Fiverr Community Forum

Let's Talk: The Hostage Review

Hello All,

So, I was making a hefty amount of Twitch emotes and subscriber badges for a customer. They are showering me with PRAISE about how much they like it. I’m feeling super great about the situation, and I actually deliver the order early. In return, he marks the order complete as well. He is new to Fiverr, so I explain to him that after the order is finished, then he was the opportunity to leave a review, and in turn, I leave a review on him as a buyer. I was very careful to ensure that I was not breaking any TOS. I was just telling the facts of how Fiverr works after a completed order.

He says “Ok, great”. No review for over a day. That’s fine. I’m not entitled to a review. It was just strange to me because he enjoyed my work and kept saying things like “I gotchu” during the order (he was very “friendly” and he referred to me as “bro” a lot). I reach out just to let him know that after a period of time, he wont have the ability to make a review if he was intending on doing so.

He messages back to me and says (copy pasted), “the badges came out really small… in chat”. He knew that they would be small. It’s a SUB BADGE. We discussed this. He then proceeds to ask me to make him 4 ENTIRELY DIFFERENT sub badges. We are talking in the normal messages since his order is completed. Now I realize that he has intentionally NOT left a review yet, and depending on my answer to his new request, he has the ability to tank my ratings.

I am a new seller, so one bad review takes a lot of options away from me, so I do it. We go back and forth, “can you make this more purple, can you XXX”. Another thing to note, each emote and badge must be 3 different sizes, and meet all other specifications, so it is not a one-and-done project. I send the 12 files (4 badges, 3 sizes each) to him, and THEN he goes to leave a beautiful 5 star review. He then has the audacity to say (copy, pasted), “Thanks man. Left a review and tip for you. Will contact for further business”.

It was just a stressful situation overall. I was wondering if anyone has had this experience before (or something similar). Again, I know that I should not have made him those extra badges for free, but a bad review really hurts my credibility and my options, especially since I have less than 10 completed orders at this point. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

(Also, why does he keep calling me “bro” and “man”. I stayed nothing but professional with him, but in return I get a “thanks bro/man”… I’m a girl :rofl:)

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You should not be “reminding” clients to leave feedback. This just emboldens them to think that you’re desperate for a review and in turn they can use that leverage to exploit you or get more work done out of you.

Not asking for feedback makes them feel you don’t care much about ratings (negative or positive). So that’s the first mistake you made.

Secondly, the client clearly got double the amount of work done out of you and that’s completely unacceptable. You should not allow clients to exploit you like that or else you’ll end up getting mentally burned out and also feel low instead of high for doing good work which’ll eventually result in you doing poorly quality or rushed work for clients. .

The thoughts of getting negative reviews should not cloud your judgement about the limitations of your job and how much you will be doing for a client.

You should have clearly told him that he’s asking for too much work and if he wants to get it done, then he’ll have to pay extra. Then again, this situation might have been avoided or he at least might not have asked/hoped to get done so much more if you didn’t remind him twice about leaving feedback.

Believe in your work, if clients like it, he’ll leave a review. Fiverr has multiple reminders for him to do so. You personally do not need to do that.

And most importantly believe in yourself, and 1 or 2 negative reviews will not affect you in the long run and if you feel someone is trying to deliberately hold you hostage then you can always contact customer support and report them.

Fiverr is a marathon not a sprint and it’ll do you good to get your priories straight from the start and you’ll go a long way.

Good luck.


Thank you for your honest feedback. You’re right, I should not have talked about it a second time. I actually wasn’t aware that Fiverr sent reminders to the buyer, so now I will keep that in mind. I have never been a buyer, so I do not know that side of the coin.

I definitely do feel like a pushover for letting him exploit my worries. I had the option to stand my ground, but I was afraid to do so. I always ensure that I deliver excellent work, approved by the customer every step of the way so the idea of a 1-star/low review really upsets me, honestly. However, you are completely correct in saying, “The thoughts of getting negative reviews should not cloud your judgement about the limitations of your job and how much you will be doing for a client”.

I will stand my ground next time. I don’t want to set a bad example to other new sellers. Thanks again.


You’re most welcome. Be firm but polite with clients, in most situation you can work your way out of it. And remember, if someone outright tries to hold you for ransom, you can always contact customer support. They are always helpful.

Good luck and I hope you continue doing great work!


You’ve had some good advice there and I’ll add to it.


Review manipulation is a warning offence. This has been discussed here over and over again


You shouldn’t have talked about it the first time, either.

You shouldn’t have talked about it at all.


You’re right about how I should not mention reviews. I understand that now; however, I did not try to manipulate anything. I didn’t say, “Well since you liked my work so much, you should leave a good review!”. I just mentioned that there was an option on FIverr to leave one if he felt wanted to since he made it clear that this was his first order on Fiverr. He also did not know that he would get a review as a buyer until I mentioned it.

I tried to be as objective as possible, but I do understand what you mean. It is not worth getting in trouble for. I will no longer mention reviews in any way. Thank you for the advice!

I was not aware that mentioning the review process was an issue. I thought as long as I do not try to talk him into leaving a good review, it was fine. I did not even ask for a review at all. I only mentioned the process IF he wanted to leave any review because he was a new buyer on Fiverr. I thought it was an honest overlook on his part. Like I mentioned, I know that I am not entitled to a good review or any review at all, I just honestly thought he did not know.

I have never been a buyer here, so I do not know what pops up on their side. However, I will no longer speak of reviews in any way, shape, or form. It is not worth getting into trouble with it. Thank you for the advice!

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Mentioning reviews in ANY context IS manipulation. Your intent in doing that doesn’t change that.

That’s why it’s not allowed at all.


Let’s all cut her some slack people, she clearly wasn’t aware that mentioning or requesting or reminding clients about feedback amounts to potential manipulation. She’s been humble enough to accept her mistake and also commit to not mentioning reviews/feedback in any way in future so I guess there’s no point trying to repeat the same point again and again.

I’m sure this discussion has made her aware of her misconception and she will be more careful in future.


I was not aware of that and I understand what you mean. As I said before, I will no longer mention the idea of reviewing in any way, shape or form. Thank you for taking the time to give me advice, though!

Thank you for understanding. When making the original post, I was not even aware that me mentioning the process of reviewing would be focus of the replies because I did not know that mentioning it in any way was an issue. I just thought it applied to sellers that were asking their customers to leave positive reviews, or hinting at making a positive ones. I should have looked into that rule further, and I take responsibility for that.

I do understand now that I was the problem for mentioning the review process in the first place, and I will make sure to never do it again. I appreciate everyone’s advice, though!

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Now that you’ve been warned often enough about not risking an account warning by talking about feedback … on topic … the hostage review … and completely independent of having asked for a review or not, I’m pretty sure that many sellers have had a hostage review situation, yes, because buyers who do that kind of stuff most probably need to do the rounds, or look for ever new sellers, who’ll put up with their antics.

It’s super annoying, as super unfair, because obviously, they are supposed to review the work you already did for them, and not later on write a revenge review out of spite because you didn’t do x (x being whatever they are trying to backhandedly extort from you by holding their review for the agreed on, done and delivered work hostage) on top of the work you already did for them and got paid for.

There are different variations, like “If you do x, I’ll leave you a good review” which I hate most of all, because nope, I’ve already done y (the agreed on work), and you were completely happy with it, so rate it, or don’t rate it, but x doesn’t have anything to do with y.

While, yes, it’s extremely stressful, I’ve said no in such situations, and not received a revenge review (ray of hope! :wink: ), which might be down to how you say no, and to people who try to extort you and feel a headwind instead of the meek breeze they were expecting, maybe not really wanting to leave a bad review and perhaps risk you reporting them for extortion; after all, if their nice extortion business works well on a good number of sellers, they save a lot of money over time.

You might see so many “Fiverr always only sides with the buyers” posts that it might seem to be the gospel but I’m pretty sure there are lots of buyers/resellers who are at least a tiny bit afraid of being banned from Wonderland because they know exactly what they are doing and the smarter ones might not want to risk their sinecures too recklessly.

It can be hard to be brave, especially when you’re new and don’t have the “review buffer”, regular customers, etc., that established sellers have, but it’s a good feeling to stand your ground against people who use such tactics. Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll have the opportunity to see for yourself sooner or later, hopefully later :wink: At least, it makes one really appreciate the good kind of buyer, you know, the fair ones, the normal ones, who behave like decent fellow human beings.


Next time have your client check to see how the emotes look on their site before marking the order as complete. I’m assuming you offer some type of revision correct? If they were to small he could have just asked for a revision on them. Once the order is closed you do not have to do any additional work.

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Thank you so much for your understanding and for the advice! Yes, I have learned from the situation in many ways. However, I have not yet had a customer that outright stated, “If you do X then I’ll leave you a good review”, but I am sure that it may happen sooner than later.

Also, thank you for the advice of saying “No”. I know that denying the extra (free) work was an option, and that was honestly what I wanted to do, but as you said, I do not have a great “review buffer”, yet. I was afraid of my reputation being killed from vengeful buyer. Either way, I will definitely take your advice into consideration if this ever happens again! I was just afraid that CS would not take my side in a claim that does not have 100% proof (like how you mentioned someone explicitly stating, “'ll give you a good review if you do X”.

I really appreciate your feedback about the situation as a whole, and I will stand up for myself more. :gift_heart: I feel a lot more confident now!

Thank you for taking the time to respond!

This would be a great idea; however, depending on the account of the Twitch user, it could take up to 36 hours to get their badges and emotes reviewed by Twitch once they upload it. Yes, he could have used a revision, but I guess that he did not want to pay the extra $5 for it. I do understand what you are saying, though! Thank you for the advice!

I think the ones who do that feel smart because they don’t say “If you don’t do X, I’ll leave a bad review” :wink:

I’m glad you’re feeling more confident now, you’ll get ever more confident along the way, while navigating the cliffs and rapids of the Fiverr waters. And since many situations and types of buyers repeat, it will become easier, too, you’ll detect signs and red flags earlier, and you’ll be able to make quicker decisions and better calls. Fiverr is an excellent place to gain customer management skills, among other things!