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Freelancer paid for poor quality

Active Member
Osadayi O Member Since: Sep 7, 2019
1 of 4
I hired someone to create patterns and set the price $380 in 2 payments (fixed price milestones) the first mile stone was for them create sketches. The second was to create patterns for the sketches and later grade them.

The person did not create standard patterns and When passed on to my design consultant to open the file she thought it was a joke. The pattern was missing linnings, facing and other professional up to standard aspects of a simple pattern. She made a few of the patterns but I am not able to use them and do not want to work with them anymore because this project has gone on for too long.

Not only that but I will be paying her the second half for work I am not satisfied with and she did not fully complete the milestone of the second half, the grading. Also the project just expired.

I’m not sure what to do. This is my first experience with Upwork and it’s not looking like a good one! Please help!
Ace Contributor
Ahmed E Member Since: Nov 15, 2018
2 of 4

upwork is an amazing platform sir and have many skilled freelncers sir 

you will find good freelancers and some of them are not well qualified 

next time you have to check the freelancer first and his history of work 

also if the work is not good you can dispute and take your money back from escrow 


Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 4

re: "I’m not sure what to do. This is my first experience with Upwork and it’s not looking like a good one! Please help!"

If I understand you correctly, you have received the work for the first milestone, and released payment for that milestone. That work involved sketches, and you were satisfied with that work.


Then you set up a new milestone for the final deliverable, which was to create graded patterns.


You found that the graded pattern files were not usable for your project.


First of all: Do not panic about this.

This is a disappointment, but in the overall scheme of themes, no matter what happens with this particular freelancer, it is a minor issue and it does not reflect poorly on you. It doesn't mean you did something wrong.


Second: After seeing the final pattern files, you probably realize that what was asked of this freelancer is probably something beyond her current abilities. There ARE people who know exactly how to do this. She is not one of those people. If you think that it would be a waste of your time and effort to try to get her to correct the problem, then definitely do NOT try get her to fix the files. (If you think that she actuall could fix the files, then you could try asking her. But it doesn't sound like that's in the cards.)


With a fixed-price milestone, you have funded an escrow payment that is SORT OF under your control. But not completely. You can NOT simply get that money back, unless you either get the freelancer to return the money, or file a dispute. (A dispute doesn't guarantee you get the funds back. A dispute means that an Upwork mediator encourages you to come to an agreement with the freelancer. If no agreement is reached, then you and the freelancer can both pay $291 to go to arbitration.)


You don't want to do that.


You probably DO NOT NEED to do any of that.


So the next thing to do is to simply talk to the freelancer and ask her if she would be willing to refund the money for the second milestone. It costs you NOTHING to do that, and it is a faster and better route than filing a dispute.


But polite and courteous, and you have a strong chance that she'll simply agree to give the money back. She can do so by YOU closing the contract, while asking for money back instead of releasing all escrow money to her. Then she receives a message and button from Upwork asking if she will agree to the refund request.


You actually have a lot of options that are simple and could be exercised before any need to escalate to a dispute or arbitration.


Simply through messages/chat/email... You could ask the freelancer to issue a full refund. You could ask her to allow you to request a refund for the second milestone. Or, you could do what I would do, which would be to tell her:


"Betty: Thank you again for the sketches that you provided. I appreciate your work on the project, and that appreciation will be reflected in my review. I won't actually be able to use the pattern files you sent for my project. I think there may have been some misunderstanding about what it is that we need. If I close out the contract now and ask for half of the money back from the second milestone payment, would you be willing to agree to that? I would appreciate that, and it would help me to continue the project while working with other freelancers."


I think the freelancer would readily agree to such an offer, and then you can both get some money back and also move on with the project.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
4 of 4

re: "next time you have to check the freelancer first and his history of work"



I appreciate your entire post in this thread, and it is clear that you want to encourage and help the original poster.


I agree with you that it is good to check a freelancer first and check a freelancer's work history.

But I'm not sure that we know if the original poster did or did not do that.


Regardless of whether he did or not, it is important to understand that although checking out a freelancer - such as by checking a freelancer's portfolio and work history - is a GOOD IDEA, it is not a guarantee that things will work out for a client.


Sometimes a client can do EVERYTHING right during the job-posting and hiring phase, and still end up with disappointing results. Even the most successful clients on Upwork who hire lots of freelancers end up with some unsuccessful client/freelancer collaborations, and that mean sometimes they pay for work they can't use. But they are successful because they know how to move forward with their projects, rather than dwell on unusable work from a small proportion of freelancers.