Fiverr Forum

Ouch! Buyer Fraud & Attempt for Payment Outside of Fiverr


#1

Hello Fiverr Family, I hope this note finds you well!

I’m sharing my experience with you to provide some insight into what happens in the case of [potential] Buyer Fraud and the Fiverr Trust & Safety Team’s efforts. And to invite you to share your words of wisdom when endeavoring to contact a former buyer for payment. (Which may likely be an exercise in futility!)

Three months ago, on March 14th, I completed a highly customized audio project. The Buyer was so happy with the file he tipped me $30. (Perhaps that should’ve been a tip off!)

Fast forward to June 10th. I received this email from CS:

In the Fiverr TOS, it explains that there is a 14 Day Safety Clearance Period. Revenues are made available for withdrawal after this period has passed. So you can imagine my surprise that after 90 days I would receive a notice that my order was canceled.

URL: https://www.fiverr.com/terms_of_service posted under ‘Seller Basics’

The Fiver Customer Service team explained that “a dispute was opened via PayPal” and that it was up to me to directly to seek payment for my services. Here’s what Bob from Fiverr Customer Support advised:

What?! I thought Fiverr had my back. That they would submit evidence to the bank or PayPal to prove what transpired. While they cannot tell me what they did because of the privacy policy, I can conclude from PayPal’s terms (and reading between the lines) that this Buyer either used a stolen credit card or was in default. I assume that they have been trying for the last three months to get payment. (And you thought your job was rough!)

Could it be that there was a misunderstanding or snafu or plausible explanation? – of course! So to both give the benefit of the doubt to the buyer, and potentially get paid, I have reached out to him. (Yeah, I know what you’re thinking!)

NEXT STEPS

I used Google Image Search to find the buyer’s business using the buyer’s profile picture. He uses the same photo of himself across all of his social media channels so it was remarkably easy. I got his email address from his web site. I sent him an email to give him the opportunity to explain what happened, and to pay me for my services. While it seems like it’s hardly worth the effort, there’s just something about this that has my curiosity.

I’ll let you know how it goes! I hope this post has been informative. Or at least entertaining. Your suggestions, comments and stories are welcome.

Be well, Fiverr Friends!

~Lisa


#2

Contact customer support as soon as possible.


#3

Hi @ahmedghumro, I did. I pasted their response in the post. Thanks!


#4

Alternatively, you can ask Fiverr CS to challenge the dispute for you. If they say no, you can get directly in touch with PayPal and explain everything with screenshot proofs.


#5

Hi @deluxewriting, I believe that Fiverr CS did challenge it and in their reply this morning (screen shot below) said “we can’t offer compensation for cases like this.”

Cases like this? I assume that means stolen card? They can’t say exactly because of the privacy policy.

I like your suggestion of contacting PayPal directly. I’m not sure what they will say since I wasn’t the vendor, but will reach out. Thanks!


#6

You can try it. With proper proofs, you still stand a chance at getting your money back.


#7

Thanks for your suggestion and support. I’ll reach out to PayPal.


#8

Good luck!

Contacting buyers outside of Fiverr is a violation of ToS, but this one is no longer a buyer, so hopefully it won’t create a new problem for you down the road. Just in case, save that screenshot (the one where the CS rep states that the buyer is no longer a part of Fiverr community) in a very, very safe place. :smile_cat:


#9

@catwriter, thanks!

Yeah - I was surprised that I was instructed by CS to contact the former buyer directly, too! What did we do before screenshots? Or mobile phone cameras? Cheers to technology and vigilance. Thanks again.


#10

That’s terrible and I’m sorry you’ve went through this.

Keep me updated as to whether the buyer responds!


#11

They said to contact the site to dispute it… And that’s strange, I remember that Ryan did something similar when a buyer puled a PayPal chargeback on him (he contacted the site where his articles were used, with a DMCA notice, I think), and he got in trouble with CS because of that. So, definitely save that screenshot as a proof!


#12

@thecreativeguys - Thanks! I’ll add updates here as they unfold.


#13

@catwriter - Whoa, I didn’t know that. I shall save that screenshot in multiple places! LOL.

I wonder why this case is so different that CS would advise me to contact the former buyer directly… the plot thickens.


#14

I think it because of that buyer on longer on fiverr. Good luck with everything.


#15

@didaralam274 - Thanks! I think you are right. I don’t know whether or not Fiverr closed his account or he closed it himself, but he is “no longer available.”


#16

You can open a dispute with a 3rd party to pressure Fiverr. For example Better Business Bureau has been helpful in many cases with Skype, Microsoft, Apple and few others. (Doesn’t have to be BBB, it can be a different company)
If there’s enough pressure then usually they will cave as it’s easier to give you the money you deserve than deal with such organizations.

Then there’s social media where even Fiverr needs to address your concern publicly. If you’re persistent enough then I’m sure you’ll get it sorted in your favor. PayPal dispute after 14 days is not your problem anymore.


#17

@uxreview - Thanks! That’s a great suggestion to contact the BBB. I emailed the former buyer yesterday, but haven’t heard back yet. After a few days if I haven’t heard from him I’ll contact the BBB.

You’re right about the power of social media. BTW - he is on Twitter and Facebook. I know that he’s no longer a buyer here, and I’d be compliant with the Fiverr terms, but I’m not going to post anything publicly on his pages.

I haven’t found similar posts about this PayPal situation in the Forum to get pointers. I’ll update this post with how they respond.

Thanks again!


#18

They didn’t advise you to contact the former buyer directly. That can definitely have negative consequences. They advised you to contact the site where your content is being displayed. Usually that would mean contacting the domain host and filing a takedown notice.


#19

@fonthaunt - Thanks! The recording is a phone greeting, and to my knowledge (visiting the business web site) he is not using it on a site. So, in this case, there is not a domain host to contact.

I do like your suggestion, though! Any words of advice in this case?


#20

FYI - I requested from Fiverr CS for a simple statement to recap the sales transaction on the platform. It’s understandable that due to the privacy policy they won’t provide it.

Also, I’m triple checking with this new CS agent about the okay to contact the buyer directly. Will keep you posted.