Fiverr Forum

My Breif Yet Insane Fiverr Experience


#1

Now that I have had time to cool off, I am going to post my non-ranty rant. Several hours ago, it would have been a true rant.

My story:

For a variety of reasons, I made a career shift to freelancing over the 9 to 5. For one thing, my 9 to 5 was never really a 9 to 5. Just like freelancing, you have droughts and deluges. The positive difference for me is that now, if I am going to starve, at least I will be doing something satisfying and creative. I still will do remote document review work when there is work, but I have been making writing my priority.

One day, I googled “freelance writing jobs” and found a website I will call “not-Fiverr” and signed up, but I saw that I would need to multiply my possible income streams and decided to test out this other model on Fiverr where you bring clients to you rather than bid to work for them. I would see how each went and then settle focus on one while I created income though a blog and eventually publishing.

I signed up for Fiverr and spent a couple weeks designing gigs and developing my price points. When I was satisfied, I published my gigs. I ran into a few hiccups around gig images - I was told mine were too similar to each other. No biggie, I just want to have them be unique, so it was going to take me some time because I was doing it myself by hand. (Never mind the gigs with stock photos that are promoted on the front page that are all from the same seller who uses all the same image for all of their gigs. Whatever…) All my gigs were still made active. Yay!

While I thought about how I would go about marketing my Fiverr presence off Fiverr, I started sending offers in response to buyer requests. I got my new blog up and running and posted my Fiverr badge. I got my first order and had a lot of fun writing my $20 story. The customer liked it a lot, and I got a second order for my full basic price of $25. I was hoping that I would be developing a bigger portfolio of work since I had just done a couple preliminary samples (paid obs.), but my tale grows darker.

Over Easter weekend, I updated one of my gig images and went through a process of refining my gig descriptions too making them more readable formatting wise, and I started creating a new gig. It was Monday afternoon, more than 24 hours since I updated the gig with the new image, and I was not finding it in the search results. I created a ticket with customer service, and went about my day. Around 5PM local time, my phone beeped with a notification that an order that had been sitting without requirements had been cancelled by customer service. Wondering if maybe the customer (different from my first one) had changed their mind, I went to open the app and see what the message said, and the app went blank. I then looked at my open tab for Fiverr.

I saw that there were 4 notifications that 4 gigs I had overhauled had failed review. I attempted to review the notices and see what the issue was and I was kicked out of the system. In my email, I only had an email from CS (Agent “J”) saying that the gig had been forward to the editorial team for review. That was it, no other emails. I began to reply to that email, and, mid-composing an account of the events that had just transpired, I received a second email from “J.” That was my first clue as to what was at issue. It was around this time that I finally got a flood of emails from Fiverr regarding each event.

So, here is the thing - the issue was language that was all there before I revised the gigs. In other words, it had already passed editorial review when they were created. :confounded:

In initially formulating my gigs I recognized that, by being a writer, some people might try and hire me to do their academic work. Since this was an order based site, I might not be able to screen them out before they ordered, and I will not deal in any academic dishonesty. Independent of the TOS, this was my standard. In some of my gig descriptions I stated: Note: I will not [proofread/write] papers to be submitted for a grade. If necessary, I would leave it out if I needed the character space, since I subsequently confirmed that this issue is technically covered by Fiverr’s TOS. However, I still had a mandatory Multiple Choice Requirement in gigs likely to be abused. Because you have to have two choices, I composed it in the following manner.

Please affirm that this is not for a school assignment.
[Choice 1] This is not for a school assignment.
[Chioce 2] This is for a school assignment.

My initial email from “J” that I received while composing my WTH just happened email said that:

It is against our Terms of Service to offer Gigs for homework related service.

I think it was pretty clear that I was explicitly NOT doing that, so I completed the email I was working on and responded in the least frustrated manner possible. By this point I had the automated “your gig was removed because it violated this term, yadda yadda yadda” emails. Extremely frustrated, I started chopping potatoes for dinner after sending a separate email response to the your account has been disabled email.

By the time I had the potatoes roasting, I had a response back from “J,” He quoted only the two answers from my mandatory requirement question and said the following:

Your Gigs had in the requirements section the following " (1) This is not for a school assignment. (2) This is for a school assignment." which is contradictory of each other and does not show a clear answer that you do not offer homework services.
Due to this, your account was disabled as we take violations to our rules very seriously. I am sorry but your account will not be restored.
Please contact us back once the full 90 days pass.

Uh, okay what about where I said “Please affirm that this is not for a school assignment.” :persevere::persevere::tired_face::tired_face:

Moral of the story: Do not try to CYA against something you do not actually want to do. It is confusing for CS and the Editorial team, even when you have explained that you have not violated the rules.

I still await a reply to my second email that was a general response to my account being disabled. If I get it all fixed, I will happily stay on Fiverr and see if it actually goes anywhere. Otherwise, time to move up the timeline on my Patreon plan.

Side note: I would love to help them identify all sorts of violations, but it is way too time consuming for anything other than the big stuff. The other day I sent them a screen grab of a scammer buyer request that wanted to use a US bank account to funnel money. The reply - “Can you give us the user name?” Uh no, I can only see what you see in the screen grab. I am not going to use an offer to see the name. Surely someone on the back-end can track it down. How about you add a report button to the buyer request list? :roll_eyes:

I can screen grab all day if you pay me. $5 a report. :money_with_wings::money_with_wings::money_with_wings::money_with_wings::money_with_wings:


Did you get this survey today?
#2

Unfortunately with the update to BR a while back, you can no longer view the names. Based on what read over the years, you can’t even mention anything relation to academic anywhere in your gig even if it’s to warn that you don’t do this. The only way to combat those requesting to have their academics completed is to reject the order as soon as the details are delivered and provide the reason of ‘wants academic work done’.

Instead of going this overly quick route, it would have been nice if they explained the issue and then provide a time frame for which to correct the matter. Till you hear back from CS go ahead with your plans for Patreon as that will at least give you the distraction you need from this.


#3

OP’s account seems to have gone. :frowning:


#4

Sorry to hear that, sounds quite unfortunate. That flurry of mails sounds as if it may have been caused by some glitch, like having been sent all at once after some system bug got resolved, but that doesn’t help you, of course.
I hope you’ll get it sorted and maybe yet will have a well-running Fiverr account soon.

Just as a note to anyone reading since it’s useful and not just for reporting - you can see usernames in BR in the app.

I did edit a gig’s FAQ to expressly state I don’t do academic work, by the way, and while my gig was gone from search for much longer than usual when I finally sent a ticket about it, they nudged it back to search pretty quickly.


#5

Exactly, I would not have been upset at all if they had said, “we find this requirement confusing since we think it makes it look like you will do work on school assignments, can you please remove it?” I would have said, “Sure, I would love to take it down if it is not needed for you or helpful. I am a reasonable person.” It was pretty much immediate from the time I got the alert on my phone to when I was kicked out of the website. I just check the time stamp on the original email from “J” when he said the gig had been forwarded. It was 4:29, and I got the flurry of emails at 5:09 per the time stamps. Basically, within 30 minutes they made a decision and acted.

I have not received any response yet to my email that opened a fresh ticket. I provided my phone number, and since it was sent form my email it also links to my linked in and includes my credentials, so if they want to verify that I am legit, it would be so easy.

Patreon is definitely a good distraction :grinning:

:disappointed_relieved: Yep, they disabled me almost immediately, so no one can even see who I was or what I was doing. It does not seem to have bled over into the forum, so it is nice to be able to sound off to people who know Fiverr.


#6

Me too. It does not look like it will happen at the moment. I will put in some effort to get a real person to talk to me over phone, because I feel like that would break down the divide. It is so much easier to dehumanize a person who is just a face and text.


#7

I take the attitude of “don’t ask don’t tell.” You give me a document to proofread, I will proofread it. I won’t ask where it came from, what it’s for, who wrote it, etc.

The gigs that get in trouble are those advertising illegal stuff. If your gig is called “I will proofread high school essays,” that may or may not raise a bunch of red flags. I don’t know, because my proofreading gig doesn’t specify what I proofread.

I’ve proofread everything from TV commercials, cover letters, obscene poetry, e-mails, package copy, etc. I only do short copy projects, but if you don’t mind proofreading 10,000 words or even huge books, you can make a lot of money with that.


#8

I see where the problem was. CS did not care for the way you put a multiple choice test in your gig where a possible answer was that the buyer could choose to say they want homework help.

I have noticed they don’t have patience to wait and try to get a seller to go around and around with them if there is some question about what is in the gig description. It is not something they want to spend time trying to explain.

I’m sorry this happened to you OP. I admit that I would find that quiz about homework confusing in the gig description.


#9

Mine was definitely not one of those. I had, “I will proofread and edit your short written work.” It was designed to be for anything. Obviously attempting to say what I would not do was a bad idea - I should have gone your route.

I can totally get where it might appear confusing, and I would have been happy to remove it had they just asked. {Again, they previously approved it, so why would I have been worried about a second review?} It seems to me to be a bad business practice not to ask first in cases like this where I was not explicitly trying to flout the TOS - i.e. “I will proofread and edit your homework.” Had I done that, the reaction would have been justified. Instead, they lose a potential future customer and anyone I talk to will be told to stay far away, which is a shame, because there are people I have virtually met here that I would have totally hired in the future for my personal projects - like moving my blog from blogger to wordpress or a private domain.

If CS had just asked straight up in the first place, there would have been no going around and around. Instead, they woke my bear up. I don’t think they are going to respond further. As of this morning I have had no response, but they sent me the Fiverr Support Survey. Way to go guys…

I think the thing that bothers me the most is not losing a potential source of revenue. Things are picking up at non-Fiverr, and it there was definitely more work there from the beginning. I am most upset because I was working with someone with my creative writing gig, and I was really enjoying creating a little imaginary universe for them. Being cut off from that is what really pissed me off.

When I initially signed up here, it was against my instinct that looked around at all the clear scammer gigs and said no, don’t go there. I rationalized that there were also legit people on here and that the ads I would see on youtube suggested that they want to bring in good clientele. In the end, the fact that CS has to deal with all the illicit sellers screwed me.


#10

They don’t get involved in discussions and arguments at all and this could lead to those.


#11

I can see why that is the case, and I do not entirely fault them for it. Unfortunately, they are the only face of Fiverr we can interact with. If they are not able or willing to handle every inquiry, then there needs to be a second level of review or contact. Had they just said, “hey, take this language out.” I would have done so and emailed that it was done. No going around and around. Instead, I was forced to say, “Wait! Explain this too me.”


#12

On a more amusing note, the fact that I am a lawyer in my other work life makes me feel like dealing with CS is a Kafka-esque experience. LOL


#13

I hope your issue is resolved and you can enjoy the joys of Fiverr again. Best of luck.


#14

Thank you :slight_smile: I would really like to be live again, even with all things considered.


#15

I see nothing wrong with that gig title.

I’ve seen other do “I will proofread up to 5,000 words.” I don’t like to do that because I don’t think I can compete on word count. I can only compete on the personal, editing touches I give my work. I’m not using Grammarly or anything like that.


#16

Same with me: I am selling my own skill, not a computer program.

The language that caused the issue was just the requirements, which no one would have seen until they placed the order. In the few cases where you would have seen anything before your ordered, I explicitly stated school work was not something I would do.


#17

I think it’s better to disclose that in the gig description instead of the requirements section. Then again, I had a gig about craigslist ads (writing them, not posting them) and it got flagged twice.

There’s too much automation online. Too many situations where you’re guilty until proven innocent.

We’ve seen it on Facebook, you post a picture of the Venus de Milo or breastfeeding, and suddenly you get an account ban because of Facebook’s rules against nudity, even though Zuckerberg said the rules don’t prohibit it in instances like that.

Or you write something controversial, and someone reports it as offensive. That happens everywhere, even on this forum.


#18

This, this, and this again!

It is why my inner lawyer is raging against the machine (mind). :joy::joy:

They definitely did not care in my case whether it was in the gig description or not - all 4 were flagged and my whole account was blocked. When I explained all the possibly offensive texts to “J” he pretty much ignored it and only quoted to the the MC answers and dismissed me. Not a good approach when providing customer service - a job I had in RL. Sadly, VR dehumanizes both sides.