Yes, your payment can be reversed at any time. It happened to me recently. I accepted a $550 payment (50% of the job) up front, worked 16 hours on the job making up mockups for a new site, sent them to the client, then Upwork notified me that the client gave Upwork a chargeback on their credit card so Upwork billed me. They never questioned me about the project, the client never contacted Upwork, he just charged it back on his card. He later used some of my graphics on the site he had built by someone else. There was no dispute process or anything. Upwork said since there was a chargeback there was nothing they could do. Needless to say I have been looking elsewhere for freelance clients after finding out how easliy this can happen, only taking Upwork jobs from clients I have worked for in the past and trust and after they pass the 2 year mark I will deal with them directly.
I'm sorry that happened to you. But if the client didn't pay for your graphics, you should go after him for copyright infringement. The work belongs to you until your clients pays for it.
@Dan S wrote:
. He later used some of my graphics on the site he had built by someone else. There was no dispute process or anything.
Dan, If you know where your graphics were used, and you were not paid for your work, the copyrights belong to you until you are paid. Message the client and let them know that since you weren't paid for the work they got, you still own the copyrights to it. And let them know that unless you are paid within XXX days, you will contact the site's host provider with a DMCA notice and have those graphics and any other work you did, taken down.
And by all means, follow through with that if the client doesn't respond or doesn't pay you.
By not doing anything, it teaches and reinforces the concept that this client can get away with things like that. If they got away with it once, you can be sure they will try it again. Maybe not the same way, but scammers will find other ways when they know nothing will be done.
Good advice, Kathy T!
I would hope that an Upwork Community Member would comment on this and set some things straight. Is this truly possible? If so, then it means no protection for freelancers, which is a shame. This is especially shameful considering the fee hikes that are about to go into place.
It is not just on Upwork.
If a non-Upwork client pays you by credit card or PayPal and files a chargeback the same thing happens -
If it is hourly you ARE protected provided your work diary for the recharged period is compliant with the terms of the guarantee. In that case Upwork swallows the loss.
Fixed rate only if Upwork can defend the chargeback. They have a whole department that tries to do that, and also go after clients with debt collection agencies.
Unfortunately that doesn't always work.
Ravindra has asked two pertinent questions. I would like to know the answer to them too.
The terms of service seem to have been amalgamated into a rather muddled, rather vague set of rules, that gloss over what is what for freelancers, and what is what for clients.
All those huge agressive headings - I can really understand why newcomers both client and freelancer do not read them.
"Ravindra has asked two pertinent questions. I would like to know the answer to them too."
We have the answers (read between the lines).
Perhaps this should be made a sticky so providers are at least aware of the risk.
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