Fiverr Community Forum

1 Star Review vs a Refund (What should you do?)

I’ve seen many sellers asking the question, “What should I do? It’s not fair! I did great work, I deserve to be paid.”

There seems to be a considerable number of new sellers that post here about buyers who threatens them with a bad review vs a refund. I have to believe dishonest buyers target what they feel are vulnerable. They pick a new seller who appears to be very talented and manipulate them through sob stories and butter them up with niceness. At the end, all that sweetness goes away.

It’s easier for a TRS or a successful level 2 to say no than a newbie. I don’t doubt TRS get these buyers as well, but they are not as easily manipulated with hundreds or thousands of reviews, so it’s easier for them to say no.

As a new seller, should you stand your ground, take the 1 star and maybe, just maybe customer support will see it your way and remove it? Will it hurt your ranking? It’s risky. What should you do?

Well, all that reading you did and I’m about to tell you - - - “I don’t know.” It’s up to you.

What I will tell you is what matters to me when I look at your gig. Since 97% of sellers have 5-star reviews, I actually look at their negative reviews, because that’s matters to me more. I want to see your response.

Are you professional? Are you negative right back? Are you positive? Did you reciprocate the response?

It is so easy for me to spot a fake, sham review because those buyers leave a 1 star with a generic comment like this (which tells me nothing about why the seller deserves 1 star):

“Terrible service, terrible seller, don’t buy. Don’t waste your money.”

Don’t fall into their trap. Cool down, sip your :tea: listen to some soothing :musical_note:, then come back and leave a professional & coherent response.

A real negative review on bad service is typically way more detailed. The buyer talks about what happened, the details of the transaction, communications - in other words, facts. There is only limited space so they won’t waste too much of it pouring words like, “terrible, awful, bad, . . .”

I real bad reviews, I see words like: "plagiarized, stolen, spun . . . " This is what I take seriously.

Dealing with people is hard. A new client can be awesome or it could be a nightmare. If you screwed up, well just admit to it - everyone is entitled to make a mistake. If you know you’re in the right, let the buyer fall on the :crossed_swords:

Stay the high ground!


Lately I’ve noticed that CS doesn’t like removing negative reviews any longer, no matter how right the seller is or what proof they give them (I might be wrong, though - this is just based on my observations from the Forum). And if this is the path CS has taken, I don’t understand why they still offer the option of “feedback removal” in their CS ticket system :confused:

Now, I’ve seen new sellers who take the hit of a negative review just to take hold of the money they earned.

On the other hand, there are new sellers who would rather refund instead of getting a negative review and endanger their chances at getting a Level Up badge.

Yet not long ago Fiverr decided that cancellations should not be performed anymore for the sake of avoiding or getting rid of negative feedback, which makes it even difficult for new sellers to refund in order to avoid bad feedback, because they put their own accounts at risk for engaging in such an activity.

It’s a really tricky one, that I must agree with… but ultimately I still think your advice is the right solution.


1000% true. One of my buyer leave a misleading feedback. But CS took the buyers side. I provided all the evidences.


Yes, tricky, and I´d add that the issue of not being able to reply to Buyer Requests after a certain threshold (90% I think I read), probably is worse than a bad review with a good reply. New sellers with few reviews can drop below that very fast. :confused:

So, if many or even all your orders up to now came from Buyer Requests, do some maths and factor that into your decision.


Absolutely true!!

I think 5r is too restrictive with the 90%. I think they should lower it to 80%.

New sellers have to bite the bullets.


I think the problem is that you actually have to choose between 1 star, which is a disaster or the fact that you have worked x amount of time for free.

just refund the money, a negative review will take down your profile

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The order cancellation and refund also takes down your profile for 60 days. Your listing will appear further down in the search results. I checked that many times, and the message about it appears while you are making cancellation of the order.
The thing is that buyers sometimes don’t read the gig description at all before purchasing the basic gig $5, and they request for $5 to get the things which cost much more, which are not offered in the gig or which even are not possible to be done at all. Why do the sellers have to be responsible for the inadequate buyers?


You’re right. I had no luck with support. I don’t know why they even bother to offer feedback removal if it will never be honored unless of course it breaks TOS.

I totally agree with that sentiment, although I got the scar of my first 1 star review today fighting the good fight. But it was COMPLETELY worth it.


Totally agree with @Woofy31 They never remove unfair feedback now :thinking:

Recently one client leave a misleading totally wrong feedback. I asked fiverr CS to remove it. But they don’t do that. Refund for remove negative feedback is against fiverr TOS.

No matter what, one should not accept a blackmail, I would rather risk losing everything then encouraging such cheap and disgusting behavior. So the only advice I see valid is “Never accept such blackmail no matter what”. And refusing to give in to such threats is not “just to hold on to your money”, it is about principle and not letting such low lives to get away with their unethical, immoral and disgusting behavior. Simple as that.


Agree with every word of what you said.


Not every buyer take a plunge into this deep research the way you do… They see a negative review as negative review but you differentiated well between a BAD REVIEW and ACTUAL BAD REVIEW…

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Like the original poster said, actual bad review has identifiable characteristics, and it benefits the seller to improve or re-evaluate their service quality, and seller would actually know whether the review is legit and he or she deserves it based on what they have delivered, and there is a big difference between a buyer posting a negative review and a buyer threatening you to give bad review or give me the money back, it is a simple case of a sleaze buyer trying to take advantage of a new seller whom they find vulnerable and no one should encourage such behavior regardless what might seem the potential loss if not comply.

Take as a learning curve, a few bad reviews can’t harm anyone, and I find buyers usually analyze the bad reviews and see if they can risk with the seller or not. Though it is not fair to receive a bad review just because of a buyer with attitude, or blackmail, you should never be discouraged or give in to such threats, remember sellers also can be selective and choose buyers whom they can work with. And try to do your best to serve the client and never focus too much on reviews even though it is important and important to some more than others.


I’ve never given a refund after I’ve delivered an order so if you do the work well don’t give a refund.