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Streamlined dispute experience for fixed-price contracts

Community Manager

What changed: Filing disputes, submitting supporting evidence, and viewing status updates for fixed-price contracts are now all done directly within Upwork instead of through email with customer support. Freelancers must file a dispute within 7 days of the contract ending, and clients have 5 days to either accept or decline the dispute.


How does it work: Upwork protects your payments. Funds for fixed-price contracts are held in escrow and are automatically released to freelancers 14 days from submission if your client does not approve the work or request changes.


If a client chooses to withhold funds or refuse payment, a freelancer can initiate a dispute within Upwork when a contract is ended. 


Clients can accept the dispute and release additional payment or decline payment and provide their own supporting evidence, all directly within the platform. 


Once both parties have submitted their supporting documents, one of our dispute mediation agents will review the information and recommend a proposal via email within 2 days. Then, both parties will have 2 days to accept or decline our proposal via email.


Who is impacted: All freelancers, agencies, and clients who want to initiate or respond to fixed-price contract disputes.


Release date: December 5, 2023


What does it solve: This streamlines the fixed-price contract dispute experience for freelancers, agencies, and clients. The change makes it easier to manage any active disputes through the Upwork platform and speeds up the time to a dispute resolution. Learn more about the new dispute process here.