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Client has requested for the refund. How can I challenge it?

Active Member
Ibad R Member Since: Mar 25, 2019
1 of 2

Hello All!


I have recently started using Upwork and have completed some great projects with an avg of 5-star ratings. However, one of the clients I have been working with has recently requested a refund. 

It is a fixed price job and it's a big project. Therefore, I prepared all the documentation and NDA before getting started - for the client's protection as well as mine.

Throughout the process, the client did not follow what we initially committed on (in terms of milestone payments) and disappeared for a few weeks. He suddenly showed up and requested a refund.


Please guide me on how to challenge this request as I worked more than I got paid for and he also accepted the milestones after each payment. 


Thank You!



Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 2


I'm sorry to hear that the client requested a refund.

From what you have told us, it is clear that this request is inappropriate.


There are a few different ways that a client can request a refund.


Is the client requesting that you refund money that is CURRENTLY IN ESCROW, and which has not yet been released to you?


Or is the client requesting money that has ALREADY been released to you? (Meaning that the client is asking you to send money BACK to him?)


That information can help Forum participants answer your questions about what to do.


But some general principles are this:

- If you did the work, then you should not refund the client's money.

- If a client asks for a refund, that does not mean you are required to agree to the refund

- A client can NOT get a refund for milestone money that is allocated to you - unless you agree to the refund request (or unless the client wins in arbitration)

- If this matter goes to a dispute - the dispute mediator has no power to decide who should get the money; they can only facilitate communication between clients and freelancers.

- When these matters go to arbitration, the decision nearly always goes to the freelancer.