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The client never pay the last milestone

Active Member
Muhannad A Member Since: Jan 5, 2019
1 of 5


Please help me, I deal with a client who never pays the last milestone he funded 3 milestones and the last one he doesn't want to activate it, If I end the contract Will this affect my rate and 3 milestones already paid will be refunded to the client or me? 

thank you in advance 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 5

If you do not get paid because a client did not fund a milestone, it is your fault.


It is your responsiblity, as a freelancer, to manage fixed-price contracts and milestones properly.


Do not work on unfunded milestones.


If you end a fixed-price contract, then none of the money you have already received will be refunded to the client.


When a freelancer closes a fixed-price contract, the only money that is refunded to the client is un-released escrow money.

Active Member
Muhannad A Member Since: Jan 5, 2019
3 of 5

thank you very much 

but in this case, I already have paid 3 milestones 

Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
4 of 5

Hi, Muhannad.


If the client has decided (s)he doesn't want you to complete the fourth and final milestone, they can cancel it without funding it. If they have already funded it and you have not completed and submitted the work for that milestone, then I think Upwork will ask that you approve the refund of that amount to the client, which you should do if you haven't done any work on that milestone.


The money already released from Upwork escrow to you by the client for the other three, completed milestones is yours to keep, regardless if the project is cancelled before the final milestone is funded. On any project, a client can always ask for a refund on payments, but you shouldn't agree to it if you have performed the agreed work.


In my limited experience with fixed rate projects, it is not unusual for a client to close a project before all milestones have been fulfilled and paid for. It is certainly their right to do so, but for this reason I try to set up milestones so that the earliest ones represent the majority of the work to be done and are the largest $ amounts (reflecting more work) and the last one or two milestones represent a relatively small portion of the total project's value.

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Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
5 of 5

 Money already paid to you will NOT be refunded if you close the contract. 

Having said that, each milestone has the requirements/scope of work to be completed and a fraction of the total amount of the job to be paid when those requirements are met. 

Did you deliver the scope of work assigned to that milestone? You should have waited until the client funded that milestone before you even started to work on the requirements. I wonder why you work with a client that you say, "Never funds the last milestone."