Reply
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply

Think I have been scammed out of $90,000, what do I do?

Highlighted
Active Member
Aakshay K Member Since: May 29, 2017
1 of 13

I hired a company off of upwork/elance about a year ago. They actually tricked me into paying them off of upwork, but they messaged me here and found me here.

 

Anyhow, the initial job was $40,000, they won the bid, after the made me sign a contract (limited info in the contract, basically stated exactly what they would do), but this is not what I requested in my emails to them or my job posting. Anyhow, they completed that work and then told me that if I wanted essentially what I requested on upwork then it would be an additional $100,000... I told them no, and they dropped it to an additional $50,000 roughly.

 

I was so frustrated at this point that I agreed because it had already been a few months of work.

 

Anyhow, I finally got the release last week, and apparently everything is coded onto their platform. Which is like you press "create a table," outline what you want and it creates it. No actual coding is required. It is all their platform....

 

Never once was this mentioned. So now, I cannot even hire a programmer or developer to help me as theres no actual code, and whatever code there is, is pretty much jumbled mess... 

 

What can I do here? Is this normal? Do I have any legal positions I can take? The sad thing is, I have spent $90,000 and it still isn't even to do the level of the job we posted on upwork.

Highlighted
Active Member
Dmitriy S Member Since: Aug 20, 2016
2 of 13

Not good situation, an I can't give you any exact advice, because I don't know your agreements. But if your ordered website or software, in most cases it means that you should get all sources. But if you paid for solution - that is another story.

Highlighted
Active Member
Aakshay K Member Since: May 29, 2017
3 of 13

I ordered a point of sales software.

Highlighted
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
4 of 13

re: "What can I do here?"

 

a) Learn from your mistakes. Most everything that went wrong here was due to your mistakes and the mistakes of your project manager.

 

b) Fire the project manager immediately. She REALLY let you down. It was primarily her responsibility to make sure something like this did not happen. She is clearly negligent or fraudulent.

 

re: "Is this normal?"

 

No. Not at all. Using Upwork properly and sensibly, the most money a client can expect to lose or be ripped off by fraudulent or incompetent freelancers is about $500. Certainly not $90,000. Your situation is pretty ridiculous.

 

(Of course, your situation is not really an Upwork issue in any sense, any more than it is a Microsoft issue or Intel issue.)

 

re: "Do I have any legal positions I can..."

 

No, this is not a legal issue. At least not in any sense that can help you.

 

Taking this to courts would be a purely emotional response, because you will only end up paying more money. Objectively speaking, I think the developers have a better case against you than you have against them.

 

Actually, in a legal sense, you owe Upwork a LOT of money, as you would realize were you sufficiently familiar with the documents and agreements you agreed to when you created your Upwork account. By my estimation, Upwork could sue you (and win) for at least $9,000. Probably more. You can't just meet freelancers here on Upwork and then pay them off-platform. That is disintermediation, and prohibitions against this, along with penalties for doing so, are clearly set forth in the onboarding agreements.

Highlighted
Active Member
Aakshay K Member Since: May 29, 2017
5 of 13

Why do you feel the developer may have a better case than me?

Im moreso concerned about the software being on their platform. Like it isnt normal code. This was never disclosed to me. Its a wyswig kind of platform. I even asked them what they coded in prior to this and they only replied PHP stack. They never mentioned that no code would ever be used. Also, the developer is in the USA, as we are too.

Highlighted
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
6 of 13

re: "Also, the developer is in the USA, as we are too."

 

This makes it worse for you, because it makes it much easier for the freelancers to file against you or collect damages or submit any unpaid fees to collections agencies.

Highlighted
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
7 of 13

Aakshay:

 

I want to be clear that I sympathize with your situation. I understand what happened. I am sorry for the situation your project manager put you in.

 

But I think you are better off knowing the truth of your situation. This isn't as black and white as you might have thought.

 

The freelancers did what they said they would do.

 

You certainly have no recourse in court or at Upwork. Either venue will side against you. Which is why you may want to avoid asking for help there.

 

You may be better off at this point trying to understand what it is you have purchased and deciding whether or not it is a service you can use, and perhaps even move to your own servers, while you decide whether not to adapt it to a new technology platform or coding style that is more to your liking.

Highlighted
Active Member
Aakshay K Member Since: May 29, 2017
8 of 13

Preston,

I appreciate the replies.

I do hope I have some recourse though. 

In a contract, yes they fulfilled their obligation for the most part. However, is it not something that I can prove shady business practices? Starting with them tricking me to pay them directly rather than upwork?

Also, what about them later saying they would only take payment via bank wire, and not credit card?

 

Then two credits on my account, but they still charged me.

Additionally, their document states they use every extent to figure out what we want and I sent them example softwares. Later, I have audio recording of the CFO stating they never looked at the other softwares I sent them. They onyl go by what i write down, and dont spend time looking at examples I show them.

 

Then, when it took them 3.5 weeks to even look at my bug submission, I asked them what was taking so long, they replied with "your account is not a priority for us," in more or less words.

Highlighted
Active Member
Aakshay K Member Since: May 29, 2017
9 of 13

Im not talking about suing upwork. I am talking about suing the freelancer. Upwork did no wrong. the freelancer is the one who tricked me into paying them outside of this website.

Highlighted
Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
10 of 13

@Aakshay K wrote:

I hired a company off of upwork/elance about a year ago. They actually tricked me into paying them off of upwork, but they messaged me here and found me here.

 

We say that freelancers, when they post that they've been scammed to read the TOS and learn the in's and out's and procedures here on Upwork. But that also goes for clients. Freelancers can and are scammed by clients and clients are scammed by freelancers.  Paying off site is a violation of Upworks TOS and has cost them thousands of dollars in fees that should have been paid to them.

 

Anyhow, the initial job was $40,000, they won the bid, after the made me sign a contract (limited info in the contract, basically stated exactly what they would do), but this is not what I requested in my emails to them or my job posting. Anyhow, they completed that work and then told me that if I wanted essentially what I requested on upwork then it would be an additional $100,000... I told them no, and they dropped it to an additional $50,000 roughly.

 

Nobody makes anyone Sign a contract with the scope of work a freelancer will do if it's not the scope of works that the client requires. I don't understand why you agree to that. Having said that, they DID complete the work that they said they would do. Essentially, they've completed the contract. At this point, even if you took them to small claims court, or civil court (where the judgements are higher) you wouldn't win.

 

Did you know that NO is a complete sentence. And at that point, you should have closed the contract and looked for someone else, But it looks like the fact that you could get your work cheaper then what was first stated to you, caused you to lose all common sense and clouded your judgement.

 

I was so frustrated at this point that I agreed because it had already been a few months of work.

 

If you were so frustrated, THAT should have sent warning bells off. Because you failed to hear them, not only did you lose a few months or work, now you'll add onto that by having someone else start from the beginning.

 

Anyhow, I finally got the release last week, and apparently everything is coded onto their platform. Which is like you press "create a table," outline what you want and it creates it. No actual coding is required. It is all their platform....

 

Never once was this mentioned. So now, I cannot even hire a programmer or developer to help me as theres no actual code, and whatever code there is, is pretty much jumbled mess... 

 

What can I do here? Is this normal? Do I have any legal positions I can take? The sad thing is, I have spent $90,000 and it still isn't even to do the level of the job we posted on upwork.

 

You can't do anything and not it's not normal. You don't have a legal leg to stand on and you violated quite a lot of things in the TOS.