The long story short is I was engaged, hired and paid via an online freelancing platform to do some development work. I believe I performed to the best of my abilities, however the guy who hired me is not happy. After attempts to resolve the problem, he is threatening to take legal action against me to recover the money which is roughly $3000 which was paid over the period of a couple of months via the freelancing platform's invoicing process.
No money was received upfront, work was undertaken via the freelancing platform and all aspects of billing including invoicing were automatically handled by the platform as well. We had no contract directly between the two of us, only through the platform itself.
- The freelancing platform I am using has a period of time in which the company/freelance hirer can dispute any logged hours before payment is made (a week for employer to review, then funds are held for a little while longer)
- Payments are not instant. They are held in escrow in-case the company/freelance hirer has a dispute.
- Payments are based on hours logged through the application the freelance platform makes you use which screenshots your work and logs the hours automatically.
- The client never filed a dispute against me, all payments were successfully made to me. There was never a dispute whilst the work was ongoing, at any stage.
- The guy who hired me never attempted to file a complaint through the freelancing platform, even though the platform has a dispute resolution process which is great for both sides.
- All complaints they have had, have been through email only.
- We are both in the same country as one another, but different regions.
Can someone who hired me through a freelancing platform and agreed to their legal agreements, take legal action against me because they were not satisfied even though they made no attempt to file a dispute through the platform? I apologised they felt as though I didn't do a satisfactory job, but they've been so hostile and constantly holding over the prospect of legal action against me. I wanted to make it work, but the stress is too much.
My concern is they're in the same country as me which would make the possibility of them attempting legal action a lot easier. I know if they were in a different country, then the threat of a lawsuit wouldn't really mean much. Am I protected by the freelancing platform here? Am I also protected by the fact they never attempted to file a dispute through the platform?
Just looking for some options and perhaps additional information from anyone experienced in such matters or has been through a similar situation themselves.