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refund or...?

Hi all,


I have an ongoing client that is great--communicative, friendly, and prompt with payment, plus she's always pleased with my work. However, she recently asked me to do a side job that is different to what she usually asks for...it was rather an urgent job (I didn't know this) and paid less than what she usually offers, but I didn't mind as I value her custom and the work wasn't difficult.


So, I got a message from her this morning saying the job I completed was not at all what the firm wanted. I say the brief wasn't at all clear, but whatever...it is still not what she wanted and the fault probably lies somewhere in the middle. As the job is urgent and needs to be with her client today, she had to pay someone inhouse to redo the job, so she requested a refund of 80% of the original fee. Again, I could quibble this but I want to keep her custom. The original fee was only $50, so for $10 I'd rather just offer a full refund and forget this ever happened. It would save me having to leave feedback or seeing the bad/no feedback she potentially left me.


I just spoke with Upwork CS on live chat to see how to do this (first, I need to accept their refund req. and leave feedback...I hoped to skip this part) and the guy I spoke to said that offering a full refund would have a serious impact on my JSS, whereas if I use Top Rated status to have any bad feedback removed it wouldn't. From what I've read, the opposite is true. I'm sure any private feedback remains in place either way but does offering a full refund really impact your JSS so greatly? I'd love to hear what others would do in this situation. Ultimately, I want to keep this client, but I also want to keep my JSS as intact as possible!





Community Member



If you use your top-rated perk, your JSS does not take a hit, the entire feedback, private and public is removed. 


However, I would refuse to refund. I would offer to write the piece again as goodwill, but clearly your client, who did not make clear what was required of you, is making you take the hit for work that she should have delivered correctly.


If this were me, I would be prepared to take this to arbitration (if the client were to refuse the rewrite) and I would also say goodbye to this client. My gut tells me that if someone tries this sort of stunt once, they will try it again, and one might not be able to fall back on the perk a second time.


ETA re perk have a look here: https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/articles/219801228-Top-Rated-Perk-Feedback-Removal#jss



Generally, I'd agree with you. However, it was partially my error. The brief did say I could rewrite and rephrase things, but it was to give a UK article a US feel. I went above and beyond that and was in full copy editor mode...I changed the flow and removed some obvious errors (lack of consistency, etc.). Apparently. this was the finished copy and they didn't want that (I didn't know that, and I'm still confused how I could have possibly known which bits stayed and which didn't). They JUST wanted it to have an American voice. So, I saw the word rewrite and went with it as I wanted to help them out. My bad.


As I said, I think the fault lies somewhere in the middle. I am frustrated with the refund request as they did get what they wanted--they just got a bit more on top 😉 They also complained that the formatting was messed up when it was returned--I received it as a Word doc and sent it back as a Word doc so don't know what happened there, but perhaps the error was on my end...I have no idea. So, I'm happy to let this one go. 


They did say ordinarily they would have me redo it if there were time--that would obviously be the ideal solution. 

Community Member

I'm with Nichola on this one, especially because of this part:


 it was rather an urgent job (I didn't know this) and paid less than what she usually offers, but I didn't mind as I value her custom and the work wasn't difficult.

 Why would you get paid less for an urgent job? If I get a message from a client and they tell me they need something done within 24 hours, that means I have to rearrange my schedule to fit what they need. If my only incentive to do the job is to keep the client, then that's a threat, not an incentive. I understand your desire to keep this client because good clients are hard to come by, but if she learns that you're willing to take pay cuts and refunds for jobs that you did, I'd have no doubt she'd take advantage of that. It's just smart business. 

I shouldn't have agreed to that much of a refund. However, I have two contracts open with this client already. That would mean potentially 3 lots of bad feedback (though I hope they wouldn't be that unprofessional).