🐈 Community
dcapdevielle
Member

Upwork misguided me into working for a client with approved method of payment

This particular client had his payment method verifyied and made a deposit for me to start working on his project. I worked intensively for approx 7 days and submitted my work. After review he approved the payment. A couple of days after that Upwork placed a hold to my account and refund the client without my authorization. Their explanation is that the client is fraudulent. 
I have basically been misled by upwork into believing it was safe to work for this client. 

Upwork should take responsibility and refund me for the agreed amount of the contract otherwise I do not understand what is their duty nor when is safe to work.

 

21 REPLIES 21
lysis10
Member


Daniela C wrote:

This particular client had his payment method verifyied and made a deposit for me to start working on his project. I worked intensively for approx 7 days and submitted my work. After review he approved the payment. A couple of days after that Upwork placed a hold to my account and refund the client without my authorization. Their explanation is that the client is fraudulent. 
I have basically been misled by upwork into believing it was safe to work for this client. 

Upwork should take responsibility and refund me for the agreed amount of the contract otherwise I do not understand what is their duty nor when is safe to work.

 


There was a chargeback either because the client filed one or the true owner of the card filed one. It's an unfortunate risk of using the escrow system.

Thank you for your response. It is not clear when is acceptable to work on a fixed project. How is it possible that they approved the client´s Credit Card and he made the deposit and even pay me for the job... but upwork says is fraudulent? When does upwork take responsibility? It sounds very convenient for them to punish me for their own failure to check the client´s  payment method.

tinker_bell3
Moderator
Moderator

Hi Daniela,

 

I checked your account, and I can see that you already have an open ticket regarding this concern. Please know that your this has been escalated to the correct team, and one of our agents will update your ticket to assist you further. 

~ Joanne
Upwork

Thank you.

Upwork send me a random message and did not respond to my ticket. This is really dissapointing after so many years working with this platform.


Daniela C wrote:

Upwork send me a random message and did not respond to my ticket. This is really dissapointing after so many years working with this platform.


Did they point to the ToS about fraud? It sounds like a chargeback and in that case you lose the money. Google chargeback fraud. Merchants who sell online deal with it a lot.

 

The only way to avoid it on Upwork is hourly.

Jennifer,

Thank you. I understand but they mention several times in their website about Upwork Fixed-Price Protection. They leave me alone in this one and do not take any responsability for their misguidance to work for this client believing it was safe. Isn´t is their job to do this? 


Daniela C wrote:

Jennifer,

Thank you. I understand but they mention several times in their website about Upwork Fixed-Price Protection. They leave me alone in this one and do not take any responsability for their misguidance to work for this client believing it was safe. Isn´t is their job to do this? 


Yeah, I hate that wording. I've had people argue with me on here several times because it says there is payment protection but there is none. The only thing you know is that there was a charge on some card. That's all you know.


Jennifer M wrote:

Daniela C wrote:

Jennifer,

Thank you. I understand but they mention several times in their website about Upwork Fixed-Price Protection. They leave me alone in this one and do not take any responsability for their misguidance to work for this client believing it was safe. Isn´t is their job to do this? 


Yeah, I hate that wording. I've had people argue with me on here several times because it says there is payment protection but there is none. The only thing you know is that there was a charge on some card. That's all you know.


Well, it is protection to a degree, but it is not a guarantee, and that's the difference. Hourly projects have a guarantee. We do get some protection on fixed price, and that's through the escrow system, and the automatic payment after 14 days. However, that does not protect us against fraud. Even on an hourly contract, you are only protected up to $2500. I've had a single contract go well over that in a week on an hourly contract. There is no complete guarantee or full/100% protection. There is reduced risk, but not zero risk. While it's clear this is true when reading the TOS, Upwork could do a better job educating new freelancers about the levels of risk and protection, so that freelancers can take additional steps when they vet clients. 


Amanda L wrote:


Well, it is protection to a degree, but it is not a guarantee, and that's the difference. Hourly projects have a guarantee. We do get some protection on fixed price, and that's through the escrow system, and the automatic payment after 14 days. However, that does not protect us against fraud. Even on an hourly contract, you are only protected up to $2500. I've had a single contract go well over that in a week on an hourly contract. There is no complete guarantee or full/100% protection. There is reduced risk, but not zero risk. While it's clear this is true when reading the TOS, Upwork could do a better job educating new freelancers about the levels of risk and protection, so that freelancers can take additional steps when they vet clients. 


It's misleading. There really isn't any protection. Protection implies that your payment is protected in some way, but it's only escrow and no more "protection" than if I took a payment on Paypal. There is a charge on a card and that is it. I can get that from an escrow service.

 

Hourly protects you in some way even if there is a limit, so there is indeed payment protection.

Yes, Jen, (can't quote on my phone so just saying who I'm responding to), but it's still only partial protection. My point is anyone coming here looking for 100% protection isn't going to find it.

This is why I won't take a job without a video call.

This is the very informative response upwork gave me:

**Edited for community guidelines**

dcapdevielle
Member

I accepted a Client with verifyed method of payment that also made a full deposit for me to work. I completed the job after several days of intense work and submitted the project. He released the payment. After that upwork return the payment and said that the client was fraudulent. 
WHERE IS MY PROTECTION? 
This is not only unreasonable but extremely careless of the Upwork Trust and safety team. 
They failed to provide security and have misguided me into believing that it was safe to work with the client in question. They take no responsibility for approving his payment method and deposit and by that giving me the confidence to work and finalise a project after several intense days of work. 
I understand Upwork duties are to  provide a secure method of work and payment across the web. If it is true that this client is fraudulent at least they have to question their security system and take responsibility for misleading me into believing that I could work with this client safely.
I am a top rated provider that has been working with Upwork formerly o-Desk since 2009. I have respected their terms and conditions and have proved being loyal to my clients and your company. I expect Upwork you reconsider the situation and take full responsibility and consequently pay me for the agreed amount.
 

Hi Daniela,

 

I apologize for the inconveniance this cause and for the delay in receiving an update. I'll go ahead and follow up with the team handling your case and you can expect to receive an update on your ticket directly.

 

Thank you for your patience.

~ Bojan
Upwork

This is Upwork message, not responding to my message but repeating information I already have:

**Edited for community guidelines**

Daniela,

In the Forum, I always try to figure out what the original poster did wrong. Because if we can figure out what they did wrong, they can learn from their mistakes and simply not make the same mistake again.

 

Unfortunately, I don't think there is something you "did wrong."

 

You were unfortunate in this situation, which I really don't think was your fault. Your situation illustrates a clear imperfection in the system. Your fixed-price contract work was not protected from payment fraud.

 

So... what Jennifer already pointed out is one powerful take-home message: Your only true protection is to use hourly contracts and quality for Upwork Payment Protection while doing so.

 

That may provide no solace at this point. But it IS a real and very significant type of protection that Upwork offers. I have personally benefited a few times from Upwork Payment Protection.

 

The only possible suggestion I can think of for someone concerned about payment fraud who wants to continue using fixed-price contracts is that they could start only with small fixed-price contracts, only an hour or two worth of work at first. Make sure everything goes well with that, before moving on to larger contracts when dealing with a new/unknown client. MAYBE this could have helped if you had only worked a couple hours the first week and then saw them the very first payment failed to work out for you. But that is a clear "if." This approach wouldn't necessarily prevent all possible problems stemming from payment fraud.

Preston, Thank you very much for your response. It always helps when someone takes the time to understand all the issues involved. Something Upwork did not.
I am a freelancer since 2009 and this is the first time something like this happens. I have made mistakes in the past but have never contacted upwork because I understood I did it at my own risk and therefor it was my fault.

This time I sincerely think is different and this is why I am trying to reach someone that takes me seriously. Upwork should take some kind of responsability for their lack of control and for misleading providers into beileving everything is safe.

I expect they compensate me, may be they could reduced their fees in some of my future projects utill I recover the amount lost in this project. I am a toprated freelancer and have been working with upwork since 2009 (formerly o-Desk) 


Daniela C wrote:

Upwork should take some kind of responsability for their lack of control and for misleading providers into beileving everything is safe.


"Protection" does not mean you're 100% safe. If you ride motorbikes, a helmet and protective gear reduce your risk, but that does not mean you can't get hurt or die.

 

Upwork don't even pretend anything is 100% safe (Read the terms of service...)

 

The fixed rate payment protection is the same. It reduces your risk, but you can still get stung. That isn't Upwork's fault and your anger is directed at the wrong party. The person who hired you (presumably with a hacked or stolen credit card) is to blame.

 


Daniela C wrote:

I expect they compensate me


That isn't going to happen. The reason why you keep getting the same responses from Upwork repeatedly is because that is the only answer there is. 

Think of it this way: You've been on Upwork since 2009 and nothing like this ever happened to you before. You also remember the years before there was escrow, when there was no protection whatsoever at all... That means that in the overwhelming majority of cases, the (limited) amount of "protection" works just fine.

Daniela C.,

 

I very rarely use fixed price contracts and will use them even less frequently (and never with a new client) now that I see what your experience has been.

 

My limited experience with Upwork's payment protection on nearly 300 hourly projects over the past few years has been excellent, but claimed "protection" on fixed price projects that ultimately offers no protection at all when you follow the rules makes a mockery of the word.

 

Upwork should just clearly state that "...no payment protection is provide on fixed price projects, but following Upwork's rules will provide the freelancer some reduction of the risk to the freelancer that a client will not pay for work performed as agreed."


Daniela C wrote:

This is Upwork message, not responding to my message but repeating information I already have:

**Edited for community guidelines**


Should have read the message they popup when you accept a fixed price contract.
Use only an hourly contract if you want to be sure you'll get the money.

For those of us who are quite experienced and knowledgeable about Upwork... I think we know something like this can happen.

 

But it is not an unreasonable assumption for a typical, newer freeleancer to make... to think that ESCROWED FUNDS are "guaranteed."

 

Those funds are NOT guaranteed.
Nothing about a fixed-price contract is really "guaranteed" as far as I am concerned.


But I definitely undestand why someone would think that it is.

Learning Paths