I received a contract from a client who wants to have everything done in 1 milestone (200 dollars)
I did what I did but there was a missing part because I misunderstood a small part of everything. So I requested to add a second milestone (50 dollars) to complete what's missing. The client accepted, and started disrespecting me... till I couldn't take it anymore. Got super upset and disrespected many times. So I wanted to stop the contract and to get paid my work in the first milestone.
Milestone 1: fully delivered, client moved the work from a test VPS to his official VPS. So I can't see my work anymore. and also he deleted the old VPS where I pushed all of my work.
Milestone 2: started with it; and stopped working on it because of my communication problem with the client.
Client started a refunding process of the first milestone, after my submission of its accomplishment, he just said that my work has nothing to do with what I delivered (while he knows that it's exactly what he needs, that's why it has an expensive cost).
So I started a dispute process, and in the dispute, I asked to have 50% (100 dollars) of the unpaid milestone, he requested only 25% (50 dollars). And we didn't get anywhere. And we both requested for arbitration. (I thought that Upwork will take care of this without any fees).
So the upwork mediation team member answered: The cost to file a case with AAA is $891. This fee is split equally in three ways, the client, freelancer, and Upwork. Each party is responsible for the payment of $291 if this process goes forward. Please note that the arbitration fee is non-refundable regardless of the outcome.
I don't have this money. And I'm really really unable to pay for this rightnow. And it's really weird to pay money to gain my right back.
Help please ?!
Well... it is really not Upwork's intention that you get involved in disputes at all.
Any time there is a dispute, it means that the process has broken down. It is not surprising that you are disappointed by your dispute experience.
Based on your post, it looks like Upwork personnel followed expected protocol.
If you are disappointed, you should be disappointed by the mistakes that made in managing this contract, and you should be disappointed in the dispute process overall. The dispute process does NOT mean: "Upwork will make everything all right and ensure that everybody is treated fairly." There are very specific guidelines for what happens during a dispute.
Ultimately, in a dispute, Upwork employees don't decide who is right or wrong. They encourage both parties to come to an agreement. And if that doesn't happen, the next step is arbitration. Which does indeed cost money. Non-refundable money.
re: "And we both requested for arbitration. I thought that Upwork will take care of this without any fees... Each party is responsible for the payment of $291 if this process goes forward. Please note that the arbitration fee is non-refundable regardless of the outcome."
You are now more knowedgeable than you were before.
The information about how much a freelancer will pay to participate in the arbitration process has always been posted by Upwork. There is nothing wrong with not knowing something. If we use tools without fully understanding them, that is fine, as long as we are willing to take our lumps.
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