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alma-trischler
Community Member

Refund asked from Client even though the work has been done

Hi! I have just finnished a contract with a client, which means that I have presented the work and on time and now I can see that she has cancelled the contract and asked for a refund of the money I am supposed to get paid. If I am understanding how escrow works, this means I would not get paid for my work if I approve right? How do I make sure to get paid for this work? This client has at the same time as this also started a new contract for a new milestone that I have just started. I have written her an email to ask about it, but Have not gotten any answer yet. I would appreciate all advice I can get regarding this since I am new to Upwork and the whole payment system and want to make sure I do the right thing and donยดt end up doing a lot of free work for scammers. Thank you beforehand!

ACCEPTED SOLUTION

23 REPLIES 23
lysis10
Community Member

I'm assuming if she started a new contract that this is a mistake, so you should let her know how this will play out. You have to reject the refund reqund request. She'll get an email and can release the escrow and then it will stop there. If she rejects your request, then it goes into mediation. But if this is a mistake, it shouldn't go that far. 

Hi Jennifer! Thank you for your reply, when you say that I should reject the refund request, do you then mean the option "I do not approve this request and want to file a dispute." ? Because this is the only option I have besides approving. I have not chosen it yet, cause it sounds so hostile to file a dispute, in case the client just has made a mistake, seems I have 6 days to reply so will see when she gives me an answer by email, or should I instantly choose the above option?

Thank you!

Yes, you have to use the dispute option or the money goes back to the client.

Thank you!


Alma T wrote:

Hi Jennifer! Thank you for your reply, when you say that I should reject the refund request, do you then mean the option "I do not approve this request and want to file a dispute." ? Because this is the only option I have besides approving. I have not chosen it yet, cause it sounds so hostile to file a dispute, in case the client just has made a mistake, seems I have 6 days to reply so will see when she gives me an answer by email, or should I instantly choose the above option?

Thank you!


_________________

Alma, it means exactly that and your client has not made a mistake. So go ahead and file a dispute and then follow everything Upwork tells you to do to the letter and within the time limit. It is very unlikely that this will get as far as arbitration. If you have any doubts come back here. For the moment, make sure you respond within the six days, otherwise the amount in escrow will automatically revert to the client.  

 

 

Hi Nichola! Thank you for your reply! I have now filed a dispute, so will see how it goes. The client has actually written me that it was a mistake, but still not changed anything about it. Too me everything is a bit suspitious at the moment so will see how it continues...

prestonhunter
Community Member

If a freelancer has been hired on a fixed-price contract, and the freelancer has done the work, then it is inappropriate for a client to ask for a refund.

 

If the client you are working with is not certain about how to handle her concerns, then she is welcome to the come to the Community Forum to discuss them with us.

 

When dealing with situations like this, freelancers should understand that this type of behavior by clients is not acceptabe. It means that the client is behaving immorally and unethically.

 

It is ALWAYS OKAY FOR A CLIENT TO END a fixed-price contract... if the client does so properly. The proper way to do so, if the work has already been done, is to release all money in escrow to the freelancer.

 

It is also okay for the client to end a fixed-price contract AT ANY TIME - even if the work has not been completed - by releasing all money in escrow and closing the contract. If work has only been partially done, then it is acceptable for a client to talk to the freelancer and ask the freelancer to agree to receive partial payment. The freelancer should agree. If the freelancer does not agree, then the client needs to release all of the payment.

Preston,

 

If a client demands a refund on a fixed-price job the freelancer has no option but to refund or to file a dispute (unless the freelancer can persuade the client otherwise - very often  impossible). 

 

re: "if a client demands a refund on a fixed-price job the freelancer has no option but to refund or to file a dispute (unless the freelancer can persuade the client otherwise - very often impossible)."

 

No disagreement with that.

 

I was not talking about the user interface, and I was not talking about what options are available to freelancers.

 

I was only talking about what is ethically and morally acceptable for clients to do.

 

It is useful for freelancers to know that when they have finished the work asked of them, and a client asks for a refund, the client is in the wrong.


Preston H wrote:

 

I was only talking about what is ethically and morally acceptable for clients to do.

 

It is useful for freelancers to know that when they have finished the work asked of them, and a client asks for a refund, the client is in the wrong.


No, the client is NOT always in the wrong, since you know perfectly well that there are freelancers here who are dishonest, lazy and/or incompetent. In such cases, the client has every right to file a dispute, despite you constantly telling them not to do so. And it's not helpful to tell freelancers that they're always right, either. This is no reflection on the OP - since it sounds like a simple mistake was made in this case - but sometimes a refund request from a client should be a wake-up call for a freelancer to examine what they're doing wrong and how they can improve. It does not automatically mean that the client is trying to rip them off.

Christine:

I have never said that the client is always wrong and the freelancer is always right.

 

I said that if the freelancer has finished the agreed-upon task, then it is wrong for the client to not pay the agreed-upon fee.

Thank you Preston for your thorough answer, I have now filed a dispute and will see how this continues..

Thanks again!

Hi Alma,

 

I was wondering what happened in the end? I just got into the same situation today with my first contract too. It is an hourly rate contract and the client admitted to the budget cut and an hours cutand then requested a request today. I am nervious because it is my first contract. What hapened with you? 

 

Do you have any tips if this were to happen again in the future? 


Sydney W wrote:

Hi Alma,

 

I was wondering what happened in the end? I just got into the same situation today with my first contract too. It is an hourly rate contract and the client admitted to the budget cut and an hours cutand then requested a request today. I am nervious because it is my first contract. What hapened with you? 

 

Do you have any tips if this were to happen again in the future? 


----------

As long as you used Tracker and annotated the screen shots it took you will be paid for the hours you worked and were properly tracked. The client can only dispute hours that show you were playing games, reading personal email, watching videos, hours that show nothing was being done and manual hours. That's the only "refund" they can get. If for whatever reason the client's financial account should "develop a problem" Upwork will pay you out of it's own pocket for correctly tracked hours. Dispute that refund request and follow the directions you get from Upwork.This will give you information.https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/articles/211068588-Client-Disputed-My-Hours 

Thanks so much - I didn't know to take screenshots so I don't know what is going to happen. 2 of the side tasks was him making me review and analyze two 60-page documents on the first week so I wouldn't think to take screenshots unfortunately. 

 

Rookie mistake 

re: "I didn't know to take screenshots so I don't know what is going to happen"

 

I hope you understand that freelancers do not "take screenshots" of our work.

 

We launch the Upwork desktop time-tracker app, and we click the slider button when we start working.

 

Then we do our work.

 

When we are done with our work, we click the green slider button so that the tool STOPS tracking our time.

 

The application automatically tracks our time, and automatically takes screenshots.

 

Whenever we start working or change the type of task we are doing, we use the tool to type in a short memo describing the work that we are doing.

Oh darn! I did not know about this. It is my first contract at the moment and my first client has requested a refund on manual hours. Two of those side assignments he gave was reading documents totallng 122 pages. So the screenshots would look like research. 

 

But I did not know about the app that protects manual time until today unfortunately....now I cannot get ahold of the client who requested the refund to come up with an amicable solution. 

 

I appreciate your reply and the information though. People in this community have been so helpful. 

Sidney - Manual time is not protected. A client can (even if they agreed to it) dispute manual hours and automatically they don't have to pay for them, you have no say with that, and there's nothing you can do about that. 

 

Manual time is NOT protected even though Tracker is used. 

Smiley Embarassed

I made the design done but the client just ended the project because she told me that the other designer she hired sent the files already. Means she hired 2 freelancer. And the one freelancer is paid and I'm not. So I'm left unpaid. I think it is unfair for my side since I made the design done, she can request for changes instead if she is looking for something more. i disapproved the refund request and request for a dispute. The client keep on insisting that she gave me positive feedback. LOL

Charisse, you did the right thing when you disputed this client's refund request.

 

You are correct when you said that what the client did was "unfair."

 

Although that is not the precise word that I usually use.

 

In addition to "unfair", I would like to point out that this client is being unprofessional, unethical, and immoral.

 

The client hired you to do a task. You did the task. Now the client wants to NOT PAY you for the work that you did.

 

That just seems kind of preposterous, doesn't it?

The client claims that she hired someone else to do the same task.

 

There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, I highly recommend this as a way for clients to hire. Especially when it comes to creative work, it makes sense for clients to hire multiple freelancers to do the same task, so that the client has options to look at.

 

But of course the client needs to pay everyone who completes the task.

The client told me that she gave me a positive feedback by the way. But that's not my concern and I think I deserve because I did my job.

Her job is to pay for my effort and work. My job is to give her the great outcome of the job so that I can get positive feedback.

I've read many situations same with mine, she's my first client. I never think of this to her because she has a positive reviews too.

Thank you for your response by the way. I hope Upwork will consider my concern.

Hi Charisse,

 

We won't be able to share more details about your dispute here in the Community but feel free to follow up about it directly with the Dispute team via the ticket. Please consider following up on your open ticket and kindly communicate with our team through that ticket if you have any questions, in order to keep all the information in one place.

 

~ Nikola
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