So it finally happened to me. You all probably know the drill but in a nutshell:
First time Buyer account, places order with fast delivery, cancels without asking for revision claiming they don’t like working with me, CS ends up siding with them, I ended up doing work without compensation.
As a writer - and this probably extends to editing, proofreading and translating - there is very little we can do to safeguard our work from being used without compensation. I made the grave mistake of posting the article on my Medium once the cancellation shenanigans started and that’s what CS latched onto in the end.
I take ownership of that mistake. Not doing that again.
So, what are we, the word warriors, to do to help reduce getting scammed for the sweat off our brow?
In an attempt to make lemonade out of the sour lemons I received this past couple of days, I’ll share a few lessons I learned. If this helps at least one person out there, I’ll be content.
Gain as much upfront information as you can. Optimise your gig page so that it makes clear what you do and don’t offer. Use every formatting tool at your disposal. Include a statement that first-time buyers are encouraged to contact you first before ordering. Use the gig requirements to gain as much information about your orders as possible.
Remain vigilant with first-time buyers. They’re not all scammers but that doesn’t mean you won’t end up labouring for free if things don’t work out. Be professional in every piece of content and don’t let your emotions get the better of you. Make your process clear whenever necessary. Outline what you have done to meet the buyer’s requirements during delivery.
You will probably never outsmart them. As I learned through my own blunder, scammers are seasoned in this area. They’ll find a way around whatever you do and it will be used against you. Take the previous tip here: remain professional, assertive and clear about your how you’ve done your work. The moment you leave those boundaries is the moment you lose the battle.
Treat every buyer as a collaborator. Build the rapport and ask questions. If things aren’t working well, you can always walk away yourself by cancelling. As long as you’re not abusing this to discriminate against anyone, maintain a solid completion rate and have done everything in your power to deliver the best service, you should be fine.
That’s all. I hope this has been helpful. Yell at me if I’m wrong about something.