Fiverr Community Forum

Buyer threatened me but Fiverr favored him

A buyer contacted me to write a book for him of which I gladly agreed based on the information he provided me. He insisted on doing a few chapters first because he wanted to test my ability. I delivered high-quality work as I do with all my buyers of which he was highly satisfied.

He then requested to continue but this time gave different information that he did not disclose from the very beginning; this is some very sensitive political stuff that I felt uncomfortable dealing with so I informed him that I wouldn’t be able to move forward because I was uncomfortable with the nature of the work and that he didn’t give me all the information from the very beginning.

He tried to push me to write it several times to which I refused, he then demanded a refund for the initial work that he was happy with (I must note that I asked him several times if he needed revision and he said it was great.). I told him that I cannot give him a refund for work that I delivered that he was very happy with. He then threatened to report my account for misconduct with false claims that I requested a 5 star review when I did no such thing; in fact I’ve never done that before. The only thing I asked him to do was to mark the order as complete because majority of my clients receive their work and are satisfied and then forget to mark it as completed.

I sent CS a message stating all that had happened but they failed to help me (I was told to reason with the buyer), and then this morning I woke up to an email stating that my account received a warning for violating Fiverr’s rules. I don’t even know if they will refund him, but at this point I don’t care, I’m just really upset about this whole situation and that Fiverr sides with such people.

All my other clients have nothing but great things to say about the service they received, but Fiverr overlooks that and sides with such people.

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Aaaand you shouldn’t do it. It’s a very grey area and fiverr marks orders as complete in 3 days anyway.
A lot of people got warnings for that.

That’s their standard response because they can’t really do anything there.

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Your account may have gotten a warning, which sucks, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they will refund your Buyer.

They asked you to work it out, and of course you know you won’t be able to, but you
A) do not have to grant him the refund,
B) should take screenshots of the positive feedback + threatening messages he’s sent you and open a new thread informing CS of the situation, and
C) block this Buyer. Let CS know you’re blocking him and this is why, that he is abusive and attempting to game the system.

It’s always best to couch things in terms they understand - ex. the Buyer is violating their ToS and therefore setting a bad model for how to treat Sellers on their platform. You can also report his threatening messages and hopefully get him warned as well. These people shouldn’t be allowed to operate on here but unfortunately they can represent a good amount of money. :roll_eyes:

Good luck and keep us updated!

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A lot of buyers these days are aware that there are certain ‘magic words’ they can use with CS to get sellers in trouble. I have even had a buyer photoshop a message I sent, send it back to me, and threaten to go to Fiverr with their ‘evidence that I’m a scammer.’

I’m sorry this happened to you but the reality is that Fiverr is more than a bit rubbish when it comes to protecting sellers from this kind of behavior.

One thing you can do is more rigorously vet buyers looking for services like book writing. I say that as there is a trend of authors and publishers who purposefully try to gey work FOC. You can also create a message template where you state that project briefs need to be disclosed in full prior to orders commencing.

This is news to me. I’d also say this can cause more harm than good. Lots of sellers encounter buyers who place new orders before existing orders are marked as complete, then ask for last-minute revisions on previously delivered work. This causes unnecessary disruption and is sometimes a tactic people use so they can later turn around and ask to cancel orders after getting as much work as possible.

If I have a buyer placing orders in quick succession without any completing, I remind them that I can only accept new orders when they confirm that they are happy with previously delivered work. It is a basic way of ensuring better safety.

It is upsetting but I hope that this is not the reason why you are now in out of office mode. :thinking:

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I decided to just take a step back and re-evaluate my remaining orders. It’s disheartening when you work so hard to give buyers a great experience and value for their money, but then one person can easily mess that up.

I’ll continue working next week because I got requests from repeat buyers. And Fiverr hasn’t gotten back to me yet; at this point I’ve just given up on getting justice. It is what it is I guess.

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CS cancelled the order saying I manipulated the buyer and that they cannot disclose further information. I guess that’s that, the guy got free work.

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Damn, I’m sorry. I hate it when people like yourself with obvious talent and good intentions get treated like this.

All that said, I’d now try to make sure your buyer doesn’t use any of the material you delivered. And of course, find a way to keep your chin up. As far as bad experiences go when starting out on Fiverr, this is pretty much as bad as it gets. Hopefully, you will put it down to bad luck.

I wouldn’t give up though. You are definitely doing something right if you have orders coming in so soon after just getting started, Maybe focus on that and try and put this situation behind you. (Although, this is often easier said than done.)

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I’d message him that he isn’t entitled to the work you did, and then you can put it up on Am yourself! If he says it was his idea, tell him that there are no copyrights on “ideas”.

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Something similar happened to me and what i have learned is these 2 things. 1) Vet buyers before committing to work with them. Ask them many questions prior to working with them, ask them if they have any further details that they need to disclose before you sending them the offer, etc. get them talking about the project. Sometimes they forget that they had a criteria for the work, and when you start asking all these questions then they remember all of a sudden and provide that important criteria to you. Others will do it to take advantage of our services. Like a person mentioned here, some buyers know the magic words to try to get honest hard working sellers in trouble. 2) Don’t put up with those buyers. As soon as you see that things are going to wrong way either get fiverr support to cancel the order or cancel it yourself. About 97% of people in my experience are here to get the services, and there the other 3% are here just to cause harm and bad stuff, so even though your order rate might drop a bit, is better than having them falsifying a complaint against your account.

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You won’t believe how many times I asked him for more info or clarity on his order. The problem is, I wrote exactly what he asked for, then he wanted to continue the project with completely new information (sensitive political information) so I was very uncomfortable writing that and I let him know immediately then I couldn’t write the next part. This guy is considered a top buyer so I didn’t think I’d have issues with him, but it just goes to show that you can never be too sure about people.

By the way, I got another email from Fiverr saying they had escalated my case to their finance team to further investigate.

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I honestly thought of doing that, but I really don’t want to speak to him ever again. The way he flipped from being a nice guy was shocking enough. I hope his conscience eats him up.

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i feel your pain, sometimes we feel a little under appreciated it but it is just part of the business. We cannot please everyone, so I guess just learn to act quicker when things are starting to get out of hand. Good luck :slight_smile:

Good luck! The fact that they told you that you manipulated the Buyer is unbelievable. I believe it shows the importance of getting involved immediately and showing your side of the story when you have the emotional bandwidth to do so.

Thank you all so much for your empathy and great advice; you guys have been amazing. I’ve decided to use what I wrote for him as one of my writing samples :slight_smile:

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I just want to throw in that CS can look at your messages. So if a buyer takes a screenshot (and maybe edits it to make you look bad) and threatens to go to CS, just politely as CS to look over your message history. I have had it happen in the past where CS had to look over a conversation, and I did not have to provide screenshots.

You obviously can, and probably should, take screenshots, just in case. But I just wanted to pop in and let you know that CS can certainly review conversations without them. :wink:

although i haven’t faced such issue so far, but i do know some cases where such thing happened. Somehow, this community is little more tending towards buyers than sellers, but it is very common practice for such community over the internet. So all you have to do is get ready for this. Take it as an experience to you for your future. Get stick to your efforts and believe in yourself. Solutions will come to you from no where.

That sounds great. Hope for good outcome from this :slight_smile:

Hey guys, I just thought I’d update you all. Fiverr investigated and they have compensated me. I didn’t receive an email or anything, it just popped up in my cleared revenue.

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