: Sep 23, 2015
11 of 23

Jennifer M wrote:

Colyn E wrote:

Okay, so I filed the dispute and the client was eventually able to pay me for the milestone.

 

They seem to be cooperative for the most part. They sent me a new offer instead of activating the second milestone on the last contract (which I guess I'll assume was their only option).

 

Instead of starting a whole new contract, can I propose a new milestone on the old one? I would prefer not to get 2 sets of bad feedback (for obvious reasons). I can't find any option for that right now but my brain is not totally awake at the moment. I might just give the client the second milestone for free in order to avoid accepting another contract from him (I'm not trying to violate any UW policies, just weighing the pros and cons in terms of money and my JSS, which happens to be at a low point unfortunately).

 

Also, since the dispute is basically resolved, I assume the way to move forward with it now is to "Reject" it (seemingly my only option other than "Accepting" it at this point, those are the only two buttons I see).

 

Thanks everybody for your advice. This has been a strange contract (the client doesn't even seem mad at me tbh) and I appreciate the help in trying to figure out the best way to move forward. Still hoping an Upwork rep can give some advice if they are available (I'm trying to keep hinting at that without being annoying).


You guys are making this way more difficult than it needs to be. When you file a dispute, he has one last chance to pay you. Even if he makes a mistake and forces the contract into dispute, he can tell the mediator that he wants to pay you. OR he can just drop the ball and you will get the money when he stops replying. One of those two ways will give you your money and then everyone can go their separate ways.


I am not making it difficult, the client is. I have left out a lot of details becuase I don't want to disclose too much about a specific client (I think that's against the forum rules, or at least it's bad etiquette). But I will say that from several years of freelancing here, this is the first time I've worked with somebody like this.

 

For starters, they divided the job into 2 milestones, asking for the first half of an article then the second half. When they got the first, they asked for a refund, but it wasn't really justified, so that's why I disputed it. I don't deal with disputes much (I think this is my second one in about 4 years). I have given refunds in the past but it was my choice (they didn't ask, I gave it to them voluntarily) almost every time, and in those cases the process was very simple.

 

In this case, however, the client keeps making unusual requests and throwing me curveballs. I have no idea why he couldn't just reverse his original refund request so that the original milestones were assigned to me again. When he ultimately decided to approve the first milestone after I disputed it, the last milestone was still canceled (the reason for which is beyond me) even though he still needs it done. This seems like something that should be addressed with UW support instead of the forums, but they remain unresponsive and this is time-sensitive.

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
12 of 23

Colyn E wrote:


I am not making it difficult, the client is. I have left out a lot of details becuase I don't want to disclose too much about a specific client (I think that's against the forum rules, or at least it's bad etiquette). But I will say that from several years of freelancing here, this is the first time I've worked with somebody like this.

 

For starters, they divided the job into 2 milestones, asking for the first half of an article then the second half. When they got the first, they asked for a refund, but it wasn't really justified, so that's why I disputed it. I don't deal with disputes much (I think this is my second one in about 4 years). I have given refunds in the past but it was my choice (they didn't ask, I gave it to them voluntarily) almost every time, and in those cases the process was very simple.

 

In this case, however, the client keeps making unusual requests and throwing me curveballs. I have no idea why he couldn't just reverse his original refund request so that the original milestones were assigned to me again. When he ultimately decided to approve the first milestone after I disputed it, the last milestone was still canceled (the reason for which is beyond me) even though he still needs it done. This seems like something that should be addressed with UW support instead of the forums, but they remain unresponsive and this is time-sensitive.


I am not sure if a refund request can be reversed. I know on Elance it couldn't be reversed until it went to a mediator who would then handle things if the client changed their mind, so it might be the same for Upwork. But he might be throwing your curveballs because either he doesn't understand things or he *does* understand things and he's being a smooth talking gypsy.

 

You just need to know that the contract is in dispute. If he intends to pay you, he should have the request in his email and all he has to do is choose to pay you. That's it. 

 

Contracts are closed when they go into dispute. I imagine if they are canceled and a refund request is made, they are closed too so he can't do anything with milestones because the contract is closed now. This is actually an improvement from Elance where you go through the entire dispute process and the last step is a review which you know 100% it'll be bad after you win these things. When the client cancels and asks for a refund, they might not rate you as badly until they realize you're not giving them  one. Pushing a contract into dispute enrages some people.

Community Leader
Colyn E Member Since: Sep 23, 2015
13 of 23

Jennifer M wrote:

Colyn E wrote:

 

All they have to do right now is click on a button and the disputed funds get sent to you.


I think the problem with that is I never actually filed a dispute. I just talked to the client and they agreed to continue with the contract.


ok, so you want to dispute it and then he can tell the mediator that he agrees to release the amount. Don't refund him. Since he has agreed to give you the money, he can just tell the mediator when he is contacted that he agrees to give you the money. Mediators don't work weekends, so earliest it'll happen is tomorrow.


One reason I am reluctant to follow through with the dispute is that I am afraid it might have negative consequences in the future (for example, I think, but am not sure, that it affects my JSS). But I guess I will do it if that's my only option. I appreciate the advice.

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
14 of 23

Colyn E wrote:


One reason I am reluctant to follow through with the dispute is that I am afraid it might have negative consequences in the future (for example, I think, but am not sure, that it affects my JSS). But I guess I will do it if that's my only option. I appreciate the advice.


If you go into the workroom, you can see if the contract is closed. If so, you've already been rated.

 

The only way to get the money now is to file a dispute and he can just give you the money. Like the other poster said, he has one final chance to give you your money or continue with the dispute.

 

btw, if you don't file a dispute, the money goes back to him in (I think) 5 days (or 7?) can't remember.

Community Leader
Colyn E Member Since: Sep 23, 2015
15 of 23

Jennifer M wrote:

Colyn E wrote:


One reason I am reluctant to follow through with the dispute is that I am afraid it might have negative consequences in the future (for example, I think, but am not sure, that it affects my JSS). But I guess I will do it if that's my only option. I appreciate the advice.


If you go into the workroom, you can see if the contract is closed. If so, you've already been rated.

 

The only way to get the money now is to file a dispute and he can just give you the money. Like the other poster said, he has one final chance to give you your money or continue with the dispute.

 

btw, if you don't file a dispute, the money goes back to him in (I think) 5 days (or 7?) can't remember.


Sorry, but where is the Workroom (did a quick search, can't find)?

 

In any event, I filed the dispute, so I guess the ball is in the client's court (unless a mediator needs to do something first).

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
16 of 23

I call "messages" the workroom. Old elancer habit. Smiley Happy

 

So now if he really did intend to give you the money, you'll find out if he just releases it.

 

If he disappears and doesn't respond, the money goes to you too.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
17 of 23

Colyn E wrote:


One reason I am reluctant to follow through with the dispute is that I am afraid it might have negative consequences in the future (for example, I think, but am not sure, that it affects my JSS).


The dispute won't affect your JSS, the feedback the client left, however, will (for better or for worse.)

Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
18 of 23

IMO you should not refund what's in the 1st milestone so the client can reassign that 1st milestone. And what does the client mean by reassign?

 

If you release those funds, it's highly doubtful that you will ever see them again, and the client will have gotten your work for free.

 

If you've completed the requirements of that milestone, and the client has more work for you then they need to first release the escrow funds in the first milestone and create another (2nd) milestone with the scope of work to be done and the funds for payment. 

 

 

Community Leader
Colyn E Member Since: Sep 23, 2015
19 of 23

Just to clarify: The client never said "reassign" (that was my own poor word choice). What they want to do now is accept the milestone, but it seems that they can't because they've cancelled the contract. The cancellation triggered a refund request, I think, but the initial milestone is still in escrow.

 

I never finished initiating the dispute, because I was prompted to talk to the client before clicking 'Submit' on the final screen. I did what Upwork suggested and it worked, it seems like there should be a clear course of action in the event of their advice actually working. Hasn't this kind of thing ever happened before?

 

Kind of a bummer that it came to this, because I did everything the client instructed. This was really out of left field. I wish I could give more details but I think there's a limit to what I can say about the contract in this forum. But I appreciate the responses.

Community Leader
Colyn E Member Since: Sep 23, 2015
20 of 23

UPDATE

 

I still have not heard from an Upwork agent. I finished the job, and submitted the final deliverable for half the cost that we agreed on. I didn't accept the second job offer (for the remaining payment) because this client was being far too difficult and frankly I did not want two different reviews from them.

 

I was hoping that when this was done, I could at least leave my honest feedback on the first contract, but it seems that option is not available (maybe because it ended up in dispute?). This is very disappointing because this client is relatively new to Upwork and I think freelancers should get some kind of warning signal of how the client chooses to conduct business (the feedback would be honest and professional).

 

Also, I have no idea how to close the dispute. The client finally paid for the milestone, so why is the dispute even still active? Isn't there something I can click to close it out? (I updated the thread in the dispute, not sure if that will do anything).

 

Also, how do I block this client from sending me any more messages? I can't find that function anywhere. He said he's happy with the work and keeps messaging me, and I'm just too busy for this anymore.

 

Sorry if this bothers whoever is reading. I'm not trying to be rude. I am legitimately confused about how to end this dispute and block the client once and for all (would also be nice if I could somehow leave them a review, but it looks like I won't get that chance). If you don't have any answers then feel free to just move along. Thank you.

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