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lola2018
Community Member

Request refund and feedback

Hello!

 

A client, which was quite rude, didn't like my job -it was fixed-price- ended the contract and now is asking a refund. My question is: If I give the client a refund..Will it avoid the bad feedback on my public profile? I really did my work and I deserve the money which was a small amount by the way, but I don't mind losing that amount of money for the sake of keeping a good profile score!

 

Thanks in advance!

15 REPLIES 15
lysis10
Community Member

Feedback has already been given, and it's the private feedback that matters. It's what affects your JSS. Refunds only affect public feedback and it doesn't matter for JSS.I'd probably see how bad it is. If you're top rated you can have it removed. 

lola2018
Community Member

Thanks Jennifer! So If I give the client a refund, the public feedback won't be visible, will be?

Also, If I decide to give the refund, ..Can I provide feedback as well? This client was not nice at all. Thanks again!

aocumen
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Irene, 


I'm sorry to learn about your experience with this client. You should be able to leave feedback for this client in this section/page of the contract where it says "Your feedback to the client." Both you and the client will have an opportunity to leave private feedback for each other.

 

Also, since no money exchanged hands, this contract will not show in your Work History, but the private feedback (whether positive or negative) will affect your Job Success Score. You may read this help article for more information on how your score can be affected by this contract. 


~ Avery
Upwork

Irene has a right to use Upwork's tools and policies at they suit her, to do what she thinks is right for herself.

 

If she wants to issue a complete refund to the client, it is her right to do so.

 

Putting that aside, we should be very clear about some key principles involved here:

 

It is NOT Upwork's intention that clients use refunds and threats and feedback in order to get free work.

 

A fixed-price contract means that a freelancer performs a pre-agreed task, and the client pays an agreed-upon amount once the task is done.


Period.

 

If a client changes her mind or sprained her ankle or no longer needs the work or doesn't "like" the work done by the freelancer... None of that matters.

 

The client commissioned the work. The freelancer did the work. The client needs to release full payment.

 

It's that simple.


When a client does otherwise, the client is unprofessional, unethical, and immoral.

 

(Obviously I am speaking generally, and not about any specific contract or client.)

kat303
Community Member

but I don't mind losing that amount of money for the sake of keeping a good profile score!

 

You could start something new here with that statement. Don't pay me, I'll work for free just so I can have a good profile score. And then you can copy that score, print it, and take it with you when you need gas. to buy groceries, and even to pay all kinds of bills. Just include that printed good profile score and you and everyone else using that way of thinking will be just fine.

 

As long as a freelancer does the work and satisfies the scope of work for the job/milestone, and the work is professional and excellent quality then the freelancer should keep the money. Although it's not your job to worry about other freelancers, it is your job not to fall into the mindset that you have and to reward this client for his rude behaviour and refund request.. You preformed a service, delivered a completed job, and (hopefully) did excellent work. You spent time and energy doing this work and should get paid for it. Refunding money just because a client asked for it teaches and reinforces the notion that all the client has to do is to ask for a refund and be rude and before they can blink an eye, the freelancer will gladly refund. 

 

The damage is ALREADY done. If you refund the Public feedback will not be shown. But, the Private feedback will still be there and that is what effects your JSS. A job with no money earned affects a freelancers JSS. 

 

IMO and if I were you, I would dispute that refund request. and if need be I would take it all the way up to arbitration. 

wlyonsatl
Community Member

Irene,

 

Remember also that Upwork has said it tracks feedback from all "clients with a history of poor collaboration. If one of your clients has been flagged...then the client's feedback will not count against your score."

 

https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/articles/211068358-Job-Success-Score

 

It is possible a client's negative public or private feedback on a project has no effect on a freelancer's JSS rating.

Preston and Kathy, I hear what you're saying, but IMO, it's pretty standard customer service to offer the client a refund if they're truly unhappy. Just yesterday I had dinner at a restaurant and didn't eat my dessert (it wasn't completely terrible, I just didn't care for it), so the waitress asked if there was anything wrong and then ended up taking it off my bill. I didn't demand this, but at the same time, I would have been pretty unhappy if she hadn't offered. And I also return clothing if I get it home and then change my mind about whether it goes with a certain pair of shoes or not. I don't think that it's good business to just say to a client, "Well, I did the work, if you didn't like it and can't use it, then tough luck."

 

Obviously, this creates problems in that some clients will complain just to get free work, but I honestly don't think that this is true in the majority of situations (though perhaps I'm being naive here; I've had hardly any bad experiences like this on Upwork).

 

If - as the OP says - the project was only worth a small amount of money, then I do think that it's worth offering a refund. Just my two cents.

 


Christine A wrote:

Preston and Kathy, I hear what you're saying, but IMO, it's pretty standard customer service to offer the client a refund if they're truly unhappy. Just yesterday I had dinner at a restaurant and didn't eat my dessert (it wasn't completely terrible, I just didn't care for it), so the waitress asked if there was anything wrong and then ended up taking it off my bill. I didn't demand this, but at the same time, I would have been pretty unhappy if she hadn't offered. And I also return clothing if I get it home and then change my mind about whether it goes with a certain pair of shoes or not. I don't think that it's good business to just say to a client, "Well, I did the work, if you didn't like it and can't use it, then tough luck."

 

Obviously, this creates problems in that some clients will complain just to get free work, but I honestly don't think that this is true in the majority of situations (though perhaps I'm being naive here; I've had hardly any bad experiences like this on Upwork).

 

If - as the OP says - the project was only worth a small amount of money, then I do think that it's worth offering a refund. Just my two cents.

 


I think we sell our time too though. I realize we sell a product too, but we also kinda sell our time. Like when you go to a mechanic, you dont' get a refund on labor because you're paying for some guy to do this thing. I feel like if someone wants a refund, I might settle for a lower payout but I don't give full refunds. If I totally screw up, then yeah I will refund.


Jennifer M wrote:


I think we sell our time too though. I realize we sell a product too, but we also kinda sell our time. Like when you go to a mechanic, you dont' get a refund on labor because you're paying for some guy to do this thing. I feel like if someone wants a refund, I might settle for a lower payout but I don't give full refunds. If I totally screw up, then yeah I will refund.


Yeah, but if a mechanic screws up, then your car won't run properly, so it's pretty easy to see whether the job has been done or not. In projects where there's a subjective element, it's more difficult to argue with an unhappy client. 


Christine A wrote:

Jennifer M wrote:


I think we sell our time too though. I realize we sell a product too, but we also kinda sell our time. Like when you go to a mechanic, you dont' get a refund on labor because you're paying for some guy to do this thing. I feel like if someone wants a refund, I might settle for a lower payout but I don't give full refunds. If I totally screw up, then yeah I will refund.


Yeah, but if a mechanic screws up, then your car won't run properly, so it's pretty easy to see whether the job has been done or not. In projects where there's a subjective element, it's more difficult to argue with an unhappy client. 


True, but then how do you ensure that someone will like something? There's no way to ensure that someone will like it, and so I feel you have to pay for people's time. I'm not talking about something that is factually wrong or something like someone outsources and doesn't tell the client. Things that are shady, I'm excluding. But if someone asks me to write about X and I write about X and someone just doesn't like my style, they still need to pay me and move on. 


Christine A wrote:

Preston and Kathy, I hear what you're saying, but IMO, it's pretty standard customer service to offer the client a refund if they're truly unhappy. Just yesterday I had dinner at a restaurant and didn't eat my dessert (it wasn't completely terrible, I just didn't care for it), so the waitress asked if there was anything wrong and then ended up taking it off my bill. I didn't demand this, but at the same time, I would have been pretty unhappy if she hadn't offered. And I also return clothing if I get it home and then change my mind about whether it goes with a certain pair of shoes or not. I don't think that it's good business to just say to a client, "Well, I did the work, if you didn't like it and can't use it, then tough luck."

 

Obviously, this creates problems in that some clients will complain just to get free work, but I honestly don't think that this is true in the majority of situations (though perhaps I'm being naive here; I've had hardly any bad experiences like this on Upwork).

 

If - as the OP says - the project was only worth a small amount of money, then I do think that it's worth offering a refund. Just my two cents.

 


-----------------------

Christine, I understand what you're saying, and I think your analogy relates to a restaurant whose food is below par, a dish not cooked the right way, clothing that you found a flaw in. And I don't think a "customer" should be rude when that happens. I am going by the One line that really caught my attention. ---.but I don't mind losing that amount of money for the sake of keeping a good profile score! 

The OP is more concerned with a good profile score then to make money. and IMO I don't think that's the way freelancing should be approached. That's the point I was trying to get across. That, and the fact that I'm seeing more and more and more of that kind of thinking. 

 

Also her question was, if she returned the funds would it affect her and I think I answered that. 

The damage is already done. If she returns the funds it will count as a job with no payment and that will affect her JSS, So, because of that, what's the point. She's not going to come out of this without some sort of damage, so why not keep what she earned for her time and effort and the work that she did do. 

mtngigi
Community Member


Kathy T wrote:

Christine A wrote:

Preston and Kathy, I hear what you're saying, but IMO, it's pretty standard customer service to offer the client a refund if they're truly unhappy. Just yesterday I had dinner at a restaurant and didn't eat my dessert (it wasn't completely terrible, I just didn't care for it), so the waitress asked if there was anything wrong and then ended up taking it off my bill. I didn't demand this, but at the same time, I would have been pretty unhappy if she hadn't offered. And I also return clothing if I get it home and then change my mind about whether it goes with a certain pair of shoes or not. I don't think that it's good business to just say to a client, "Well, I did the work, if you didn't like it and can't use it, then tough luck."

 

Obviously, this creates problems in that some clients will complain just to get free work, but I honestly don't think that this is true in the majority of situations (though perhaps I'm being naive here; I've had hardly any bad experiences like this on Upwork).

 

If - as the OP says - the project was only worth a small amount of money, then I do think that it's worth offering a refund. Just my two cents.

 


-----------------------

Christine, I understand what you're saying, and I think your analogy relates to a restaurant whose food is below par, a dish not cooked the right way, clothing that you found a flaw in. And I don't think a "customer" should be rude when that happens. I am going by the One line that really caught my attention. ---.but I don't mind losing that amount of money for the sake of keeping a good profile score! 

The OP is more concerned with a good profile score then to make money. and IMO I don't think that's the way freelancing should be approached. That's the point I was trying to get across. That, and the fact that I'm seeing more and more and more of that kind of thinking. 

 

Also her question was, if she returned the funds would it affect her and I think I answered that. 

The damage is already done. If she returns the funds it will count as a job with no payment and that will affect her JSS, So, because of that, what's the point. She's not going to come out of this without some sort of damage, so why not keep what she earned for her time and effort and the work that she did do. 


Yes to everything Kathy and Jennifer posted. I believe we're all getting just a little bit sick and tired of clients pulling this c__p. It seems to have become a trend on Upwork, and it's getting old. I'm afraid UW is getting a reputation for how easy it is to get work done for free. Yes, free! All you have to do is say you don't like something and you get your money back. Real world analogies do not apply, IMHO.

 

If a freelancer does the work, they should get paid, period. Perhaps clients should take a little more time choosing who they work with, or be willing to pay for small paid tests; not liking what someone does is mostly subjective, but that does not mean they should not pay for the work done.

 

These posts have become far too commonplace. I'm fed up with the JSS element and freelancers feeling like they have to bow down to these refund demands. Rant over.

Whether or not a client "likes" something is irrelevent.

 

A fixed-price contract means that a freelancer agrees to do a certain task, and then when the freelancer finishes the task, the client releases the agreed-upon money from escrow to the freelancer.

 

If a client doesn't like the work, then the client may choose to stop working with that freelancer.

The client may indicate her disfavor when providing feedback.

These are valid options.

 

Asking for a refund is not an acceptable option. A refund is to be used for when a freelancer does not do the work. Claiming to not "like" something and then asking for a refund is a violation of the contract.


Preston H wrote:

Whether or not a client "likes" something is irrelevent.

 


Interesting point of view. I'm more inclined to go with the basic premise that the customer is always right. But, "you do you," as the kids say.

 

Having said that, I certainly don't think it's okay for a client to threaten bad feedback if they don't get free work. If that ever happened to me (which it never has), then sure, I'd bloody well dig my heels in and go all the way to arbitration, just on principle. No, I'm talking about the very rare occasion in which I do a small part of the job and ask for feedback, and it's immediately, painfully obvious that the client and I don't see eye to eye and probably never will. It's not anybody's fault - it is what it is - so I just give them a refund and we go our separate ways. No real harm done, and I can just get on with my life instead of wasting my time and energy on disputes and bad feelings.

 

But you do have to take those pesky reviews into account as well, and there's no point in pretending otherwise. I can take a hit, along with Preston and most of the other people who responded. But what if you're just starting out and you've only got one or two reviews? Your JSS will definitely take a hit regardless, but it'll make things infinitely worse if the review at the top of your profile says something like, "I took a chance on this new freelancer, but after she delivered the first draft, it was obvious that she wasn't the right person for the project. But when I told her this, she said, 'Suck it up, buttercup' and demanded full payment anyway."

 

It's not going to be easy to claw your way back from that, is it? It'll probably impact your ability to get another client for months to come. And over what - $40 or $50? At the end of the day, you need to ask yourself, "Is this the hill I want to die on?" and act accordingly.

Christine:

You're talking about things from a freelancer's perspective.


And you are correct in what you are saying.

 

But I was referring to client behavior.

 

These are two different things.

 

For the SAME SITUATION, the right thing for the freelancer to do may be to issue a refund.

While the right thing for the client to do is to release payment.

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