Fiverr Community Forum

Revision trouble - Work fully and completely delivered, but buyer wants additional work for free

Hello there, everyone. I’ve tried to find something about this on the forums, but most of the ‘revision’ related queries are about revisions being asked despite sellers not offering revisions. Now, that is part of this, but not the important thing.

This afternoon, a buyer came to me, asking for their “Linkedi profile to be proofreaded and edited to replace better words or phrases in sentence”. After we settled on a time (24h) and a price ($5), as well as a reassurance that I know they need more than just editing and that they need to have words rephrased, I gave a custom offer.

It started off on a ‘great’ foot. They sent me a Word file instead of a Google Docs share link (even pressing the “Yes, I sent a Google Docs share link” button later), and in the requirements, they suddenly stated that they “need the grammar to be corrected, rephrase and add words”. I didn’t think too much of it at the time, ensured that they ended up sending me the Google Docs link, and started working.

Now, the document was a bit strange, filled with “out of character” boxes of red text, but due to a language barrier and a lack of instructions, I edited the boxes as well. Twice, there was only a job or education title and a box below it, without the text talking about their experience/education in between. There, I added a small note stating that I cannot edit text that isn’t there. Other than that, I rephrased and reworded sentences, fixed up their grammar, and delivered the finished document with 19.5 hours still on the clock.

A few hours later I got a notification from fiverr. Expecting an accepted delivery and a review, I was instead faced with a revision request and a message from the buyer. Now, I offer no revisions, never have, probably never will, after hearing all horror stories here. Yet they still requested it. Well, alright, surely I can fix something. Then I looked at their message.

Why are you proofreading the instruction message in red? (See the attached file). The info there is not a sentence but an instruction on how I want the sentence (above the instruction) should be edited based on my situation and voice. The instruction is a request. I am not sure, why you didn’t read the question highlight and why you proofread it too. lol

Attached images


I need the content in that area (highlight in red). This is why I asked earlier do you provide adding words, rephrasing it or just proofreading? You said you do.

Now, never was ‘adding words’ discussed, since I’m a proofreader/editor, not a content writer. Even the custom offer states, “I will proofread and edit as well as re-word and re-phrase your LinkedIn profile. This includes up to 1,500 words and 24-hour delivery.”

And honestly… I’m at a loss. I sent the buyer a message, stating in a far smaller text what I have said here, but I’m not sure what to do in the meantime. Do I re-deliver the same thing? Do I go to CS? Surely they don’t want to see me after I went to them this week as well. I only have 6 completed orders, to be 7 tomorrow (and 8 if this went well), so I can’t risk a cancellation. Or can I?

Any help is much appreciated. Thank you in advance.
Jane Barnaby

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Apparently, your buyer was under the impression you would write text according to his instructions in red. :thinking:

I think your wording may be a bit of an issue. In my custom offers, I say all of the things I will correct, such as grammar and the like. I end by saying,
“If a sentence is awkward, I will rewrite it for readability.” That is as far as I go with mentioning any writing or rewriting.

I also recently added this to my gig description:

Please note: this is a correction service; it is not editing, writing, or rewriting service.

This is a tough one. It looks like the only way to make your buyer happy is to be a copywriter and add content. You can hang tough and say your offer did not include that and redeliver your document less the corrections of the red parts. But the buyer could still go to CS, leave a bad review, or both.

If you cancel the buyer will get what work you have done for free, but then you would not have to put in any more time on the document and could chalk it up to a learning experience. Your stats will drop, but no one can see that but you.

I doubt CS would be very sympathetic. You would get the canned response of, “Work it out with the buyer.”

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Twice, their text looks like this:

While the rest looked like this:

Originally, I thought they meant ‘What I want to have edited’, considering their language was… interesting. Instead, it appears that they wanted me to take the text from the red box, then write a ‘better’ version above it. This was never discussed. In our very short conversation before the order was placed, they never mentioned instructions, and I went into the document blind other than knowing it’d be a LinkedIn profile and that I had to do some line editing next to my usual proofreading.

A cancellation would probably be best then, wouldn’t it? It’s only been $5. Hm… I’ll wait and see what their reply to my message is. They have probably gone to sleep, but will most likely have messaged back by the time I wake up tomorrow morning. If they reply negatively, I think I might cancel, knowing I most likely have at least two more jobs coming my way soon.

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To be honest, yes, I would cancel. It’s the best way to go.

You don’t have many reviews to hold the punch of a bad one, and it will be too harmful for your profile. Besides, you still have no level and are far from being promoted during the next 60 days, so there’s no demotion to fear.

As Vickie said, your stats will drop (your OCR will be hit), but no one, other than you, can see that. 60 days pass quickly, and that’s the time that cancelled order will be taken into account for evaluation purposes.

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I was actually hoping to level up next month. That said, if the buyer leaves a bad review, I wouldn’t be able to. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have nightmares every night after delivering a work to a client who seemed upset. It’s frightening not to have several dozen good reviews to help me bear the attack. I suppose I’ll see what they reply, and if it’s negative, cancel.

Thank you both for your help. These things are ever so slightly terrifying.

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With the messaging and deliveries currently not working, you might have to wait, and your buyer might get even more annoyed even though that’s not your fault.

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It doesn’t really make that much difference, Jane, hoping to be promoted next month, or having to wait a bit more.

What you need is to have a solid profile. :wink:

We all have been there and, yes, it is indeed stressful knowing your mattress isn’t as thick as one might wish. But you need to take things calmly or you’ll get sick. Things will get better - just give time to time. :wink:

Don’t worry. You have nothing to thank me. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Theoretically, could this be avoided if one did their base gig as $10 instead? I have heard a lot of people here say that $5 buyers can be a serious problem.

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Finagle’s law in action!

Miss Vickie might have some interesting things to say in response to your question. She charges $10 for proofreading now, but she must have charged $5 in the past, back when cheaper gigs were more common.

Good luck with your issue, anyway, Jane. :slight_smile:

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Thank you <3 Man, this day started off so well too. Oh well.

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As a fellow Fiverr proofreader, you have my full sympathy!

For what it’s worth I am going to ignore my usual guidance and the suggestion of one or two others on this discussion, and suggest that you swallow your pride on this one and try and please your buyer (while I openly acknowledge that you probably want to tell him where to stick it!).

In the general scheme of things it probably wouldn’t take you too much longer to present a formatted file to meet your buyer’s instructions. Sometimes pride comes before a fall and, I think, all things, considered it would benefit you more in the long run to please this buyer and hopefully avoid poor feedback. If you’re lucky you’ll get no feedback - which in these circumstances is a result! As a new Fiverr seller looking to build your profile, I personally think it’s worth your while doing this as a loss leader.

Then once the job is done, go through your own gig description with a fine tooth comb to weed out any ambiguity. Take it from me, buyers who want to raise a dispute will pick up on anything they can to be successful. And ultimately, in the event of a dispute, Fiverr customer support will probably start by looking at the wording of your gig!

Yep, my experience is that $5 gigs attract the utter morons of life who want endless revisions for no reason, the job completed yesterday, and to ultimately try and get their money back through raising a dispute.

#sayithowitis

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In this situation I would edit the text provided and say what they want to say in a simple and clear way. Getting another good review is the goal here but make sure that you explain that you are doing this as there was a misunderstanding and you want their profile to be the best it can be! All positive, all nice, all I’m thinking of you type messages.
The alternatives:

  • Try and get more money from them - not a chance of that happening and you will spend an hour discussing it.
  • Cancel the order and them reject the cancellation, there goes any chance of a positive review then.
  • Cancel the order and they accept, your stats take a hit.

Honestly, I have found the first approach to work 95% of the time with these things. Another good review (at best) or no review left is far better than a cancellation at this point. If you are nice and positive, they are unlikely to leave a negative review.

Then you can decide about blocking, upping price etc.
I can’t tell you how many hoops I jumped through to get my first 10-15 reviews. There’s a dude somewhere with a 5k word website that was proofread and taken from the worst mangling of the English language to a usable and engaging content resource, all for $10. It’s all about the reviews at this point, I wouldn’t worry about the money or even the time (to an extent obviously).

(Honestly didn’t copy this opinion from english_voice)

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Ha, that’s what I love about this forum! You’ve also offered great advice that I didn’t. This is invaluable “All positive, all nice, all I’m thinking of you type messages”. I’m going to hang on to that one myself!

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I still get $5 buyers, and they usually are not a problem. However, since my lowest package is for $10, the buyer has to ask me for a custom offer before they can get any work from me for $5.

@eoinfinnegan, as I was writing my reply to Jane, in the back of my mind my brain was saying, “Eoin would not say to cancel!” :laughing:

I like your idea about turning the situation into a positive one.

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Reviews are often based on the buyer’s feeling rather than the actual work. It’s why people bother leaving reviews on cheap toasters and other meaningless things that obviously work as supposed to. I find this to especially be the case with non-native speakers as they obviously can’t really judge the work from a quality point of view.

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When I was new to this platform, I sucked it up and did the job with a friendly tone. Getting into conflicts that can probably be solved by 30 minutes of work isn’t worth it that early on.

Now that I have 400+ positive reviews and almost 1000 jobs under my belt, I feel a bit more confident that I can bear a negative review - but only if I have to. I prefer cancellation over bad reviews, but my main concern is always that the buyer has a positive experience.

In cases where my description of the service has caused a misunderstanding, that’s on me - not them. So I try to do my best to help them out.

Getting stuck in endless revision-cycles will cost you time and energy. Still, there are times when I will refuse to work for free. If the misunderstanding wasn’t on me, or the buyer is a moron, I’ll be happy to explain to them that I don’t work for free, that they can cancel the order, keeping in mind that they lose all rights to use my work if they do and that I always follow up on illegal use of my work.

I do all this in the nicest way possible - always friendly and still making sure I’m pointing out that I do want to help - but not for free, and always with a solution to their issue at hand.

It has worked for me. I’m strict, but always friendly, helpful, but always with a required payment at the end.

In the beginning, however, that can be difficult. Every sale counts and every positive review counts.

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This order comes from someone who may not be a native, but they have followed pre-med and law school in Australia and the United States. They are the kind of person I expect to know how to use English, at least in the basics.

I get that but at the same time, the level shown in the screenshots is pretty poor when compared to what you will deliver them.

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Could you expand on that? I’m not sure I fully understand what you said. Do you mean their level of English is low, or the level of my edits?

Oh theirs! Definitely theirs!
They won’t understand why continued should be continue, etc. so they have to rate on their overall feeling.

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