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Unauthorized refund

Hi, I recently finished a contract with a client on upwork. Things went ok, client got what they asked and finished my contract. Today, a week after the contract was closed I receive an email stating “I refunded” the client money. I haven’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.

Please do excuse any possible mistakes, I am currently on mobile.
ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Hi Zahra and Muhammad Hamdoon,

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.
~ Valeria
Upwork

View solution in original post

439 REPLIES 439
bstojadinovic
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Cecilia,

 

We’re sorry to hear about this. On hourly contracts when a client fails to pay for the hours logged by the freelancer and those hours don’t meet the requirements for Hourly Protection, the payment may be reversed. 

 

Our team will also be reaching out to you via email with more information.

 

Thank you!

~ Bojan
Upwork

How annoying is this answer that keeps getting repeated on all similar posts... Same thing has happened to me now and I'm trying to get a solution, I'm searching all topics about this but seeing this same not helpful answer. So does this mean this user lost hard earned funds and Upwork could not do any thing about it? The client willingly placed funds for the contract. Contract then ended, and the client did not request any refund. How then can money suddenly be returned automatically with the claim of "not protected hours"? And then Upwork cannot verify the contract and also auto refund this money back to the freelancer? Some clients might have difficulty using hourly contracts for their first time. Like me, I suffered trying to find the time tracking so much, untill the client finally proposed to pay me through bonuses. So no! I refuse to accept that I have just lost money like that. My contract included spending my money at hand for the client's work which was then to be reimbursed through the contract. I refuse to accept this is my fault. I have sent a message to support and would really want my money back. This is unbelievable. 

This was a scam, a very well-known one here. The "client" got you to buy cryptocurrency, paying you a lot more than you paid for it. Then the money disappeared. This happened either because the amount paid was a bonus (which isn't protected), or they were using a stolen card and its rightful owner reversed the payment.

 

You need to read the site's terms of service. They forbid you from buying anything for a client or making any payment outside of the site. That's why Upwork can't help you now. You seem to have been conned out of less than $400, which is a fraction of what others have lost in the same type of scam.

So is "less than $400" is supposed to make me feel better sir? You don't know what country I'm from and whether that is a lifetime amount to me. Maybe I fell for a scam, yes. But I accepted the offer knowing that a big site like Upwork would secure my payment well. I am more active on Fiverr than here, and you will never see something like this happen, that a client will place an order, work is done and the funds get auto refunded to the client without any disputing. Why? Because immediately an order is placed, Fiverr charges their payment method and puts it in escrow at once. On an hourly contract here on Upwork you will expect there has to be some kind of deposit of atleast an hour's work so that if things go south you as the freelancer is still safe of scam. A client should not just place a contract with "imaginary funds" and get people working for them. It means literally anybody can be scammed here with this client's method, not just a vulnerable person like I was. I see it this way, Upwork assisted in the scam!

I know it's a lot of money for you, but if Upwork compensated everyone who was defrauded, it would go bankrupt. One of its terms of service is that no financial transactions are to be made outside of the site, so you violate these terms by buying cryptocurrency for a client. The main reason for this rule is to prevent fraud. If you abide by it, you can't be scammed. 

 

I wish you had asked about this job here on the forum before you bought the crypto. We try to prevent this from happening as often as we can. We would have warned you it was someone who was going to steal your money.

Here is a previous post on the Community Forum

 

SCAM : STOP buying PUBG, CRYPTO, NFT, etc… on... - Upwork Community

It is unbelievable that people still fall for the crypto scam.

If it's too much of a bother to you to use the time tracker, maybe you should not use a platform like upwork. Using the time tracker guarantees that you will get paid, unless of course you use a fantasy rate that is 10 times higher than your profile rate. That makes you just look like you are trying to scam upwork. 

I refuse to accept this is my fault.

That is absolutely your right, just as it's upwork's right to suspend any freelancer that violated the terms of service like you did. 

I've taken a couple other jobs here as fixed price and had no issue. Now this was my first time using the hourly contract. First of all I did not even know what is Upwork desktop app. The client actually told me over and over to track but I could not, because I searched both on the app and on PC but could not see what that was. I asked him if it's that I should just use my watch as a timer so that an hour reaches before I do what he wanted, but he refused and even suggested me some links to read concerning hourly contracts. So you see, he himself tried to teach me but I did not get it, that's why he proposed paying through bonus. so it's not like using the feature was "too much of a bother" to me. 

And who would expect bonuses are not protected? I proposed to a job posting I clearly saw I could do for a client and accepted the offer. How come the post was even up if it was against TOS? TOS are some long writings that nobody ever reads all. But everyone knows how a platform like this works, people apply for all kinds of job postings and get hired for their abilities. So forgive me if I still think Upwork assisted in this scam and it's not my fault. If a client is an alleged fraudster, you don't take money from an ignorant freelancer and refund to them

 


Marcel B wrote: you don't take money from an ignorant freelancer and refund to them

Which part of "The client never paid" are you STILL failing to understand?

And which part of "You violated Upwork's Terms of Service"?

NOTHING was "refunded" because nothing was paid.

 


Marcel B wrote: TOS are some long writings that nobody ever reads all.

Well, some of us do... Others learn the hard way. It's a choice.

 


Marcel B wrote: it's not my fault.

Oh, but it is.

Hi Marcel,

 

Thank you for reaching out to us. I checked and it seems that you are already in correspondence with our team on your support ticketPlease allow more time for our team to review your case and respond accordingly to your ticket. You will be notified of their response.

 

~ Nikola
Upwork

Why not Upwork verify before the contract starts or when running the contract! Upwork billing showed in real-time if he/she failed to pay! How Upwork billing that/count the payment! 

agreed

Upwork needs to focus on their clients that advertise that are scams. Upwork should be stricter with who they allow to advertise on their site. Being a freelancer is really hard, you take 20 percent of our earnings, and that 20 percent should help work towards not advertising scammers. Respect what we do.

well said

alvinballad
Member

I checked my Upwork lately and found out that my wage was refunded automatically without even notice. I've been checking the Upwork community about the same issues. Even if the client is fraudulent just like in the previous post I read about this issue, Upwork should have negligence about it. The hourly protection that you always told us (freelancer) was totally a scam. 

Can someone help me with regarding this issue?

Same problem I face it

This often means the client was a 'scammer' who ran the 'chargeback' scheme.  They put a 'valid' payment method on file, wait for you to do the work, pretend to 'pay' you, then falsely report to their financial institution or credit card company that the 'payment' Upwork took was 'fraudulent'.   The bank/credit card company then takes back the money from Upwork who takes it back from you.   If you don't have the money to cover it in your UW account, you either get a negative balance (go into debt), or they snatch your wages coming in from another client/contract to cover the unauthorized 'refund' the client initiated through the bank.  The client is basically getting a 'refund' (and free work) without going through Upwork's dispute system.  It's stealing. Plain and simple.  Yes, you are right.  There really is no 'payment protection' because the payment 'protection' does not cover 'charge backs', which make up most of the cases now when freelancers don't get paid.  I have never heard of UW covering lost wages or fees in these instances.  UW might 'argue' with the bank/credit card company, but at the end of the day, you've lost your money and simply got ripped off.  You'll get an 'apology' for the 'inconvenience', but that's about it. Basically, if the client just straight up rips you off, there is no 'protection'.   You're 'protected' so long as your 'client' is 'honest' and doesn't run a scam and break the law....otherwise, you're on your own. 


CJ A wrote:

This often means the client was a 'scammer' who ran the 'chargeback' scheme.  They put a 'valid' payment method on file, wait for you to do the work, pretend to 'pay' you, then falsely report to their financial institution or credit card company that the 'payment' Upwork took was 'fraudulent'.   The bank/credit card company then takes back the money from Upwork who takes it back from you.   If you don't have the money to cover it in your UW account, you either get a negative balance (go into debt), or they snatch your wages coming in from another client/contract to cover the unauthorized 'refund' the client initiated through the bank.  The client is basically getting a 'refund' (and free work) without going through Upwork's dispute system.  It's stealing. Plain and simple.  Yes, you are right.  There really is no 'payment protection' because the payment 'protection' does not cover 'charge backs', which make up most of the cases now when freelancers don't get paid.  I have never heard of UW covering lost wages or fees in these instances.   


None of what you've said is true in the case of hourly projects. If the freelancer meets the conditions for hourly payment protection, Upwork does pay out even if there's a chargeback. If you've "never heard of Upwork covering lost wages or fees in these instances" then you evidently have never read any of the posts where freelancers did say that they got their money even when their clients failed to pay.

This just happened to me. Even thought I tracked automatically, I got the refund email and nothing was paid to me. So i don't understand what you mean by upwork still pays even though our clients refuses to pay.

I never got paid.

Hello, 

I did not receive payment from my client. So I reached out to him and he said the payment was made automatically last night. But when I check my transaction history and reports, I do not see any payments. 

Since he made payment on the day upwork pays freelancers, how can I verify the payment h Meade?

Hi Uzorka,

 

Thank you for reaching out to us. Could you please share a Contract ID of the contract you are referring to so that we can check ad advise you accordingly? You can find Contract ID by clicking on the name of the contract and then navigating to Terms & Settings tab.

 

Additionally, I see that you created a support ticket regarding your concern. Please allow more time for our team to review your case and respond accordingly to your ticket. You will be notified of their response.

~ Nikola
Upwork

If you used the time tracker 100% correctly, open a ticket with Upwork and maybe they wil pay you at least a part of it.

I'm also checked my upwork, and found about out my weekly payment for periode (22-29 May 2022) was refunded automatically without notification or announcement, and always can't reach the reason why it happen? Even tough, that periode had already completed did, before the clients on problem issue when Friday 3 June 2022, so why it can happen? It shouldn't refund, because it's our right. Manual time also enabled from client, because we work almost 24 hours on pc and smartphone because the scope's work as a discord and NFT management that must active anytime and anywhere. So, please we need the clarification from upwork and also the clear information about this problem. Thanks.

**Edited for community guidelines**

Hi Hanom Yoga,

 

I checked your account and it looks like one of our agents reached out to you to provide more information. You may access the ticket here

~ Joanne
Upwork

its a dream, that can never be come true 

hahaah true, upwork will never pay, never ever, didn't see even a single case who got payment

stalord
Member

Goodday, I did not request a refund for my contract ID: 30234932. an hourly work was done and lodge accordingly, to my surprise a refund was issued without my notice.

I'm sure someone from Upwork will let you know what happened, but is normal for them to issue refunds to clients and to stop payments before notifying or consulting with freelancers.

Hi Ishaq,

 

Thank you for reaching out and I'm sorry to hear about the unexpected reversal on your account. Like what Peter mentioned, we'll have this reviewed and it looks like there's already a support ticket created with your concern. I highly suggest you communicate with our team through that ticket for updates and further assistance.

 

~ Arjay
Upwork

It happened to me too. I'm confident that I can get the money because it is protected by Upwork and it's hourly. I'm very disappointed.

 

Hi Alvin,

 

I'm really sorry to hear about this unpleasant experience. Please note that on hourly contracts when a client fails to pay for the hours logged by the freelancer and those hours don’t meet the requirements for Hourly Protection, the payment may be reversed. 

 

Our team will be reaching out to you via email with updates and more information. We seek your patience and utmost understanding.

 

~ Arjay
Upwork

This happens to me too without even notice from Upwork why it was refunded. I checked my email and no email about this issue. 

That's the point. Without noticing you, they have refunded on their own but showed you refunded! What think! 

I worked properly, but today upwork refunded my balance to the client. I want a solution that can help me get my balance back.

I worked properly, but today upwork refunded my balance to the client. I want a solution that can help me get my balance back.

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

Hi Md Rasel,

 

I'm sorry to hear about this experience and we truly appreciate you bringing this matter to our attention. I have checked your account and it looks like there are support tickets created with your concern. I highly suggest you communicate with our team through those tickets for updates and further assistance.

 

~ Arjay
Upwork

no solution unfortunately 

bf33d767
Member

Hi, please help me.

 

 

I got an hourly paid job and worked for 3 days, but I told the client that I will not continue. Now I receive a message saying that a refund was received. And cannot see any money on my account. Can anyone please explain me what is a refund and how it works and why I didn't get the money for the hours paid.

Thanks in advance

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