As I can understand, a refund in freelancing is not mandatory by EU and US laws (correct me if I'm wrong), but still may be a benefit of freelancer's policy for clients.

A quotation from a page about freelancing

Something else you could consider is a refund policy. A written money-back guarantee makes selling new clients on your upfront payment policy easier. It gives them peace of mind knowing they have nothing to lose should you fail to deliver the work.

Think of it as the first few stages of a customer journey map, where you need to build awareness and trust with the company before inking the deal.

Since I'm personally considering to charge clients in arrears after each work milestone, there is no need in a money-back. My client can simply not to pay for the milestone done if he doesn't like it.

The question is, how to properly describe in my policy such a client right without creating a false assumption that I'm just a learner and not a professional expert?

I mean if I would write something like

You can simply not pay for the milestone done if you won't like it

can be implied by clients as

I'm just a learner who fills his portfolio and therefore I anticipate your disliking

P.S. It would be great to hear opinions of the very clients from their standpoint on the subject here


2 Answers 2


Every hour spent must be paid. Don't allow unpaid milestones and even less cash-back. The risk must be on the customer's side, not on yours. The freelancer is the weak party.

Leaving an option to avoid payment can be interpreted in two bad ways by the customer:

  • the freelancer is unsure about what he is doing and gives no guarantee to deliver,

  • the freelancer does not care for money, and also not about the project. No commitment.

Finally, it is wrong to think that the customer loses nothing by not paying. On the opposite, he wasted time with you. Even worse if a few milestones have already been achieved: that's a total loss.

  • @freestackuser: is it unclear ?
    – user4521
    Mar 12, 2023 at 12:19

I personally give an estimated price and once the ok is given for that, I then will figure out a nonnegative total, but my estimated price is in fact a little higher just in case of extra needing done and I explain this during the estimate discussion so that the client knows the price can change but it will not be any higher than talked about unless we add an extra situation and then we talk a new estimate.

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