Fiverr Forum

I've Finally Been Outed as a Non-Native English Writer :(

I’m having a rough January. My order queue and inbox is like a revolving door from a parallel universe populated by people with the average IQ preschool children. One buyer is driving me so crazy that I am now going to have to ban them.

So far, this person has placed several orders with me. That’s great. The problem is they keep butchering my writing after delivery, before asking me to rewrite sections of perfectly written text for no reason.

With their latest order, I finally lost it and politely asked if they could point out why they think my writing needs reworking. Specifically, this excerpt:

A healthy, well-maintained car engine pays dividends. Maintaining an engine properly reduces the likelihood of breakdowns. Regular maintenance also prolongs the overall lifespan of your vehicle.

Their response?

People are healthy not objects. Engines are not organic or alive.

In short, it is clear that this person has absolutely no comprehension of how the English language works, All their past revisions now also make perfect sense. They can’t comprehend metaphors.

I have attempted (stupidly) to explain why there is nothing wrong with my work. However, this has only resulted in the buyer musing sarcastically that they will probably have to order from a native English writer next time.

Needless, to say, I’m not going to lose sleep over this. I actually want to block them right now. However, I can’t really do so until their order is marked as complete. :frowning:


There are lots of rude people here lately. Some people are envious. It comes out as rudeness. If he didn’t like the word healthy he could have simply removed it and didn’t need to be so critical.


This person is also a reseller. On their agency website, they offer "Free SEO Consolations."

It seems to be a trend with resellers that they have to treat people like idiots to appease their own egos.


Some people have

(brackets mine to globalize and meta-fy the quote ;))

Amen. It can happen that I spend more time explaining such things to someone who can’t even speak the language at all but somehow thinks they can “check” my delivery by translating forth and back with Google Translate than on the actual work.

I don’t have any tips for this (it’s the Ranting Pot anyway, so I guess that’s fine), you just need to deal with it your way, just know that you’re not alone in this and have a few understanding and commiserating nods and virtual pats on the back instead.


I don’t know if other sellers get the type of messages I get or not. I can’t really describe them here. Most of them are wonderful of course but a percentage of them are difficult. Sometimes laden with hostility, or sometimes just “please help” sent for days and days without any other questions, and ignoring custom offers.

I have the impression the “please help” ones are stuck in that mode and unable to move beyond it, no matter what. It’s as if they can’t be helped. No matter what I would do or say to them, they continue to repeat over and over “please help”.

Even the act of placing an order is beyond their capabilities. When I send a custom offer they stop for a couple of days and then resume.

When I answer them immediately they don’t respond at all, only to again the next day say “please help”.

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I created a design for someone recently and it was a female character design, the order was successfully completed and then in the inbox they said,

can you quickly make a male version too?

I said yes definitely, just let me know when you are ready and I will send you the custom order.

Buyer: No, I want it for free of cost. Sometimes you gotta take risks to keep the returning customers.

I said "And sometimes buyers need to stop asking for free content. We spend time creating a good design for customers. And don’t worry about returning customers, if customers love my work, they will appreciate and come back for more designs. And they are! :v:"

Everyone wants free stuff. :mask:


No, not really, guess that comes with the territory, people who order in most niches want/need stuff for their business, and they usually want it the sooner the better.

(Well, apart from the “help me I’m new” sellers, those can be that way. Occasionally, it’s like pulling teeth to get them to say something that makes it clear they are sellers and not interestedin buying at all; they start with a single “hi” or “hy”, you literally ask them “Did you want to buy my gig?”, they say “Yes”, and on it goes …)

Every niche has its own set of customers and issues, though.
I also think many “arguments” on the forum are due to people from the one niche not getting the other’s problems.


The please help ones I get may be sellers who want help but they don’t want to admit that’s what they want help with so never get beyond that. They don’t place orders, nor do they even answer my questions about what they want.

They also use VPN and claim to be in the US but obviously are not. I suspect it’s from being on the forum that these are drawn to me.


They’ve found a gap in the market - I’m assuming they will look at your website, then offer you comfort and support due to it’s poor Google rank?


The wide gap they will look at his website.

So you think they think their free seo consolations will lead to paid seo consultations in the next step of the customer journey? :wink:


So we see he is projecting his own problem onto you. Just like the person who sent me a barrage of rude messages then called me rude.

We should be able to take at least two days off per week from answering messages


I’d even be happy enough with one day. I don’t mind answering actual customers but Sundays without having to react to spammers, scammers & co. without having to switch on out of office mode would be nice.


This is my go-to quote for being easier on ourselves when we “just can’t anymore.”


I feel your pain! I will always remember one buyer who viciously attacked my writing for daring to refer to a treadmill as “exercise equipment” once. I’ve been told “I’ve speaked English for 10 years! I know how it works.” I feel like sharing my birth certificate sometimes.

Is there a gig out there for horrible buyer consolations like that SEO one?


I have a hard and fast rule that if a buyer starts with sarcasm, personal insults, belittling my work, mocking the fact I won’t give them a “free sample” (this is my livelihood, not pieces of cheese in the supermarket) etc, I will conclude the conversation and tell them I don’t think I’m the right fit for the project. Ditto for longtime clients that suddenly start showing their ass.

Over and over and over again, the unspoken writer’s rule has proven itself: if they’re a pain in the ass in the initial conversation, the project has nowhere to go but down.

Remarkably, they almost inevitably and immediately trip over themselves trying to apologize/appease me and get the conversation back to what they need, but I have learned to stick with my boundaries and walk away. My professional respect and dignity doesn’t have a price tag on it - if that means I have to work twice as hard to nail down the next job, so be it. You came to me for my skill - you don’t get to later call that into question and make me do a little dance for your amusement.

You don’t get to throw a tantrum and have people rush to give you anything you want…if you want to run a business like an adult and hire other adults to work with you, there’s an expectation of bare-minimum behavior, and don’t care where in the world you’re based. Civility isn’t regional.


Classic narcissism tactic. It happens to me too. Once they see that boundary you’ve put up, and see that you aren’t going to allow them to debase you in any way, they want to draw you back in so they can do it all over again.

This is what they are trying for. This is what the point is. Some of the rude messages I get from usually new accounts are feelers to see if I respond in a subservient, eager to please way.

I had one unusually forthcoming friend who enjoyed weekly visits to upscale stores specifically to throw tantrums and watch as everyone tried in various ways to appease her. It was her hobby. Her treasured prize was when one store manager sent her a lovely potted plant.

Anyway it is the repeat wonderful clients who more than make up for all this. They make me smile for days when they come along. :heart:

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I got a italian guy who tried my gig for the first time, I was even charging him a lot less than my average rate. The job was to proofread a medic script he had writen (someone had writen for him). I took the document and cleaned it up, and provided possible recommendations for places that were just incomprehensible.
After delivery, he won’t let me rest… Said I did nothing, I didn’t change syntax or whatnot… I literally had to explain everything I did on the document to him. Yet, he was just not having it… I decided to cancel the order.

Guy came back the next day appologizing that he was viewing it from his phone. Apparently he was viewing the original document that hasn’t been touched…
I had to create a new order and have my money sent…
I should say that, after he paid in full, he came back threatening again that my recommendations were something I could… I just lost it.
I gave up…

He had a dispute on the order and he came back after a day or two, telling me that he was sorry, the writer had adjusted the script in accordance to my recommendations. I was furious…

Some buyers are just like that… Terrible a personality.


If I have to do revisions, I now mark them in green so they can see what I’ve done. Since then, no issues.


I’ve learnt to not use metaphors, unless they’re from Canada, USA, Australia, or the UK. Some people just don’t understand them.