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Request refund and feedback

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

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. 

Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
12 of 16

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.

 


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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. 

Community Guru
Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
13 of 16

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.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
14 of 16

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.

Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
15 of 16

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.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
16 of 16

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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