Okay, let me start off by saying that yes, I am fully aware how odd it is that I am asking this question here… but here me out.
I’m not here to rant and berate, as it may seem that way as I continue. I simply want to describe my experience and see if the Fiverr community decides that it is worth giving Fiverr a second chance. I know all sellers are not the same and that one or two rotten apples shouldn’t tarnish a thriving orchard. My experience so far has been really convoluted and ended up being completely atrocious.
I browsed the Gigs; I found people who offered part of what I needed but no one person who offered it all. I decided to post a Request and let the Sellers come to me. I’m was very detailed and ended up hitting the 2500 character count so I had to scale it back. I chose someone who wasn’t the cheapest but was a bit below my budget. She was a new seller and I, planning on launch my own underdog start up, thought that we would work well together. My order was a bit out of her niche market (a branding package) but she insisted it would not be a problem and that she welcomed the challenge. We talked through Inbox messages for a few days, clearing up details until she felt ready to make the offers. She told me she was breaking them up into two, that way if I wasn’t happy with the branding package, I could still pay for the work she had done on the logos. This didn’t sound unreasonable but did cause things to get confusing later. Almost immediately, issues began to crop of. The delivery was late but she was using a “glitch” in the delivery system so that even though the order was days overdue, she kept submitting things as deliveries so I had 3 days to respond and couldn’t cancel. A re-color of a stock image was used for my logo. Luckily, having been in graphic design (and really, I could do all this myself but I lack the equipment. My laptop crashes if it has too many windows open and doesn’t even have enough RAM to install updates it needs… out of the box and after removing all the bloatware) and so I did a reverse image to make sure it wasn’t being used and to see similar images. I brought this up and then started getting harassed by the seller because I wanted to cancel. The seller kept asking for information that had already been given several times, including things that weren’t part of the order, ignoring requests and preferences, and even changing things that were previously agreed on to something entirely different. The TOS violations continued to rack up as we went on at the urging of Customer Support until I had a very lengthy list of evidenced violations, manipulations, and examples of where incompetence was shown to finally the seller was holding my delivery hostage until I withdrew my request for a progress update.
But what surprised me more was the Customer Support I got and the steps they took to “resolve” the issues and is what is currently holding me back from starting another order. Now, don’t get me wrong here either, I’ve worked in Customer Service before too. For a time, I was actually the CS Manager of a smaller, but nation wide, call center. I know that especially when you have things in different places, as with the two orders, it can get confusing but there was only ONE Customer Support ticket opened. Three different people juggled it back and forth and were supposedly reviewing it each time. They told me to block her from contacting me via Inbox but encouraged MORE communication on the order. They should have seen that she was manipulating the delivery system with incomplete orders and messages for more time but didn’t do anything. After one person wanted to confirm that I did indeed want to cancel the order (and I’m assuming found grounds for a forced cancellation) the ticket went to someone else who asked me to review the most recent delivery and request revisions. Not only did it seem like they weren’t familiar with Fiverr’s own TOS agreements, they repeatedly ignored questions related to refunds (rather than crediting my account), higher department contact information, and customer service protocol questions (as on my side, it showed everything on one ticket but I know some software will let the CS representative “soft close” a ticket unless there is a response and that sometimes a new name on the ticket doesn’t mean they have the same ease of access to the information).
I know that sellers are all going to be different and I might find someone who does a bang up, awesome job if I made another request to where I wouldn’t have to even touch the Customer Support. However, I believe that someone in Customer Service is representing their company. Even if you’re bound by protocols and just not able to provide any help or input whatsoever, the steps you take to resolve issues and handle complaints is integral. And as it seems that Customer Support is the only way to get someone who is an employee of Fiverr, they should be even more so. Again, it took me listing out everything the seller had done (for a second time) to get them to finally force cancel an order that days earlier, someone else was confirming if I did want to cancel it. Someone else was breaking rules and I was jumping through hoops to get them to take the action that it stated would be taken under those circumstances. In the end though, the orders were canceled and I did get a refund to PayPal rather than credit. I might have taken over a week for everything to resolve, but it did in a way that I was satisfied.
Now, I am asking that you put your bias aside for just a moment. If this was any other place than Fiverr, say it was at a restaurant, would you recommend your friend eat there after YOU had this experience?
I am also asking because I hope that the Fiverr Community is better aware of the normal, every day occurrences. Maybe one bad seller with issues on two orders got things a bit muddled? Maybe it was the holidays that had Support scant or maybe even slammed? I don’t know. The handful of friends and family I’ve talked to are all like “Why the heck would you even consider it?!”. The information I’ve read on Fiverr has also been pretty polarized from both buyers and sellers, people who closed accounts to success stories.
And I also want to ask IF I was to decide to place another order through Fiverr, what are some tips from both BUYERS AND SELLERS, to use to make sure this time is better? For example, I was pretty open with my color palette since no graphic elements existed yet. I asked for a color palette based around pinks, blues, and purples but told them to feel free to play around with shades and hues. Is it better to give a few different concrete HEX codes? Rather than say a social media pack for Facebook, do I need to give image dimensions? Is it better to have one large order with everything listed or take it step by step, with the same person, a little at a time? I know that cost, whether we like to believe it or not, does tend to equal quality. Are there ways to make sure that as a buyer, someone actually READS my requirements and is genuinely interested about the project and doesn’t just post an insincere offer, hoping a low price will get me to bite?
Any answers, tips, or advice is welcome. I usually am not the type of person to swear off an entire company because of one bad incident, but it wasn’t just the Seller this time, it was the only part of the company I could contact. If I did run into trouble again, which I hope I wouldn’t, I don’t know if I would get a refund again (since apparently this is a REALLY rare thing). Would I get the same, seemingly inept, service? I decided to try Fiverr out because I liked the way the delivery system seemed to work (before finding out how it could be manipulated) and because it wasn’t a cookie-cutter system. I could pick and choose a designer whose vision seemed to be in line with my own rather than some professional company who’d ask me a few questions and stick me with someone. Fiverr does seem to have a long list of Pros but I also found out there are also quite a bit of Cons with my experience.
Lastly, I know this is incredibly long, but thank you for sticking through till the end and an even bigger thank you for any replies!