Fiverr Community Forum

Bad Client Experience

Hi guys! I just wanted to get your feed back on some things that just transpired.

I had a client who asked me to create a set of Pokémon instagram story templates. They also asked me if I could make them a vector recreating the Pokémon go map to go along with a few templates and some eggs as well. This was for 3 sets of 4 templates that she created very detailed categories for. And by detailed I mean details I was unaware I had to make for her. What perplexed me most about this is that she knew I had two days, had been communicating with me via the main messaging system for a day prior and never mentioned this once. She also insisted on having my png file IPhone vector that I use for my gigs, but did not put this in the initial message, but in the order so I had no choice but to comply. I did not send her my exact file I chose a different I phone vector for her to throw in for free but I think she was unhappy with the fact that it wasn’t my copy. What really threw me off is she wanted to sell everything that I made which I told her was okay. Still a bit strange. Now moving to what happened next that will make more sense

The next day I sent her a screenshot from my laptop showing her every single individual backdrop, icon, etc that would be used in her templates. Day went by, I saw that she had been online and seen them, no response.

Finally this morning I finished her templates and uploaded them to Fiverr using 7-zip. She was unable to open them so while I was recompressing them for her, I sent her a fun phone rendering of three of her templates that she could view while she waited for the re-up load. This is when things really started taking a turn for the worst and she then decided to ask me where the other ones were. To which I responded that I simply added that render as a fun freebie but it would take me another hour of my time, not to mention my delivery would be late, to recreate renderings of all 16 of the templates I made for her. She then began to panic asking me where the iPhone png was and how was she going to use these templates if she didn’t have the iPhone vector which virtually makes zero sense. I assured her that the file was a png and she would be able to slide photos underneath the png with ease but in order to get to the file she would need to open the zip folder. After about an hour she finally opened it and decided that all of the templates even though she had seen them already were “sloppy and disgusting”. I asked her to send me screenshot showcasing this as literally and hour r before that she was praising my work telling me I did “too much”. I told her that we could seek a solution, that made her angry, however I am not one to give up so I took a look for myself. She was certainly right about the edges on a couple of the cartoon vectors I had made and they definitely needed to be smoothed out which would have taken me 3 minutes an image to fix. Even with a solution, and originally liking everything I feel like it’s a disservice that our orders can be cancelled without a proper investigation. This woman has hours of work that I made, and like I said the issue she has with them is very fixable, and was something I missed upon uploading. I put on my best happy face with her and really tried but she was so hostile and downright disgusting I obviously can’t know but I do assume this client was not an adult just due to the context of the conversation. Which is really disturbing is that is the case. She was claiming to be a photographer, yet did not know what a png was, and also sells other people’s instagram templates but does not know how to use them.

I had sent fiverr an email and before reading or responding they cancelled it. I have worked for startups before so I completely understand that it is much easier to auto side with the customer but this is incredibly sad for me.

I am sure there are some veterans on here with some horror stories so any bit of advice as to how to properly handle these situations so that I do not lose money and time like that again would be super helpful.

I also want to apologize for how scattered thoughts are here I just thought this could be a helpful topic to someone in the future as you all are very good at giving answers!


Isn’t Pokemon copyrighted, and isn’t it forbidden to use anything Pokemon-related without purchasing the license from the copyright owner?

If you were using copyrighted characters without permission, it’s copyright infringement, so cancelling the order is the only thing that CS could possibly do.


Yes! If you remake the logo or the cartoons exact then it is plagiarism. That’s what I tried to explain to her. I had to remake the Pokémon map from scratch and could not auto trace for copy right reason so it did not look exactly how she wanted it. But I could only do so much

I had to make all vectors and images from scratch. Which is why this is really troubling

Even if you make it from scratch, isn’t it still copyrighted? Otherwise anyone could use, say, Apple logo for their business, as long as they make it from scratch.

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I see what your saying but us copyright law as far as I know, i could be wrong, it can be similar but not exact. For example I could not make a Pikachu that was made by Niacom. But I can reproduce something similar. For example, you can’t buy a fake Gucci bag but you can buy a fake Gucci bag if the label says Bucci instead. I know terrible reference but I think you get the point lol. As far as text I did not make any as that would be incredibly tedious to make a “version” of the Pokémon text. So with what I made it isn’t plagiarism because it isn’t exact.

There is a similar situation in music (my field). Directors usually use Role Models from past films or classical music themes, to cover parts in their films. Then they give the parts to the official music composer for the movie, asking to copy the Role Models. Believe me, it happens 90% of the time!! Even with important and famous composers!

Of course the composer can’t do it, because he must respect the copyright, so the issue is, how far can you please the director? I Always prefer the direct way: “I can’t do it, Sir. I will create the music in the same style (scifi soundtracks, horror themes etc etc, are very open and large categories) but it will be unique and with my personal fingerprint!” Thats what I Always say and I Always convince the customers.

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That’s an excellent way to go about it
I certainly should have been more clear from the get go


exactly… it’s better to Always be direct and explain the situation

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Mmmhh… Usually, when buyers use aggressive language like this, they do so to purposefully disarm you. - Usually because they intend not paying. (Another warning sign can be that they are opposed to you even offering to revise work.)

I was going to raise the potential copyright problem here but it seems you are on top of it. What I would suggest, though, is that going forward, you do not accept orders like this. It is a bit of a copyright gray area and Fiverr may be more likely to cancel orders because of this.

This is the best way to approach situations like this. I get a lot of people asking me to recreate a promotional video they have seen elsewhere. I also get other people asking me to copy existing articles from online but ‘spin’ them so they pass plagiarism checks.

In both cases, I point out that I have my own video style and that while I can create a sales copy or article they will be happy with, I create all my own material from scratch.

There is no one-size-fits-all way to handle situations like this. However, I’d say that the first thing you need to do is put a system in place to deliver large orders in an easier way. Possibly sending a zip file and links to a non-compressed archive on Google Drive might be a good option.

I say send a zip file as well as a Google Drive link, as Fiverr seems to want to see evidence that actual files have been delivered via the Fiverr system.

Personally, I’m also wary of accepting large orders from new buyers. In your case, where your buyer asked for several pieces of artwork, I would have invited them to place a test order for 1 - 4 pieces. If they were happy. I would then consider sending a larger custom offer.

As well as not agreeing to complete projects which are in a copyright gray area, you might also want to make potential problem clients aware that if they cancel an order after delivery, they will not be permitted to use your work anyway. - You just need to be very careful how you word this.

Lastly. possibly the easiest way to get around this problem would be to use Fiverr’s own watermark feature. I may be wrong. However, I’m pretty sure that you can upload 10 .png images at a time to a delivery. When you do so, these are delivered to the buyer, but Fiverr adds a watermark which it is not possible to remove until buyers accept an order as complete.

Maybe some fellow graphic designers could expand on this last point.

All that said, sorry this happened to you. Maybe, though, just think of this experience as a baptism of fire, which you can use to re-evaluate what you plan on offering and how you go about managing deliveries going forward.

Good luck! :slight_smile:

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Thank you so much for your detailed response!

The information you gave me is very helpful and I didn’t even think that that could have possibly been what she was doing.

Her profile was brand new, no photos so did seem very suspect. I will most certainly be taking all of your advice for future gigs like this.

I am definitely going to use today to update all of my gigs to make sure this problem doesn’t happen again.

For some reason I forgot we are contractors and are not necessarily protected by Fiverr in that sense as they are simply a marketplace. I actually didn’t even know that it was possible for me to cancel an order die to me being so new here!

All of this is really helpful to me so thank you so much for taking the time to explain this to me


Not a problem. :slight_smile: