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Why would Upwork encourage arbitration (!) on a closed contract with $ 0 in Escrow??

Community Guru
Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
51 of 79

Vlad wrote "To clarify another point that was raised about whether a client can file for arbitration at any point in time: the deadline to file an arbitration is 30 days after the dispute is first filed. The dispute can be filed up to 30 days after the client was billed for the last milestone. So the maximum amount of time to file an arbitration is 60 days after the client was billed for the last milestone."

 

Based on this, Vlad please explain how charge backs are possible after the 60 day time. We read about cases of this happening in the forums on a fairly consistent basis.

Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
52 of 79

@Wendy C wrote:

 

 

Based on this, Vlad please explain how charge backs are possible after the 60 day time. We read about cases of this happening in the forums on a fairly consistent basis.


The way I understand it is that a chargeback is an operation done by the bank at the request of the holder of the means of payment. The time limit and condition to initiate a chargeback depend on the laws in the country where the initiator has their bank account.

 

Initiating a chargeback is hard in EU and time limits short, but it seems that it's very easy to do in the US.

 

Please correct me someone if I said something that is not accurate.

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Community Guru
Prashant P Member Since: Sep 29, 2015
53 of 79

Wendy:  I just happen to see a huge sign on a matress store.,"Sleep for 120 nights and if your are not happy get your money back".

 

But in this case the store eats the money.  Here it seems that Upwork wants to assure buyers every possible ways they could get their money back, but those assurances are on back of freelancers.

 

In the overall global sense may be 1 or 2% of buyers would go all the way to get their money back, but for individual freelancers that may be a big deal.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
54 of 79

@Wendy C wrote:

Vlad wrote "To clarify another point that was raised about whether a client can file for arbitration at any point in time: the deadline to file an arbitration is 30 days after the dispute is first filed. The dispute can be filed up to 30 days after the client was billed for the last milestone. So the maximum amount of time to file an arbitration is 60 days after the client was billed for the last milestone."

 

Based on this, Vlad please explain how charge backs are possible after the 60 day time. We read about cases of this happening in the forums on a fairly consistent basis.


 Lets not muddle the water with chargebacks. Chargebacks are done by the credit card companies, and have nothing´to do with disputes etc. By Upwork ToS clients may NOT file a chargeback and their accounts are suspended when they do, and Upwork tries to get the money via dept collectors (seen clients post about that more than once)

 

Community Guru
Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
55 of 79

Petra, if you have that sectiton of ToS handy please share either a copy/paste OR the number indicating where in the doc it is.

 

I doubt if I am the only one confused by this ...  and thanks in advance.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
56 of 79

@Wendy C wrote:

Petra, if you have that sectiton of ToS handy please share either a copy/paste OR the number indicating where in the doc it is.

 

I doubt if I am the only one confused by this ...  and thanks in advance.


 Sorry Wendy, I know it (the bit about chargebacks being against the ToS) is in the ToS because I have a near photographic memory (which is more of a curse than a blessing, trust me, and curiously does not extend to numbers, ever) but sadly that comes without a search function and does not include exact locations Smiley Very Happy

 

But a chargeback is completely outside the Upwork processes, it is a bank pulling back funds without any involvement of Upwork.

This is about the changes in dispute / mediation / arbitration procedures which I personally find quite frightening and I am a tough cookie and not easily intimidated by much at all.

 

 

 

Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
57 of 79

Wendy,

 

Please, refer to section 6.4 of the User Agreement for information about chargebacks.

~ Valeria
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Community Guru
Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
58 of 79

This is section Valeria referenced:

6.4 DISBURSEMENTS TO FREELANCERS

Under the relevant Escrow Instructions, Upwork Escrow disburses funds that are payable to a Freelancer for the Engagement (less any applicable Upwork fees) to Freelancers within 90 days after the Freelancer Fees are due and payable from Client (or for amounts less than $100, within 180 days after the Freelancer Fees are due and payable from Client).  Freelancer agrees that it will not receive interest or other earnings on the funds held by Upwork Escrow prior to disbursement to Freelancer.  

For Hourly Contracts, funds become payable to Freelancers following the expiration of the dispute period and the security period, unless the Client has any Engagement using Upwork Payroll, in which case there is no dispute period or security period.  For Fixed-Price Contracts, the Freelancer Fees become payable to Freelancers following the expiration of the security period, unless the Client has any Engagement using Upwork Payroll in which case there is no security period.  The security period begins after Client accepts and approves work submitted by Freelancer by clicking the Make a Payment button.  Upwork, Upwork Escrow, and Elance Limited may, in their sole discretion, deviate from the typical billing cycle for Hourly Contracts and charge the Client for any and all Time Logs at any time.  To the extent the Escrow Instructions are inconsistent with this paragraph, the Escrow Instructions govern.

Notwithstanding any other provision of the Terms of Service or the Escrow Instructions, and except as prohibited by applicable law, if we determine in our sole discretion that you have violated the conditions and restrictions of the Site or the Terms of Service, Upwork Escrow may hold the disbursement of the Freelancer Fees.  Additionally, Upwork Escrow may also hold the disbursement of the Freelancer Fees if: (a) we require additional information, such as Freelancer’s tax information, government-issued identification, address, or date of birth; (b) we have reason to believe the Freelancer Fees may be subject to dispute or chargeback; (c) we suspect fraud; (d) we believe there are reasonable grounds for insecurity with respect to the performance of obligations under a Service Contract, this Agreement, or other Terms of Service; (e) we deem it necessary in connection with any investigation; or (f) required by applicable law.

In cases of fraud, abuse, or violation of the Terms of Service, Upwork reserves the right to revoke any payments and instruct Upwork Escrow to (and Upwork Escrow will have the right to) hold and reclaim from Upwork Escrow all Freelancer Fees due to Freelancer (not just the Freelancer Fees from the Service Contract(s) under investigation) unless prohibited by applicable law.  In addition, we reserve the right to seek reimbursement from you, and you will reimburse us, if we suspect fraud or criminal activity associated with your payment, withdrawal, or Engagement; if we discover erroneous or duplicate transactions; or if we have supplied our services in accordance with this Agreement yet we receive any chargeback from the Payment Method used by you, or used by your Client if you are a Freelancer.  You agree that we have the right to obtain such reimbursement by instructing Upwork Escrow to (and Upwork Escrow will have the right to) charge an applicable Escrow Account, and any other accounts you hold with us, offsetting any amounts determined to be owing, deducting amounts from future payments or withdrawals, charging your Payment Method, or obtaining reimbursement from you by any other lawful means.  Failure to pay for reimbursements of chargebacks is cause for termination of the applicable Escrow Account and revocation of your access to the Site.

 

 

Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
59 of 79

From article Petra referenced earlier,

 

My problem is with the quality of work, not the hours billed. What do I do?

 

Filing a dispute through Upwork’s process must be based on the hours a freelancer has billed you for. That means cannot file a dispute with us because you are not satisfied with the quality of the freelancer’s work. In those cases, you and your freelancer should discuss the matter and work together to resolve any issues. You can also request a refund from your freelancer. Still can’t resolve the issue and within 30 days of payment? Please contact customer support to learn about our mediation assistance.

 

I underlined a couple of parts that aren't clear to me. Does 'in those cases' refer to cases NOT involving quality of work, even though the question asks about qualitiy of work? On the other hand, if 'those cases' does refer to quality of work, then why advise the client to contact support, unless there's some exceptions that allow a client to dispute quality of hourly work at Upwork discretion?

 

 

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"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
60 of 79

John,

 

To clarify, the client can dispute the hours billed (not the quality of work) via the platform during the Review period. If the freelancer rejects the dispute and both parties fail to come to a mutual agreement, "Upwork will promptly investigate the Time Log and determine, in our sole discretion, whether an adjustment is appropriate. Upwork’s determination of such dispute shall be final." See section 8.1.

 

Separate from the above, the client or the freelancer can contact Upwork within 30 days of the date of the last payment from Client to Freelancer and requests mediation assistance on the hourly contract. It can be related to the quality of work or billed hours. Note, however, that the resolution proposed by Upwork in this case is non-binding. See section 8.2 for that. That's the process referenced in the sentence you underlined.

~ Valeria
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