Despite your best efforts, a project may not always go as expected.

When an issue comes up, it’s important to address it quickly and understand your options. We are here to help where we can, but ultimately it’s up to you to work with your freelancer to manage the job.

Clear communication and documentation are a critical part of working with a freelancer. By staying informed and taking proactive steps, you can minimize the potential impact of any issue and achieve a fair result. One good example is giving your freelancer a chance to address all your concerns before taking any other action.

Hourly contracts


For hourly contracts, it's important to note that you pay for the hours worked by the freelancer, not per work delivered. Therefore, it's essential to keep track of the weekly billing cycle to ensure you make time to review the number of hours your freelancer has worked.

If you encounter an issue with your freelancer, it's best to pause the contract to prevent them from logging more hours while you resolve it. You can always resume the contract later.

Fixed-price contracts


For fixed-price contracts, if you are not happy with the delivered work, you can ask the freelancer to revise the work submitted. Note that these contracts are paid per approved work.

If needed, you can cancel a project and request for your escrow funds to be refunded. It's important to remember that you cannot use any unpaid work done by your freelancer.

You can also choose to release a partial amount and request a refund for the remaining amount. It's important to note that releasing the payment indicates that you have reviewed the work and agreed to release the payment.

Frequently Asked Questions

I already paid my freelancer, but I’m not happy with the results. Can I get my money back?

For any payments made within the past 365 days, you can request a refund from the freelancer. If you’re working with an agency, you can reach out to them in Upwork Messages directly.

If you are dissatisfied with an hourly contract, clients have a five-day review period that starts from Monday at noon UTC after the billing period ends, until Friday at 23:59 UTC to file a dispute. This is why it’s important to proactively review your freelancer’s work diary during the work week.

For fixed-price contracts, if the freelancer refuses your refund request, you can file a dispute within 30 days of payment.

The work my freelancer did included links, websites, plug-ins, etc., that are now outdated or not working. What should I do?

It's important to keep in mind that certain work products, such as websites or plug-ins, may not work properly if the technology used to create them becomes outdated or if updates to the technology have been made since the freelancer submitted the work. To avoid any issues, it's always a good idea to discuss this possibility with your freelancer while you are working with them.

My freelancer is not responding at all. What should I do?

If you are working with a freelancer or agency and they become unresponsive for an extended period of time, it’s best to pause the contract (if hourly) to avoid being billed until you hear back from them. However, if it's been less than 24 hours and you and your freelancer live in different time zones, the lack of response may be due to the time difference. To avoid any confusion, it's always a good idea to schedule a time for discussion.

My freelancer refuses to finish the work. What are my options?

If your freelancer decides to halt the work before completion, any work that you have paid for will become your property. We suggest talking to you freelancer to see why they have stopped work and if they will start again. If necessary, you may need to find a replacement freelancer to complete the project.

My freelancer logged too many hours, and I want a refund. How do I get one?

You always have the option to request a refund or file a dispute during the 5-day review period. It's also a good practice to review your freelancer’s work diary throughout the week and reach out to them with any concerns.

Keep in mind that, for payments that qualify for our Hourly Payment Protection, you’ll only be billed for hours that fall within the weekly limit you set, if you set one.

If you can’t reach your freelancer, we also suggest that you pause the contract to prevent any additional hours from being logged.

I want to report my freelancer for not doing the job correctly. How do I do this?

If you see a violation of our Terms of Service, we urge you to report it. We take violations very seriously as this helps us maintain a healthy work marketplace. Learn more about common violations.

If you are unsatisfied with the quality of work provided by your freelancer, we highly encourage you to discuss it with them first.

My freelancer logged too many hours, and I want Upwork to delete the hours logged before I get billed. How do I request this?

Only freelancers have the ability to remove the hours that they have logged, and they can only remove hours during the work week. This is why it’s important to proactively review your freelancer’s work diary during the work week. Please note that if you pause or end the contract, your freelancer will not be able to delete the hours that they have logged during the work week.

If your freelancer does not remove the hours, you’ll have the option to dispute the hours after you are billed. To help prevent having to pay for excess hours in the future, consider setting a weekly limit on hours if you haven’t done so already.

My freelancer missed the deadline, what do I do?

Sometimes, projects can face delays and deadlines may be missed. If your project has an urgent deadline, you can choose whether to continue working with your freelancer. It’s also important to communicate with your freelancer to determine if you can both agree on a new deadline.

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