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hourly project with proposed/estimated hours

Hello experts,

Just want to know your opinion. Last year I got a hourly based project. Its my practice, before accepting an offer, i check the client's rating and profile. But this time I somehow I missed. Later when I checked the profile in detail. Came to know that rating and feedback were really very poor. But now what i could do, already accepted his offer.


Anyhow; the client's did'nt provide any proper functional documentation and asked me to prepare some functional requirement first and propose estimate hours. With my understanding, experience and provided assumptions,  I compiled a very high level requirement, proposed some estimated hours and started working. 


BTW; it was a development project, creating a new functionality/addon in an ERP and many parts were R&D based.  As started working on this project and with every passing day, I realized that it was very lengthly project and my estimate was totally wrong.  Few times I discussed with client but haven't got positive response.  Few times he asked to change complete UI and functionality.


The client was always pushing to close within estimated time but I was working because wanted to add this gaint project in my profile. But couldn't complete within the estimated time.


Then being honest and avoiding this project failure; I decided to worked without tracking time and planned to finish it after charging extra.  About 3 months without locking time, I worked 3 to 4 hours daily basis. But with every passing day client' was annoying and harsing to refund 100% (if fail to deliver full project).

Was working on his sandbox environement and daily changes, updates of the software were publishing over his tenant. 


now every passing day, was pushing to close it ASAP and being rude and treading as I am his employee. Finally I decided to close the project on Upwork. As I closed he started claiming 100% refund and involved Upwork.


Upwork has closed our case with saying that you guys settled yourself but still the client asking to refund. Though I have already handed over source code and related document.


Now he claims that I only worked less than 30% but charged 100% of estimated hours.  


Does it make sense? Please correct me where I am wrong and what I should do now? how long I can work without money? 


This is my first case, I am facing. So, please share your experience.





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