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Dispute with released payment for fixed contract

Hello, so recently I've hired a freelancer to do marketing ads and brand awareness for my store and he told me to pay through a fixed contract and also release all of my payments upfront so he would be able to use the funds in order to do the work or something. But it has been weeks after my payment has been released to him and he has not done any work. So I'm currently on a dispute right now with the freelancer and he did not respond at all for 5 days, so I thought I would automatically win the case, but they told me that since he did not respond that we would have to go bring it up to arbitration. I'm assuming he will stay silent for this one as well. So if he still does not respond for this does that finally make me win the case automatically? But the thing is even if I win the case that doesn't gurantee that I would be able to get my full refund back right since it's already a release payment? Or will  I still be able to get my money back? I feel like it would be right for upwork to force the freelancer to give the money back to upwork.. that makes the most sense to me. Because if not then what's the point of me even winnning the case if I get nothing out of it? 

Community Member

Upwork is stringent in the case of their client's protection. But as you are saying, it's been weeks since you released the payment; I am also confused about whether you will get the refund. As from the side of a seller, our payments stay in Upwork's protection for five days, and when the period ends, we can get our earnings out, and the payment is ours. However, if your client has good reviews and earnings, he should reasonably return the payment or come to a fair resolution. But if he's a new seller with no income in his profile, you must keep your faith in Upwork and hope you get your refund ( since the seller didn't deliver any work). 

However, read this post. He faced the same problem as you. It may come in help of you! 



thank you so much for your reply! I really appreciate it. and yeah it was a brand new account.. with no reviews or income I was the first customer I believe.. but yeah hopefully upwork is able to force a refund out of the freelancer. I mean that would make the most sense I'm not sure why they would'nt be able to, but we will see. Once again thank you soo much for the reply!

Community Member

You must pay an $400 arbitration fee. It will be refunded if freelancer will ignore or quit. But if accept then it is unrefundable.

if I pay the arbitration fee and the freelancer ignores it I mean i still win the case automatically then right? 

It is correct.

The freelancer must also pay arbitration fee if they want to argue. If he refuses, the decission will be in your favor.

Community Member

So I was just told that if the freelancer does not respond, I still have the option to pay the full amount of arbitration myself and still continue with arbitration and I'm honestly fine with doing that since it was a lottt of money that I've lost. But my only thing is that even if I pay the full arbitration fee and win the case like there's still no gurantee that I would be getting my money back.. then what would even be the point of me for winning the case? Like I'm assuming even arbitration can't force the money out of freelancer right? Then it really seems like there would be no point of me even winning the case.. Like im literally getting nothing out of it?? And in fact I would only be losing more money to pay the arbitration fee... 

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