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Client is asking for refund after a week of ending of contract

Hello Friends, I need your help as I am using Upwork for the first time and this was my first contract.

I was working for a client for some financial analysis work on an hourly basis. First of all my fee was finalized at $15 per hour bases on mutual discussion, however, I quoted $25 in my proposal.

 

After accepting the proposal, the Client asked my email address to continue the interaction in Slack application. Then I asked the client that I can work more than 30 hours of weekly limit and client increased limit from 30 hours to 45 hours a week, from Monday – Friday. Then I continued working. However, The client was repeatedly pressurizing to take 30-40 minutes to complete one company analysis along with some IT tasks (which were even not in my job description) which are at least 2.5 hours in total for a single company. For this reason, I had to work for at least 12 hours and even till midnight but record a maximum of 9 hours/day. Even recording less time than the actual, the client wanted me to deduct hours, that’s why I didn’t even record 36-40 hours I worked.

I asked the Client that I agreed to work at a lower rate per hour and after deduction of the Upwork fee, I am getting very little amount. Then the client suggested me to work directly removing Upwork involvement in between. However I could not deny Client upfront thinking that may feel him bad, neither had I accepted. I continued working through Upwork. But the client deliberately pressurizing even after working as per his instructions. Suddenly last week Client ended my contract on Upwork and when I asked him, he replied that we agreed to work out of Upwork, that’s why he ended. And after that day he gave me to rework on the previously done projects without any charge and as soon as I finished reworking, the client deactivated me from Slack and from his software.

Now the client is asking me on Upwork to refund 40% of my hard-earned money ASAP, then only he will give good feedback for me. I am sure this is his usual trick to make his work done at a low price. This kind of situation would make a freelancer go into depression.  As I told I am new to Upwork, I am not sure what to do and feeling helpless. Friends, Please help me.

ACCEPTED SOLUTION
petra_r
Member


Pritiranjan C wrote:

 

Now the client is asking me on Upwork to refund 40% of my hard-earned money ASAP, then only he will give good feedback for me.

When the client ended the contract, they have already left feedback. That ship has sailed.

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12 REPLIES 12
petra_r
Member


Pritiranjan C wrote:

 

Now the client is asking me on Upwork to refund 40% of my hard-earned money ASAP, then only he will give good feedback for me.

When the client ended the contract, they have already left feedback. That ship has sailed.

Hi Ms. Petra,

 

Thanks for replying. The client ended the Contract on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 and asked me for refund today i.e.  Tuesday, June 26, 2020.


Pritiranjan C wrote:

Hi Ms. Petra,

 

Thanks for replying. The client ended the Contract on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 and asked me for refund today i.e.  Tuesday, June 26, 2020.


The feedback is already on your profile, so you can't be blackmailed with that any longer. At this point, why refund anything?

Hi Ms. Martina,

 

Thanks for replying.

 

So what should I do now? simply cancel the refund request?

bstojadinovic
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Pritiranjan,

 

I'm sorry to hear about your experience with this contract. The client requested a refund of the money they'd already released to you. You'll see the request in Messages. Please communicate with the client directly to try and resolve any issues amicably. If you agree to refund the money, you can issue the refund directly from the request in Messages. If you decide not to refund, the client may seek mediation assistance from Upwork. If that happens, Upwork team will reach out to you directly.

 

Could you please click on my name and send me a PM with the screenshot of their request to move payment outside of Upwork? I'll check that and escalate accordingly.

 

Thank you.

~ Bojan
Upwork

Pritiranjan:
It was inappropriate and unprofessional for the client to ask you for a refund after the contract was closed.

 

Keep in mind that because the client has ALREADY left feedback, the client can't threaten you with bad feedback.

 

I strongly advise you to always be polite and professional. But that doesn't mean you need to agree to the client's refund request.

 

Ask the client questions. Listen. Often, clients just want to be heard.

 

You can ask the client:
"Harold,

Thank you for your note. I definitely want to understand your concerns. Is there a specific file that you would like me to review in order to best understand this issue?"

 

Whenever the client responds to you, you can tell him that you have received his note and you will get back to him within two days. This will give you time to thoughtfully consider his questions. If you want to, you can come to the Forum and discuss how you might reply to his questions.

 

Don't spend too much of your time communicating with this former client. You don't need to send him lengthy messages. Keep everything you send him VERY SHORT, but make sure you take a couple of days between each communication so that you have time to be thoughtful. There is no need to rush.

Thanks for the suggestion. I will try this.

Hi Mr. Bojan,

 

As per your instruction, I explained to the client why the refund request is not justifiable (you can see my message). However, the client is not ready to understand the fact and blackmailing me saying that if I don't agree for a refund, he will flag my Upwork profile and all public profile and ruin it.

 

I am feeling helpless and depressed now. I am also helpless because I don't have any proof of the conversations we had during my contract as the client was communicating everything in his slack. I believe Upwork helps not only the Client but also the rising stars against unethical practices. You can confirm the truthfulness of my concerns with Other analysts, who are working for this Client under Upwork. 

 

I request you please help me.

 

Thank you

Pritiranjan Choudhury

re: "However, the client is not ready to understand the fact and blackmailing me saying that if I don't agree for a refund, he will flag my Upwork profile and all public profile and ruin it."

 

Did the client also tell you that he will create a giant mural on the moon which displays your photo, with the giant frowny face next to it?

 

Because that is ALSO something that the client does not have the power to do.

 

The client can not "flag your Upwork profile" to ruin it just because he was unable to force you to work for free.

 

His threats are empty threats.

 

Nevertheless, continue to be polite and professional.

 

Tell him that you need to take a coule of days to study his latest message because you want to genuinely understand his perspective.

 

In a couple of days, ask him another question. You do not need to argue with him.

re: "As per your instruction, I explained to the client why the refund request is not justifiable"

 

I realize that you already did this. So that ship has sailed.


But just to clarify something:

 

I did not actually recommend that you explain to the client why the refund request is not justifiable.

 

I suggested that you ask the client a question. And then take some time to really think about the question, and then answer a couple of days later. And then ask another question, and take some time to answer that one, etc. If you thoughtfully ask the client questions about why he wants a refund, then it will give the client an opportunity be heard.

Thank Mr. Preston for all the suggestions. I am going to ask the same.

Hi Pritiranjan,

Reading your posts above this guy sounds like a real bully. 

 

Maybe you can post something on your review of him so that no-one else gets trapped in to working for him.

 

Don't give in to his bullying, he can do nothing to hurt your profile now.

 

Many don't understand how we, as freelancers, can feel about bad feedback or employers who try to pressure us. It can be very depessing or cause anxiety.

 

I'm with you all the way and wish you th best of luck and health.

 

Ian

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