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Blackmailing and Disrespectful Buyer | April 2020

I have worked with this buyer twice in the past, and each time she has asked me for additional work in the form of multiple revisions. She would ask me to write code for an entirely new screen in a revision, and would constantly deny that it’s additional work.

I didn’t want to work with her this time but she placed an order anyway. Ever since this order started, she has been constantly threatening me with the additional workload and the tone of her language. She keeps imposing that it’s a part of the revision itself. Now after more than 3 additional screens, and thrice as much work, she is again asking for more. I spent a few hours on the Fiverr forum and after reading Fiverr’s TOS, I reached out to Customer Support. I told them how the client is being disrespectful and is explicitly blackmailing me to do more work than what she has paid for. She keeps mentioning the previous orders that I had done additional work for free in the past. I did all that because I was really scared that she might leave a bad feedback. I just wanted the order to end.

None of the features that she asked me to add in the revision were mentioned in the initial requirements at all. She even made me write code for 3 entirely new screens that weren’t a part of our initial agreement. Now she wants another free screen, and it’s agonizing the way she is constantly threatening me. I have been trying hard to make it work by accepting whatever she asks, and all this because I am scared she might cancel the order that I have worked so hard on in the last 3 weeks. In which case, she would get everything for free, and I won’t even know where she is using my work since I don’t have the name of her real app or any other details. And I am also scared to get into an argument with her because she gives constant hints of negative feedback during a regular discussion. I have been concerned that she might leave a bad rating on my profile which may result in lower buyer activity and traffic on my profile, hence, I have been trying to comply with her overburdening me. Whenever I try telling her that this is additional work, she would act disrespectfully and would start calling me incompetent and incapable. I have malfunctioned several times because of this, and the way she treats me has been a constant torment.

5 revisions were included in the order, and so far I have done 8 revisions. I tried to reach an agreement with her multiple times but she doesn’t want that. It feels like she wants all the work for free once the order is canceled, hence, she keeps asking for additional work for free.

I explained to customer support all of the things that I have mentioned above. After talking to them 3 times on the same ticket, and explaining the same thing, they are still not willing to help me in any way. In the first message by Customer Support, they asked me to work out an agreement with the buyer and to go back to the initial agreement and revision requests to see if there was something that was not done accordingly. I again tried to explain that I have done everything right and the buyer is not merely asking for a revision. I explained that I tried reaching an agreement with the buyer, but the buyer is not willing to pay any additional amount for the additional work.

They contacted me again, repeating the same thing. This time I tried again asking the buyer if she is willing to pay additional amount for the additional work. Again, she refused, and said that Customer Support told her that I will finish the revision with no extra charges. She attached a screenshot and no where in that screenshot it said that I would do it for free.

Now there is this never ending loop where CS is refusing the see the flaw here. They are taking buyer’s side, and the buyer is practically bullying me. There are clear indications in her tone of language that she will leave a bad review after this. I am really scared, and I don’t know what are my best options. Please reach out to help a fellow seller, if you can. Thank you.

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I attached screenshots of her disrespectful behavior, all the revisions I had done, screenshots of Fiverr’s TOS that protect me from such a scam, and so much more. And still, the Customer Support is taking her side. I am really disappointed, and I don’t know how to deal with this. This one buyer has caused me serious mental anguish. I didn’t sleep one night just because of the way she talked to me and ordered me around. She is making me feel like she has bought me, and I am her slave.

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Take control and stop allowing this to happen.
You have 3 options:

  1. Cancel the order
  2. Do what the buyer wants
  3. Redeliver the work that you have completed and do so continually.
  4. Tell the buyer that you need to be paid for any additional revisions and based on what she says either you get paid or you choose number 1, 2 or 3

One bad review isn’t going to hurt you now that you have around 50 and are level 2. It really won’t. The problem here is that you allowed the situation to go on and allowed them to take advantage of you, so they did. Then they did it again and again. Only you can stop it, support cannot do anything useful for you here unless you want them to cancel it. They won’t complete the order for you or anything else.

So, what’s it gonna be?

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I have already told the buyer that this additional work will cost her additional money, but she is not willing to pay for it. I am not willing to do additional work for free either. The only remaining option is to cancel the order, but that won’t do, since I have spent 3 weeks on this already. I have been thinking of redelivering the same work until the buyer accepts it. She will probably leave a 1 star rating after that, and that scares me a little. I really want to feel a little more liberated by not letting her take all the work for free, and miss treat me like this. I would really appreciate if you can ponder upon this a little more, and tell me which option would you pick or if there is another way. Thank you.

Sorry. I left out one option which is to redeliver the order as it is, like you said.
That is the one I would do personally.
Make sure that you say exactly what you did and that you completed the 5 included revisions.
Also, contact support and simply say that you have a bad feeling the buyer will ask them to cancel and that you do not want it cancelled - you have completed more than she paid for and agreed and the order should be completed. Don’t mention anything about reviews, revisions etc - clear and simple, 2-3 lines is enough.

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If what you are saying is correct, then my advice would be to stop working on the order straight away - redeliver your work along with a very short explanation that ‘you have completed the work under the agreed terms of the gig’ - and then block her.

Your client is being abusive. The problem is that you’ve let her get away with it previously, and now she thinks she can repeatedly come back and bully you again. Classic bullying / blackmailing behaviour.

Forget about the risk of bad feedback - have some pride in yourself and the value of your skills. You’ve delivered some great orders before - most buyers will ‘read between the lines’ and understand that this was a client from hell. Loads of five star feedback - vs a single one star feedback. People aren’t stupid.

Good luck - but honestly, you will feel better for putting a stop to this situation. Take control.

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To be honest, I’d swallow my pride and just keep revising this order until the buyer accepts the final delivery. The second they do, block them. If they leave you a review, expect it to be a poor one and leave your own feedback explaining that the buyer has attempted to get extra work FOC on several occasions.

It is easy for others to say that you should refuse to deliver extra work, etc. However, buyers like this can not be reasoned with. Usually, they also know how to get their own way with CS.

Swallow your pride, deliver until the buyer accepts, then block them. If this person is ordering from you repeatedly, they are likely outsourcing work from a bigger client of their own. If this is the case, the next time they go to order from you, they will get a nasty shock.

Your buyer will suddenly realize that they now have to find another seller. That means finding someone who can deliver comparable quality and deliver free extras like you. That is not going to be easy and will cause them a great deal of stress. - That is your reward.

I know this, as quite a few people ho have been abusive to me in a similar way, have panicked after being blocked and done everything from track me down on social media to try to order from me on other platforms.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck!

.

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I’m sorry to say this but the op is likely to receive bad feedback regardless of whether he completes the work or not. It’s in the very DNA of these abusive clients to do so - it’s like a final twist of the knife in the back.

Why encourage him to waste further time, when there will be no additional reward, and the alleged client gets a finished project when they clearly don’t deserve it?

We all handle situations differently, but we should stand up to bullies and not bow down and complete their unfair / abusive demands.

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There is nothing much you can do about it.

Even Customer support can not force the buyer to accept the delivery, If you have earlier bad experiences, you should have blocked the buyer earlier as well…

as earlier stated above by members you do not have much of options…

The OP says they have spent 3-weeks on this. I’m, therefore, assuming its not a budget order. I wouldn’t be worried about poor feedback. I’d be worried about poorer gig exposure in the search because of cancellation penalties, and this buyer going to CS if the OP cancels to get past orders refunded.

I’m all for standing up to bullies. However, I have found that most of the time when I cancel orders, I find my work being used online anyway. In this case, canceling can make a light go off in an already reprobate buyer brain, as they suddenly realize, "hey, I could be a giant turd with everyone and get all my work for free."

If the OP hadn’t worked with this buyer previously, I would say cancel. As they have, I will bet that they will eventually agree that this order is complete, and if the OP kills them with kindness in the interim, they may not get a bad review.

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I’m now sort of inclined to agree with you over the feedback issue. But my worry is when will the request for extra unpaid work stop? Will it take another four hours of the seller’s time, or another 40 hours of time? There has to be a limit… which is why I was saying stop all work now.

However, I have to say it’s great exchanging different views. We all handle things differently and I genuinely believe we can all learn from each other!

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This is for the seller to determine.

If it was me, I’d deliver the current revision with a message clarifying that my gig offers X amount of revisions and that a revision constitutes an amendment to previously delivered work, not a request for extra material. I’d then say that as I sign of good faith, I would be happy to complete 1-last revision. However, as I have other projects and important family matters to attend to, this will be the very last one.

Even when I do this, I can guarantee that a buyer will come along with another extra revision request. However, I will usually complete it (begrudgingly).

I do cancel some orders straight off the bat before it even gets to completing revisions.

I have dealt with so many devil incarnate buyers, that when I see a familiar communication pattern emerging, I just cancel, run, and block asap. However, I would never be willing to cancel a large order or an order that has run on for over a week already.

It basically comes down to how you profile a buyer.

People I block are usually people who place large orders, want regular work, and seem to have a notion that because you are working on Fiverr or not from the USA, you are some kind of poor person who should be appreciative of the work they are sending you and be happy to be micromanaged like an official employee.

These people will do everything they can to squeeze extras out of you and drag orders out. However, usually, they are not scammers who intend to try and get work FOC from the get-go. Usually, they are just rubbish human beings. This is why I complete work but block them asap afterward.

I get the impression that the OP is dealing with this class of buyer, hence my "just slog it out" advice. However, I could be wrong.

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I’ve had clients who were demanding and being a total pain continue to order over and over again. When I tell them to stop ordering from me they promptly place two orders. Abusive ordering. In effect letting me know “you’re not going to get rid of me”.

You’re right about all the things you have mentioned about the buyer. However, the scope of the project was only 1 week. It was a simple $250 worth of project. The buyer kept asking for revisions, and in those revisions she kept asking for additional work. I tried to make her understand that it’s not a part of what my gig offers, and that I have already delivered what she has paid for, hence, arguments and abusive language from buyer’s end. I ended up making the revisions, and it cost me more time. The project is being dragged for more than 3 weeks now because the buyer is never happy. On average, I charge $20/hour, and each revision costs me 6-8 hours of my time. Hence, only the revisions are worth 3 times more than the project budget itself. I am certain that this buyer from hell wants all this work for free because just an hour ago she told me she will need more revisions for free because I didn’t do something right in one of the revisions. And I am certain that I will get a bad review after this. @cyaxrex I would like to know now, what your take is on this. I have a feeling that I should just deliver the project again just like @english_voice & @eoinfinnegan recommended and in case she asks for another revision, instead of delivering again, I should tell CS that the buyer is abusing the revision button.

I think when the seller has mentioned the strain this has put on their mental health in various ways that there is something empowering and refreshing about just redelivering and saying no to further work.
Yes a bad review might follow but the OP’s profile is in good shape and could take that. It’s also empowering to know that you don’t have to be so concerned about reviews. A bad one now and then is ok. The seller can also leave their own review for the buyer. However, I find that when someone has behaved like this, they don’t leave a review as they know they will get a bad one themselves.

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Given your clarification, I’d say that I would do the same. However, you then need to hope that CS won’t cancel this order if your buyer asks them to. This has happened to me and I know it has happened to others on the forum.

Maybe try 1 last time to say here is your revision and state clearly that any more revisions will necessitate placing another order. At least this way, you stay in honor.

Alternatively, if you are fine surrendering any income from this project, just cancel.

@ahsanmustafa I understand your frustration because I was in a very similar situation. I kept redelivering and ended up with a warning (my first) so I really recommend you do what @cyaxrex suggested. Give them what they want and get through the order then quickly block them once it’s over.

It’ll be better than canceling, getting a warning, or a negative review. It sucks but that’s just how it is. The right thing to do would have been to block them after the first order or canceling the order once they raised the first red flag. All you can do now is be a bit more thoughtful of who you work with in the future.

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At 6-8 hours per revision of which he has already done 8?!?
I’d prefer a warning and a bad review.

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I get what you mean but after putting in all these hours and then walking away with a warning and an awful review would make me feel really bad.

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This should have been cancelled and the buyer should have been blocked 2 orders ago. I’m very sorry for your situation and I hope for the best possible resolution.

I wouldn’t continue “working” with this person on their terms. Whether it means redelivering, sending an extra or cancelling is up to you.

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