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"Payment method unverified" -- Can I ask client to verify payment before I accept the offer?

Active Member
Erica A Member Since: Jul 15, 2015
1 of 12

I just applied for a fixed-price job and then realized the payment method is unverified, despite the client having hired/paid through Upwork before. All of the feedback for the client is 5 stars, but set to private. 

 

If they interview me/make me an offer, is it appropriate to ask them to verify the payment method first?

 

Thanks for your advice. I have only been with Upwork since July and haven't run into this before.

Community Guru
Dawn L Member Since: Sep 3, 2015
2 of 12

What I normally do during the inteview process is tell the client that since I noticed that their payment method is not verified, I would ask for (at least) 30% upfront of the total cost of the assignment. I've yet to have a client not agree to those terms. In fact, every one so far has agreed to research how to verify their payment before rewarding the project to me.

 

Most cases that I've found with unverified payment is usually because they are a new client, new to the Upwork platform, and haven't figured out how to get it verified. I've even had some clients ask me if I could help them figure it out - in that case I just send them the "how to" link that can be found throughout the Upwork site.

 

So to answer your question, in my opinion, it is absolutely appropriate to ask them to verify their payment - and even to request a percentage upfront before you begin work.

Community Leader
Dan S Member Since: Jul 26, 2015
3 of 12

You'r ebeing easy on them. I ask for a 50% down payment up front, regardless if their payment method is verified or not. A professional person will not flinch at 50% down. If they don't want to confirm with 50% down I decline their project and move on to someone that is serious about doing business.

Community Guru
Dawn L Member Since: Sep 3, 2015
4 of 12

I've requested 50% before, I just meant that I don't usually request less than 30%. There's a few factors I weigh when I decide on how much to upfront to ask for, especially in cases like this.

Community Guru
Mario C Member Since: Aug 15, 2012
5 of 12

I always ask clients with no exception an upfront of 20%to 50% depending on the total amount of the project. 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
6 of 12

Although I personally refuse offers of upfront payment, I think it is usually a very good idea for freelancers doing fixed-price contracts.

 

I decline to use upfront payment because for me, there is no real risk that a client might not pay for the work I do. I half hope that clients will not pay, so I could keep some of my work, but that's never happened yet. So I always have to say goodbye to my babies. I love them all, but they always leave the nest.

Active Member
Erica A Member Since: Jul 15, 2015
7 of 12

Thank you for all the replies! If I get the offer, I will try asking for them to verify the payment method first or ask for 50% upfront. It's not a big project -- just a couple hours of work. 

 

By the way, I checked the box to receive email notifications of replies, but haven't received anything. I was surprised to log in and see so many replies!

Community Guru
David G Member Since: Oct 6, 2011
8 of 12

@Erica A wrote:

Thank you for all the replies! If I get the offer, I will try asking for them to verify the payment method first or ask for 50% upfront. It's not a big project -- just a couple hours of work.


 In order for the client to pay you a 50% of your fee upfront the client would have to verify his or her payment method anyway.

 

Before escrow, I used to always ask (and get) 50% upfront. But now, if escrow is funded then that's good enough for me. So far, I haven't run into any trouble.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
9 of 12

re: "By the way, I checked the box to receive email notifications of replies, but haven't received anything. I was surprised to log in and see so many replies!"

 

LOL.

 

Yeah... I don't think that feature has EVER worked.

Moderator
Vladimir G Moderator Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
10 of 12

Hi Erica,

 

Clients usually have to verify their payment method before funding Milestone/s for Fixed price and finalizing terms on Hourly jobs. You can also ask your potential client to verify their payment method before you start working on the project. If it's an Hourly contract, you will be covered by the Upwork Hourly Protection only if the client's payment method is verified. If it's a Fixed price job, make sure the client funds Escrow as agreed before you start working on the assignment.

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