Here are a few things you guys might do to avoid pitfalls and prevent another situation like this from happening.
1. In addition to paying for services rendered, it would help if your colleagues actually let the candidates from UpWork know that they are being interviewed and stick to an interview style conversation. Don't immediately start asking for their input on your project. This is called consultation and a lot of designers get paid for it including me. Asking questions about past projects or case studies is perfectly fine because that work has been done and shows experience.
2. There's a reason you chose me as a candidate. I had to assume it was a combination of my portfolio and rates. Because I actually had to send you a proposal with my rates, it is assumed you knew that before heading into the project.
3. Update your Upwork profile. TWAT PARTNER looks like a ghost. He shows that he's working for a company called Basic Media Marketing which doesn't exist online and neither does he.
4. If you're going to use Upwork, don't bend the rules and then expect to use them when it seems to fit. He asked me to go off record and use Skype. That was not my request, but because of that my request was to be paid directly via SquareUp for the services and time spent that he asked for via Skype. At this point you're off the path of Upwork and you're dealing with me directly and vice-versa. That only makes sense.
5. As for me contacting your client, that could have been avoided if your colleague wasn't actively avoiding me. Besides, I was under no legal restraint from speaking with them. I signed no NDA and from the conversation documented in Skype, it is assumed that they knew you were sampling various artists' work. That's you not me. I contacted them to beware of doing work with Basic Media Marketing, a company that seems to no longer exist and the owner has seemingly gone offline. Had I known Jon worked for HFB by seeing his portfolio on Upwork, things would have been different. I didn't even get an email address for him until today and I had to search to find it.
6. All in all, it's $50 and I deserve to be paid for my time. If you want to contract and farm out your work, that's fine, but maybe take a little initiative to perform some follow through. That may work for unsuspecting young talent trying to make a name for themselves, but I have been working too long to get shafted for work I clearly did and spent several hours on. I am only asking for about an hour worth of pay at a cut rate for over three hours of work.
I am sure TWAT Agency Technologies does good work and I honestly have no quarrel with you as a company. I just want to be paid for my work. Due to the fact that it's $50 and it has taken this long to collect I can understand that you are a passionate startup company trying to get your feet under you. I can understand that and I admire the spirit of working for yourself. That's all the more reason it is important that you get paid for your time and so do the people you request work from. Integrity builds trust. Thanks for your time. I am sure you'll do the right thing. Here is a transcript of the work that transpired. I took screenshots as well. They are all in the invoice I sent you.