Fiverr Forum

From a buyers perspective - am I being unreasonable?


We are a production company who do professional work for clients, and we sometimes buy voiceover gigs at We are extremely satisfied with the service some of the voiceover artists here have given us (we usually end up at around $60 for the gig). We are also very humbled by and in awe of some of the freelancers here, and how much work they put into $5 gigs.

In my last experience I had to use for a personal project. And I just want to get someones input on a gig, if I was being really unreasonable to the seller?

I know fiverr sellers are doing a lot of great work for little money, but does that mean as a buyer I should really lower my expectations and not expect a great result?

In this case I had some scans from an old letter (8 pages) I wanted transcribed into a digital document. The gig description was $5 for 10 scans. The text in the scans is immensly condensed as it was typed with an old ww2 typewriter, so I paid double at first. The seller informed me then that because the scans are so condensed she would require another $10, so I paid $22. No protesting, I understand it would take some time. I even helped with making the scans more contrasty so it would be easier to read.

Now, when I got the documents back, she had transcribed them pretty good, but there were many words left out, sentences incomplete, and words misspelled. The original text had some misspelled words, but the misspelling I’m referring to was an error on the sellers part. I wanted a digital replica of the letter.

I pointed it out to the seller that there were misstakes. She wanted me to point out all the mistakes, and I said that if I have to go through the whole ting and compare it to the original, the time that would take me I might just as well typed/copied the thing myself.

The seller got into a rant about how difficult the job was, asking me if I was really expecting it to be perfect for so little money. The seller had gone out of her way to serve me, delaying other work. Even though I told the seller that time was not an issue, and she could deliver next week if she wanted to. The seller told me she spent 12 hours on it, again expressing how little money she made on the gig. It caused her a migrane becuase the text was so small, she was in tears, and pretty much gave me an emotional response I didn’t expect from a professional.

Now, I understand everyone has a bad day from time to time and need to blow some steam, I gave her a 5 out of 5 ositive review, never asked for money back, and I understand it was a lot of work for little money. What I don’t understand is - if you are a fiverr seller, and you provide a service, you receive a gig order, you review the order and have all the information on how much work it is going to be, request the extra amount of money you think is fair to complete it. Is it then unfair for the buyer to presume a spelling free or error free product in return, even though the pay is relatively small compared to the job?

Should I assume from future transcription gigs, because it’s a fiverr gig, that the transcriptions, be it audio or image scans have spelling errors, missing words etc? Or any other service for that matter.

In short, am I being unreasonable?


In short: Yes.

Well it really depends on the type of seller you are dealing with, are they a veteran seller with a high degree of positive reviews, are they a noobie seller who is just trying to get by and receive a 5 :star: review for their portfolio.

So maybe a little more history on this particular seller may help us give you a more definitive answer to your current scenario.

You may be a NICE buyer, hence you still rated her a 5 :star: but you are also the reason for the dilution of sellers who are of GOOD quality. Because in all honesty do you REALLY think this seller deserved a 5 :star: rating for the work delivered?


Let me clear though, I am in no way angry or emotionally disappointed by this seller. She did a great job. But the job is not “complete”.

The seller has 18 5 out of 5 positive reviews, and listed as “best seller” in the service. I paid exactly what she asked, and I would have paid more if that is what it would have taken to get the job properly done.


You are a reasonable buyer, so, now my answer would be, “NO”.

Maybe you may wish to utilize “Buyer Request” section, or actually find a Top Rated Seller or Level 2 seller with a HIGHER number of gigs completed for a higher probable chance of a successful gig purchase in the future.


You mean the work gave her a migraine. Could you send me a small piece of what you gave her to transcribe because I am so interested in seeing it. Just one page is enough, because I used transcribe static noise which people told me was actual voice but I never got no migraine.


Alright, I will try that next time.

Thank you very much.


This is a sample from the scan and represents the worst part of the scan. Most of the other pages are much easier to read.


There are a lot of potential variables in this that could have caused the issues but I don’t think the seller’s level or experience should make that much of a difference in this type of job.
As the buyer, you appear to have done the right things - you overpaid as you knew it was difficult and you accepted the extra fee the seller asked for. In this situation you should have received a good job, even if the seller underpriced it.
I have worked on translating documents like that - they take time, patience and a good understanding of the language in question. This is so that anywhere the text is not 100% clear the seller can make a good guess based on what would make sense in the language. This also ensures that misspellings will be kept to a minimum.
From what you describe, the issues you are facing and the pricing involved, I would suggest that it is possible that the issue is the lack of ability in a language. There is a big difference in transcribing a text like you describe and one which is a modern printed document that has been scanned. The latter is what the seller is likely to be familiar with and what they are used to doing. I understand the seller’s frustration, it will have taken a lot of time and effort, but the lack of professionalism is still a pity. Do remember that not everyone on Fiverr is a “professional” in the truest sense of the word, many do this for extra money on the side etc. Also, the low price may simply have been because they were hoping for a positive review; positive reviews are more valuable to new sellers.

So, what can you do?
You could insist on them fixing it but that is unlikely to either properly fix the document or go down well with the seller.
You could offer more money for them to fix it (you say you would have paid more if asked) but again, it sounds like the seller is unlikely to do the job you want.

If I were in the situation I would complete the order saying that I understand it was difficult and tell the seller that I will either leave a positive review or no review at all. They worked, they should get paid. I would then find another seller who is fluent in the language to either proofread the document or proofread and double check it against the original.


Although this is NOT my forte, I WAS able to read through the entire scan and am pretty sure, I would be able to transcribe verbatim.

But why? Probably, because I actually understood the context.

So another pointer for your future purchases could be, to mention the CONTEXT of the document being transcribed.

Here it being a religious textual content.


the Raiment. Also a little further on the Church of the Holy Cross also belonging to the Armenians. The principal altar is dedicated to St. Helin the Empress who brought to light the places of the Passion of Christ, and also another altar dedicated to the Good Thief. Steps loading down from the Nave brought us to the Chapel of the Finding of the Crosses. Here, in a disused cistern, was found the instruments of torture. From here we came to the Chapel of the Mocking where we saw a fragment of the Column on which it is believed Jesus sat whilst the soldiers insulted him.It was not far from here that… Yaaaaaaassssss I am the King… could you tell me what happened after the word that??? No need to leave me hanging.


Yes, a good point. Although the misspelling and words left out were all over the document, even the parts that are easy to read and has nothing to do with religion. For those wondering, it’s a letter my grandad wrote during ww2 on one of his r&r trips to Jerusalem.

But of course, these kinda jobs will be hard if you are not fluent in the language. The questions is, if a seller promotes fluent english etc and can even review the work beforehand, the seller sets the price, and then calls me out on making her cry and devasted for pointing out misspellings.

But as you all have suggested, I should do a better job of checking out the seller, and also probably be very very spesific of what I expect delivered.


This everyone has to have 5 stars review thing is starting to bug me.


5 :bug::bug::bug::bug::bug: fo u den…:smirk:


Weighing in my view for what it’s worth, it sounds like you just lucked out, and as @djgodknows says, I wouldn’t have left a 5 star review if it had been me.

For my part, as a seller, I’ve underestimated work before and when I do that it’s just my bad luck, and I wouldn’t take it out on the quality of the work, or the buyer. I think most sellers will be the same, whether they be newbies or TRSs.

You sound like a very reasonable buyer. Don’t be hard on yourself.


Yes, and for us when we do production work for clients we sometimes underestimate the work, but we never take it out on them. We agree on a price, and if the underestimation is due to us not doing enough research on the job offered, or we lack the equipment to do it sufficiently, we are the only ones to blame. You could always ask the client for more money and explain it to them, but never deliver sub-par work, and then afterwards blame it on that there wasn’t enough money to do a great job. Most important thing is to keep the client happy and communicate expectations.

And also, never be emotional and personal in a negative way in your commucation. Clients will never want to work with you again.

The 5 out of 5 stars was mostly to not have to deal with having to explain myself in a lengthy rant chat chain why the “bad” review, even though 4 out of 5 shouldn’t be considered a bad review. As someone pointed out earlier, there’s probably way too many 5 out 5 gigs on fiverr that shouldn’t be. Sorry :smiley: