We all know it’s generally required by Fiverr TOS that we use Fiverr for all communication with buyers. But let’s face it. Fiverr messaging platform is far from the best. So I’m sure some of us would be tempted to flout the TOS and use easier messaging platforms.
Whatever it may be, run far away from any buyer demanding that you use DingTalk*. These are Chinese employers looking to exploit cheap labor out of freelancers while verbally abusing them into the same submission they get from their local employees. This platform is popular among local-run companies in China and Hong Kong, but unheard of outside these countries. (Even foreign companies in China don’t use it.)
If you search the Internet for English articles about the employee experience, you’ll read lots of horror stories. A lot of it is about overworking employees on unpaid time, docking their pay for being a single minute late and punishing them for not being available to reply immediately to messages 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – yes! even when you’re sleeping! (Some also point out the abuse in the Chinese education system, where students are demanded to do excessive homework and are remotely monitored by teachers.)
In short, don’t accept any order that requires you to use DingTalk to communicate. Remember: We are freelancers, not employees. Never get subjected to a micromanaging boss in the corporate world. We left that rut for a reason!
* An Alibaba application also known as 钉钉, DingDing, Ding Talk or Ding Ding. The messaging platform is one of a kind that demands you to be constantly available to respond to any and all messages by sending phone-based text reminders and even phone calls notifying that you have unread messages. It also has a feature where the other party can demand a special “read receipt” (besides getting the messages tagged as “read”) if they feel they’re waiting too long to be read.
There’s no way to switch off these “features” and block such read receipts or obtrusive notifications. And if you don’t reply, the other party feels he has every right to get verbally abusive with you for being unreachable or not replying immediately. (Ironically it doesn’t have a typing indicator! )