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Questions About the Process

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Active Member
Alex A Member Since: Jun 4, 2020
1 of 10

Hello,

I'm new to Upwork and would like some information regarding steps that are taken if a client isn't pleased with the work of the freelancer. If I'm ultimately not happy with their work and wish to terminate the contract, what happens to the funds that are in escrow? Am I charged a fee for terminating the contract and who do I notify if I wish to terminate the contract? I couldn't find the answers to these questions in the terms and conditions so if anyone can shed a little light, it would be greatly appreciated.

 

Alex A

 

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Community Leader
Alexis A Member Since: May 18, 2020
2 of 10

Alex A wrote:

Hello,

I'm new to Upwork and would like some information regarding steps that are taken if a client isn't pleased with the work of the freelancer. If I'm ultimately not happy with their work and wish to terminate the contract, what happens to the funds that are in escrow? Am I charged a fee for terminating the contract and who do I notify if I wish to terminate the contract? I couldn't find the answers to these questions in the terms and conditions so if anyone can shed a little light, it would be greatly appreciated.

 

Alex A

 


I believe, on your end, you should be able to request a return of funds. The freelancer has to then approve this reuqest. If they believe they should get paid for the work they did, they have the right to dispute it. 

 

 

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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 10

Alex, as a client, you may end a contract (or terminate a contract) at any time.


You do not need to justify or explain your reasons for wanting to terminate a contract. You can just do it. If you don't like the work done by a freelancer then you SHOULD stop working with the freelancer.

 

But it is not necessary for you to be unhappy with the freelancer's work. You could simply be tired of working on the project. You may have run out of funds. Or run out of time. Or decided you want to work with a freelancer who works with watercolors instead of oil paint. It does not matter. Clients always have the option of ending a contract at any time.

 

There is no fee associated with ending a contract.

 

The simplest, fastest way to end a fixed-price contract is to release any remaining escrow money and then end it. You do NOT need to notify a freelancer or get the freelancer's approval if you do that.

 

It IS possible to edit the amount of money you are releasing to be an amount that is LESS THAN the full amount in escrow. You can even change the amount to zero. If you do so, it will trigger a refund request. The freelancer may choose whether or not to approve a refund request. So you should talk with her first to make sure she agrees to the refund.

 

It is not Upwork's intention that clients receive a refund if they hire a freelancer to do a task, and the freelancer does that task.

 

As Alexis points out, if you ask for a refund and the freelancer declines your refund request, a dispute is triggered.

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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
4 of 10

re: "Am I charged a fee for terminating the contract?"

 

No.

 

re: "and who do I notify if I wish to terminate the contract?"

 

You do not need to notify anybody.

 

However, it is considered polite and customary to notify a freelancer if you are going to terminate a contract.

 

Upwork AUTOMATICALLY sends the freelancer a notice of termination.

But it is a good idea to send a message yourself. If you plan to ask for money back, you definitely want to work that out beforehand, in order to maximize the likelihood that the freelancer will allow the refund.

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Active Member
Alex A Member Since: Jun 4, 2020
5 of 10
I'm confused. When the money goes into escrow and I decide to terminate if
I'm not satisfied, I have to wait for the freelancer to "allow" the refund?
I was under the impression that the freelancer didn't receive any funds
until the job was completed. Is that correct?
Highlighted
Moderator
Goran V Moderator Member Since: Mar 24, 2017
6 of 10

Hi Alex,

 

Escrow is a neutral holding place where we put money aside until the project, or piece of the project, is done. The funds stay there until your freelancer or agency fulfills their obligations and you say you are satisfied those obligations are met and release them. To learn more about this check out this Help Article.

 

When you hire a freelancer on a fixed contract you will also need to create a milestone for them so that they can submit their work to you. Once the work is submitted you will have 14 days to review it and approve the payment or ask for revisions. 
I would recommend checking our resources here and learning more about how to utilize Upwork. Thank you.


Untitled
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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
7 of 10

re: "I was under the impression that the freelancer didn't receive any funds
until the job was completed. Is that correct?"

 

Yes. You are correct.

 

When the money is in escrow, it is NOT in the freelancer's possession. It is in a neutral account that you (the client) still have some control over.

 

But the money is intended to go to the freelancer.

 

If you ask for the money back, you are essentially trying to reverse the natural flow of the money. You can not simply click a button and AUTOMATICALLY get the money back.

 

You can ask for the money back, and if the freelancer agrees, then the money goes back to you.

 

If the freelancer does NOTHING, then after seven days Upwork automatically triggers release of the money back to the client.

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Active Member
Alex A Member Since: Jun 4, 2020
8 of 10
When you say "release any remaining escrow money" what do you mean? Who am
I releasing it to?
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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
9 of 10

re: "When you say 'release any remaining escrow money' what do you mean? Who am I releasing it to?"

 

This means that you (the client) release money from the escrow account (a neutral holding account) TO the freelancer.

 

This is not complicated. This is all done within the Upwork website, simply by clicking buttons.

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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
10 of 10

re: "I'm confused. When the money goes into escrow and I decide to terminate if I'm not satisfied, I have to wait for the freelancer to 'allow' the refund?"

 

There may be some slight misunderstanding about how escrow works.

 

Whenever you fund an escrow payment, it really is Upwork's intention that you never get that escrow money back. Upwork intends for the freelancer to do the task, and then for the money to go to the freelancer.

 

It is not really Upwork's intention that a client get the money back if the client says she is "not satisfied." There is a button for the client to "request  changes."

 

If the client hires a freelancer to draw a picture of a cat wearing a funny cap with a feather in it, and the freelancer does not draw the feather... then Upwork does not want the client to get her money back. The client should ask the freelancer to draw the feather. And after the freelancer does so, the client needs to release the money.

 

But what If the clients then decides it would be better if there is a mouse in the picture? Can the client ask the freelancer to draw a mouse?

 

Yes, but only AFTER releasing the original escrow payment and setting up a new milestone or contract. Because the mouse was not specified in the original task agreement.