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57446a10
Community Member

Upwork's Hourly Protection is a Bluff

Hi,

I accepted a contract with a client. 

The client was in good standing and had a verified payment method on file.

I have logged my hours using the time tracker and memos—the Screenshot document clearly shows the work done.

After 4 hours of logged work, Upwork paused the contract to investigate an issue with the client's account.

The client responded that Upwork is "witch hunting" him and closed my contract with a 5-star feedback because I produced great results on those 4 hours.

However, when the client's payment failed, Upwork said it would not honor its own payment protection policy. 

I opened two support tickets- asking for either paying me for the 4 hours worked ($192) OR provide me with direct evidence of why they think the contract was a fraud. 

Upwork had refused to do both, giving me general evasive answers such as "We decided the client is a fraud, and therefore, you cannot get paid".

This leads me to mistrust Upwork's payment protection completely. Because every time they do not feel like paying, they can come up with an excuse that they think the client is fraudulent. 

Did anyone have a similar experience? Did anyone manage to battle it with Upwork directly or through legal metigation? 

LMK, please

Best

Eli 

ACCEPTED SOLUTION
57446a10
Community Member

Updating here-

After listening to advice on the forum and telling Upwork I'll contact the CA General Attorney's office, they got back to me and paid the entire sum of $192.50. Thanks everyone! 

View solution in original post

16 REPLIES 16
wlyonsatl
Community Member

Whether or not the client is a fraud should have no effect on whether Upwork's payment protection is in effect on your contract. That's why freelancers value Upwork's payment protection - in case a client is a fraud and there is a problem with his/her payment method.

 

Whether or not the client gave you a five-star rating is irrelevant. I'm surprised he could even leave feedback for you if his account was suspended, but if he could he had nothing to lose by giving you great feedback.

 

Unless Upwork has proof you participated in fraud with this client then their stance on no payment protection makes no sense at all.

 

But Upwork is the final arbiter of its own decisions in regards to payment protection. There is no one to turn to for help and you have no way to confirm for yourself if the client was a fraud. Which, of course, is also irrelevant. Even if he was a fraud, payment protection should be available to you.

Exactly Will! If (and that is a big IF)- the client is indeed a fraud- so the payment protection should cover me from a client's fraudulent activity. I'll try to re-open the case with Upwork again and gain some evidence as to what kind of fraudulent activity did they find 

tlsanders
Community Member

By the reports here, Upwork is increasingly finding reasons to avoid payment protection. If in fact (as it's starting to seem) Upwork is going to say the freelancer participated in fraud every time the client is fraudulent, there is no payment protection. 

 

From a legal standpoint, I wouldn't say you have a great case as an individual, because Upwork has adorned itself liberally in "in our sole discretion" type language. However, if this is happening to enough people that it appears that it's a fraudulent scheme on Upwork's part, then it might be something the California attorney general would be interested in looking into. 

Thanks, Tiffany, for the advice! Indeed, Upwork's legal language makes it difficult to seek justice, but I do see that it happens quite often to freelancers here. I'll see what evidence I can gather and if possible contact the California attorney general office. 

You may want to start by searching the forums. I've seen quite a few stories like yours in the past 6 months or so.

bobafett999
Community Member

Eli....you are based in CA and so is Upwork.    You may want to insert CA attorney general or even small claims court.

57446a10
Community Member

Updating here-

After listening to advice on the forum and telling Upwork I'll contact the CA General Attorney's office, they got back to me and paid the entire sum of $192.50. Thanks everyone! 

bobafett999
Community Member

Good for you....May be others could follow your tactic.

arheops
Community Member

Same here. I am paying 500+ in fees every month, but Upwork team said contract is a fraud and voids hourly protection.

Still not able find anything about WHAT EXACTLY looks like a fraud in the contract.

lucioric
Community Member

I don't know if it can be consider as fraud when the clients do fraud. we are indeed victims, not fraudsters.

lucioric
Community Member

Thanks for the advice. I have contacted an attorney, because they marked as fraud a contract with a client last week, for $69, but if that continues for the work next week, the nonpaid amount is greater, but who does not pay is the client.

Make sure to show your attorney the full terms of service. There is a whole other section (I quoted in your other thread) that governs payment protection.

59fba77d
Community Member

Hi Everyone,

I'm posting on behalf of my friend Pervaiz Ahmed, whose Upwork account has been suspended, preventing him from posting in the community. He's in a tough spot because he completed a job, tracked all his hours using the Upwork tracker, and received client approval. However, his payment for the week of 2024-04-14 was reversed due to a "Terms of Use Violation." His Contract ID is 36952461.

This isn't the first time he's faced issues on Upwork. Previously, his account was suspended due to a misunderstanding, and it was reinstated after Upwork realized the error. Now, his payment has been reversed, and he's not even sure what terms he supposedly violated.

@Upwork Support Team, can you explain what went wrong and why his payment was reversed? He works hard and relies on Upwork to support himself as a university student. If there was a violation, he wants to know what it was to avoid it in the future, but he needs his payment released. He can't continue like this, especially with no clear explanation.

If anyone in the community has experienced something similar or has advice on how to resolve this, we'd really appreciate it.

Thanks,

Simply if you find an hourly 'job' where the client refuses to pay, you can be flagged, lately.

tjmisny
Community Member

It's wild that it took you speaking out in the forum and publicaly complaining before you got a fair resolution... and all for a measly $192.50!  This is absurd.  

lucioric
Community Member

I don't know where are my millions be defrauding Upwork, each time a client makes a fraud, a nonthinked behavior or just an error. Ah, yes, because I accepted a suspicious contract time ago, I am an Osama bin Laden.

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