Fiverr Community Forum

How I beat a bad buyer (success story)

With so many stories of sellers feeling defeated at the hands of Fiverr buyers forcing them to do extra work and threatening negative feedback, I figured I’d share this little drama I got out of - where I beat the bad buyer, not the other way around. My tactics were a little underhanded, I’ll admit, but I think you’ll understand why I I did what I did once you read my story. The planets were aligned rather perfectly for this event, so don’t be thinking this will be a typical thing or something you can pull off at any given time.

This particular gentleman had ordered a review (one of the planets aligning) from me, liked what he received and then wanted to use my editing services. He wanted me to edit both of his new books (seriously, what is with all these authors looking for an editor AFTER publishing? That’s a no-no. Do it BEFORE!).

He wanted 187,000 words done. Sweeeet! That was 190 dollars in my pocket and would push me right into Lvl. 2 status. To sweeten the deal, I offered him twenty dollars off for a bulk order, plus another five dollars off for having already grabbed a review.

Then, he asked something strange. "I want you to suspend all your other gigs for one week and put my order on rush. I want both books in twenty days."

Okay… “Well, that will be another fifty dollars,” was my reply.

He agreed. Honestly, given that I make about 20-30 dollars a day through fiverr, I should have charged him much more. That resume gig of mine is HOT, but nobody ever leaves any feedback. Kinda irritating. Anyway.

I suspended my gigs. Regretting it a bit now. Anyway. That same night, I did three of my gigs for him for free - I created a 3D Book Mockup AND created a FB banner for him to advertise his work AND shared his work with my 25,00 FB fans another 75,000 writers and reviewers in various groups I am a member of. He was well pleased.

Now, this is where the story gets ugly.

Two days into this venture, my four year old son is playing with the cat. A car backfires outside, the cat jumps, my child jumps… And falls right down the stairs. Shatters his left arm in four places, including a compound fracture - yes, that’s the one where the bone comes through the skin. My child needed three different surgeries for this accident. I was in the hospital with him for about three days. I sent a quick message to the buyer letting him know what had happened.

I came home to some very angry messages from Symon (his real name), demanding to know why I haven’t delivered a few chapters yet. I told him again what had happened. His reply, and I quote: "Yeah, I’m sorry about your son, but all I’m concerned about is the deadline we agreed to. Now, if you can’t behave like a professional, maybe we should do this a little differently. I will be getting my fifty dollars back for the rush order. If the order isn’t done within twenty days, you will be getting negative feedback on each piece that isn’t completed by that point. Oh, and if you open your gigs back up, you’ll get negative feedback, too."


He then used his character from his book, a mobster kingpin drug dealer, to ‘talk’ to me. It was rather pathetic.

So, I’m stuck here. I can take TWELVE negative reviews, or finish out with a gun to my head and no compensation for it.

He cancelled two orders worth 25 dollars that same day (I was only a level 1 seller at that point) and I accepted the cancellation - what was I to do? Say no and get all negative feedback?

I ended up having finished both his books in eighteen days from when the order was placed (meaning I had done it in only fifteen days! Ha! Find another editor who can do two books in two weeks!), totaling out to 2,431 edits in 186,986 words. In mathematical terms, that many edits in that many words means that this guy can’t go more than 76 words without screwing up.

He left positive feedback for all but two deliveries - early deliveries, which didn’t make any sense (Here’s another of the aligned planets), because he left positive feedback on his final product showing all 2,431 edits. I tell him I never want to work with him again because he’s a pitiful asshole. (Didn’t actually say that, mind you. Wanted to.)

He contacts me. Says he had a grammar nazi reviewer saying one of his books needed another edit. He has no idea when this guy actually read his book, so it may well have been before my edits. He says he doesn’t care, that it is unacceptable for someone to say it needs an edit after I have worked it over, regardless of when it was purchased. Say what?

So he leaves two negative reviews (which are for products delivered before the final one, which makes him just look like an idiot given that he praised the final delivery and pointed out that I gave him extra. I point this out to him and he changes the reviews to say something about wishing he’d asked for a second opinion before saying everything was okay), which say I had ripped him off and lied to him. Told me if I wanted them taken down, I’d have to re-edit both books at no charge and then do his next book for half off, because he did like what I gave him.

I asked him for the review that said it needed an edit. He sent it to me.

This ‘grammar nazi’ reviewer had written a 363 word review and made 35 grammatical errors. Yeah. Not gonna fly with me.

I edited the review, sent it back to Symon and told him to kiss my ass, that he needed to delete the reviews or he would be hurting before the week was through. He laughed at me, and I blocked him here on Fiverr. I then contacted Fiverr and let them know that he has left false statements. Fiverr removed them and warned him about libelous material.

Instead of taking the hint, he just reposted them. Dropped my satisfaction rate on that gig down to 84% and my overall satisfaction rate down to 96%. He contacted me on FB, laughing at me, saying I would have to work with him again to get my ranking back up because now, nobody else would buy from me.

Not his best idea.

You see, I, personally, have about 25,000 fans worldwide through facebook (The most important planet in this little solar system alignment we’re playing with). They don’t like it when someone slights me. At this point, I had been ripped off for 50 dollars and given away about 60 dollars in product. I had taken a hit to my business, suspended my business for an entire week and gotten no sleep for two weeks solid to edit this crappy book series, all while looking after a miserable child as a single father.

So, I appealed to my fans, letting them know what this man had done.

I asked them to vote my positive review on his book up and up and up and up. Now, his book had thirty eight 5 star reviews (all paid for) when he went to bed that night. Most of them had 2 or 3 ‘helpful’ votes. My review had 10 and was already at the top of his review list.

When he woke up, my review had 124 helpful votes and had been changed to a one star review, detailing everything he had done to me. Every helpful review had 2 or 3 helpful votes out of 60 or 70 total votes, the rest were all unhelpful votes and he had 10 or so one star reviews, all verified, blasting his book to pieces.

I got a very quick reply on FB telling me that my negative reviews had been removed, ceasefire, ceasefire, he was sorry and wouldn’t contact me again, please don’t desroy his writing career, it had been his dream since he was a child.

He’s now under penalty of never selling another book… ever… if he tries to slander me again. I had my fans remove all their reviews, I removed mine, and the accounts that voted unhelpful were deleted so they no longer register in the helpful tally - well, most of them. At any rate, all is back to normal on his book, all is back to normal on my fiverr account.



Like I said, this might be a little underhanded. But sometimes, you have to play dirty. Don’t be afraid to snap back - these buyers are using your services for something, usually business related. If they damage your business, punch back. Try to go through Fiverr first, but if Fiverr’s broken system fails you like it does 95% of the time, fight back in your own way. Ripoff Report’s website is an EXCELLENT way to keep business practicioners in line.

Really, go take a look at it and you’ll understand why. A new entrepreneur has squeezed you dry on their crappy logo for their crappy new business idea? Well, guess what, they are coming out of the starting gate with a negative review on the biggest review site in the world, which puts all their stuff at the top of google with ease.

I’m not saying to try to damage every single buyer that leaves a negative review, I mean hey, sometimes you might deserve it, but don’t let the ones who were TRULY jerks about the entire experience and who attempt to blackmail you get away with it the way they have been in such large numbers lately.

Always try to work with your buyer. Go the extra mile. Give them some free stuff, offer revisions. If you’re an asshole yourself, you deserve it. But if they are one of the breed of people that just cannot be reasoned with, then strike back, hard.

These bad buyers go to their buddies who need cheap work and tell them “I got this and this and this and this for five bucks and there was nothing the guy could do! They HAVE to do the work for you!” And then more bad buyers come in.

This guy won’t. He’ll tell his buddies, "Don’t cross these people… They whooped my ass! Respect them and they’ll respect you! Disrespect them and Dear God, you’ll find your business around your ears."

Sellers have the right to defend themselves against the truly horrible buyers whom have learned to abuse the system.

I wonder how many people this guy has ripped off before?

I hope he thinks twice before doing it again. Not everyone has the resources that I do, but you never really know, either.

Don’t let the buyers walk all over you, folks.


I Agree with You…

many time i realize…@animusargentis

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Pretty much in the same boat as madmoo, while your tactics might have been questionable, I’m glad you managed to protect yourself. WELL DONE!

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You didn’t do anything that was at all worse than what he did against you, AND he was a cold-hearted human, just to add insult to injury. I like that you’ve cautioned against going too far to retaliate because it’s true that not everyone deserves the harshest treatment, but it’s obvious this guy knew enough about the Fiverr system to play it, and if he’s done it once he’s likely done it before, whether on Fiverr or elsewhere.

Chalk up 1 for the good guys~!

Well done! Great story

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Congrats! I personally would never take up a job that difficult, whether it be writing up a story, or designing 200 banners for someone’s website, you never know what can happen during the time period between the first order and the last! I always limit my orders in a single day, say I get 8 orders, I only complete 4 and leave the other 4 for the next day, just to give myself some time, seems to work for me at least, I’m not one to talk for others though, perhaps you receive 10 times more than what I do, so that’s just my standpoint.

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@animusargentis based on my understanding, it sounds like you’re doing a black hat operation or astroturfing to me…by yourself or encouraging a personal conflict of interest to give positive reviews for a piece of your created work. That would be a violation of the TOS on the review site and fiverr. sounds like both parties hired/sold an unethical service and acted unethical. i find neither party good, two unethical collaborators, neither are right.

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Heh… Abusive buyers seems to be a common theme on these forums. :slight_smile:

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Reply to @fiveonchris101: Are you retarded? They blackmailed me, I set things right. End of story. I never told them to give me positive reviews.

You left him off easy…but good job.

Great… wished I could do that. Got this lady who does her christian T-shirt designs, which i was supposed to create… I did a few even though what she ask of me was extraordinary. I did it… spent hours to please her. She wrote me a few Top comments saying I was Great and A++++++ but from one day to another she didnt responded back with the last job, I had worked on for a very long time… So months are over now and today I find my first negative comment - of her! Saying that I dont do good jobs and such…Well I really dont understand whats wrong with her… i mailed her back if there was anything i could do and what was the reason for that nasty comment…

I am really upset since its wrong and I did a lot for to please her…

Is there anything I can do to change it? How long can comments be changed?

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Reply to @ivyart: In your case, I would strongly recommend contacting Fiverr - that sounds like a case they might agree to removing.

chuckle If all else fails, call her a bad Christian! :stuck_out_tongue:

Reply to @ivyart: Got your messages - glad to hear that it was all resolved. Read your last reply via mobile a few days ago, couldn’t reply. Can’t find it now.

I see nothing wrong with what you did. You want to know why? If Fiverr won’t provide protection for its sellers, then we have to do it ourselves.


Every once in a while I come back and read this story and I smile. Then I start laughing uproariously. They didn’t know with whom they were dealing. You are my hero! =))

Reply to @cheezees: :slight_smile: Many thanks! Lol. People bite off more than they can chew sometimes. In a place like Fiverr, it’s probably best to not threaten people.

I did get a bit of backlash though, I suppose. My gigs will not show up in searches anymore, I have to actively advertise for every single sale I make. Fiverr has marked me as ‘unsafe,’ and I’m ‘up for review’ on April 12th. Kinda bull s h i t, but what can you do? I have enough people to advertise to, to remain safe. And buyer requests are always there!!!

Thanks for the advice. I’m not usually spiteful, but when someone insults me and sabotages my business for no reason (other than to feel powerful), I want to give him a taste of his own medicine.

Late last night a seller sent me a very rude, abusive, insulting message. I didn’t want to go to bed feeling upset so i didn’t bother opening it. i thought… if my work was THAT bad or he thinks I’m so stupid and ugly, he can request a revision and I’d just cancel the order and give him his money back. But instead, he sent messages all night long, every hour practically, and when I woke up he had left a 1 star review since I “ignored him / didn’t reply”. Very unprofessional. Fiverr is a business. Not a 24/7 chatline where you hit people up when you’re bored.

I was so upset, and he uses his real name as his username, so I googled him and found out he uses services on Fiverr to basically act as a middleman! He charges over 60X the price he paid me.

I thought… how DARE he make money off me like that while insulting me, upsetting me, and then trying to ruin my business over the $5 he paid. So, I am now considering leaving a 1 star review on his Google business page and on a wedding vendor site he’s on (letting his customers know that he orders from other sellers rather than doing the work himself, and he hikes the price to make a profit) and sadly, those will be the only reviews he has. But… he is rude and hopefully this will teach him not to be such a jerk.


Not a good idea.

Your buyer acted badly, but please don’t follow suit.

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I’m so sorry this happened to you!

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