Fiverr Forum

Possible TOS Violation - Let's see What Happens


#1

I am so livid.

Yesterday I had a buyer who was near impossible to work with. They did not supply their full order requirements and were very unhappy with what they saw as my appalling customer service.

Here goes:


After this, the buyer provided their full order details. (For a $20 500-word article) In this case, they got a full re-write. On delivery, they immediately completed the order and instantly left feedback. I left my own which was 100% factual.

I then blocked this buyer as I have absolutely no wish to continue communicating or working with them. Then earlier today, I get this:

Screenshot%20at%202019-02-05%2023-55-08

It’s an invitation to connect with my buyer on Linkedin. - I rejected it.

Then I got this:

Screenshot%20at%202019-02-06%2000-06-58

I did not unblock this buyer. Fiverr somehow unblocked them. Now, the buyer wants me to change my review of them and is taking this to CS. In this case, guess what happens when I try to respond to point out that changing feedback is against TOS? That’s right:

Screenshot%20at%202019-02-06%2000-06-45

My message is being reviewed? I block a buyer who Fiverr unblocks and says “I want you to change your review of me,” I say no because of TOS (without using the word review) and I get flagged for a TOS violation?

ON WHAT GROUND?

Now, having read the forum, I am aware of several sellers where a buyer has gone to CS to request that a review is changed, only for sellers to get an automatic warning. In this case, it is risky me even contacting Fiverr CS concerning this matter.

I have no doubt that Fiverr’s automated system now has a good chance of giving me a TOS warning. If that happens, I will be furious. Even if it doesn’t though, this entire situation exposes just how broken Fiverr is.

Blind reviews? No. They just mean ONLY EVER LEAVE BUYERS 5 STARS. Blocking buyers? Nope. Doesn’t work. They get to message you anyway and you get flagged for a potential TOS violation. Fiverr CS itself? Well, isn’t something when you know enough about other peoples experiences to know that you stand to shoot yourself in the foot by reaching out.


#2

Contact customer service. They would be the best people to resolve your problem


#3

I appreciate that it might of been a long read for you. However, if you had read my post, you would understand why contacting CS could well do more harm than good.


#4

You would be fine…Do not be scared to contact CS because looks as if you’re afraid to talk to them…


#5

Well:

  1. I am since I’ve lost count of the number of posts I’ve read on this forum about people who have been given warnings just for mentioning the word REVIEW to CS
  2. I cannot open a ticket and explain this situation without using the word review or a synonym of the word review
  3. I shouldn’t have to contact CS since I have done nothing wrong

#6

Well, since you do not want to contact CS, just wait till you hear from the Trust and Safety team…Everything is their hands…


#7

Well here’s an update. So far, a positive one:

My response to my buyer was approved, in which I basically told them that changing reviews is against TOS and that I did not wish to communicate with them any further:

Screenshot%20at%202019-02-06%2008-33-07
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Given the above, my faith in Fiverr is quite exponentially restored. :slight_smile:

Sadly, my buyer, really does not want to let this go:

Screenshot%20at%202019-02-06%2008-33-46

Sadly, what this buyer has now done is act threateningly. Also, if they had looked at my Linkedin profile, they would see that I have a few personal connections in the mainstream US news media. I’m sure they would love to get their hands on a lead for a story about someone who paid $20 to someone on Fiverr and then tried to destroy their career when they didn’t bow to their rudeness.

Of course, I won’t do that. (Not unless this just gets really silly). From a logical standpoint, though, how is this level of “I must have revenge!” even possible? The buyer’s real name bares no similarity to the username they use on Fiverr. My review of them isn’t listed anywhere other than here.

Anyway, I’ve reported the last message. However, I am still reluctant to contact CS due to the necessity (if I do) to use the word review in any support ticket.


#8

I’m sitting in front of my PC reading the whole thing and just…
sighing and shaking my head.
I’m sorry you are going through this, but as far as I can tell you did what you can,
and you were not scared to leave honest feedback.
I understand your concern with CS, but I really hope they help.
Keep us updated!


#9

Yep, blind review. More like “be honest and hurt your business” reviews. Or better said, “be honest and hurt your business because there’s no safety for you here” reviews. :slight_smile:

It’s ironic, considering they always shadow the negative reviews they get as a company and never address them.

Packing our bags from Fiverr sounds pretty good right now. :baggage_claim:
The other option would be to shut up and never leave anything else but a 5 star.


#10

You give this type of buyer way too much communication which they then use as ammunition. The entire point of your communication should be to sooth and to appease them. Be overly agreeable. Take it way down in temperature. You can still make your points but in more of a subservient tone. At least that’s my suggestion and of course you will do as you wish.

All of his communication is geared into starting up problems for you. Don’t fall into that trap. I’m happy it turned out well for you.

In your first response your second and last paragraphs are all that are necessary and I would throw in a profuse apology for not providing something they liked. It’s just a power game to them.

I don’t know if you have ever had a chat with Amazon customer support but it’s always the model of appeasement and cooperation. They must have a crazy-good training system for those workers. They always are surprising with how cooperative they are. Their favorite line is “Let me make this right for you.”

Of course there are times when you have to be very firm with buyers too.

I mention all this because any time you can de-escalate a bad situation it helps. Over half of any seller’s job is about customer service.


#11

Initially, the communicaton was necessary, as I could not possibly deliver this persons order without tweezing their brief out of them. It literally took 4 attempts. Their brief started with, basically “we do environmental cleanups.” I had to guess they encourage people to clean up beaches.

They acted insulted by my request for more info, and in a message I can’t show because it shows their company name, told me basically "fine, all of this is irrelevant anyway." At which point it became clear that they wanted an epic blog post talking about the economic advantages of taking better care of the environment in major US cities. Cost savings, waste, how volunteers can play a role. I even ended up touching on homelessness in San Francisco.

You are right, I should have kept my last reply short, However, I had to emphasize (in case CS checked) that I do not break TOS etc. Also, this response would not have been necessary if the buyer had stayed blocked.

Edit: It also gets better. This buyer is apparently a professional writer. As you can see by their Linked in invitation:

Screenshot%20at%202019-02-06%2009-54-28

I’m also guessing in this case, that they have outsourced this project to me and are upset because they now fear other sellers will think twice before working with them. I’m also guessing that this person is now reading this thread, as they have made quite a few edits to their Linked in profile since they originally tried to connect with me. (Removal of their photo, details which might suggest who their clients are etc)

Thankfully, I started screenshotting hours ago and you can’t edit the past if it’s saved on my hard drive. :slight_smile:


#12

I’m glad you shared that with us. I checked and you don’t have bad reviews. I was expecting to see a one star review from your buyer. I believe you were dealing with that type of you know what.

It’s awful that it seems to be snowballing.


#13

The “message is being reviewed” thing is just automated, words like “review” or “feedback” can trigger it even if mentioned in a context that doesn’t have anything to do with Fiverr’s ToS, like “Would you like the reviews on your website translated as well?”, “Yes, I can see you paid for the order”, etc. Wasn’t there a forum post where someone even got a message flagged for talking about papaya with their buyer? :wink:
It’s just a bot and once a human being looked at it in context and sees it’s fine, it gets waved through.
It says “possible ToS violation”, after all, because they are aware that their bot gets triggered by “innocent” use of those trigger words as well, that’s all.

I hope you don’t have to rewrite too often because of not getting sufficient information, else, including research and “novel or quality information”, your offer sounds like too good a deal to me. Maybe if you raise your prices, you’ll get customers who are more interested in providing the info you need or want and or tell you they are there for any questions you got (and are there, though delivery time may still be an issue if yours are fast) - if you get enough info in most cases and people are happy with the results, however, it might be more efficient for you to just write with the info you got, and avoid back and forth, of course.

You could have sounded a bit less confrontational in your own messages maybe, but anyway, hope this will work out well in the end, the LinkedIn thing really seems far over the top for this.

In regards to the block, might have just been a bug, of course, there are several posts by people for whom the block didn’t work, but I guess it’s possible that Fiverr would reverse the block in some situations like open disputes, pending revisions and such, seeing how there’s the preference to have people “work it out among themselves”, unless maybe one or both parties get abusive, start to threaten each other and such.
I’m not sure if the announcement to leave a review about you on LinkedIn really constitutes a threat for Fiverr, as usually, threats on Fiverr are about leaving bad reviews or trying to make sellers do more work without paying for it, and your (or)deal with that customer basically was over and done with, gig completed, both reviews left and all, already, so, don’t know, this seems a bit complicated.

Would LinkedIn’s terms even allow someone to leave a review of someone based on them having bought your service on another platform?


#14

See what’s happening now on Linked In? This is why you should try to defuse the situation. It’s now become a real battle.


#15

Most of my orders fall into the $60 - $80 price bracket. They are due to bulk orders from regulars who need lots of content regularly and are by and large a pleasure to work with. I have raised my basic prices previously to as high as $25. However, this scares away the repeat bulk buyers. I don’t know why.

Most of my low $ orders are also quite easy. However, there are the occasional ones like this one which blow my logic fuses.

This is the problem. I did write what I could with the information which was originally provided. Then came the revision request where the problem starts. It was either write with what I have or cancel the order, or let it run late.

Yes, it is. Bizarrely, though, this is not the first time this has happened which is odd as I do not mention Fiverr anywhere in my profile. I guess my focus on having an easy for AI to recognize profile pic is the culprit.

Anyway, back to doing actual work rather than damage control… :slight_smile:


#16

Not really bizarre, when I right-click and google search your profile image, the first result I see is your LinkedIn, right above the hits for your Fiverr gigs. And you know that many people recommend to image search sellers to see if they are “real” or Angelina Jolie :wink: so I guess that’s what many buyers, be they resellers or not, do.

So, yeah, if you want to avoid that, different (enough) images per site might be better.


#17

“Outside of Fiverr” was most likely the phrase that caused that “Your message is being reviewed…” warning.

Avoid using it, or the same thing will happen again, no matter what else you write. :slight_smile:


#18

24 hours isn’t prompt?! What an entitled buyer.

With me, if you want something that prompt, there’s going to be an extra price tag. Like you said, we have other orders to do, plus would have to rearrange our whole schedule and give up paid work to do something like that on such short notice. That requires compensation, otherwise it’s charity.

I’m sorry this happened to you. Some buyers are so manipulative and entitled.


#19

No, that buyer gave him 5 stars and a longish review…check that buyer’s profile description, though. I’m not sure how is someone with that kind of profile description allowed to be on Fiverr. It’s creepy.


#20

I think it’s to scare any writer he hires so that they don’t give him copied work. It’s the first profile I’ve seen with just a white blank profile picture.