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Upwork wants me to pay them money

katie_zimpel
Ace Contributor
Katie A Member Since: Aug 23, 2016
1 of 50

 A payment made to my account has been reversed by my client’s bank. So now Upwork is asking me to pay that money back or to contact my client.  They've also block my ability to withdraw funds until I pay the money back. 

 

Why should I contact my client if there's a problem with HIS billing method? Isn't that Upwork's jobs? Why am I paying all these fees to Upwork to verfify and secure payment if they're not going to verify and secure payment? 

 

I shouldn't be punished and have my hard earned money taken away because Upwork is not doing it's job. This is disgusting. I'm a Top Rated designer and have paid thousands in fees to Upwork. 

wlyonsatl
Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
2 of 50

Was this an hourly project, Katie?

katie_zimpel
Ace Contributor
Katie A Member Since: Aug 23, 2016
3 of 50

Yes

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
4 of 50

Katie A wrote:

Yes


Did you track your hours with the Upwork tracker, has meaningful memos and reasonable activity levels?

In that case you should be protected.

wlyonsatl
Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
5 of 50

Hmmm.

 

I do hourly projects almost exclusively and rarely have a problem with a client's payment, but when there is a problem with the client's payment Upwork usually stands behind its payment protection program.

 

However, there was one case where Upwork clawed back a small portion of the total payments made to me by such a client that Upwork said didn't qualify for protection due to some of my memos not being sufficient in some way. No real explanation was provided to me, so I never knew where the exact error was.

 

In all other cases where there has been a problem with an hourly client's payment method, Upwork has paid me in full for my hours booked.

 

If Upwork's payment protection doesn't apply to a client's fraudulent use of a credit card, that's news to me. I see no proviso in Upwork's documentation to that effect and I've never see an example in my own Upwork projects.

 

But if Upwork wants money from you, they will take it without any detailed discussion or clarification. That's just life in Upwork world.

 

Good luck!

 

 

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
6 of 50

Katie A wrote:

 

Why should I contact my client if there's a problem with HIS billing method?  


This isn't a client having a problem with his billing method, this is a chargeback. That means the rightful owner of the credit card had their back charge back the funds, which immediately removed them from Upwork's account.

 

You have some degree of protection if it was an hourly contract, as Will hinted at. If it was a fixed price contract, and the chargeback can't be defended, you have no protection.  (Edited as saw it's an hourly contract)

katie_zimpel
Ace Contributor
Katie A Member Since: Aug 23, 2016
7 of 50

This is what is stated in part of the email:

 

"We are sorry to have to take this step, but this matter is a result of an issue with your client’s billing method. Please contact your client for more information."

 

You should also  know that they are only asking for money back for one billing week. Not the other billing weeks.  So just a portion of the job.  Seems like a mistake to me. One they should be handling with the client, no? 

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
8 of 50

Katie A wrote:

You should also  know that they are only asking for money back for one billing week. Not the other billing weeks.  So just a portion of the job.  Seems like a mistake to me. 


Was your time tracked with the tracker, with meaningful work memos and good activity levels? 

 

If you think the client made a mistake, why don't you ask them why they filed a chargeback? Upwork will have been trying to handle it with the client. But as the bank took the money from them, they will take it from you UNLESS the time worked is protected, in which case they would eat the loss. 

katie_zimpel
Ace Contributor
Katie A Member Since: Aug 23, 2016
9 of 50

Of course I asked the client about this.  My issue is that I pay Upwork to handle the billing and payment process.  I pay them to verify and secure the client's funds. Clients can just call their bank and stop payments and freelancers have to pay the money back a month later? Is that how this works?  And then Upwork asks me to resolve this with the client.  And putting a hold on my ability withdraw all funds.  Why don't they cancel the client's account until they can prove they'll actually pay people? But no. Punish the freelancer. 

 

 

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
10 of 50

Katie A wrote:

Of course I asked the client about this. 


What is the client saying?

 


Katie A wrote:

Of course I asked the client about this.  My issue is that I pay Upwork to handle the billing and payment process.  I pay them to verify and secure the client's funds.


They did. The client paid.

 


Katie A wrote:

Clients can just call their bank and stop payments and freelancers have to pay the money back a month later?. 


Yes. It's called a chargeback.

 


Katie A wrote:

Why don't they cancel the client's account until they can prove they'll actually pay people? But no. Punish the freelancer. 


They already suspended the client's account because a chargebck is a violation of the terms of service.

They are not "punishing" you, they just want their money back. 

 

Had you tracked your time correctly, they wouldn't take their money back from you. (And yes, it is their money, as you withdrew it and the bank took it from Upwork)

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