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fixed price job refund requested after a month from the milestone approval

Active Member
Mohamed A Member Since: May 28, 2018
1 of 4

Hello ,

I got a fixed price job 3 months ago, at the beginig it took me almost 2 weeks negotiating with the client and consulting for the feasibilty of the requirements and preparing sample designs and BOMs. Finally I got the job and after I started working and baught the required HW as it was agreed with customer that he will pay for 2 versions of the HW and shipment fees as well, the client didn't respond for a long time (almost 3 weeks -the job it self was intendded to be only a month long), then he sent a message telling that he is away. then I waited for 3 weeks more and tried to contact him but with no luck. consquently I decided to submit the first milestone but he didn't respond also and as per upwork policy the mille stone funds was released after a while and I received them. Then I waited for a couple of weeks and endded the contract. Nearly after amonth the client showed up and requested to refund the milestone!!
Should I accept the refund? and if I didn't what would be the possible outcomes?! also how do I reject it?

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

Should you agree to the refund?

Yes, if your work was worth nothing, then you should refund all that you were paid for it.


If you did real work that has value, then no - you should NOT accept the refund.


What is this client thinking, anyway? Maybe he thinks this is like a video game. He found a button that let him request a refund, and he clicked it. Maybe doesn't think you are a real person.


But you are a real person. This isn't a game. And the client's behavior is unacceptable.


I mean... think about it: What kind of person hires a freelancer to do work. And then that freelancer does the work, and collects the agreed-upon payment. And then later -- for no apparent reason at all -- asks for the money back? Would you go back to a restaurant a month later and ask for a refund on the steak dinner you ate there? Who does that?


My advice:

Do not accept the refund. But pay attention to any messages from Upwork, or any updates to this. If you need to instigate a dispute to block the client from getting a refund, then do so.

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

If the client sent you a personal message asking for a refund, rather than just clicking a button and causing an automated message be sent to you, then you may want to respond.


You could ask the client why he requested a refund.


Ask LOTS of questions. Take your time. Time is on your side.


The more time that passes, the less likely it will be that this person can get any money back. Although, as a month has already passed, I think his window is already gone.


But if you have him talking to you, you can find out what his reasons are. Maybe you can agree to his request for a refund, but refund only a partial amount, so that he will feel like he was heard and responded to, even though you keep most of the money.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
4 of 4

The client has 30 days from the date the last milestone was released to dispute.


Try to avoid a dispute and see if you can come to an agreement with the client.


If the work was perfect, the milestone was 100% met as agreed, and the client has the deliverables 100%, then don't agree to the refund.


If the client does not have what they paid for then that's another matter altogether...