I understand, and that’s why it worries me. It could really happen to anyone, and without them doing anything wrong.
I think this is just one of those “falling between the cracks” kind of situations where automation is incompatible with the needs of buyer/seller. My client has been in touch with CS, gotten the “Nope, you broke the rules, you lose” email and nothing but automated emails after that. Fiverr has, for whatever reason, decided that they don’t care about “fair” in this case.
This is why I really feel that any freelance platform should have to have a contact phone number, by law. My client paid his 20% commissions for the length of his account, months and months, and now that he actually needs help he’s getting stonewalled.
The trend definitely seems to be to not provide a phone number, and in some cases, there’s not even an email address, just a contact form (really annoying if you have to attach a file (you need to tell them in the contact form that they’ll need to email you, so you can send them a file …), I’ve had that several times recently.
I used to write pretty frequently for a pre-written article sales site, based out of Canada. One time, they had a big project for a pretty well-known specialty ($$$) retailer here in the states, and asked folks trying out to submit one article one paid article as a tryout. I did, and a week goes by. Two weeks. Three. I am trying to use the contact form on the sales site to see what’s going on, decided to search a line mid-article in Google just to check it hadn’t been used. Guess what was front and center on the retailer’s blog?
I was livid. I found a “contact number” on the article sales site and called it…it was an automated recording that didn’t take messages, directing callers to use the site’s contact form. This is the sort of nonsense companies will get up to when there’s no oversight. :-/
I did get it fixed eventually, and got paid, but I had to dig through old emails to find an extension number from one of the site’s employees’ signature blocks that had emailed me a year prior.
Automation is a scam. No one likes it, yet the e-commerce industry keeps blowing its own trumpet about how chatbots and AI are helping increase customer satisfaction and expedite query resolution times.
It’s all bogus. Every single company that celebrates how amazing automation is fudges the data by making it near impossible to reach them with an actual complaint.
AND YET…how many damn articles do we get from clients wanting to talk about it? Ughhh. It’s the new “martech” (god I hate that word) darling. The thing that really ticks me off are these tech bros dumping god knows how much into FB ad campaigns talking about how their [insert glorified article spinner name here] will revolutionize content marketing by providing it for free. Uh, no. No AI will ever be able to organically reproduce the nuances of content writing, the story flow, the turns of phrase, sparse but pointed alliteration…you can’t just tag turns of phrase according to usage and think that every pre-determined assemblage will work. Writing isn’t programming, it’s a method of human-to-human connection, and there isn’t room for robots in that. :-p
I order from several big online companies. The ones who will keep getting my business are the ones with great customer service. So far Amazon still outshines them all in that department although recently they made a big change to how you contact them which is cumbersome.
I was shocked by Walmart and Target.
It appears to me Amazon bought Zappos and gave me a coupon for a free pair of shoes. The shoes were delivered by Amazon delivery service. I like that kind of marketing.
My hubs works at-home customer service for Amazon, and it’s been eye-opening for me. They’re empowered to fix a lot of issues by throwing money at it, but you do have a “permanent record” on Amazon that keeps track of how often you get refunds for “broken” or “missing” things, and if you abuse it you get blacklisted.
Also, insider tip, always order products that are “Shipped and Sold by Amazon” when you have the option - there are three choices that can possibly be on an item: Shipped and Sold by Amazon, Sold by [third party name] and shipping by Amazon, and Shipped and Sold by [third party name]. Amazon reps have the most power to help you in a problem situation with S&S by Amazon…the Sold by third party stuff, they usually have to direct you back to the third party seller, who usually isn’t very motivated to help because they lose profit.
I had a terrible experience with that recently for an $85 item which was never sent. I had to contact the seller numerous times, who kept replying by lying about sending it when he never did. Amazon used to refund on the first call to them about a situation like this, but now keeps telling you over and over to contact the vendor, and wait past the delivery time, which is long. It was a really bad experience but finally in the end I did get a refund.
Interesting that Amazon used home based reps.
They do have some call centers, but the vast majority of customer service is home-based reps at this point. They ship them a special laptop, require they use a hard-wired web connection and keyboard/mouse (hackers can access via bluetooth!) and require they be in a closed room for privacy purposes. They pull the usual BS about mis-classifying “part time” employees and denying benefit availability while requiring full time hours availability, but that’s American corporate culture for you.
If you call in and get someone you can’t understand (they outsource a LOT of customer reps), just politely and firmly request a US-based rep. Some will push back, some will happily agree, but if they refuse or disconnect you, just call back. You’ll eventually get someone like my husband that’s usually a lot easier to understand
It must be stressful for him, dealing with unhappy customers full time. I’ve turned down a few job offers like that in the past. I had a job like that in my younger days and it wasn’t a good time. I try to be extra nice to customer service reps.
When you are creating your gig, you need to have a requirement that all contact and important website information needs to be submitted in the order. Make it a mandatory answer during the order process. So they cannot skip this section and order. Yes some people forget the important stuff and I have done it myself. Whether innocent or not, it happens to everyone. You are prompting them to give you all info during the order process. I have buyers who never attached a script for a voiceover and that’s a pretty big problem and if you can’t contact the buyer, it becomes an issue with cancelling the order. So be a smart Fiverr seller and get it all in the order! It really has helped me. You can also expressly give your terms and conditions (Your own order rules) there too but if you are unsure reach out to customer service and ask them if your terms are ok then you are safe.
Yes, sure, I know, I have, I do. This was about a buyer sending contact info unasked in messages (sometimes even when you don’t need their contact info to do a job) and the seller getting 3 ToS warnings for what essentially was 1 ToS violation broken up in 3 consecutive lines by the buyer.
The “mandatory” requirement obviously isn’t foolproof, by the way, I didn’t have issues with that so far but I’ve seen enough posts about buyers simply putting “I’ll provide it later” or even just “.” or whatever and indeed skipping the section.
The matter here is support issuing a warning to a seller when it wasn’t the seller who did anything wrong.