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Buyer claims he lost a client because of my SLOPPY work, demands money back

I do translations, have had hundreds of clients over the past year and only received 5-star ratings. I do all my work manually, never use translation services, and research the topics I translate about to make sure everything is correct and fluent in the language I’m translating to.

Then today, a buyer messaged me in anger saying that he lost a 5-year client of his because of my sloppy translation, asked if I had just used Google Translate (I had not), and that his client ended up having to redo the translation himself.

I was chocked and surprised and quickly looked up which project he was referring to (luckily I save all my work sorted by date). I checked my file as well as the original, and there was NOTHING wrong with it. It was fluent and of high quality. I also went back to our message history from when I delivered (which was last week), and the buyer (who speaks both languages that the text was translated to and from) even told me upon delivery that he had checked my work and was impressed by it.

So why has he now returned demanding a refund?

I asked him if he could be more specific about what his client had an issue with. Had there been any specific spelling errors, or any sentences that perhaps I had misunderstood or misread? He could not, saying that he didn’t know.

His argument: because he didn’t get paid, neither should I.

I am always friendly and professional with my buyers, but that made me boil a bit - not only is he unable to say what the problem with my work was, but he also thinks that I should return the money that he paid me for the hours I spent on his project not because there was something wrong with my work, but because his client refused to pay him.

It leads me to think that it’s one of two things: his client is scamming him, or the buyer is scamming me.

Also, if it was so that my buyer had one bad experience with a translator (me) and sends flawed work to his long term client of 5 years, surely the client wouldn’t just suddenly end their business relationship? Feels like there would be more to it.

Of course, it could also be that I am missing something major and that the client is right. But in that case, the buyer needs to find out what that is and tell me so that I can fix it. But somehow I doubt that’s the case :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for letting me vent a bit :smiley:


It does sound like a scam by your buyer’s buyer. Do not refund him and do not agree to cancel.

From Fiverr TOS:

“Orders are not eligible to be canceled based on the quality of service/materials delivered by the seller if the service was rendered as described in the Gig page. Buyers may rate their experience with the seller on the order page, including the overall level of service quality received.”

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