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Does Everything Come in 3s, Part II


In my last post, I mentioned that our dryer is now dead. I am still waiting to hear from the possibly handyman and History Buff is scouring his workplace for good deals/clearance dryers that might get me a better price, delivery and a warranty. Thank God for a hefty emergency fund, I don’t have to worry about the cost of this issue.

But the same day that my dryer died, I woke up to an email from Upwork indicating a client had done a chargeback on the 3 payments they made to me this summer (last payment was June, I believe.) So Upwork was 1) removing that money from my account and 2) asked that if I wanted to fight it I write them back. Believe me, I wrote them back!

This is the first time EVERY I have had a client pay me and then dispute it. Especially one that I completed the work for…a brand new website for a brand new business.

Project Background

I got this client via Upwork. I was hired to create a brand new website and he was going to provide all the content – copy, images and videos. I gave him a great price because this is a super simple, straightforward project. Or so it seemed…

It should have taken a week, maybe two. I completed the site within a week of receiving all the documents.

Round 1 of revisions. Okay, no problem.

Round 2 of revisions. Understandable and not atypical.

Round 3 of revisions. “Thank you for all the great advice and extra work, I definitely want to compensate you for your time.”

Round 4…5…6.

He wanted to change colors, fonts, videos…he wanted me to edit videos. He wanted images switched, new testimonials added…and on and on. It took months of back and forth.

Then he wanted more…set up a CRM for me, create a lead magnet and no on. I finally put my foot down because these were outside of the scope of work.

By this time, he had approved all the work and paid me in three separate payments based on milestones I had set at the beginning of the project.

Then after all that, he filed a complaint with Upwork. And he wanted me to refund him monies because he hired someone else to edit videos and on and on.

The dispute was closed after over a month of mediation and no action was taken.

Fast forward over a month, maybe closer to 6 weeks.


And this morning I receive a notice that even thought he willingly released payment to me on 3 separate occasions. Even though I have text messages and emails of him saying how much he loved the site. And even though we spent over a month in mediation. He’s still trying to get my work for free…

And as of now, he succeeded…

I did write back, attached text messages of his “thrill” with the work done including him stating he was paying me, etc.

And Upwork has said that they will file the dispute but it could take up to 45 days. Meanwhile, they will take the money from my pay account…

Oh, and let me tell you the best part…I went to look at the site. He has taken it down. Like completely, not even redirected the URL. But a quick Google search of his name and the business type…I found his new domain name. And it has the website I created, same branding, everything.

I submitted the information with the dispute and I am praying they find in my favor. So we will see…

Now I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop…2 crisis in one day. Praying there is not a third.



  • Reply Ellen |

    well isn’t that some BS! It sucks that you have to fight for your money for something that has long been completed. It’s disgusting that there are people in this world that want everything for free.

  • Reply Kili |

    How large is the Disputed amount?
    450? Or am I misinterpreting the screenshot?
    If not: What hourly rate does this Project translate to which Sounds Like a lot of work?

    • Reply Hope |

      Yes, the disputed amount is $450. I gave him a great deal as I understood it to be a very straightforward project…boy, was I wrong. Lesson learned.

  • Reply Deb |


    Did you use a third party in the mediation? I was hoping if you did that maybe the third party would be able to help get your income back. Is the company that suggested this client able to give you reviews on his or her previous contracts to see if this is a routine thing for this person? I wonder if this person hasn’t done this in the past with other folks. I hope you are able to get your income back.

    • Reply Hope |

      The payment, mediation and chargeback are all handled by Upwork since that is where we connected the the contract originated. If I was paid by the hour, they have some sort of protection plan, but not for “milestone” payments. They (Upwork) took the money out of my payment account this week. And have said that if the chargeback is won with my rebuttal, they will return the money to me. But I have no oversight on that…

      I did set a reminder to check back with them in November to get a status update.

  • Reply SMS |

    Are you able to research the client’s history with Upwork? As the above poster said, they may do this regularly. It’s horrible and I hope you get your money back.

So, what do you think ?