I finally reached Level 2. With the feeling of pride also comes the realisation that the road was made a lot tougher than it could’ve been due to some flaws in Fiverr’s policies, which I would like to point out to know what everyone else thinks and if there is any chance of change in the future.
Back in March, I was at level 1 with all Level 2 requirements fulfilled, except for my total completed orders being 49. I was working on my 50th order, with hope that after completing it I will get to Level 2, something I had my eyes on since I made Level 1 for the first time a year ago.
This 50th order was a large project. 1500$ for a Game that was to be developed in 7-8 weeks. I requested the buyer to break it down into smaller projects so I can keep paying my bills along the way and to give me a sense of security. He refused and made promises that he is a fair guy and will make sure everything goes smoothly. Also, while sending an offer Fiverr doesn’t give option to select more than 30 days. So the buyer said when we are close to 30 days he will give me an extension.
He hired me for Development of the game and hired some other people to work on the Graphics. About 4 weeks into the project, I had given him routine progress updates for my work, but there were some delays because the Arts people he hired weren’t working fast enough. Often when he wouldn’t get updates from them he would speak to me very rudely which I ignored thinking he is just taking out his anger on me.
Then one day he asked me to take over some of the Arts work too, which was outside the scope of the project. When I politely refused he threatened to cancel or give a bad review. I had already spent 4-5 weeks and done about 800-900$ worth of work so I felt trapped. I tried to convince him with reason, but he wouldn’t listen. Eventually, he placed an order of $30 for some artwork. While I was doing that he said one of the old Artists just sent some awesome work so he doesn’t need me to do the Art anymore and he cancelled the order.
Soon, he ran into more trouble with his artists and asked me to do artwork again. I politely refused and told him I couldn’t take the risk because he had already cancelled the previous order. He started being rude again and threatened to cancel the original 1500$ order. I still refused and then he went to Fiverr support to cancel. Fiverr support cancelled the project saying that 30 days had passed and because I was late in submitting the work, the buyer has the right to cancel. (remember the agreed time was 7-8 weeks and the buyer said he’d give extension when the 30 days are up)
so, 30+ days of work gone down the drain. I didn’t get the money. I didn’t get to complete my 50th order, and because I was working on this project full-time I didn’t take up any other project so my stats took a really bad hit because of the 2 cancellations. I was demoted to Level 0.
I almost considered quitting Fiverr because I was convinced I had done nothing wrong, and Fiverr support, and Fiverr policies allowed me to get robbed so easily. I have been working online on various sites since 2013. I understand that out of 10 buyers, 3 are probably rogue and looking for free work.
The problem is, with other websites I always feel I have a voice, there have been a couple of disputes which have almost always been resolved in my favour. But on Fiverr, not even one was resolved in my favour. At the moment I have 54 completed orders, and 10 cancellations and I can say with complete confidence that none of the cancellations was my fault.
In most cases, the buyer just took the work and raised a dispute saying “I don’t like the work” and the order was cancelled. One buyer even mocked me saying “doesn’t matter what you say, If I tell Support I wasn’t satisfied with the work, they’ll cancel and return me the money”. They know it is THAT easy to cheat.
Anyway, I did a lot of work in April and May. In May I got back to Level 1. In June I got to Level 2.
I like working on Fiverr and am thankful that it has given me the means to earn money for 2 years now. But I think these things need to change to make it a better place for sellers:
For big projects there should be an option to select deadline of more than 30 days, or keep the deadline open
Every project should have milestones, especially big projects. I know Fiverr allows 3 milestones for projects over $100. but even in that, the payment comes after all milestones are completed. Plus, buyers are reluctant to choose that option because they have the option of going for one large milestone which they can cancel any time.
Fiverr should introduce a better billing system, like maybe an option to track the work and bill hourly like many other platforms do.
Cancellations shouldn’t be this easy. At least take a look at the buyers and seller’s previous stats/reviews before making a decision. Just going with a buyer’s word is extremely unfair.
Stop allowing abuse of the “Request Revisions” button. I don’t need to say much here. The forums are full of incidents of buyers waiting for 3 days then “requesting revisions” to prevent order completion. Just remove that feature. It’s probably the most abused feature on the site.
Change Support policies/TOS to make it balanced for buyers and sellers. On other sites I felt my success depends on my skill, hard work and communication skills, because if something goes wrong, the Support staff will protect me and make a fair decision. On fiverr it felt like my success depends on whether i get an honest buyer or not, because if something goes wrong, support will listen to the buyer and do as he/she says without taking into account project details, requirements, my reviews, my repute or any other metric.
This was too long. But had to take it off my chest as I spent quite a lot of sleepless nights when that 1500$ order was cancelled after I had done a lot of work.
Would love to see what others have to share.
Thanks for reading this far!