Since the previous Blind Review Thread has been closed, I thought I’d try to continue the conversation here since I had been working on this response for a couple of days and never got to post it.
Feedback That Goes Both Ways
We are moving to a blind feedback system. What this means is that sellers will be asked to provide their feedback working with a buyer before receiving the feedback the buyer left. This is meant to assure feedback that is honest, independent and free from bias. Sellers’ feedback on buyers is extremely important to our ability to keep the integrity of Fiverr and provide sellers with better experience and protection. You can expect additional features in the coming future.
If a seller does not review the buyer from a specific transaction, the buyer’s review will be revealed 10 days after order completion. Once the sides have provided their feedback, their reviews will be made public and will be locked from further changes.
As I’ve read through the posting, I now understand WHY the change was made, but must vociferously continue to voice my disagreement with its execution. While executed under the guise of “transparency,” this new structure is anything BUT transparent.
It is further made clear that the goal is for Fiverr to create viewable buyer ratings, which sellers may use to report, block and avoid abusive buyers. I have heard many times from sellers on this forum wishing for SOME METHOD of screening out abusive and scam-artist buyers. This appears to be an effort on behalf of Fiverr staff to make some progress towards identifying and weeding out abusive buyers in an effort to strengthen the Fiverr community. I applaud the effort, if not the execution.
I see one immediately apparent issue with this process, and while I’m sure it has been discussed by Fiverr’s development team, it still leaves a hole in the policy big enough to drive a Mack truck through: once reported as spam/scam/abusive, what prevents an abusive seller from simply opening a new Fiverr account?
There are VERY CLEAR repercussions to Sellers who might be trying to scam buyers- new Fiverr seller accounts very rarely make the top of the search rankings and certainly do not have the level of trust that many of us sellers who have been here for YEARS have built. I’m not going to walk away from 4+ years as a seller, a Level 2 rating and 450+ reviews because I got a bad review.
But an abusive buyer can create a new account and be back to scamming in mere minutes. A seller who creates a new account (for whatever reason) might NEVER get a single order. Want to know how I know? Check the forums, where dozens of sellers post every single day about how few orders they are getting.
@mjensen415 clearly stated that the intent is to create open and honest feedback between buyers and sellers. This is made clear in the first section, where “You’ve Got Options” states that sellers will finally have a way to block abusive buyers. It is clear to me, however, that NONE of the people building this website actually USE the product they are trying to sell. If they did, either as a buyer OR a seller, they would see the holes in what they are proposing (and incompletely rolling out) and might have found a better solution.
All of that said, it is clear that this new system is not going away (when has Fiverr ever rescinded a new feature based on user/seller outcry?), so we might as well get used to it. I have had to think long and hard about how to review buyers now, in such a way that I can honestly assess the buyer without potentially offending new buyers.
Option 1: “Thanks for the order!” or “Great buyer!”
PRO: It’s completely inoffensive to anyone.
CON: If a buyer gives a poor review, you look pretty stupid saying “thanks.”
Option 2: (honesty) “This buyer was a real pain to work with. They messaged me ten times a day asking for status updates and were totally dissatisfied with the delivery, asking for a half-dozen revisions to a $5 order. If given my druthers, I’d choose never to work with this buyer again.”
PRO: It’s honest.
CON: It’s also the most likely to scare potential buyers off. If I was looking to hire someone, THAT honest review right there would scare me off.
CON: If the buyer ends up giving you a positive review, which you CANNOT TELL before you submit your review, you look like an even bigger A-Hole.
Option 3: per @faithmaryella “Due to policy changes, I will no longer be participating in Fiverr’s review process. Please contact me before closing the order if the delivery is unsatisfactory or take advantage of the free revision included in your order. Otherwise, I cannot address your concern. Thank you.”
PRO: You directly address the reason you cannot review a client, but this doesn’t go on the review page, just in the delivery.
CON: Ignoring reviews means that you no longer get to have ANY input in the buyer’s review, good or bad.
The most likely result is that sellers are going to continue to take it in the teeth from buyers, but now we’ve lost our best weapon to respond to the shifty buyers that sometimes make their way onto this site- the review response.