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Unresponsive Client

Active Member
Maria V Member Since: May 24, 2016
1 of 10

I had my very first client and to my excitement I accepted his offer of $70 for a 35hrs work for 7days with a bonus of $5 if I complete the 35hrs for only 5 days.


He also said that once done with the 35hrs, I just need to email him for payment.  So I completed the 35hrs and emailed him for my payment.  Unfortunately, he hasn't replied yet and it's been 2 days now.


I'm not sure what to ask but I think this is just a bad experience from me since this was my very first client.  I'm disappointed that this happened to me.  All the while I thought UpWork is making sure that all freelancers and clients are legit.  I guess I was wrong.

Community Manager
Vladimir G Community Manager Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
2 of 10

Hi Maria,


I've checked and see you unfortunatelly accepted to get paid outside Upwork, which is a ToS violation, and you also don't have a contract for the job you completed. Please take screenshots of your conversation and report the client directly to Support. Make sure not to start working unless you have an active contract on Upwork, use Upwork Protection Programs and only accept to get paid through the platform. 


To help you work safely on Upwork, please have a look at tips and warning signs shared in this thread and Upwork's Trust & Safety FAQ.


If you go to Find Work > Job Applications you will be able to check whether any of your applications were accepted. Applications you see in the "Active Candidacies" section have been accepted and the client would like to discuss the job further or have an interview with you, but that doesn't mean the job is awarded to you. Don't start working without an active contract, which would show in your "My Jobs" tab. You can find more details here.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 10


Emailing a client to ask for payment is not actually a thing on Upwork.


It sounds like you didn't read the instructions, and it sounds like the "client" tricked you.


You should embrace this experience as a good thing (which sounds like what you are already doing) because through this you learned, and you will not make the same mistake again.


I am assuming that if you log onto Upwork, and click on the "MY JOBS" tab at the top of the page, that you see a "My Jobs" page with nothing listed on it. Correct? This means that you were not actually hired. It means you willingly worked for free.


Also, $70 for 35 hours of work works out to $2.00/per hour, which is a dollar per hour less than Upwork's minimum allowable hourly rate of $3.00/per hour. (Just FYI.)

Active Member
Vipin K Member Since: Aug 21, 2015
4 of 10

Does your client funded (milestone) $75 before you start working on project?

If yes, submit your work through Upwork and message client about project submission. Don't refund the amount if client ask for it. File a dispute against the client regarding project.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
5 of 10



Yes, your advice is very good if Maria had, in fact, read the instructions and followed Upwork's rules and actually had a fixed-price contract in place.


But unfortunately, Maria can't do anything at all.


There wasn't even a contract in place. The person who claimed to have hired Maria was just tricking her. He knew that she was a newbie and he got her to work for free.


(The distinction between working for $2.00/hour and working for free may seem slight to some people, but I think Maria had been counting on getting that money. She definitely did not realize that she was working for free.)

Ace Contributor
Denis P Member Since: Mar 25, 2016
6 of 10
Ace Contributor
Patti H Member Since: Feb 16, 2015
7 of 10

Hi Maria,


Were you accepted, have a contract, download and use the UpWork time tracker?

Community Guru
Katrina B Member Since: Jan 9, 2011
8 of 10

@Patti H wrote:

Hi Maria,


Were you accepted, have a contract, download and use the UpWork time tracker?

She couldn't have used the time tracker because she didn't have a contract. 
"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
9 of 10

re: "Were you accepted, have a contract, download and use the UpWork time tracker?"



Maria did not have a contract with Upwork. She did not use the time-tracker.

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
10 of 10

I lol'd @ "$5 bonus" if you work really hard for a week.