Fiverr Forum

How A "Buyer" Got Away With Free Work


How A Buyer Got Away With Free Work

First, I know this is prevalent in Fiverr’s flawless system, but I thought I’d blow off some steam and share my situation.

So as usual, I go through the whole hand holding process with the buyer via back-and-forth messaging with questions and answers - which is always a favorite of mine. I am professional, kind, helpful. He is the same - clear, professional, nice. Buyer orders a gig, supplies the information, and I get to work. About 3-4 days later, I deliver the inks. He explodes with ecstasy, so much so that he mistakenly refers to me by the wrong name, and goes on about how my work is wonderful, and how it matches his vision perfectly. (Remember the vision part - it’s important)!

So a couple of more days pass, as I do his requested revisions, fully color the illustration, and then I submit it to him for approval. Here’s the fun part - otherwise known as “the twist” in movies. He comes back with another “you’re really really great” response. Only this time, he includes a cancellation, saying how he tried, but “it’s like beating a Dead Horse”. First off, yes, he actually capitalized dead and horse - this goes back to the inherent low intelligence of what we know as “the buyer”, which is starting to lose it’s meaning the more I work with people on Fiverr. Here’s the real kicker - remember what I said about ‘vision’? Well he now tells me in the cancellation that we had “2 different visions”, and mine didn’t work out. Yeah, sure, absolutely. Whatever you say, boss.

So I offered revisions to appease the almighty “buyer” - ahem! I mean con-artist scumbag. No response on that one. So I contact CS, thinking, surely they won’t leave me holding my *****! Boy, how wrong I was. Here was the sterling response I got back from the geniuses working in Fiverr Customer Support:

[See attachments for CS ticket]

In short, he disputed the payment and got his $25 back. In the end, I know that he needed it more than I did. I don’t mind giving to charity every once in a while. I wish him good health! I hope he goes on to scam more people on this sorely flawed “freelance” website.

PS: If you’re worried you may miss out on all the fun - don’t worry, it will happen to you. The buyer could seem completely normal, kind and professional. Before you know it, you feel a sharp, tingly sensation in your back - that, my friend, is the knife that the buyer put there with Fiverr’s help, and you’ll remember this post.

Au Revoir!



Yeah, you blew up at CS and screwed yourself there. That response you got is what they send to everyone–sending a sweary response back? Not a smart or professional move. I would have just written back with details and screenshots and pointed to relevant TOS.

You lost $25 because you got mad. Let the buyer get mad instead.


Emma, I’m not a Fiverr Investigator. I’m also not a lawyer. My job isn’t to go through Fiverr’s TOS and cite lines to customer support. I provided the ticket information, which was enough for them to look into it. That said, the blow up you mentioned was worth every penny.

You’re welcome to go on thinking you’re clever though. You have my permission.


I’m not a lawyer or PI, either. I just know how to win disputes. That’s by providing evidence along with my complaints. CS is busy. The more groundwork you do for them, the more likely you are to get the result you want.

If your rant there was worth every penny, cool beans. I’d rather have a successful dispute. In fact, I have a 100% success rate. That $25 would have been mine as soon as he whined about visions.


No it wouldn’t. The payment would’ve been disputed and sent back to the seller by means of PayPal. What are you talking about?


Did the buyer bring up a PP dispute? That’s against TOS, which would/should lead to them being banned. I can think of at least two sellers who have recovered funds from a PP dispute (larger sums than yours–$600 was one of them), though $25 is a small enough sum to let it go.

A Fiverr refund just ends up sitting back in the buyer’s account minus the processing fee–but you would have had a say in it by issuing the refund/offering/accepting a cancellation request.

Now, it’s one or the other. That’s definitely something you should have mentioned to CS if a PP dispute was threatened. It’s quite simply a major violation of TOS.

I think you need to investigate it more myself. No, it’s not directly a part of your job, but it is there to protect you and all other users. Swearing at CS then getting snarky with others on the forum about it…

…well, that just doesn’t achieve anything. You’re probably on their shitlist now for abuse. Guess what’s also not allowed under the TOS?


Nah, I was never informed of the PP dispute until it happened, and the order was cancelled.

Regarding the last part, I couldn’t care less.


Well, the buyer will be banned then.

You might not care about the last part, but you were being unprofessional and abusive towards some of the most important people in the Fiverr ecosystem. TOS or not…

BTW if you complain about this to them you will get their cookie-cutter “we don’t get anything either”. Go ahead, try it! You can swear at them again!


Does any action on my part need to be taken in order to get the user banned?

You still haven’t given me a reason to care. The cs is there to aid in situations such as theft, and their response was to blow me off with a premade message. Im supposed to get on my hands and knees now? What kind of customer support is this?


No, it’s an auto-ban. The mail you got was most likely an auto message too. Most initial CS contact messages is automated.

Oddly enough, working with Customer Support has helped other sellers to get hundreds of dollars back for other sellers–and they had the premade messages too!

If you had read my other messages here, you would have noticed that part.

The CS here is no better or worse than any other global freelance site. You don’t have to get on your hands and knees, but nor do you have to be abusive. You just need to be professional and work past the auto-messages and find a CS rep to work with you.

But like I said, you blew this yourself, whether or not the buyer was going to PP dispute it. There’s absolutely no reason to send them a review like that–it’s deeply unprofessional and marks you out as being not much better than your buyer, behavior-wise. In call centers, all that gets you is a note–which, if they have any sort of system going, is where you are right now. Don’t care? Well, neither do I as it’s not my problem, but it’s certainly yours.

That’s the real issue here. Bad buyer’s unaffected. He has his money and your work and can easily make a new account to continue on his merry way. You could keep an eye out to see if it gets used anywhere and issue a DMCA notice or something, but right now that’s your best option.

tl;dr: don’t swear at people trying to help you even if they’re automated messages to start off with, it’ll cost you in the long run.


Good to know.

Oh no, I might get a note… Now they won’t help me in the futu-- oh wait. Yeah.

My point is, the system is flawed when a buyer can actually dispute your payment without proper recourse. This could be avoided if they bothered to use their own transaction instead of relying on PP. But they don’t, and this happens. It has happened in the past, and rest assured it will happen again. No amount of being nice is going to fix this broken system.

I’m not really concerned with Fiverr long run any more. I appreciate your, what I’m sure is genuine, concern for my best interests, but I actually mean I don’t care.

Thanks for the help, Emma!


Oh, I did try to start up a union and nobody was interested because they didn’t care either as it was “unworkable” or “communist”.

The PP dispute is explicitly not allowed. Your buyer is probably a repeat offender. Fiverr has this shit in place due to PayPal’s own policies IIRC. As I’ve said, working with CS and keeping your frustration and irritation at bay works much better. I agree there should be more payment options right now but there just aren’t, for whatever reason. It could change.

But feel free to flounce off while being sarcastic–it worked really well for you in the past, and I’m sure it will continue to do so in the future. If you have your own website, you also don’t have much recourse against disputing buyers, as PP makes no real provision for digital products. PP sucks, but the world trusts and uses it.

But you know, you don’t care. Marketing isn’t a part of your job either, so I can’t see you getting very far without the help of being advertised on a platform that attracts millions a month seeking services.

Just swallow it up and move onto the next job and try not to blow it up unnecessarily on your behalf next time this happens.


CS tried to explain to you in their canned response they they couldn’t forcibly get a ghostly hand to prevent the buyer from hitting the cancellation button. The buyer can’t force you to accept a cancellation either, that can go back and forth until someone gives in.

What @emmaki tried to point out was that if it was about a cancellation, if you give CS as much as you can instead of making them dig for it, they often will try help you avoid giving a refund. You have to be polite, do the legwork, and make it easy though. If you don’t want to quote ToS back to them, state clearly that buyers shouldn’t be able to cancel for personal taste and then show a screen shot where they buyer is clearly citing personal taste, CS will generally try to help you.

Since you apparently like talking about your **** on the forum and to CS and you are very quick to get to the angry words, it makes me wonder if your attitude ran that way with the buyer too. If so, the buyer just bypassed CS and went to PayPal. CS will ban them for it automatically. @emmaki is right that turning one CS rep into an enemy can really mess up your future interactions with them and their willingness to help if you run into a bigger problem. Help desk people take a lot of abuse in every industry and that’s one reason people tend to talk badly about them. It’s your choice, though, Fiverr gives you rope if you ask for it.


Am I hearing echoes in this thread? Bro, I get it… Cs won’t help me in the future. Woe is definitely me, and my tears will be many. Thanks for the obligatory admin response.

In case you two didn’t notice, it’s a ranting sub-forum, not a feedback and support area. I’m not asking for help here. I can’t stop you from posting it, but maybe stop beating a Dead Horse? Idk.

It’s blindingly obvious that I hurt your ego, Emma. Please accept my most heartfelt apology. Maybe next time leave your own snark and self-importance at the door when making a post.


Ah, I love the smell of projection in the morning. I thought you didn’t care?


Yes, I do care about a seriously flawed payment system. What I don’t care about are the “feels” of Fiverr CS. I really don’t care about that. Where was I inconsistent? Or are you too far up Fiverr’s **** to form a cogent response?


You must have missed the bit where I said I had been advocating a union of sorts for exactly this situation. You know, because you didn’t care so you skipped quite a lot of what I read.

I am far from crawling up Fiverr’s *********. But you won’t get anything done by losing it and screeching at people. I don’t care about Fiverr CS’ personal feelings either. I don’t need to, because I treat them professionally so they will help me to engineer a solution that works for me.

This is usually because the other party is behaving like you are right now. Fonts made quite a good point about your buyer interaction. Did you start getting aggressive with them when things went south?


To answer your question, no. I’m professional with any client I deal with, good or bad. Even when things turn ugly, I don’t say anything out of line. I leave it for the rant forum, and yes, I left nasty feedback to the canned Fiverr response.

I’m sure the buyer has no clue about what I actually think. I don’t cross that line with clients.

Im not interested in arguing any further. I actually tend to agree with a lot of what you post. So I do apologize for getting snippy.

I’m less upset about the current circumstance of losing $25, and more concerned that it can easily happen again - and with larger sums on the line.

But eh, what can you do…


As I said, I can think of other sellers who have got their money back after dispute and for sums of money like $600.

It will happen again, of course. Unless Fiverr shapes up or the union comes about, the best you can do is not swing fists at CS. That’s never going to end well. Snippy forum posting is more debatable re: career-affecting results, of course.


Yes, I know that it happens, but usually after a long, arduous battle with PP support. There’s no way that that should be the only acceptable avenue for sellers to get the money they’ve already worked for. It’s absolutely unprofessional for the platform not to protect its buyers from this kind of issue. It breaks the whole system! What’s the point?