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Refund and dispute.

I worked on the project,  the client's budget was $800; we started at $15 per hour; I tracked for 270 dollars; and I shared a zip file with the client They ended contact with a 5 star rating and decided to shift the project to a fixed amount. They sent me a new offer, which has since expired, but I am still working for them. They are unhappy with the delay and are demanding a full refund for the project, which was l end on February 16th. If I do not refund, they will file a dispute.

I have two inquiries.

(1) Do I have to return full money?
(2) Is it possible for a client to register a dispute right now, and will this have an impact on their profile?

I really need some assistance; I've completed 45 projects in my profile, all of which have received a 5 star rating and positive feedback; if this one dispute has a negative affect on my profile, I'm ready to refund; nevertheless, I really need some advice on what I should do now.


**Edited for community guidelines**

Community Member

Also how can i directly contact with upwork ?


You don't need to directly contact Upwork.


You can receive advice right here in this thread.


Other Forum participants will offer advice. I will check in later and offer advice if nobody else does.


But before getting into details, let me address this question:

"Do I have to return full money"

If you did the work, yoou should never return money that a client paid for the work.
A client who hires you to do something, and then tries to avoid paying you for your work, or tries to get money back after paying you, is (by definition) unethical, unprofessional, and immoral.


Based on your description of events, this is what I understand happened:
- The client hired and paid you using an hourly contract. The contract was closed, with 5-star feedback.
- The client hired you using a new fixed-price contract.
- The client feels that the work is taking too long, so he asked for a full refund for all money that he ever paid you?

This doesn't make sense.
The client has already received excellent, 5-star work for all of the time that you spent working on the hourly contract, right?

The client can still use that work, regardless of what has happened with the fixed-price contract.

I don't think the client has any basis, within Upwork rules for getting any of that hourly contract money back. It was a separate contract. Upwork won't help him with that.

Total budget was 800$ but after tracking 275$ , we decided to convert it into fix price contract because work is taking time, hourly contract was ended with 5star rating , and due to my mistake fix price contract is expired.


but i am still working for client, due to work quality as per client is not good and they want refund and file a dispute for hourly contract which is ended on 16th feb with 5 star rating.



please give me final suggestions,


I don't want any issue or my job Sucess or profile.

if client can still affact my profile with dispute, so i will refund full amount.






I worked on the project, and the client was unhappy with it. I was willing to repay a portion of the money because I put my time into it, but they demanded a full refund also it was an hourly contract. They will file dispute soon, If i did not refund full amount, What should i do ?

Contract id - 29423372
Contract ended date - 16th feb.

This is a very common scam and the only advice I can give for the sake of Upwork and your own career is to keep the money and let them leave you a negative review, but reply with a professional, polite response.


This is a rampant scam on upwork and I've been meaning to make my own post about it.  It happened to me recently and the client was so blatant about it mid project that I told her outright that I knew exactly what she was attempting to do and it wasn't going to work.  


She feigned a polite response and apologizing for any bad behavior and as soon as the project was complete - BOOM!  she first sent nasty messages, then requested a refund (she sent the request to ME instead of Upwork) and I told her that because the work had been completed, she wasn't getting a refund, so she left me a bad review instead.


It was a $1000 job and to be honest, the quality of leads has gotten so low on Upwork that I decided that the money was more important than the review.


I'm sure your work was just fine and even if they were genuinely unsatisfied with your work (and not pretending to be unsatisfied to get free money), you are charging for your time and not their satisfaction.  You can't get a refund of your time and if they get away with the scam, they're just going to do the same to someone else.


Years ago I was pretty active on Elance (before it became Upwork) and I somehow stumbled across a message board in which Amazon sellers (some of my primary clients) were discussing ways to get free photography services.


The top suggestion was to get the services (sometimes from multiple vendors) and then claim dissatisfaction and demand a refund under threat of negative reviews.


I left Upwork shortly after that for years and when I came back, the same nonsense still happens.

If the issue affects my profile, it will be a significant setback for me because I have worked hard to build my profile. Is it possible for an Upwork support person to review the contract with the contract id and advise me of the impact of the disagreement on my profile?

When I faced the same situation mid project, I put in a support ticket telling Upwork exactly what my client was going to try and asking them to help mediate.  I knew that the endgame would be to leave me a bad review and I asked Upwork if there was a review dispute process. I did not receive a reply from Upwork, unfortunately.  


My personal advice is to practice what your response should be and then take the bad review.


On a freelancing platform such as Upwork, it will naturally attract a lower end client - the 'brokepreneurs'.  If longecvity on the platform is important, then I recommend recognizing the scammers and dropping them early on.


It's like the person who walks into a restaurant and drops a dead fly into the soup AFTER they're done eating in order to get a refund.  The host saw the flip flops, cut off jorts and stained t-shirt and decided to serve them anyways.


My own scammy client was pretty obvious, but times were tough and to be honest, the hiring rate on Upwork photography jobs is so low that I wasn't planning on sticking around for long anyways.

re: "Is it possible for an Upwork support person to review the contract with the contract id and advise me of the impact of the disagreement on my profile?"


That is not how this works.

Community Member

The client can't file a dispute anymore, as the window for filing dispute is 5 days from the time the client was billed, and this window has long passed. It's lucky you haven't accepted the fixed offer, as the client would likely leave a bad review and request a refund for the fixed project, which is much easier to do.

Keep in mind that timing is critical here — you must file any dispute during the five days after the billing period closes Source

Seems 30 day option is also available.


Disputes must be filed by the Friday after the freelancer bills the hours. If you miss this window, you and your freelancer should work together to resolve any issues and discuss your freelancer submitting a refund. Still can’t resolve the issue and within 30 days of payment? Please contact customer support to learn about our mediation assistance

Where is this from? 

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