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Re: from Dispute to Arbitration: irresponsible and unresponsive Upwork mediator

skyjiao
Ace Contributor
Yang J Member Since: Jun 11, 2017
1 of 21

For those who are curious about Dispute and Arbitration, here is what happened to me.

 

I had an open dispute with a client on a contract and finally went to arbitration. After I funded the 291 dollars arbitration fee the 20th Nov (with approvable record), the Upwork's mediator said, and i quoted the exact words,

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

Then after 8 days, the Nov 28, the mediator said, and I quoted the exact word,

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

So it's been over 5 days, the client didn't pay the fee, this case should be closed based on the first message. However, the mediator gave the client 2 more days to proceed with no legal reason, which in total counts as 10 days since I funded the arbitration fee, way over the 5 days period as said by the mediator self. 

Moreover, today is the 4 Dec, another 5 days passed, I still have not received any response from the mediator.

 

So overall, I funded the arbitration fee the 20th Nov, and the client should have only 5 days to pay his part. Today is the 4th Dec, 14 days passed, the client have not paid, the mediator didn't respond to my dispute ticket, and the dispute is still hanging. Very horrible experience, especially from the Upwork's employee who's been keeping giving me false promise and wrong information.

 

I have to ask a moderator here in the forum to further investigate my case and resolve it asap. Replace the unresponsive and irresponsible mediator if possible. 

 

We all know Upwork is favoring clients over freelancers, but there should be a bottom line. 

iamchunchunchun
Community Guru
Hiu Chun L Member Since: Jul 27, 2017
2 of 21

I'm sorry to hear your experience, and thank you so much for sharing this with us! I always wondered how the arbitration process actually works.

vladag
Community Manager
Vladimir G Community Manager Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
3 of 21

Hi Yang,

 

I reviewed our communication with both parties and can confirm that although our agent didn't take an ortodox approach, allowing any party (freelancers and clients alike) more time in order to confirm they understand the procedure before continuing with the process is in line with our team's procedure, since due to the nature and impact of the final step in the dispute process we do want to make the implications of the users' actions or lack of absolutely clear. Our agents do offer personalized support and are allowed to take an additional step if they find it necessary in order to ensure both parties are aware of the key terms and dates. Our team will follow up with an update on your ticket soon and share more details directly, apologies for the inconvenience the delay in releasing the Escrow funds has created on your end.

Untitled
kfarnell
Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
4 of 21

That appears to contradict the description of the process given at https://www.upwork.com/legal/fp/ which specifies five days. Can you indicate where the information regarding the agent's ability to override these terms appears?

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
5 of 21

“Helping parties understand the terms and key dates” by completely ignoring the key term and key dates and hence putting the other party at a significant disadvantage is ridiculous.

 

It is not “helping” - it is interfering.

 

It means the freelancer in this case made a decision based on the terms and dates and deadlines he was given, just to find that Upwork unilaterally overrode this, potentially costing the Freelancer a lot of money.

 

That’s disgraceful and sounds like hogwash to me. Giving someone more time is ONLY ever acceptable if it is not disadvantaging the other party in an already fraught situation.

 

Unacceptable.

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Valeria K Community Manager Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
6 of 21

Kim,

 

This was a unique case where the release of funds was delayed because the agent needed to re-confirm the client's response. It typically doesn't happen and the team replied to Yang with more information. The funds just have been released from Escrow to him.

 

We apologize for the delay.

~ Valeria
Upwork
kfarnell
Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
7 of 21

@ Valeria - I understand that the agent chose to confirm the client's response a second time (whether it's typical is nothing to do with the price of fish) and ask again where  the ability to override the conditions (and under what criteria) as outlined in the link I gave is described.

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Valeria K Community Manager Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
8 of 21

Kim,

 

The agent has to follow the procedure described in ToS and the funds should be released on time. This case was reviewed by the agent's team lead and necessary clarifications will be provided.

~ Valeria
Upwork
kfarnell
Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
9 of 21

'The agent has to follow the procedure described in ToS '

 

@ Valeria: At the risk of being boring, you still haven't pointed me to the part of the ToS  that covers the agent's ability to do as described. It's either at xxxx link, or it doesn't exist. 

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
10 of 21

@Kim F wrote:

'The agent has to follow the procedure described in ToS '

 

@ Valeria: At the risk of being boring, you still haven't pointed me to the part of the ToS  that covers the agent's ability to do as described. It's either at xxxx link, or it doesn't exist. 


Reading between the lines I think Valeria is saying that the agent has to follow the rules and did not do so on this occasion, which will be addressed internally (as it should be)

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