Difficult buyer - how to deal?


#1

Alright so I’m in the middle of an argument with a very difficult buyer. This buyer ordered a graphic from me and was in addition very difficult to please, the gig included 6 revision of the graphics but the buyer was given over 20 revisions, I really went above and beyond to meet the buyers need.



The buyer finally approved the graphic, and the graphic original .jpg was delivered. But now, the buyer requests the PSD file as well as to the JPG file. I charge gig extras for the PSD File, it’s all in my Gig Extras, so I didn’t want to send this for free.



Now the buyer is requesting a full refund for the project, even though the file has been delivered in the stated format (.jpg, as according to my gig descrp).



I feel like I’ve been ripped off, completely. Tips you guys?


#2

If you have delivered what was asked, the Gig was complete. If he had wanted the PSD file, he should’ve added the extra. If he wants it, let him order a new Gig with that extra for the effort.



If he requests a refund, remind him that he was delivered what he asked, and more. Taste cannot be a reason for a cancellation. If he decides to push through with it anyway, contact customer support with the confirmation that he wants a refund because of taste, and that you delivered all you could.



They cannot get you your money back if he decides to cancel through CS or do a paypal dispute, but you can get any negative feedback he leaves removed this way.



Normally I’d advise to talk to the buyer, but it sounds like you two already have a toxic relationship. Best to either make him see reason, or erase all existence of the order including feedback.



Also, be aware that if he cancels, he cannot use the picture. Remind him of that. Google search on that picture makes it very easy to find if he has used it on the internet, and then he can be forced to stop using it.


#3

Seeing as I’ve delivered and even over delivered, why would CS cancel his order? If they do, there is no protection for sellers what so ever.



Then every buyer at Fiverr can pull the same stunt. Placing an order, waiting until the order has been received, then requesting a gig extra free of charge saying you “assumed” that the gig extra was included. And when you’re rejected or asked to actually purchase the gig extra, you request a refund. This would leave the buyers with the product, and the sellers doing free work.



I dont even care if he leaves a negative feedback. I’ve spent 2 hours on this graphic, even revised it 20 times to make the buyer happy. I rather take a negative feedback than to know I’ve done 2 hours of free work.



I’ve tried to talk to the buyer but all he does is using threats about refunds and whatnot. I think the buyer already ses reason, he just wants the product for free and is fully aware of what strings to pull.


#4

I suggest not giving in to his demands. You’ve delivered and over delivered already.



Does he know that, if he does get the refund, he can’t use the graphic you sent him? That you’d have every right to sue him for copyright infringement if he uses it anywhere?


#5

Reply to @print_it: I, personally, am very tentative when it comes to giving refunds. Buyers sometimes don’t realize or don’t care that you’ve put hours of work into their project–hours of work you could have spent working on someone else’s project or hanging out with your fam, etc. You deserve to be compensated for your time.



If you aren’t concerned about negative feedback, I would just deny his request for a refund. You did the work, way over-delivered, and have tried to be reasonable. Take screenshots of everything, so that if he does try to make trouble for you, you have some ammo to back yourself up with.


#6

I had a book trailer gig for 2 years and dealt with stuff like this, so I know where you’re coming from.



What I would do is contact Customer Support and let them know what’s going on. Tell them you have already delivered the order in the format specified in the gig description (they can look at your gig as well as your conversations with the buyer to see what’s taken place). Tell them that the buyer is now trying to get the Extra for free, and they’re trying to cancel the order if you won’t do it. Tell them the buyer is trying to blackmail you into giving them something for free that is clearly offered as an Extra on your gig (because that’s exactly what they’re doing).



Actually, here’s a boilerplate you can edit to fit your needs:

********



Hello,



I have been working with [buyer] to create a graphic they ordered. The order number is [order number].



I have delivered the graphic as requested, and in fact I have completed more revisions than originally offered in order to meet the buyer’s needs. The buyer accepted the final graphic, which I delivered in the format (JPG) specified in the gig description.



The buyer has recently contacted me [you can put the date here instead, like “on such-a-date, buyer contacted me”] to ask for the file in PSD format, which I offer as an Extra. I informed the buyer of this and asked them to order the Extra. The buyer refused and instead tried to collect a refund on this order.



It is clear the buyer is trying to blackmail me into giving them an Extra for free, and would in turn get the entire gig for free (even though they were satisfied with the final product) if a cancellation were to go through. I also fear retaliation in the form of a low rating, even though the buyer was clearly satisfied with the final product, and I was able to go above and beyond the call of duty in delivering this order.



Please let me know what my options are at this time, and if there is some way you can intervene on my behalf. As well, if negative feedback is left, please let me know if that can be removed.



Thank you,



[Your Name]



********

Again, you can edit that to fit your needs, but stick to being polite and professional, and just let the buyer bury himself. That’s what I always do. If you’re doing everything right, it will work out for you.



Good luck!


#7

Reply to @emasonwrites: Whilst I agree with everything you you said, CS obviously does not. I’ve had similar incidents before, in which orders have been cancelled and refunded against my will, by CS. This one time, the buyer simply “did not like” the style of the flyer I created (even though I revised it for him several times) and decided to contact CS and request a refund. CS didn’t even ask me for my side of the story; I just saw that I had $40 missing in my account and when I investigated further, I saw that the order had been cancelled by Support. The funny thing is though that the negative review still stands to this date, even though the buyer had been given a full refund from CS AND got to keep the graphic I made for him.



This is a reminder of how CS can decide to side with anybody at anytime, without even investigating the matter.



I always, always, always take screenshots, but it hasn’t helped me as you’re not given a warning when CS decides to cancel and give the buyer a refund.


#8
print_it said: The buyer finally approved the graphic


This is all you need. If the buyer confirmed the delivered file was good, then you have absolutely nothing to worry about. Be firm and explain the order is now complete.

I'm 99% sure customer support will back you up if the buyer confirmed your delivery.

#9

Reply to @goodgift: That’s a great boilerplate you have there! If you don’t mind, I will use it? :slight_smile:



I always try to be professional and polite but sometimes it just takes so much energy having to go back and forth. I think that they buyer knows very well I’ve over delivered (they are not stupid), but they just want to take advantage of you. '



I feel so stupid now. First of all, the order was marked as complete ocne the buyer requested the additional changes (the buyer came back 2 weeks AFTER the order was closed). I should’ve said no, and asked him to place a new order if he wanted the modifications. Buyer said he didn’t know there was a 3 day deadline and that he’d been “busy” (apparently thought he could come back 3 months later to request changes on a closed order). Instead of just refusing to do the revisions I went along with the buyer and continued to revise his graphics. 22 REVISIONS! I thought this would be appreciated by the buyer, but apparently, he saw just another opportunity to use me.


#10

Reply to @mrproofreading: Yes, after the 22 revisions were made (some revisions had to be made because the buyer supplied me with incorrect info from the start, such as the dimensions of the graphics), the buyer said “I like this version better! Please send the source file. Thanks so much for your work. I hope to collaborate in the future.” After that I sent him the original print ready JPG file.



And that was when he started requesting the PSD file free of charge and then threatening with a cancellation.



I’ll keep you updated with what Customer Support decides to do. Thanks for your replies! This will be interesting to follow.


#11

Reply to @print_it: Yes, please use it. That’s why I posted it. :slight_smile: I also used to have people come back weeks or months later looking for revisions. The first one I did, but after that, I’m like, nope, not doing that anymore. So now you know to be on the lookout. :wink:


#12

I’m probably reiterating what everyone else is saying, my apologies if so.

I would not even give this buyer a chance to do adore damage… Contact CS immediately. Notify them of the situation first. Tell them everything you have done and what you actually offer to do (so CS knows you have already gone above and beyond). Tell them the buyer already accepted the gig. Tell them the truth, that this buyer is running a scam. My guess is the buyer never intended on having a professional transaction with you. The plan was probably to get everything for nothing from the very beginning. I have had a refund request for a service that was already marked complete by a buyer. My situation was that a buyer purchased gigs, I delivered. The buyer was thrilled and ended up playing different orders for work I couldn’t do. I notified the buyer and gave her a mutual cancellation. She said thanks and asked if she could get a refund on the first order too. My response was “obviously not.” You don’t owe refunds for completed work. You also don’t deserve any negative feedback. It’s the feedback issue, CS may be useful in taking care of for you, should that issue arise.

Basically contacting CS is really the only thing you can do at this point and you definitely should. Good luck to you!


#13

Reply to @goodgift: I have three questions.


  1. How much time have passed from the point of an order being marked as completed 'til you feel that the buyer is not entitled any revisions? Is it on the same date the order closed, a week later, a month later?


  2. Does it say anything in the Fiverr t.o.u about this? I’ve read them but I didn’t spot anything related to the issue. I’ve had buyers coming back weeks after the order is marked as closed and say that they feel the the order isn’t delivered because they wanted revisions and that they were busy and didn’t have time to request these revisions once the order was opened. Is this acceptable?


  3. The most important part I’m wondering about. When you refuse to do revisions after an order has been closed, how do the buyers react to that? I’ve had a few buyers changing their reviews from positive to negative, but most of them didn’t leave any feedback in the first place, and when they are not granted any revisions they leave me with a negative review.



    Sometimes it feels like a buyer holds you hostage by not leaving any review, so that they can claim that they “missed” the delivery (“hey, I didn’t see you delivered the file, so now I want x and y to be changed, otherwise I must leave you negative feedback” or “Sorry I have been busy / My wife has given birth / I have been sick, but now I’m not, and I want modifications otherwise I will request a refund” etc etc)

#14

Reply to @print_it:



You have to use your own judgment on these. Some sellers are stricter than others. Most importantly, you need to set the bar in your GIG DESCRIPTION. Everything I held my buyers to was spelled out in my gig description.


  1. How much time has passed depends on your personal policy. For me, I would not do revisions after the system showed the order as Completed, unless I had already spoken with the buyer and we came to an agreement beforehand. People get busy, and I get that, but if their schedule tends to be crazy or it looks like it will be uncertain as to whether or not they’ll be online, then they need to let me know that. Buyers expect that same standard from sellers, so it’s only fair they follow it.



    They can’t say they feel the order isn’t delivered. The system says right there that it is delivered. You sent them the product, it’s delivered. End of story. If they were busy, that’s not something you as a seller can control. You did your part by creating and delivering the product. This is especially critical if you’ve delivered the product with time to spare. I’ve delivered videos within 24 hours (and always sent a link first, before the actual system Delivery, so they could review the order), which gave them a week to have a look. I would send them reminders throughout the week, and then once more a few hours before the deadline, to let them know that the order would be delivered unless I heard back from them. If I was messaging them close to the deadline, I would let them know that I would still do revisions within so many days of the order being marked Complete by the system.



    The point is that I would give the buyer the benefit of the doubt but still stick to my policies. I don’t mind being flexible, but I refuse to be a doormat.


  2. I don’t know that the TOU address this issue specifically. You’d have to look. What I can tell you is that the way I did it worked well enough that if I had problem buyers, I could submit the problem to CS and have it satisfactorily resolved in a short amount of time. Make your guidelines, stick to them while still being polite and giving the buyer as much of a chance as your guidelines allow, and then if they get nasty or unreasonable, you can take it to CS with confidence.


  3. Some buyers are polite about it. They’ll either order another gig or decline and just take what they were given. Some are rude about it and threaten negative feedback. That’s why I stress being polite and giving them the benefit of the doubt (but only within your guidelines, and within reason). If they missed the delivery, that’s not your fault. You did your job. If they give you a story about the wife giving birth or they’re in the hospital or whatever, then use your own judgment.



    For me, if they explained that they were sick or whatever, I’d help them out as long as their request wasn’t outlandish, and I would NOT give away Extras for free. If, however, they told me they were sick (or some other sob story) and ON TOP OF THAT threatened negative feedback if I didn’t do a revision, that’s when I would refuse and let them sink themselves before sending the case off to CS. It’s one thing to be sick or otherwise unavailable, but it’s quite another when they say they’re sick/unavailable PLUS they’ll leave negative feedback if you don’t a revision because of this illness/unavailability. It’s like they’re throwing it in your face and expecting compensation from you for something neither one of you could control. Not good.



    So again, it’s your own discretion. Set your guidelines and lay them out clearly in the gig description. That leaves both you and the buyer without excuse, and with clear direction.

#15

I got in touch with Fiverr Support and they advises me to get in touch with the buyer and ask the buyer once again to purchase the Gig Extra, after I did this, I must have pissed off the buyer because the buyer has now contacted Fiverr support for a refund and is threatening to file a dispute with her Credit Card company.



Any advice for me? Should I send the PSD file for free or should I keep fighting?


#16

Reply to @missashley8705: I also believe that was the plan from the very beginning. I can’t believe this is happening. Now the buyer has requested a refund with CS and is is threatening to file a dispute with her Credit Card company … what to do?


#17

Reply to @mrproofreading: The buyer is now threatening to file a dispute with her Credit Card company. Do you think I still should be firm or what are my options at this time?


#18

Reply to @print_it: It really depends on how much more emotional energy you’re willing to put into this order. If you’re just done with it and want it to be over, send her the PSD file and move on. Chock it up to experience. If she still tries to cancel (especially if she files a dispute with her credit card, at which point, I believe she’ll be banned from the website, though I may be wrong on that point), post the work you did for her online immediately, so that she still tries to use it, you can file a DMCA complaint.



On the other hand, if you’re ready to dig in and stand your ground…you’re likely to lose the money anyway, since there’s not much Fiverr can do if she files a credit card dispute. Yeah, she’ll probably be banned, but she’ll still have the logo and you’ll be out the order–again, if she does that, post it online ASAP.



You’ve definitely been ripped off, but I think there comes a time for all sellers when that happens. You just have to decide how much time you’re going to spend worrying about it (is it worth the money?), and either let it go or keep fighting. Not to sound defeatist, but it sounds like she’s going to get her money back no matter what you do, so. Like others said above, this was probably her plan from the start.


#19

Reply to @emasonwrites: She is actually re-selling the graphics I and other Fiverr artist created for her at her website/webshop. I just checked it, and she sells them as printed flyers and posters. My flyer isn’t up just yet (but I assume there’s only a matter of time until it will be up for sale), but I’ve seen her reselling other Fiverrs artists work.


  • Lets say I send her the psd file and she still disputes the transaction with her credti card company. What happens?


  • How come it is possible for a person to purchase services and then just get their money back? This isn’t the first itme this has happened to me, just the first time the buyer has actually told me in advance they will file a dispute with PP/Credit card company. I have lost count on how many times I’ve actually completed work for over hundreds of dollars and then logged in the next day to see the order has been cancelled.



#20

Reply to @print_it: Yeah, with an unreasonable buyer like yours, there’s really not going to be a happy ending. The point of posting it online ASAP after a cancellation is so that if she does use it (without paying you), you can easily prove that you owned it before she claimed to own it, which, obviously, she doesn’t, if she gets herself a refund through whatever means. You can at least cause some trouble for her, out there in her business, since she caused trouble for yours.



It’s not pretty. I wish there was some way for Fiverr to protect us from people that are just hellbent on screwing over their sellers, but they either don’t really have any way to do it, or they just don’t care enough (maybe a little of both?). It sucks that buyers can basically get away with murder and basically all sellers can do is accept it and try to keep pushing ahead.



It sounds like there is the possibility that if you send her the psd file, she might be sated enough to just let it go and both of you can move on, she’ll have the design and you’ll at least have some money. Of course, she can still file the dispute and then go on to use the design while getting her money back. That’s what crappy people do. The only recourse you have is to protect yourself. It just sounds to me like she’s going to get her money back whether she cancels the order through Fiverr or other means.



If I ever have a buyer who demands a refund, especially after they’ve said they liked what I delivered, I advise them that I’ll find it and file a complaint so they won’t be able to use it. About 75% of the time, they agree to just pay for it.