» Groups » Writers & Translators » Forum » Filing a dispute on an open contract (client ...
Page options
Community Member

Filing a dispute on an open contract (client failed to release milestone)

I delivered some work to a client last Friday, 27th October. The work was delivered in accordance with the deadline. The client confirmed that they had received and were happy with it, then disappeared. I waited until Tuesday 31st before sending a follow-up and received no reply. The client has also failed to reply to two further (polite) messages this week. In the last message I told them that I would be forced to go through Upwork if I didn't receive the money but still nothing.


There is 100 USD in escrow and I want to file a dispute in order to be paid. However, I'm not sure how to do so. This page https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/articles/211068528-Dispute-a-Client-s-Failure-to-Release-a-Miles... only explains how to file a dispute on an ended contract, but my contract is open and I don't want to close it myself. Btw, if anyone from Upwork is reading, it would be useful to add this information to the FAQ page.


Can someone tell me how to get my money in a way that won't affect my job success score?



Community Member

Hannah, where did you submit the work? I know you said you did it before the deadline, but if you didn't submit it using the submit work/request payment option in the "My Jobs" section, you technically didn't submit it. I often submit work through the messenger, but I know those clients are responsive and pay. I have had one client that did not respond, so I submitted it officially. Once you do that, as long as the money is in escrow, you will receive the money in 14 days if the client does not respond before that. Once the money is released, you can end the contract, but I wouldn't do that right away. 

Shane, thanks for your reply.


I didn't know about the 14-day rule (bit annoying that we have to wait that long, but it's good that the option exists).  I will submit if officially now.


Two more questions;


- If I end up getting the money back automatically after that period and then close the contract myself, would the client have the option to leave feedback as usual? I'd be concerned that they'd leave negative feedback in anticipation of receiving negative feedback themselves.


- Will my job success score be affected by ending the contract even if the client has been unresponsive for 14 days? I am not hopeful of getting a definite answer since I know Upwork is not transparent about these things, but maybe someone has an idea.


Thanks a lot

You will not be getting money "back". You will be getting money for work you have done.


Don't close the contract immediately. Give the client time to close the contract him/herself. Whether you (or the client) close the contract, the client has the option to leave feedback.


An unresponsive client has nothing to do with a freelancer's JSS  The client can leave feedback for up to 14 days after the contract has ended. (Whether ended by the freelancer or client)


Your JSS could be impacted negatively if you  have a history of no feedback which can happen if you close contracts yourself and the client does not leave feedback on them.



To avoid annoying clients and causing yourself unnecessary worry, you should probably visit the New to Upwork section and read the stickied post and links contained therein. Some clients fund milestones and allow the 14-days to run without interacting with their freelancers because they know that payment is automatic. There is never any reason to contact the client directly to hurry them along. 


If you close the contract, the client will be asked to leave feedback. The client may or may not do so. If you think the feedback will be bad, closing the contract yourself may allow you to avoid receiving any feedback (as some clients don't bother to do so). However, a pattern of no feedback contracts will impact your JSS. (All this you can probably discover more about by reading the New to Upwork section as well.)


Odd: If you have been on the forums since '15, how is it you don't already know these things?