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The client is harassing and bullying me online

Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
11 of 71

Upwork's own rules, not governmental law or regulation, largely determines how Upwork handles escrowed funds as defined in the Fixed-Price Escrow Instructions in the Terms of Service:

 

https://www.upwork.com/legal#fp

 

I am not aware of any legal reason Upwork can't release funds when a client has given no rational reason payment to the freelancer in this case should be withheld. Upwork may not want to do so for various other reasons, but I have seen no evidence it would be illegal for Upwork to do so.

 

At any rate, Melvin it will be interesting to know what Upwork's mediation expert recommends in this dispute.

 

Good luck.

 

 

 

 

Active Member
Melvin M Member Since: Sep 27, 2015
12 of 71

Hi Will, thanks so much. I will let the community know of the outcome. It just pains me to think that upwork could not do anything for these forms of harassment and bullying online. The client committed numerous blunders already which I reported and I provided all the proof but upwork still allowed the client to continue using the platform and hire freelancers. 

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
13 of 71

Will L wrote:

Upwork's own rules, not governmental law or regulation, largely determines how Upwork handles escrowed funds as defined in the Fixed-Price Escrow Instructions in the Terms of Service:

It's a high bar, but this may be the most absurd statement ever made in these forums.

 

Are you truly under the impression that Upwork (or anyone else) can simply contractually agree to violate the law and that makes it fine?

Active Member
Melvin M Member Since: Sep 27, 2015
14 of 71

Hi Eveyone,

 

Thanks for all the comments and inputs on how to go around with my problem. The dispute specialist of upwork just recently awarded the USD 100 in my favor. She is really helpful, I wanted to put her name here in the forum but the rules might not allow me to do so. My tip is to do all communications in upwork portal rather than using outside forms such as skype, etc. It was helpful in my case that I had a screenshot of our conversation where the client gave his skype account during our conversation in upwork(because the client did all the communications in skype afterwards). Now, I have a lot of lessons learned and I agree with some of the comments that it might be better to have an hourly contract or if in case you get engaged with fixed rate contract, do it per milestones.

 

Thanks again.

Melvin

Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
15 of 71
Congratulations.

Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
16 of 71

So, it looks like Upwork's hands are not completely tied by legal restrictions when it comes to releasing escrow when there is a dispute.

 

And the idea that Upwork reserves the right to use its own judgment in such cases is not at all absurd.

 

Bravo, Upwork.

Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
17 of 71

Will L wrote:

So, it looks like Upwork's hands are not completely tied by legal restrictions when it comes to releasing escrow when there is a dispute.

 

And the idea that Upwork reserves the right to use its own judgment in such cases is not at all absurd.


Will,

I am not sure where you are deriving your inferences. Pretty much any statement about legal restrictions that includes the word "completely" is questionable.

It remains the nature of escrow that funds may be released when the conditions of escrow are met. Little if any "judgment" in making that determination is legally allowed the escrow agent. That is why Upwork's "mediation" in a dispute typically consists of urging the contracting parties to come to an agreement. That is why if the parties cannot come to an agreement, Upwork's only recourse is to refer to the option of legally binding arbitration.

In my experience, a contractor may be awarded disputed funds if the client is non-responsive to the dispute. As far as I know, that is as close as Upwork ever gets to "judgment."

 

And in response to your earlier question, California (and US where applicable) law governs Upwork. As I recall, it is primarily California law that governs escrow.

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
18 of 71

Melvin M wrote:

Hi Eveyone,

 

Thanks for all the comments and inputs on how to go around with my problem. The dispute specialist of upwork just recently awarded the USD 100 in my favor. She is really helpful, I wanted to put her name here in the forum but the rules might not allow me to do so. My tip is to do all communications in upwork portal rather than using outside forms such as skype, etc. It was helpful in my case that I had a screenshot of our conversation where the client gave his skype account during our conversation in upwork(because the client did all the communications in skype afterwards). Now, I have a lot of lessons learned and I agree with some of the comments that it might be better to have an hourly contract or if in case you get engaged with fixed rate contract, do it per milestones.

 

Thanks again.

Melvin


Let's be clear. The mediator didn't "side" with you. the client backed out or gave in and gave you the money. 

Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
19 of 71

Melvin M wrote:
It was helpful in my case that I had a screenshot of our conversation where the client gave his skype account during our conversation in upwork(because the client did all the communications in skype afterwards).

I'm not sure how you think this was helpful. Upwork would not have pursued any evidence contained in Skype conversations. They will consider screenshots of off-platform correspondence in certain cases. As noted repeatedly throughout this thread, there is no evidence that Upwork did or could have considered any such evidence in your case.

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
20 of 71

Will L wrote:

How do you know that Upwork cannot legally release escrowed funds if the client doesn't provide a reasonable reason for not releasing them, Petra?

 

I'm not saying it is legal, but how do you know it is against the law for them to do so?

 

And what law is applicable here - US law, the law of the country where the client is located, the country where the freelancer is located, other?


She's right. They tell you over and over and over again during mediation. Even though they say it, people are still surprised when, let's say, I go in and refuse their settlement offer. The mediator will tell you both that if a settlement doesn't happen, Upwork cannot make a binding decision by law and both parties have to pay for arbitration. If one doesn't pay, the money goes to the other one.

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