Fiverr Community Forum

Client has given more work than discussed

Hello everyone! I hope you are all holding up well, considering the situation. This is my first post here, although this is not my first rodeo with Discourse, so I hope I followed all the rules correctly.

I have started offering editing services on Fiverr in January this year, although I got my first real customer in mid-march and am currently working on the second. This is where the problem comes in. My second client seems like a good guy, and despite his sometimes lacking English, he tries his best to be understandable. We settled the terms together (Document one: 10k words, 5 days, $30. Document two: 30k words, 14 days, $90. Total: 40k words, 19 days, $120) and I started working. All was well and good until two days in, I discovered I was actually given a document that’s 10.5k words and one that’s 31k words, which is 1.5k and $5 more than originally discussed.

I delivered the first document last Saturday, and hoped to politely inquire about the situation after he had taken a small look at the document and returned happy (I figured it would be easier to talk about this when he is already pleased with my work). However, he hasn’t been online since Saturday night and hasn’t responded.

I’m quite new to this entire freelancing thing, and I have half a mind to let this slip, but if this is a return job (it looks like it’d be roughly twenty to twenty-five 30k-word documents a year) and I lose $5 every time, I’d quickly start losing $100 a year, and I’m already asking only a third of normal non-Fiverr copyediting going rates. At the same time, I’m afraid of a bad review or even a complete cancellation.

What would you suggest I do? Mention it now? Mention it after the gig is completely done? Don’t mention it at all? Thank you in advance for the help.
-Jane

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This is a common occurrence, sadly. Give me a few minutes and I’ll see if I can find a few good discussion on this issue.

(My impulsive first opinion is to let them know immediately that you have discovered the excess word-count, say they’ve only paid for X words, then… not sure. Lemme find those threads.)

EDIT: Here’s one, while I keep looking. Order placed without agree on price

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I figured this’d happen more often. The first few bad reviews I’ve found about Fiverr were of buyers being extorted for more work, and frankly, those detailed reviews terrified me. But at the same time, those who wrote them had been here safely for years.

Thank you for your reply. :orange_heart:

EDIT: I read through the thread. Sending a Gig extra while politely explaining what’s happened sounds like a good idea.

I’m having more trouble than I thought trying to find more examples. The search engine here is… tricky. I guess it doesn’t like my choice of words to search. (I did find this old one that was an after-the-fact cancellation of this kind of situation: Really frustrating experience)

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He replied saying that he sent the document to their formatted, and after quadruple-checking my message, I sent a Gig Extra detailing what has happened. I hope it’ll work the way it did for that person in the other thread. Thank you for the help, @imagination7413, I really appreciate it.

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It might. Sometimes buyers make honest mistakes, and then it’s best not just to point out the mistake, but also to tell them what you expect from them (otherwise they don’t know what they’re supposed to do). You did the right thing. Good luck! :slight_smile:

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We managed to get it sorted out <3 He took a bit to reply, which scared the living daylight out of me, but he said yes. Thank you everyone for the help!

Nice. Go ahead and send that extra. (If they don’t except, you might have another problem.)

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I did. :slight_smile: I trust them to accept, since he has seemed like a really nice and reasonable guy so far. To be honest, I’m afraid that this minor thing will make him give me a lower review. Even a four star one will make me drop below 4,7.

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Glad things have worked out! I’m also offering similar services, but I’m hoping to target the ESL crowd more than native speakers needing large manuscripts to be checked.

Have you encountered a major difference in client yet (ie…client #1 is native speaker and it takes you 20 minutes to proofread 1,000 words vs client #2 thinking he needs to pay $5 for his text to be ‘proofread’ when he actually needs a heavy edit?)?

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My first client was a native while the two others are ESL, but I have done a bunch of editing off of Fiverr so that I have plenty of experience of both. To be honest, I have seen ESL who are great at grammar and spelling, and I’ve seen natives who are quite dramatic and who need a sentence-by-sentence edit. It seems like nationality barely matters these days.

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Yup. SO this. ^

If they complain about their mistake, it may be best to block and not take another order from them. If they accept the critique, then they may just turn out to be among the best buyer types. As for ratings, yes, they’re important. But I think being paid for your work is more important.

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That makes quite a lot of sense, actually. Though it’s a strange idea to block someone and refuse future orders after reading everywhere that the buyer is king and you need to try your everything short of giving them free work to satisfy them. This is a thin wire to walk, isn’t it?

Very true! Pardon my wording on that question by the way.

Basically, I’m trying to figure out how to steer clients towards the correct service. I’m seeing very quickly that few people understand the difference between ‘proofread’ and ‘edit’, which makes it super frustrating when a client orders a $5 proofread (without messaging first), attaches a disaster, and expects you to turn it into gold!

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It’s all about boundaries. Setting them, sticking to them, and knowing that other people also have boundaries of their own. I recently shared an excerpt from a book on this. Let me go find that post.

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Click the drop-down arrow to see the pages. Am I in the wrong? Hoping to be a better seller (LONG)

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Eh, it’s fine. Words are hard.

I’m not sure if I can help you with that, and turning things into gold is difficult, so we can do our best to deliver pyrite and hope they buy it. To be honest, I’m in this for the copyediting side of things. That’s the aspect of editing I’m truly into, along with a few line editing bonuses here and there. The reason I called my gig ‘proofread and edit’ is because almost everyone else offered that instead of a true copyedit.

How many words do you do for $5?

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Boundaries are my archenemy, but one of these days, I will beat them and use them. It seems like the most effective way to protect yourself from others.

I actually read that post a few days back. I’m practically sucking this forum dry for information. It’s a slow process, and I see a lot of negative things, but there are some useful posts here and there. You and a few other regulars are a wealth of information when it comes to things like these, or just Fiverr in general.

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Right with you! I much prefer the editing side of things, but since ‘proofread’ is such a common SEO keyword…

My basic gig is 1,000 for $5…which is supposed to be just proofreading. I’ve had three orders on it (one was an actual proofread, one should have paid me for a copy edit but never communicated, and the third agreed to mutually cancel after her ordered the $5 gig even though I told him that his work needed major rewrites ($20)).

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:grin: Happy to have helped.

Did the few pages of the book make sense? As I mentioned, it’s a hard-to-read but very good book. What I didn’t mention there was that the full title of the book is “Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No, to Take Control of Your Life” (by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend).

Semi-related. This thread/topic is why I don’t offer a proofreading gig. Beta-reading is close enough.

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