STAGE 1 – Identifying the issue
The complainant should select the Project and the Milestone payment or payments to be disputed. A User could contest all the Milestones related to a single project in one dispute.
After which, a description of the issue and an explanation of why the dispute is being opened should be given. From this stage until Stage 3, users are encouraged to attach any files that could support their claims.
Finally, the complainant is requested to enter the amount he or she is prepared to pay for the Project (if a Buyer) or wish to get paid for the Project (if a Seller). The amount could be between 0 and the total amount of the Milestone Payment(s) in question.
STAGE 2 – Negotiations
At this stage, either party can negotiate for partial compensation, or (after a period of time) choose to have The Freelance Network ‘s Dispute Team arbitrate the dispute. Both parties will have the opportunity to tell their side of the story and also negotiate terms to resolve the issue between themselves.
Only the party who originally filed for the dispute can cancel the dispute. If the issue cannot be resolved through negotiation, either party can choose to have the dispute arbitrated by the Dispute Team.
STAGE 3 – Final Offers And Evidence
Stage 3 is the last stage where both Users can submit their final evidence to support their case. After Stage 3, the involved parties are no longer allowed to submit evidence. The dispute will be resolved based upon the evidence provided through the Dispute System, or that is otherwise available to the Dispute Team, such as the project description and correspondence between the parties.
Once the dispute has proceeded to Stage 4, further evidence will no longer be accepted.
STAGE 4 – Arbitration
At Stage 4, the Dispute Team will review all evidence and other information provided to reach a decision (usually within 48 hours). Dispute verdicts are final, binding, and irreversible.