Fiverr Forum

Attn: Sellers, new rules on communication


#1

If you don’t want to read it all:

If you do not respond to an question within 48 hours, the buyer is entitled to leave you negative feedback, which means you are, technically, not allowed to take weekends away from work

Brief outline: I have 2 gigs. One for reviews, one for normal content (reviews take longer). Some of my customers try to get around the time limit and order reviews under my normal content gig.

So, this happened:

  1. Customer orders the WRONG gig on Wednesday. I tell him. I say that it is going to take as long as my review gig. He agrees. No sense cancelling BECAUSE I have agreement, in writing, of how long the order is going to take.

  2. Gets to Friday. I work up to 16 hours a day, Monday to Friday. So I take weekends off. The gig, at this point, is about to go ‘late’ but that doesn’t matter. Customer messages at about 8pm Friday asking where the content was (despite being informed previously)

  3. Saturday, I don’t work. I don’t go on a computer.

  4. Sunday, the same. Gig goes Very Late. This shouldn’t be an issue, because we had agreed to a time limit. I mean, at this point I wouldn’t mind if he cancelled for ‘late delivery’ because I have already agreed with the customer on a new time limit.

  5. Monday, customer cancels the gig. Now 1.5 weeks before the ‘agreed’ time limit.

I think “hey, I agreed it can be late, the customer tried to get around the time limit I have set in place, this means I can get the feedback removed like normal, right”. So I head to customer support. Guess what? It can’t be removed. They agree that a time limit was extended, they agree that the customer ordered the wrong gig. Why can’t they remove the feedback?

Well:

"all Sellers are required to respond to Buyer’s requests within 48 hours, independently of the delivery time frame for the order. "

According to their terms and conditions (and I have checked the terms and conditions, it doesn’t say it), you now have to respond to EVERY message a customer sends within 48 hours. No exception. You can’t have weekends off or anything. If a customer places an order and you do not acknowledge it at all until you come to complete it, even if it is delivered on time, according to customer support you can be ‘punished’ for lack of communication, even if there is no reason to actually talk to the client at all.

It is a ridiculous rule. Everything swings in my favor on the gig. The customer ordered incorrectly, the customer was informed he did and YET, still, because I didn’t respond to a message of him asking when the delivery time was (even though he knew), I am fine to get a negative feedback.

Stupid.


#2

Oh, come on Ryan. The order ran late and you admitted it. No matter what agreements were made, there’s still a clunky system in place that’s going to activate if you do all the things it’s trained to bark about. The 48hr rule is odd, I agree, and I’ve never had it (I’d be interested to hear if others have, though). Time to slash words, up prices. I also don’t work weekends, but some weekends it’s unavoidable (extra fast delivery, too many orders etc). I would have told the buyer to cancel and reorder the appropriate gig, or just do it in whatever the time frame was anyway.

EDIT, since you just updated with a tl;dr–I really think that the lateness of the gig was the main issue rather than the weird 48 hour thing.


#3

I know the order ran late. I have no issues with that. However, customer support also state that if an order is running late, you should inform and receive an agreement with the buyer, which I did. That ought to be enough. It is preferable not to have a cancellation, even a mutual one, because it does push up the cancellation rate for that particular gig (which does have an impact on gig visibility). If I had cancelled every ‘incorrectly ordered’ gig last week, I would have had a cancellation rate of 25%.

The buyer didn’t have to cancel the order for late delivery. He knew when the order would be delivered. He was informed in advance. He had to physically hit that ‘cancel for late delivery’ button, and I don’t get why customer support refuse to remove the feedback. The buyer clearly ordered the wrong gig, was clearly told of that, and an agreement was clearly made. It doesn’t just get cancelled automatically. If I am not allowed to go back on agreement that is made, why should a buyer?

Note: I have been informed by customer support in the past that it is best just to inform people they have ordered the wrong gig and give them a new deadline as opposed to cancelling it. That is what I did.

There was zero need for me to work this weekend. I have to take time off sometimes. However, their 48-hour rule means that somebody could change their mind about any agreed time limits at a moment’s notice. This rule does not just apply to gigs which are delivered ‘late’. Based on what customer support says, you can receive negative feedback for lack of communication IF you deliver on time, but there is zero communication between the buyer and you before delivery (i.e. if you do not acknowledge the buyer when they place an order, something which I never do if all of the information is there)

Delivering it within the quoted time frame (for that particular gig) would have been difficult due to the way I write reviews. I fact-check over the course of a week.


#4

I’m still thinking the basic solution is to push up prices while reducing word count. Everything else still follows on from the fact that you are getting too many orders, with as many as 25% of them “wrong” for various reasons. Higher prices scare those people off. You get more money. You don’t type your fingers to the bone, or have issues that are specific to your (frankly dodgy) standing with “late but not really late” deliveries.

I know you’re thinking about it, I’m just pushing you to do it… BTW, the other advice you mentioned from CS “it is best just to inform people they have ordered the wrong gig and give them a new deadline as opposed to cancelling it. That is what I did.” is something that would have made me raise my lustrous, Sean Conneryesque eyebrow, because there’s a whole system in place that’s automated to ■■■■ me if I do that. No ta, crappy adviser.

Prices up, words down. Your problems will be halved (as will your gigs, but you can adjust every month or so until you find a good equilibrium). Less support tickets, too, so you save time!


#5

I have to agree with emmaki. I don’t understand why you still have such a large offering for such a small amount of work. You say yourself that you’re an excellent quality writer, so you don’t need to work for pennies. Your orders may go down on here, but you also point out that you have your own freelance services so it shouldn’t really matter. Even if it did, you would have less work to do for your pay and there would be enough people wanting your gig because of quality. You’d have more time to yourself.

Also, working 16 hour days is excessive. I know that not your gripe here, but when do you spend time with your friends? What about some “me time?” My guess is it’s all at the weekend from your comments above about taking a weekend off work, but that’s not enough. You’re going to work yourself into an early grave.

I know people have been telling you for the last two years to reduce the amount of words you offer for your $5 gig. Please think about it and help yourself.

The 48-hour communication thing sounds odd to me too, but you did admittedly let the gig run late. While there was an agreement, the best thing would have been to cancel. That’s what I’ve always done when someone orders the wrong gig. Now I have the majority of my gigs set to the same delivery time. If someone orders the wrong one “by mistake” then I will cancel it. It’s as simple as that. I don’t trust the Fiverr system and I don’t trust other people to stick to their agreements. I’ve been burned by one too many who have tried to play the system etc.


#6

The reason why I don’t reduce my price (at the moment) is because I need to ensure sales continue to come in. I think everybody remembers those negative reviews that were posted about me last year? They cost me a rather sizeable chunk of my business, a chunk which I would not have lost had Fiverr helped me out.

Since then, it has been tough to gain new clients via email. Because, you Google my name and negative reviews saying I am a notorious scammer on Fiverr appear right at the top. Not completely true. I have been told numerous times that people will not work with me because of that. Previously, I had zero issues picking up business via other sources, not I secure a new client once a month, and that is a push. Before I was racking up 10-20 a month, so a HUGE fall. I get told at least three times a month that those reviews are the reason why somebody is not working with me.

Hell, I posted my service on Reddit the other day. Instantly, somebody came up a list of all the negative reviews that I have received on Rip Off Report. They didn’t care that I had zero negatives on any other freelance websites, and neither did anybody else. They cared about those reviews.

The reason why I do not reduce my price is because it will be tough to build up my business again. At the moment, I have gone from 10ish sales a day on Fiverr to being lucky if I have five to ten a week (which is not enough for me to live on, obviously). By offering the 2 x 500 word deal, I know that some people are going to bite the bullet. I have a ton of positive feedback after all.

HOWEVER If I go for a smaller gig, I can’t guarantee regular sales. I won’t stand out from the crowd (my feedback will be eliminated). If I suffer falling sales like I did when I was a TRS (and one of the reasons quoted for me losing my status was falling sales), then I will end up Level 1, making it even more difficult to generate cash.

That is the reason why I haven’t changed. I know I have to change, but when I can’t guarantee my income (and the cancellations from people ordering the wrong gig hurts me), then I can’t live. I am in a country where I don’t speak the language, so it is impossible for me to find an actual job whilst living here.

If that original seller that left those negative reviews about my service (and I know who it is) didn’t exist, then I certainly would not be selling on Fiverr right now.

My biggest regret is signing up to Fiverr as a seller, but it is the only income I can make at the moment.

Now, I could have a smaller gig alongside by 2 x 500 word one in the hope that people would order that. However, you are only able to have one gig appear per category, which means one of them will not appear in the search.

Note: I have tried to out-SEO those negative reviews, but no matter what I do, they continue to come back, taunting me, telling me I am a scammer, saying I buy positive reviews on Fiverr and stating that I do not deliver anything but poor quality PLR.

Sorry if any of that is unreadable. I wrote it on my phone!


#7

When I started my FIverr career I also had many instances of people ordering the “wrong” gig, in the expectation of getting something for nothing. What worked for me in the end was posting gigs that couldn’t possibly be confused with each other. One said “Astronomy”, and the other said “Car Repair”, and from that moment, all my problems with “wrong” orders disappeared.

I learned the hard way that clients either don’t read gig descriptions, or if they do, they read gig descriptions so well that ambiguities become like blood in water to sharks. Simply make it impossible for a client to exploit weak points in your gig descriptions, and all your problems will disappear.