I think I just had a pertinent similar experience. A seller didn’t deliver on time for a paid sample of an animation project where I as the buyer didn’t ask for any changes to what I initially asked for. The 3 day deadline turned into 5 days with a lot of back and forth messaging. In the messaging, on day 3 after the deadline, the seller said that they had been doing even more work than I had asked for on the project and were cutting and exporting the file in that moment. Several hours later, I asked where the project was and they said I would get it very soon. I asked again the following day and they promised I would get it within the day several times. On the fifth day, I gave them a two hour window to deliver before cancelling and they asked for a 5 hour window instead, still insisting that they were actually finished with the project. I didn’t understand why they needed 5 hours if the project was finished, but waited until half an hour after the 5 hour window. Then I cancelled the project.
The seller has a very high star rating (near 5 stars) and is a level one seller, which sounds like a good thing to me. After having this experience, I looked closer at the reviews. Most of the hundreds of positive reviews were duplicates from the same few accounts and the few negative reviews were people describing similar situations to mine who waited out the multiple delays to receive a project apparently with lower quality than described.
I feel that it is likely that the seller frequently has such dealings and somehow still has a great rating. I don’t see too many tangible negatives for the seller in this scenario other than losing one person’s business. I understand that leaving reviews in similar cases could be very bad for a seller that isn’t at fault as the buyer may or may not believe, but customers seem to have the short end of the stick as the system stands in the very specific situations like mine. (I am sure there are other situations where the seller has a much more difficult time.)
Although buyers receive a refund from a cancellation, they still invest some time and energy in their orders and cancellations of time sensitive projects can be very detrimental for goals of projects and such as well.
Would it not be possible to make cancellations and reasons from both seller and buyer perspectives as a separate review and rating system from rating and reviewing the services themselves? This seems to me to be a solution that would be a good middle ground for the benefit of buyer and seller to be able to explain their experiences to potential costumers.