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0d4ed13e
Community Member

Unauthorized refund

Hi, last week my contract with my client got suspended I told her and she fixed it immediately. The second time, I finished my work for her for 5 hours and got suspended again but this time I got no reply from her. This morning Upwork notified me that I refunded her without my permission. Also, the tasks were done. I feel robbed ๐Ÿ˜ž Upwork should also protect freelancers from this kind of clients having trouble with their cards etc. and double checking the work before the unauthorized refund. This is so unfair.

ACCEPTED SOLUTION
812dd08c
Moderator
Moderator

Hi Samera,

 

Unfortunately, when the client fails to pay for hours logged by the freelancer, any hours that aren't covered by Upwork Hourly Protection may be reversed. Please check out this help article for more information. When this happens, first an automatic notification is sent but the team will also be reaching out to you directly via email with more information about your specific account.

 

~ Arjay
Upwork

View solution in original post

178 REPLIES 178
2a05aa63
Community Member

Was a it fixed priced contract? Those are not protected. Hourly contracts are tracker with the tracker - are. Fixed priced contracts with new clients are always risky.

Hi, It's an hourly contract. Also, the job was approved by the client. Then the contract was suspended and then to my surprise, Upwork refunded the client automatically. ๐Ÿ˜ž

Same as for me! It happened today. The job is accepted and he's using what I did on his own website and Upwork takes a refund from me without permission!

Hi Ali,

 

I'm sorry to learn about this unexpected refund that's been processed on your account. I see that the team has reached out with more information and further instructions for resolving the issue. I can also see that you've raised a support ticket about your concern. Please don't hesitate to coordinate with the team through the email linked to your case, and they'll surely assist you accordingly.

 

~ Arjay
Upwork
812dd08c
Moderator
Moderator

Hi Samera,

 

Unfortunately, when the client fails to pay for hours logged by the freelancer, any hours that aren't covered by Upwork Hourly Protection may be reversed. Please check out this help article for more information. When this happens, first an automatic notification is sent but the team will also be reaching out to you directly via email with more information about your specific account.

 

~ Arjay
Upwork

Hi, She is a paying client and It's an hourly contract. Also, the job was approved by the client. Then the contract was suspended and then to my surprise, Upwork refunded the client automatically. 

0d4ed13e_0-1683172297961.png

 

Very interesting

Tural Babashov
tlsanders
Community Member

It's not a refund. Upwork is just too lazy or cheap to send coherent emails. The client never paid.

This is so sad. I feel that Upwork can't really protect us freelancers from this kind of client and yet they're giving unauthorize refund. The client is not replying for a week. Should I end the contract my self?

 

UpWork doesn't want to be liable for the payment, that's why they have an automated refund structure in place.  The problem with the hourly protection is that it is misleading, the time tracker tracks you at an average of 10 minute intervals, each of those intervals needs to qualify (have 6 bars) in order for the single hour to actually count and it is still disputable since:

  • Idle or empty (I.e. not active enough during any 10 minute period)
  • Over the weekly limit
  • Showing the freelancer engaged in non-work-related activity (I.e. they can claim that about just about anything)
  • Missing memos or have inadequately described memos (I.e. they can claim that about just about anything)

All mean that they can revoke the "hourly" protection.  I have had it happen where a client was simply changing credit cards, was absolutely OK with all my hours and it still got auto-refunded.  Result, very confused long term client on the line thinking I didn't want to work with them any more.

I do understand that UpWork needs to protect itself, but this would be far better handled by us signing a waver for the hourly protection and not having auto refund.  Even worse is their solution, "simply ask the client for a bonus", in many countries bonuses fall under different taxation.

I totally agree about the misleading part because they can just create anything they like so hours wont be covered. I have almost the same issue on my post but the only difference is that I asked them and they gave me assurance that the payment was made by the client already and that i was covered by the protection but regardless; my main point now is the emotional distress this has caused me. They provided me wrong info and I already made a promise to my creditor which obviously I wasnt able to fullfil because UW refunded the amt after it was placed on pending. 

This same thing happened to me a few days ago! Next time when you start an hourly contract, make sure to use the "Time Tracker" so that Upwork can protect your pay. If you log the hours manually, they can't do anything, even if you complete the task. it's part of the Upwork Hourly Protection.

0bf0a99e
Community Member

Hello, I recently completed a contract on upwork with a client. Things went well, the client got what he wanted and finished my contract. Today, one week after the contract was closed, I received an e-mail saying "I have refunded" the customer money. I did not authorize such a thing, all watches were under contract terms and I logged using the time tracker... I have no idea what just happened.

Invoice #: 579257946

Description: (33476964) Auer, West and Mann - 2:00 hrs @ $***/hr - 04/24/2023 - 04/30/2023

Amount Refunded: $***

 

this is the message

Hi Omer,

 

I'm sorry to learn about this unexpected refund and we appreciate you bringing this to our attention. Unfortunately, when the client fails to pay for hours logged by the freelancer, any hours that aren't covered by Upwork Hourly Protection may be reversed. Please check out this help article for more information.

 

I can see that you've already been in contact with the team handling this case via email. A support ticket has been set up as well. Feel free to coordinate with the team through that email or this page for the ticket. They will surely assist you accordingly and more efficiently.

 

~ Arjay
Upwork

Hi Arjay, same happend to me but my hours were covered by Upwork Hourly Protection as client raised dispute for the same hours and Upwork dispute team have paid me for 35/37 hours but now they just refunded the same amount stating my hours were not protected by the Upwork Hourly Protection. Could you please check it for me?

same problem..

 

b1bc7517
Community Member

Is your client verified?

namanvcool
Community Member


Why is my withdrawal is currently restricted on my account? 


I also had an issue where one of my clients after getting the website done, reported Upwork payments on his bank posted as fraud to his bank and reverse the charges. But those issues are between Upwork and the clients reporting Upwork escrow payments.

 

Why do I need to be affected by my client's billing method?


I maybe need to refund or let go of the money not being paid by a client. But I need to be paid fairly and on time and Upwork needs to remove withdrawal restriction from my account, it is my hard-earned money. 

 

I request Upwork team to create a support ticket and remove my restrictions. Attaching the screenshot here.


Best Wishes,

 

Naman

If your client reversed the charges then UpWork is held liable for payment, which they will pass on to you, you've likely received an email about this from UpWork.  They will prevent you from withdrawing money until they have been paid for those charge backs.

 

Unfotunately, the chances of your client speaking the truth about UpWork being viewed as fraud are highly, highly unlikely; far more likely is that your client is lying, has reversed the charges on this credit card because he doesn't want to pay.  UpWork will not pick up the tab for this, unless those were hours qualifying for the hourly protection.

 

If you build the client a website, do keep in mind that you own the IP until such time that you have been paid, remind the client of such and if he launches the site without paying you, put a claim on it with their hosting site.

Hi Naman,

 

Some reversals (chargebacks) are a result of the client contacting their bank and asking them to reverse the payment
In these cases, Upwork would seek reimbursement from freelancers/agencies in cases where their client makes a payment, asks their bank to reverse it, and the bank does. (see more detail in sections 6.3-6.5 in our TOS).
In the meantime, the freelancer wonโ€™t be able to withdraw any funds until the amount is returned to us. If funds are available in their Upwork account, the Upwork team will pull the amount due from that balance. If not, the freelancer would need to let Upwork know when they have enough funds in their Upwork account so that we can collect the past due amount. Once this amount is returned to Upwork, the freelancer will be able to withdraw funds again.

~ AJ
Upwork
salman_tufail
Community Member

Hello upwork community, I have an issue pls say some thing about it. The below things customer support because upwork have refund to a client . I have explain it in detail, now I need upwork community answer.thanks

Hello sir

I hope u are doing well. Last 4 days I am trying to ask about refund but no one have given me right answer. Now I make it simple for Upwork. 

If a buyer send me an offer and I accept it, than I completed his/her work, after it he /she gave me feedback. than he/she send me an other offer. after everything when I completed his/her work. she took her work and never came back, Than after 3 days I ended second contract and I was waiting money. when time comes for receiving the money, upwork return that money to my buyer for second contract. and very surprising for me upwork also return the money for first contract in which buyer have given me feedback.

And most surprised thing is, my client did not any complaint.

but upwork is not doing anything 

Should be this is not a client but a scamer. Upwork never protect freelancers from scamers.

Hi Salman,

 

Unfortunately, when the client fails to pay for hours logged by the freelancer, any hours that aren't covered by Upwork Hourly Protection may be reversed. Please check out this help article for more information. I can see that the team has already reached out to you via a support ticket with more information about the occurrence. Kindly refer to your ticket should you need any additional information.

~ Luiggi
Upwork
jonincanada
Community Member

Upworks' activity tracker is broken.  They just forced a refund because my "high activity" was classified as "low activity" because I start and end a short period after these magical 10 minute slots.  Seems like a broken system put in place to boost their profits.  It's hard enough to deal with the every day scammers on the site let-alone Upwork.

3440b683
Community Member

If there is a preliminary instruction and a notification for this, at least the customers will not be unfair to those who work freely according to it.

ahmedprofile
Community Member

I opened my balance and found that I have -1000$ on my REPORT as attached 
Do I have to pay for that to complete working on Upwork? 

 

So little information, but if I have to guess...

 

I  just posted this in another thread:

 


Radia L wrote:

We can't blame Upwork for the chargeback. It's the bank that took the 'money' from Upwork. Verified doesn't mean much, it could be a stolen card, it could be a legitimate client that 'changes' their mind and use the 'convenience' of chargeback, etc.

 

But we can blame them for their shady and tricky payment protection ๐Ÿ˜


 

I'm assuming it's a chargeback on that $1000 job from the client who has spent $120k. Did you manage to withdraw the money? If so, then Upwork will indeed require it to be returned. There is no protection whatsoever for fixed-price contracts.

biswajitpro
Community Member

Hi, 
Few days ago, I receive an email stating โ€œI refundedโ€ the client's money. I havenโ€™t authorized such thing, all hours were under the terms of the contract and logged using the time tracker... I have no idea what just happened. Give me a solution

Same with me I don't know why, client give me 5 star, each and everything is ok but payment refund last night,

Hi Biswajit,

 

I'm sorry to hear about the unexpected refund that's been processed on your account. Please note that when the client fails to pay for hours logged by the freelancer, any hours that aren't covered by Upwork Hourly Protection may be reversed.

 

I can see that the team has reached out to you via email with more information and further instructions on how to proceed. Please don't hesitate to coordinate by responding to the email and the team will surely assist you accordingly. You may also access your ticket on this page for more details.

 

~ Arjay
Upwork

Hi Arjay,

I didn't get any email regarding this issue. How long it will take to get back refunded payments? Also, there is no open ticket. I have checked that. https://prnt.sc/3jz0JyIaeiQ1

Hi Biswajit,

 

I checked and can confirm that the team reached out to you via a support ticket. You can view the ticket here

~ Joanne
Upwork
e52d8b65
Community Member

I've done a job for a client 11 days ago, and today the money became available, and then immediately refund to client.

Upwork.png

โ€ƒwhat is the reason and how can I gat it back?

Search for "Unauthorized refund".

In short: you cannot get it back.

Thank you, Mykola, for answering. So Upwork doesn't protect its freelancers, does it? Great news... 

Protect sometime. But in lot of cases doesn't.

In circumstances where the hourly protection does apply, keep in mind that inflated hourly rates are not covered, only basic rates.

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