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.