Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

client canceled the project without paying for job done

Active Member
Greg S Member Since: Jul 20, 2017
1 of 6

I'd like to warn the community abount a client, **Edited for Community Guidelines**, who canceled the project without paying for job done. He created an hourly project early this week. We agreed on everything and I started working on his task. Normally I log my hours manually on the last day of the week (Sunday) for the past week. He asked me ealier how was my work going and I said I was progessing as planned. By Saturday night I finished 95% of my work and I was going to send him the results and to log my hours today, but last night (from Sat to Sun) at 1 am he canceled the project without notice. I messaged him immediately, the was no reply.


So first, freelancers beware of this client and don't repeat my mistake. Some will tell me that I should log hours automatically as I work. I agree that this would have protected me from this situation. On the other hand, I've used manual logging on the last day of the week with dozens of other clients and I logged over 200 hours this way, never had this problem before. 


Second, is anything I could do to get paid for the work I did other than beg him for mercy? We are talking about an agreed-on amount of $1200, it's no small money for me.



Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
2 of 6

Wow. No fixed price with escrow, now hours recorded. I don't think there is a thing you can do through Upwork. Hope that the client closed the contract in error and is willing to pay for the work. 

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

If you don't track your time using the tracker properly, you are not protected, at all, and if you must use manual time (accepting the risk of absolutely 0 protection) then you should log manual time as you work, (after every work session), not once a week at the last possible moment.


And no, unless the client decides to pay you, there is nothing you can do, you take a risk when using manual time, and a crazy risk not using manual time as you go along.

Active Member
Greg S Member Since: Jul 20, 2017
4 of 6

Thank you Petra, you made it very clear. I'll be more careful in the future.



Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
5 of 6

For hourly jobs, Upwork provides payment protection as long as you follow the procedures for that. Those procedures  are:

1. Use tracker

2. annotate the screen shots that Tracker takes

3 have reasonable keystroke activity


If you did all that, you would be paid by Upwork itself when situations such as this occur. Upwork pays you if the clients closes the job, or if the client issues a chargeback, or anything else. The only things you wouldn't get paid for is for screenshots that show that you weren't working on a clients job but instead playing games, working of something else, reading/composing personal email etc. and any manual hours.


I'm glad that entering manual hours had worked so well for you. up until this period, but consider your self to be lucky, ...extremely lucky, that you amassed so many manual hours without getting "burned" like you just did. 


There's nothing Upwork can or will do for you. It provided protection, you choose not to use it. What you do in the future, Log hours or continue to enter manual hours, is totally up to you, But know what can happen if you don't log hours.  I can suggest that you try and communicate in a professional and pleasant way with this client and see if some sort of compromise can be worked out that is agreeable and beneficial to both of you.  For your information, on hourly jobs, arbitration is not available. 



Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
6 of 6

I agree with the others here.


What the client did wasn't cool.


But the client was playing by the rules, while the freelancer was NOT using Upwork tools as intended.