Fiverr Community Forum

Ridiculous. Got my first warning ever for trying to help a buyer and standing my ground

Even if you don’t read this forum too often, you have probably seen sellers posting how Fiverr does not have their backs. Well, this is one of such posts. I am writing this to vent my frustration and maybe serve as a warning to the rest of you all.

Today, for the first time since I started on Fiverr in 2016, I got a warning for “feedback manipulation”. Basically, I have a buyer who ordered my gig 2 times before and always rated full 5 stars but this time he rated my delivery 4 in one category. Out of genuine curiosity and willingness to improve the delivery, I asked him what he didn’t like about it, and - wait for it - turns out he misclicked. Those who experienced this before don’t need me to tell them how frustrating this is, especially if you go beyond the scope of the gig and do more than is demanded (which is something you are sometimes made to do if you offer a proofreading service, especially when the buyer places the order without talking to you first, as it was in this case).

A Buyer misclicking and lowering the rating has already happened to me once before. Back then, I advised that buyer to write to CS to explain the situation and it turned out great, they changed the rating and I did not get in any trouble for this. After all, that’s a pretty normal thing to do on their part, right? Wrong. Turns out they should flag my account instead!

Instead of complying with the buyer’s request, they told him he “accepted the delivery and left a review that reflects his feelings and opinion about the deliver when he added the feedback”. How insightful! If you ever consider talking to any therapist, don’t. Just write to Fiverr CS and they will tell you all about how you feel and think. Real pros. You think that you rated 4.7 instead of 5.0 by mistake and want to correct that? Wrong! In reality, you thought that the seller deserves 4.7 and that is it! Don’t think otherwise. Oh, and by the way, we will flag his account! How about that?

So, there is the first part of the story. But you may ask when reading the title of this post again: “what did you mean that you stood your ground”? Well, this will be easy to comprehend for somebody who is an experienced seller on Fiverr. If you are just starting to work with a buyer, you do not really know what to expect from them. Especially if they are not very communicative and order your gigs without writing to you first in order to check if you are available, or if you are interested at all, or if what they demand from you is covered by the gig, etc. As a seller, I do not feel safe working with such buyers. They are potentially more likely to try to abuse your service. They will order a proofreading gig and send you a gibberish text spit out from Google Translate to fix, even if it is beyond fixing, even if they should your premium package, completely ignoring everything you write in the gig’s description. And then, one day, they will rate your delivery 4.7. What do you do then? Of course, you can swallow it and soldier on, fingers crossed that this does not become a habit of theirs. Who knows, maybe you will be good and they will turn out to not be the type that loves the feeling of being in control over somebody, maybe they won’t be inclined to abusing the system. The alternative: you ask them for the reason for the lower rating. Then you try to fix it. In this case, the delivery was not the problem, the misclicking was. So you ask them politely to write to CS. But what if they respond: “no worries bro i have many more [orders] to do ill give you 5 stars then :)”(sic)?

Now, here is me, standing my ground. I responded:

“Of course you do not need to do it [ask CS to correct the rating] but then I will probably not risk hurting my rating any further and will need to unfortunately cease our cooperation.”

And there you have it. The moral of the story I guess: if somebody calls you “bro” block them straight away and don’t count on CS, because they are not here to help you.

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I mean no disrespect, but I find it humourous how much Sellers rely on having a “perfect” rating for every job they complete.

I didn’t realize that a freelance career was a competition to see who ends up with the most Gold Stars.

My top priority is getting the job done, within a reasonable time frame and as accurately as possible based on the information provided by the Buyer.

Buyers are not obligated to “rate” service.

It’s the same as going out for dinner at a restaurant.

You are NOT obligated to provide a tip nor rate the service.

I am forever shaking my head at freelancers who are so hung up about a rating system that, quite honestly, is far from perfect.

But that’s my opinion.

I hope you figure out how to get your Gold Star.

Good luck.

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There have been other posts on the forum by sellers who asked the buyer to contact CS to change the review and then the seller got a warning. I think in this case Fiverr probably thought you were pressuring the buyer to change the review so gave the warning, even though in the past they wouldn’t have given a warning for that.

I think not long ago there was Fiverr help page that even suggested how you could ask the buyer to change the review (that would get you a warning now). Though the current help page says:

" * Only if your buyer’s review is not in line with our [Terms of Service] please contact Customer Service.*"
ie. basically that you can’t change reviews any more (unless the review is against the TOS).

It’s safest not to even mention reviews to buyers now.

If you wanted to block someone because they kept giving you low ratings (eg. which could cause demotion if there were too many) I wouldn’t say that to the buyer as that could cause them to try to get the rating changed and would probably give you a warning.

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Yes, that is probably what they thought. But is it just me, or they completely disregarded the entire context of this situation, i.e. the rating being a misclick and the buyer being just lazy and disregarding? IMO, there is a difference between being assertive and pressuring/manipulating buyers for one’s own benefit.

Right, apparently:)

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Thanks for these unrelated insights. I agree with them 100%.

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Yes they [CS] probably did disregard it, or they could have thought that the buyer might have just said that when asked why they gave the rating they did (eg. “why did you give me a rating as low as that?” “Oh it was a mistake I meant to give 5 stars” [even if it wasn’t actually a mistake but they might be saying it because they didn’t know what else to say really when they got called out about the rating they gave], then if they get asked to change it Fiverr will think they are being pressured). Though it could have been a mis-click or a maybe a bug.

That is an interesting point, though maybe a little far-fetched in my opinion. If the buyer was afraid of my reaction to lower-than-usual rating, why would they rate me lower in the first place?

I think mis-click is possible when you are using your phone. That was the case with that other buyer I mentioned previously.

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This is actually a fairly common rant on the forum. This one is more unusual because it is originating from someone with years of experience on the platform and hundreds of reviews.

Sorry, but with how long you’ve been on Fiverr, how did you not know that inquiring about a review violates Fiverr rules and might jeopardize your account?

In this case, it sounds like it truthfully was a misclick error, but there have been other instances where a buyer leaves a truthful review that is less than 5 stars across the board, is confronted by the seller, and lies by saying they misclicked to not further aggravate the seller.

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This is considered feedback manipulation… You said to your customer that he should change the review.

I also received a feedback manipulation warning in February, so close to 3 months now. I never told him to go to customer support, he went on his own without contacting me, and I still got a warning. Keep in mind that I never did anything like saying him to change feedback or any stuff like that…

So I get it. I am waiting for this warning to go away eventually.

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Rating is very important and if you do not have other source of income as some people, and if Fiverr is not just a side job as for SOME people, and if having zero to 4 orders a month instead of 10-20 is not bothering you as SOME people, YES you should be upset.

Especially if the lower rating than 5 is undeserved and pure mistake by buyer.

I had 4.7 by mistake (same as yours) and buyer apologized, but nothing can be done, my rank dropped and orders stopped. I did not even make 50% of money for food in April.

All orders I got from February and 4.7 are returned clients. Without them I would be at zero.

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How did you find out that the review was a mistake?

I am a translator. For me context is king, you know? I did not consider what I did manipulation, and I still don’t to be honest. I think that the TOS state that you cannot ask buyers to change reviews, right? I thought that bringing up the subject (discussing the feedback) was ok.

I don’t have the exact post to recall (I think @vickiespencer made the inquiry), but this question was brought up to CS and the response was that even simply asking for feedback qualifies as possible review manipulation, as buyers are not mandated to leave a review or explain themselves if they do leave a review.

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Your story sounds even more unbelievable but I have no problems believing it, sadly. Sorry to hear that.

MAC user.

He could not open RAR or ZIP file so he thought I only send him one design, not all versions as agreed.
And I sent him MOV file with alpha channel that looks funky if you open it in regular video player, it is meant to be used in OBS or video editing software as overlay.

He left 4 stars under service as described, rest 5.

When he figure out how to open RAR and saw all the files in OBS he came apologizing and asked how can he change rating. I said it doesn’t matter, as long as he found the way to open the file.

Then I discovered fancy MAC users do not get in their IOS anything to open RAR and I added that as a note in my client brief… you learn every day.

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Geez, another instance of buyers not having a clue what to do with .zip or .rar files and taking it out on the seller.

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Well, it is what it is.

Small violations like this tend to go away. So I am waiting, hopefully in 3 months it just goes away. For me, 3 months would be in 2 weeks.

How is that? I thought warnings are permanent and after the third one you are out?

There was a big to-do on the FF about reviews, so after asking 3 CS agents and getting my question moved on from one CS agent to another, this was the most straightforward answer I got.

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So not to annoy you more or anything, but this to me does sound like you are pressuring the buyer to change the review. Essentially you are threatening to block them if they don’t change the review! That is review manipulation. What if the buyer really did think there was something wrong with your order but didn’t want to get into a big debate about it with you? So they lied to avoid that and then you threatened to block them so they had to go to CS to ask for the review to be changed, because while their review was honest, it wasn’t a bad delivery and they would like to be able to use you again.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Never query/discuss/mention reviews to a client. It just isn’t worth it.

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