Fiverr Community Forum

Order Complete - Fiver Stars - Then Cancelled - My Learnings

After 8 years in the freelancing game, I thought I know how the game works. However, every now and then, you learn something new. This is my most recent learning.

The Story.

  1. Buyer buys two orders back to back, week after week.
  2. Both cases, Buyer gives 5 stars.
  3. Two Weeks Pass. Buyer is upset. Goes back to Fiverr and claims work was never completed.
  4. Fiverr cancels the order. Refunds his money.
  5. I get a TOS violation warning.
  6. I raise two tickets. Learn more details as to how Buyer managed to claim cancellation.
  7. Now, I share my learnings and how others can avoid a situation like this.

Note

  1. Buyer was actually an offline customer of mine. I dragged him to Fiverr (I did not meet him here), and made him place orders to help out with my new Fiverr account.

Mistakes.

  1. I found out that the buyer used a couple of very specific TOS terms, which he was aware, and I was not.

When you press Order Complete, you get a pop up box. In this box, I am supposed to write full details of work done, and also attach files of all work done. This is the part I did not fill up.

Funny thing is, before pressing Order Complete, I confirmed with buyer in the order chat, that work is completed. So, I left the pop up box, blank. This was my first big mistake.

  1. Second, as this was a coding project, files were shared on GitHub. In software work, it is natural to work on Github. Obviously, files were never shared through Fiverr. Buyer exploited this fact.

  2. Buyer wanted to recorded all our conversations on Zoom (without my permission). So, he purposefully avoided initiating video calls on Fiverr. Further, these zoom links where shared offline (over â– â– â– â– â– ) as he was my offline client from last with no connection to Fiverr until these two orders. So, there was any record of our calls, discussions in Fiverr chat. Buyer exploited this fact too, to claim no discussions happened, and hence I cheated him.

Learnings.

  1. Buyer kept saying (for over a year) that he was my “friend”. Like a idiot, I fell for this. A friend who secretly records your zoom calls is not really your friend. A buyer is a buyer.
  2. If client wants to use his own Zoom, Google Meet or any other video links, ensure they are sent through Fiverr Chat. I find Fiverr Chat has a lot of lag and delays. Still, ensure the links are shared through Fiverr chat.
  3. Files. Files are shared through GitHub. Still, zip your work and send it through Fiverr. This is duplication of work, and is not convenient, but satisfy Fiverr requirements. When in Rome, Be Roman. Follow the rules.
  4. The Order complete pop up box. I should never have left it empty. Order Chat and Popup Box are different things. Fill them up. This is also where I should attach files, even if files are attached in previous Fiverr chats. Support was very clear with me that the Order chat and the Order Complete Pop Up Box are two separate things, even if they both live in the same window/chat history.

Observations

  1. I ended up with a TOS violation warning. It is clear to me that I made some mistakes. I was dumb, and the buyer used that to his advantage. Ultimately, I dont blame the buyer or Fiverr. I blame myself. I should have been more careful.
  2. Fiverr support was helpful, but its unfortunate that the Buyer can access Chat Support (The buyer kept taunting that he has direct chat support, by sending me his chat screenshots on â– â– â– â– â– , to show me how superior he is to me), whereas I had to raise a support ticket and 24 hours for a reply.
  3. I also found out that, the Order cancellations was unilateral. Buyer says I did not send file. Support goes ahead and cancels order, puts a violation on my account and wont wait to see if perhaps, I have something to say as well. In fact, Buyer kept taunting me that he can get everything cancelled within seconds, and there is nothing I can do about. Turns out, he does indeed have such power. The fact that he had given me five stars, twice, and confirmed that order was complete had no bearing on the situation.

Ultimately, I should have been more careful. I blame myself, and hopefully, my experience will help others as well.

31 Likes

Thank you for such a description of your bitter experience. This will be an example of how one shouldn’t do it.
I hope you will be fine in the future.

3 Likes

Thank you for your kind words.

I became a little lax, and people exploited that fact :slight_smile: It’s my own fault, but yes, thank you and I will be more careful from now on with my client interactions.

I had a perfect 5/5 100 % on all metrics. Now…just life, you know. stuff happens.

1 Like

Obviouslt that’s the issue.

You are using Fiverr as a platform, you have to show that you offered the service that your customer requested. Without proof, obviously the customer was right in Fiverr’s eyes.

4 Likes

I totally agree with you. I work in coding, and we always share code through GitHub. The client was a old client of over a year, so there was a preexisting relationship.

I assumed (based on my experience with accounts on other platforms) that perhaps, Fiverr support will at least contact me (and I have all proof ready about all work done. Files, discussions, work diary notes) before awarding him a cancellation.

But, I was new to Fiverr, and did not know that these things are done without any contact. It was all over in seconds.

But yeah, I have learnt my lesson and paid a big price for it :slight_smile: Like I said, I got dumb man. got stupid.

2 Likes

I don’t think that’s a good idea. I’d check with CS about that. Fiverr doesn’t want off-site contact normally (when it’s essential for the gig it needs to be done on the order page) so it might get a warning if you’re sharing off-site contact details (or maybe the buyer might if they do). There also wouldn’t be a record of the conversation on Fiverr if it was done off-site, which might be needed later (including to prove something to CS).

So whenever you want to say something to the client I’d write it on the order page or inbox (not on anything off-site).

3 Likes

The whole situation got complex because we had a preexisting relationship, with established developer tools like Trello, GitHub, Email, and all that. I already knew the client.

I invited him to place the order on Fiverr, to help me out as my Fiverr account was new. It made no sense to continue conversations on Fiverr, as we already had our existing channels for work i place, since last year.

Coding work is complicated. We need to have instant communication and dedicated chat channels. Its impossible to use a browser based chat without affecting work productivity.

But, I see your point.

I will try my best to ensure that proof of work is present in Fiverr chat boxes and file uploads… From now on, I will copy paste discussions and files on Fiverr Chat to ensure proof of work.

1 Like

The reality is, he got upset with me. We had a fight. He got mad. It’s like a lover’s fight. He wanted to punish me so he used every available tool at his disposal.

It happens. When you work with someone for months and years, a bond is formed and trust is built.

Every now and then, respect turns to anger. Love turns to hate. This was one of those cases.

2 Likes

Check with CS what’s allowed though. If CS don’t say otherwise I’d keep all your conversation on Fiverr (though there are some services that really require it where those links are done through the order page). By communicating off-site (even if you then copy that to Fiverr) you’re probably risking more warnings - if it’s a gig that doesn’t totally require it.

2 Likes

Actually, I have decided to not take any more software development coding work on Fiverr.

I have decided to limit myself only those type of work that can be done as Fiverr rules. That way, I dont get warnings.

I am beginning to realize that Fiverr is more aimed at Gigs. It’s not really tailored for long term work.

I have been fine-tuning my gigs, and changing the descriptions and declining long term work (that demands external tools which are essential for developers).

2 Likes

Or you could just check with CS what’s allowed to be safe if you wanted to continue that.
It’s getting more for longer term work with milestones and deliveries up to 90 days when it used to be 30 days. Or you could just do simpler apps (that would take less time) if you wanted to do coding work. But I agree it’s probably not set up in the best way for bigger, longer term coding projects.

2 Likes

That’s why I recommend some simpler projects if you want to build up your profile. Then you can think about long term work here.

2 Likes

What you said is what has been going on in my mind. My experience with support has been good. They genuinely want to help me, but the more I spend time raising tickets and read the TOS of Fiverr, this platform is not meant for long term work.

That is another mistake I did. I took a long term client, and made him break it up for Gig type work.

Checking with CS is a good idea, but I am sure you will agree with me, that it simply complicates my life and the client life. There are simply too many rules. It’s like I am trying to use a city car for a mountain expedition :slight_smile:

For now, I am going to ensure I only to take up gigs which can be done within the framework of Fiverr. I messed up, got punished, and now I am learning.

I agree with both you @uk1000 and @donnovan86

I will take up “gigs” and “gigs” only. A client comes with a long term offer, I will politely decline. Dont want the hassle man. It’s just not worth it.

2 Likes

Jay,

Consider using milestones (if still available) for more detailed or time consuming projects. This allows you to get a sign off on the coding in stages, 1,2,3,4… The order won’t progress to the next step without authorization from the buyer.

In terms of communication via zoom, etc. It really all depends on whom you get through CS. I’d reach out to them to see what type of wording they feel comfortable regarding discussion of their order via zoom.

  • Any necessary exchange of personal information required to continue a service may be exchanged within the Order Page.

I believe that if it’s required for you to perform your service, it’s allowed. But again I’d check with CS.

Hope that helps…

4 Likes

Thanks for sharing! It helps me as seller.

2 Likes

The most annoying thing in the Fiverr is that they don’t hear the Sellers they just will cancel… should exist a final comment every time that a buyer contact the support to cancel.

I’m in contact with the Fiverr Support about one cancelation, i sent all screenshots proving that the work was done and some points of the TOS that prove that i’m right.

But has passed one week and the Fiverr don’t give me an answer, and maybe i even don’t will get an answer about it :confused:

1 Like

@jwaynevo

I do see the milestone system in Fiverr. I only see what you are talking about using tools that are essential. I also believe that if something is essential for the task, we can use it.

I will keep this in mind.

@decoratork

thank you for kind words.

@mateusbl

It is a little frustrating but…I dont think it is really Fiverr or support fault. Yes, their policies could be more flexible, but ultimately, after 8 years of freelancing, I have decided to just agree with whatever policies the companies make. This issue, two tickets I raised, both time, they were polite and tried their best to help.

You know, it’s like you are a guest in a friend’s house. The rules of your friend, you and I, may not like. But, we are now in the friends house. We follow the rules and try to adjust.

At the end of the day, that is all we can do :slight_smile:

1 Like

When you contact the Support they send to a relevant department to analyse, how much time this take for they give you a answer?

Actually I did not contact Support about Order Cancellation and Refund. I only contacted to find out what are the policy details, so I can avoid them in the future.

They explained to me it was because of the lack of communication (inside Fiverr Chat) and lack of Files in the Order Complete box.

Replies came within 12 hours.

Other than that, I had no other discussion with support.

1 Like

I have learnt many things from it. thanks for posting

1 Like