Fiverr Community Forum

Partial refund woes

It’s not a rant, it’s more of a whining post. This situation has been unfolding for nearly 3 weeks. I’m exhausted and would love to leave it behind me. Buckle up, it’s going to be a long read.

I get approached by a new excited buyer with a fully fleshed-out concept. She is very specific about what she wants and there is nothing that I love more than a buyer with a clear vision.

She starts with “I’m interested in a Premium package”. We discuss things and by the look of it, she might actually need a Standard. Since I am preoccupied with something else, I just send her to my gig page to read through package descriptions and pick the one that suits her needs.

The difference between my Standard and Premium are the file sizes. You get one in former, 2-4 in latter. The rest is the same. Sometimes buyers who only need 1 size buy a Premium just because they’d like to pay more. I’m not complaining, I just ask them to confirm that it was their intention and we proceed.

This buyer gets a Premium. 20 minutes later she’s in my inbox going: “I’m so sorry, I think I needed a Standard”. The request for size is “square”. I don’t know if it’s one square or multiple squares but I’d count “square” as one size not to confuse her any further.

I let her know that fiverr doesn’t do partial refunds. So she can a) order more sizes; b) ask me and I’ll cancel the order for her if it was placed by mistake.

She doesn’t need any more sizes and she doesn’t want me to cancel or send a Standard custom offer instead. She says that she understands, confirms the formats, and the size she needs and confirms that she wants to proceed with the order as is.

I deliver, the first round of revisions includes minor edits. She repeatedly states that she likes the design. The second round comes 3 days later when the order is about to auto-complete. “It’s not working for us, we’re not sure why. Is it possible to purchase another design?”

I’m surprised, to say the least, but tell her that I’ll happily send her an offer for another version if she elaborates on what the problem is. “We’re not sure why” is not something I can work with. Then I wait for 24 hours for a response and redeliver the files adding that she’s welcome to request a revision of the original design when she actually has a revision to request. As for the new design, as soon as we discuss it, I’ll send you an offer.

Nothing happens, the order auto-completes in 3 days. 4 days later she’s in my inbox ready to proceed with the custom offer. She sends me a list of keywords to work with (all of them are related to joy, happiness, jubilation, colors, and whatnot). I’m ready to proceed and already have an idea in mind and some thoughts of what might not have worked with the original concept stylistically.

Then she sends me 3 designs of mine that she likes. One of them is a party flyer (so far so good), the other two are a poster for a horror movie and a thriller. As in, the direct opposite to everything she just told me.

We message back and forth for weeks and the more she writes, the more it becomes clear to me that we communicate like we’re creatures from different universes. And it’s not even the language that is the problem, it’s the entire thinking process, the way of looking at things. I have no idea what she wants and she can’t explain it.

I write out the idea of how I understand it based on her messages and it’s “not quite that”.

She comes back again and this time, she decides to scrap the previous project and get the “easier one” done. It’s for a cover. She gets me a link to the song (which I have to skip to 00:30 to get the idea of what she’s looking for). I bash my head against the table a few times, then give her my concept idea. It’s “not quite that”.

This night she finally announces that we should probably scrap everything but no hard feelings and good luck to me, a talented individual. But if I’m able to issue a partial refund, it’d be great.

I remind her that no partial refunds are possible, that I offered her a cancellation at the beginning, and that she declined and confirmed that she wanted to proceed as is. She also purchased the package of her own volition. I will also be available to happily assist her if she has any revisions for the original design or needs me to resize it.

I suspect her plan was to just use the difference between Standard and Premium for extra revisions if necessary. It wasn’t necessary because the entire design was scrapped. Then she’d probably try using it for an extra design but since I couldn’t help her with that, it didn’t happen either. Now she wants to get the difference between a Standard and a Premium package back.

While I am overjoyed that this collaboration has come to an end, I’m also nervous.

We left it at that so far but I have no doubt in my mind that she’ll be back. Best case scenario it’ll be in my inbox. Worst case scenario - she’ll take it to CS and who knows what happens then.

I have another idea to offer her “a replacement order”. A Standard package before canceling a Premium one. BUT a Standard package will need to be accepted first because, needless to say, agreeing to pay doesn’t mean she will. Then, of course, I’ll have to run to CS as fast as I can to request a cancelation but given their response speed recently, it’ll take time. The buyer might lose patience, assume that I scammed her out of $170 and who knows what happens then. Also, a fee doesn’t get refunded if I’m not mistaken. So I don’t know how great of an idea is it.

I just want this person out of my inbox (and my life) and I have no idea what else can I say or do at this point.

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Been there, done that. All sounds very, very familiar.

Heard those exact words a few times over the years. I’m grateful it’s not often, but it’s nearly always a problem with them and not you, which I’m sure you know anyway. Yet somehow, for me at least, makes me question myself a little sometimes.

I started putting my foot down a lot faster and a lot heavier years back when I got a wiff of a customer trying to get me to redo a design that was created to perfectly match their brief. Naturally, if they’re willing to compensate for the additional time it’s not an issue - Most do these days.

Had this where they don’t like the design made for them and they think that by simply attaching 4-5 completely different designs of mine I am somehow going to “get” their ever changing idea of what they want.

I fought for the partial refund option many times with my SSM and on the few times someone has emailed me from Fiverr’s whatever department asking for my feedback on anything I’ve nearly always listed this as being a totally obvious feature that should have existed at the start.

Hopefully you’ll find peace from this buyer in the very near future :slight_smile:

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Going through a similar “trauma”. Contacted CS but received a reply from the “Team Lead” in one of my recent ticket to the support that the average response time of the support is around 10 business days.

I don’t know where this trail would end, but I am going through it at present. I think its a naturally occurring phenomena for me, I usually go through it twice a year at-least.

Hopefully, this ended for you. :pray:

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“I’m so sorry you don’t find my work a good fit for you”, quote the relevant TOS … and block.

This buyer is not worth the wear and tear on your nerves …

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I’m sorry you’re going through this and I can’t really offer an advice but allow me to use your thread to say: I really wish Fiverr would implement partial refunds. Cancelling and ordering again affects us and many problems would be easily solved if we could just refund part of the money.

Oh well.

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I’d question myself if the buyer didn’t have positive feedback with the first round of revisions. I was fully under the impression we were almost done minus some minor tweaks. Like you, I don’t have these kinds of experiences often because I’m good at weeding out potentially difficult buyers. There was nothing wrong with this one. Except maybe the brief was a bit too perfect. :slight_smile:

It’s an issue for me here because it won’t lead to anything productive. I don’t think I’ve ever worked with someone on this site who’s made contradictory statements this often while being fully under impression that they make total sense.

I’m willing to bet they didn’t think it’ll be needed on a $5 site at the beginning. And then it was too difficult to implement.

Thank you. I always hope she won’t come back but these buyers always do for some reason.

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I’d do that in a heartbeat but something’s telling me it may potentially lead to a chargeback or a warning. Reading the forum too often has led me to go into a full panic mode every time I encounter someone potentially troublesome. All this for $30, btw. The difference between my Standard and Premium is $30.

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This is why I hesitate to send a replacement offer. Imagine her accepting a $70 offer and then CS taking 10 days to cancel the initial $100 one. I don’t even want to know what might happen.

I hope your situation gets resolved soon.

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I quite agree - I meant generally speaking, in a broader sense. Your case is done and dusted as far as I am concerned, TOS wise - But I totally get that doesn’t make you feel better because you never know what the buyer is going to do. As you preempted the buyer too, I imagine it’s more frustrating! I have suffered the same situation, it’s never nice.

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Luckily, it resolved!! (the ticket I created for this is left unattended at the moment).
I have requested the Support to please provide the required/speedy support for the orders at-least. I mean they can take as much time on the other issues but issues related to the orders should be attended within a period of 2 days at-least if not 10 business days.

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Seriously, thank you for the pep talk. It helped me quite a bit. I was losing my sanity and gaining some impressive migraines just by trying to talk to this person. She hasn’t come back this night but maybe she’s talking a day off so I can as well. We’ll see about that.

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Well, I hesitate to suggest this, because as you know I think you should block her …

But, you could offer her a $30 off her next order to compensate. But then you’d have to work with her again …

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At first, I was like: ABSOLUTELY NOT, ARE YOU INSANE. But then I thought if it’s something very different (like a sign or a business card of some sort), something that won’t require anything creative or open to interpretation, I might suggest it to her if she comes back again.

Thank you, I needed another possible option. The only one I personally can muster so far is “please, leave me alone”.

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IKR?! :shallow_pan_of_food:or :fire:

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I can’t even describe to you how difficult people get when you’re designing a business card for them. I think it’s because business cards never look like they are hard to do or take a lot of work. So maybe not a business card. Maybe I’ll make my dreams come true and finally roll into that sweet $15 logo market niche.

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It may have been that back when “Fiverr really was Fiverr” :wink: but while now it would be inconvenient to integrate it into the system, I think it’s mostly the extreme likelihood of people abusing a partial refund feature. I’m willing to bet that a lot of buyers and reseller-buyers would use the power of held-back reviews coupled with this feature to get a “rebate” post fact, that lots of people would demand partial refunds instead of revisions for the most trifle things, and that lots of sellers would partially refund to not risk a bad review.
As with other things, the changes in the feedback system, the advent of level evaluations, fee on tips come to mind, it’s a feature that in theory would be nice to have for responsible and reasonable adults, but as so often, we can’t have nice things on our playground because some kids don’t play well with others.

Hope your ordeal will be over and forgotten soon.

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It sounds like she has tunnel vision on getting what she wants for the price she wants and she’s trying to find a way to make that happen.

Or she just doesn’t know what she’s doing and has no regard for your time or money.

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Every other time when I’d work on online projects, big or small, we’d walk out of the meeting with a head dev and me asking: “You can add that quickly, right?” and the answer would more often than not be: “Do you think we ever even considered the possibility of needing it?”

If fiverr is worried it might be abused, CS should have the option to issue partial refunds. So we write, state our case and if it’s good enough, go through with it. Buyers will try to abuse it also but then again, certain buyers abuse full refunds and that’s fine.

I have two cats who are literal twins. Both visually and by birth. They don’t have the same “expression” and they are close to identical.

Thank you. It’s been a rough week. I have another buyer in my inbox who claims all the cats have the same “expression” and it’s “wrong” on a cat that I’ve drawn. (The order has auto-completed a week ago).

I have two cats who are literal twins. Both visually and by birth. They don’t have the same “expression” and they are close to identical. I have to put different color collars on them when I take them to the vet because the trained professionals can’t tell them apart.

I’m tired and confused.

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Every 3-4 months a come across a buyer who challenges the very foundation of how I understand communication and people in general. I’m not too much of a great communicator when it comes to crisis management, I’ll admit to that.

And due to how I grew up it’s much harder for me to handle when it’s a woman who’s behaving in this way. I just freeze and don’t know what to do. Except repeating every once and a while that she’s been warned, she’s agreed, she got exactly what she ordered in case CS comes in at some point. There’ll be a lot of messages for them to read through.

In this particular case, I think I might be dealing with someone who came up with the concept. They came up with it, found it very clever, reveled in their own creative genius a bit and then when it was visualized, they’re either fallen out of love with it or maybe stopped to find it this clever. And I’'m just on the receiving end of that disappointment.

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Yeah, I get you, Lena - all those neuropathways pulsing together when one of them has been triggered. It can be overwhelming.

{{{hug}}}

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