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ifeoluwaadeniyi
Community Member

Urgent Complaint: Unfair Treatment and Payment Delay

I am writing to express my deep dissatisfaction and concern regarding a recent experience I had with a client the platform.

I was hired by the client, to complete 53 audio recordings for their project. Throughout the collaboration, the client expressed satisfaction and approval of my work, assuring me that the audios met their standards. However, the situation took a troubling turn after I submitted the completed work.

Without prior notice, the client informed me that they needed to send the recordings to their own client for a second validation before releasing payment. This requirement was not mentioned anywhere in the initial job posting, and I was taken aback by this unexpected development. Despite my concerns, I played along and patiently waited for their feedback.

Over the course of more than a month, I experienced unjustified delays and what appears to be a deliberate attempt to prevent my payment from being released. Every 14 days, the client sent an empty revision request, abusing Upwork's system and causing further frustration on my end.

Finally, after over a month and a few weeks of waiting, the client informed me that their client had rejected all 53 audio recordings, despite their earlier assurances of satisfaction. This situation is not only highly unprofessional but also amounts to an exploitation of Upwork's platform, as I find myself in a position where I completed the work as agreed upon but am being denied fair compensation.

I believe this constitutes a violation of Upwork's policies and undermines the trust and integrity of the platform.

If a Forum Moderator is reading this, I kindly request that you investigate this matter promptly and take appropriate action to ensure a fair resolution. It is disheartening to encounter such unethical practices on a platform that is meant to facilitate fair and transparent freelance collaborations.

Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter, and I trust that Upwork will take the necessary steps to address this issue and prevent similar occurrences in the future.

16 REPLIES 16
spectralua
Community Member

It was fixed-price? Use submit milestone then start dispute if wont paid.

You did works for current client and have no obligations for some their clients. If he want to resell your works that not your problem.

Yes it was a fixed price, how do i dispute? is there a button for it that shows up on day 14 when payment is meant to be released? The client is saying they will close the contract if i dont resubmit for their other client.

Hi Ifeoluwa

Trully sorry to know about your condition in this job.

Unfortunately this is an recurrent issue. There are some clients out there that work this way; they only pay when their clients pay them.

Unless you have an hourly pay contract with contract protection, UW can't do nothing about it, UW itself basicly only transfers the value that your client deposited there, so Mycola was right: it all depends the way you make the milestones on a fixed value contract... this are things we learn at our on expense.

 

Break down the total value by 3 or more milestones for instance;

If the total value is $1000, break it down in 3

 - first milestone (first mocks) $333

 - second (first reviews) $333

 - third (final delivery) $333

 

Only start the next milestone when the client aproves the previous milestone.

 
 
dataextract
Community Member

**Edited for Community Guidelines** indeed was the platform i was to submit the audios on. Seems like this person was dealing with the same client as me.

wlyonsatl
Community Member

Upwork has strict rules against clients requesting/demanding unpaid work from freelancers.

 

If the project is fully-funded in escrow Upwork won't return the funds to the client until this is resolved. It will be obvious when Upwork reviews your work and submission records that the client was playing games with your payments. 

 

Please come back and let us know how this turns out for you.

 

Good luck!

I am a victim of this **Edited for Community Guidelines** project too. I was able to file a dispute but Upwork's resolution conflict specialist ended up not being able to solve it with payment. In fact I was only given a choice of either filing for arbitration which costs USD300plus and must be agreed by the client too OR close the contract and then put another contract to which the lady L.P said that I would need to redo any files that needs to be redone. I have provided sreenshots of the work submitted on their website and still in was not enough to receive payment for what I have submitted. I feel like I'm being exploited and UP can't help me or any other freelancers. It feels as if they are turning a blind eye on us. My concern is not just for me but other freelancers who are continuously being scammed but this company. We need to escalate this so that other freelancers don't fall into this.  

Sheiela P.,

 

I hate to hear stories such as yours, but keep in mind that if you agree to arbitration and pay the fee, the client must also agree and pay the arbitration fee or you automatically win your dispute and any money due to you that's in escrow will be paid out to you by Upwork whether the "client" agrees or not. But you still may not get paid if the money in escrow is not actually from a legitimate payment method. (Of course, the high cost of arbitration compared to the value of a particular project means arbitration is not really an economic option for many freelancers.)

 

I don't doubt that Upwork does a great deal behind the scenes to weed out bad actors who take advantage of freelancers, but it must be a giant game of whack-a-mole. One fraudster is weeded out and two more appear in his/her place.

 

Could Upwork do more? Maybe not until a payment method is introduced that absolutely prevents all "clients" from using illegitimate/unauthorized payment methods that are what bankers call "good funds" - money that actually exists and is in Upwork's sole possession and subject only to Upwork's interpretation of its own rules and procedures, which every client and freelance agrees to abide by. 

 

In the meantime, all freelancers, especially new ones, must be vigilant. If a job seems too good to be true, it almost certainly is. Upwork is like any other area of the internet, where, as never before, both the buyer and seller must beware of fraud.

 

But the JSS is also apparently too often used as a bludgeon to force freelancers to do work they aren't paid to do, which Upwork is completely in charge of. Reform is needed in that respect.

Absolutely agreed that if a project seems too good to be true, it likely is... but that certainly cannot be said for these voice acting projects. They are very underpriced and most of us who have accepted them seem to have done so for similar reasons - mostly being new here and wanting to get some projects onto our profiles because we have to start at the bottom here, no matter how experienced we already are in our fields or as freelancers elsewhere. It seems extremely difficult to get hired without any completed projects on this site, so we "take the knock" of bidding on small/low paid/mediocre projects to get a footing here and build some UpWork momentum. A project that pays $45 for 53 voice recordings and around 5000 words of scriptwriting definitely doesn't fall into the category of being too good to be true. And sadly, you're absolutely right that there are scam artists all over the internet, but one would think that when a particular person/company has so many complaints against them, spanning months, they'd be thoroughly investigated and removed. Sure, another will pop up in their place (perhaps even another version of them!), but then that same action should be repeated. This isn't a case of one person reporting an isolated incident, but a very clear case of repeated violations by this particular "client". There definitely should be some way in which to escalate this and shine a brighter light on it so that we can help to protect others against them. 

lysis10
Community Member

Since this is being posted multiple times, I'm guessing the client did the "Hire 47 freelancers to do the same thing" and will only pay the one the client picks. lol

 

Look at that client feedback history! lol Looks like he pays $25 to get people to go away. It's an AI bro too. The trifecta of you gonna have a bad time.

3f2546bb
Community Member

UPWK can't help us freelancers. There are many who are having the same issue as you and they also have not received their payment. I am a victim and have been waiting for more than two months for my payment. I am very dissappointed with the way UPWK is handling this. It almost feels like they can't protect the freelancers on this platform. Very dissappointing. 

Sheiela P.,

 

Upwork can't protect freelancers from all client fraud. That fraud also costs Upwork its own fees, so Upwork has to balance the introduction of new fraud-reducing fees, rules and procedures against the likelihood such changes would also reduce the number of legitimate clients, which Upwork cannot afford to do.

 

During the three months ended September 30, 2023 Upwork reduced its "Provision for transaction losses" by 84 %. If Upwork has figured out a way to so significantly reduce its own losses due to fraud, etc., then that may also mean freelancers will see much smaller losses due to fraud, etc. from now on.

 

We'll see...

e03136ba
Community Member

I am so grateful for the people in this community who are posting about **Edited for Community Guidelines** because it helped me to find out the truth right before I got scammed by them and their voice acting project too. I became concerned when I received a 19-page consent form from the "client" that didn't even mention **Edited for Community Guidelines**, but instead seemed to be from another company entirely. The consent form required all sorts of permissions that I was VERY uncomfortable with so I decided to do some research before signing anything or accepting her contract. That is how I ended up on another thread in this community, and finding some other threads about this on other sites too. Firstly, we all know that $45 ($40.50 nett) for 53 voice recordings is vastly underpaid, especially when you have to write all the scripts too and that amounts to around 5000 words! Secondly, the consent form is heavily structured to allow continued collection of personal data, including them having the right to require you to connect all sorts of things to your own personal social media accounts. In fact, one of the places where I tracked down the "client", using a slightly different name, has **Edited for Community Guidelines**listed as a data collection company! Every single complaint I've seen about **Edited for Community Guidelines**mentions the same types of issues and this has been going on for a long time already - with nothing being done to prevent them from preying on the hardworking freelancers of sites such as this. If I hadn't become suspicious due to other incidents on such sites, and seen all the complaints on here and elsewhere, I'd be completing my recordings now and setting myself up for the same trouble so many others are going through. Freelancers matter too and our time is just as value as anyone else's so it would be greatly appreciated if sites such as UpWork weeded out "clients" who behave this way and take advantage of the sites, systems, and real people who do the work! I'm so sorry for everyone who didn't find out in time, and I feel fortunate to "only" have gotten halfway through the project before finding out the truth, but something really needs to be done about removing **Edited for Community Guidelines**from this site. 

lysis10
Community Member

I wish a bunch of them would pay the $300 and put that middleman out of business but none of these people have any money for that, and he knows it. 

 

Really need to look at client history when you're in this position.

30b75b8c
Community Member

Same thing just happened to me!

I just had the most disappointing experience with this client. Her name is Liza Pit, and she offered me this little gig to record 235 phrases for her AI voice recognition software. It was a very small payment but I figured I'd do it to get an easy 5 stars.

I did the work, submitted it for payment and she kept asking for more and more time to "review" it.

Each time, the payment deadline got reset so that extended the payment date for another 14 days.

Finally I got tired and involved Upwork. 

Still she didn't pay and Upwork proposed 50% of the money to settle, or I'd have to pay $337 to turn this to an official dispute. Obviously I didn't agree so I won't get paid for my work.

 

So beware of this scammer! You won't get paid

seymakuran
Community Member

I got scammed by them too. What out for Liza Pit. 

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