Fiverr Forum

Suggestions for (Translation) Service Recovery Best Practice?


Hi there, I’d appreciate all feedback & suggestions, and I’d especially love to hear from fellow Fiverr users who provide translation services. Thank you in advance!

To cut a very long story short, I’ve completed a moderately big translation gig for Client X about a month ago - over 8000 words, from English to Chinese. As the client does not speak Chinese himself, he said he will get his Chinese staff to check the translation. Meanwhile, the order was automatically marked as complete and the payment was released in full. Still no news. Yesterday, nearly 4 weeks (and 2 prompts to provide feedback or make changes) after I had delivered the work, I received a message from this client (quoting in full here):

“I just got message from my Chinese office. They gave the translation to a Chinees lady that is majored in English. She say the translation is 80% good. Still many words are used in the wrong context (which I can understand), but she also say many grammar mistakes…”

I’m in need of some suggestions on how to respond to this!!

  1. As you can tell from the message, English is not the client’s native language. In fact, my biggest challenge with the gig was that the original English text was written in a very casual and colloquial manner (given the context & audience of the document). I tried my best to follow the style of the original text. There is a possibility that the “context” mentioned was due to the mismatch of tone. Perhaps I should have brought this up earlier. Should I convey this to the client now? I surely do not want him to think that I am trying to make excuses after receiving this feedback. Furthermore, I suspect the document was written by the client himself (hmm…)

2 a. The Client’s staff is based in China and I am not. While we can go into a long debate about how to determine the authenticity of the language, I think what we can agree on is that different regions will present a slightly different style of the language.

b. I am not only translating on Fiverr but also other platforms as well for about three years now. This is the first time someone has commented that “many grammar mistakes” were committed.

c. I would be very happy to edit the portions which Chinese Feedback Lady is not satisfied with but the document is very long. I’m thinking if I should I go through client to get this lady to highlight these portions and send it back to me? Or ask to deal directly with this lady? Or…??

  1. This job was done weeks ago. Even if he wants a refund / I want to offer one, we can’t proceed. Even though the client did not ask for a modification, I would be happy to make revisions to make sure that my clients are fully satisfied with my work but at the same time, I do not wish to turn this into a endless blackhole of work which sucks up my time.

I can’t quite decide what to do so I’d really appreciate all feedback, suggestions or tips regarding service recovery. THANK YOU!!


This is my opinion only as a seller myself. Honestly, after such a long time, I think they should have contacted you much sooner to get either revision or refund. It’s too long now. I would respond professionally and politely but state that you asked twice for feedback and received no response though you could have revised or discussed problems then.

Tell them that you delivered as described. If you want to mention that it was a difficult job due to the tone, it might not hurt, though now it’s only to back yourself up fully. You could consider offering a new translation for them now at a discount (10% or $X off) and send them a custom quote but that depends on your gut instinct.

If they complain to CS, it would be unusual for them to be given anything at all after 4 weeks. If it works out that way, the only thing they could still do could be a chargeback which would cost you the funds, but no other harm to you. The buyers account would be banned. Hopefully they won’t know about that or not want a ban. Either way, my opinion is to stand your ground.


You earned your money fair and square, and you deserve to keep it. Buyers can’t leave a review more than 30 days after the order was marked as finished, so if you’ve made several attempts to contact the buyer after delivery and more than a month has passed, that money belongs to you and the buyer can order another gig if he wants more work done. It’s nice of you to be so concerned about the buyer, and I understand your perspective, but being a good seller only goes so far. Tell the buyer that he had his chance, but the time for revisions has passed and this order is now complete.


Thanks for the sound advice, @fonthaunt! Yes I agree - it would not be fair to sellers if buyers have an unlimited time-frame to ask for revisions.

To be fair to the client, he did respond when I asked for feedback. Just that they were messages along the lines of “my staff is still checking the work”.

Luckily for me, it seems unlikely that the buyer will bring it up to CS. I just want to find out what he wants & what can I do to ensure that this deal ends well for both of us. So I’ve done that along with what you suggested - to respond professionally and politely… Still awaiting his reply for now, but thanks so much for your help! You have written countless other posts, tips and responses that I’ve benefited from as well. Cheers!


Thanks @jamesbulls! Yes, I understand that. The 30-day mark has long passed. Ah… I guess I just want the deal to end well for both of us. Hahah! I hope the GIF is not showing what the buyer thinks I’m telling him - he did get the translation done, after all! :stuck_out_tongue:

P.S. Earlier on I read your post about having a business policy… And that was super helpful! Thank you!


Glad to know that it was appreciated :slight_smile: