I found a developer through guru, almost two years ago. I hired them and worked well with them. Unfortunately, the author of the book I wanted to put into the app, was very unorganised and didn't have the material ready as promised. I worked with the guru up to the point of a rough demo app and basic flow. I then requested to postpone the project and wait for the author to compile all the material. Which she has now finished. I contacted the developer again and requested to reopen the project and move forward. Upon which they quoted me another $5500, above the original quote of $4400 of which I had paid $3700, which has been released from SafePay. This new price was never mentioned and there was no time limit put on the project. Unfortunately this developer doesn't use Guru.com anymore.
Please advise if there is any way I could dispute this, as they are refusing to finish the app unless I pay the extra $5500.
Please any help, or advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Unfortunately, I don't think you can dispute this. A dispute only determines who (employer or freelancer) should get the funds that are in Safepay. Since there's nothing in Safepay, there's nothing to give you even if it's determined that you should get the funds. In fact, if there's no funds in Safepay, you will not even be able to open up a dispute.
Guru can not (and does not) force a freelancer to either give you back what you paid, OR, force a freelancer to finish a job.
You can either pay the freelancer the additional cost for them to finish a job (or maybe try and negotiate a lower price) , or if you have all the files, source codes etc, you can look for another freelancer to finish this job for you.