I want to share my experience in dealing with ID Verification on Fiverr. I hope this will help people to avoid pitfalls and fallacies I encountered. It took six attempts to get verified. I can only describe everything as bizarre and insane.
It’s not the first time I was asked to verify my identity. I have completed the verification process on different sites. I used the same set of documents and the same mobile phone to take photos every time.
The first thing that made me feel strange is the requirement of a mobile phone to complete the verification process. The current year is 2019. We have robots and autonomous cars roaming the streets. And for some unknown reason, the big multimillion company can’t create and test a safe verification routine.
After I clicked the ‘verify id’ button in my browser, I got a choice to use a QR code or an SMS with a link. I chose the latter option. At first, I tried to enter a link from SMS into my browser. My Google Chrome warned me that connection to the site is not safe and that I should avoid it. I proceeded nevertheless and got redirected to the same window with a QR code or SMS selection. The only choice that left was to continue with mobile.
Fiverr gave me an option to choose a passport or driver’s license for identification. I used the passport for my verification before, and I stuck with it again. The passport in Ukraine comes in paper form with no English in it. You receive one at 18 and update it at 25. The government started to issue a new form of identification a couple of years back, but I wasn’t eligible to update it.
At first, I used my 25 years photo for verification. It failed. I used 18 one, and it failed again. Two times I received notification from Fiverr: ‘We couldn’t verify your identity since the photo you provided wasn’t of a supported ID.’
At that point, I wrote to customer support for help and checked forums for more information.
I found this detailed and amazing forum thread. You should check it out before your verification process. It contains instructions on how to prepare and take your photos.
Customer Support (CS) contacted me pretty fast. CS1 said that my photo was low-quality and that I needed to take them again. It was a legit criticism. We had very foggy weather for the last few days, so it was difficult to take quality photos. The fog was so bad that some airports and other agencies stopped working for some time. My phone is several years old, so it struggles to deliver good photos under harsh conditions.
I tinkered with the camera settings to work better in cloudy weather and change the resolution of my photos to the maximum available to me. I took photos, downloaded them to PC to check quality. There was nothing wrong with them from my point of view. I sent photos, and my account was instantly disabled. I didn’t receive any message about why did it fail. I contacted CS again and in a few hours, they added one more attempt for me. It was late in the evening. There was no point to took photos again at that time.
The next day in the morning I made an appointment with the person who had a high-quality last-model phone. We made several photos then I checked them on PC. Everything was perfect.
I sent those photos for verification. Fiverr didn’t give any notification or message about the result, and my account was still locked. I contacted CS again to clarify did it fail or not.
This time CS2 contacted me and said that ‘Our relevant team decided to grant you another attempt.’ I asked CS2 to clarify what was failing. At that point, I was pretty stressed and depressed. I didn’t understand what was wrong. Nothing was made sense to me. CS was asking me for a better quality photo, again and again, telling the same stuff all over again. It didn’t work.
CS2 didn’t provide any clarification.
'As far as I can see, you haven’t used this additional attempt yet.
Please try again, just try to submit photos if your ID clear as possible and return to us immediately if it doesn’t work.
We will be here for you.
Kind regards’, CS2 said.
I submitted my best quality photos again. No notification came from Fiverr about the result. I checked the status of my support ticket and saw that I was redirected to CS3. I asked about the outcome, and after several hours CS3 said I had failed my verification and that CS was no longer able to add any more attempts. I lost my account and my funds on it.
I reached to CS3 with the question of what went wrong and why I was told to proceed when I asked what I need to change. Quality wasn’t the issue from my point of view. CS3 said that CS couldn’t do anything anymore. ‘It was impossible.’
I reached them again and asked could CS check my submissions manually. From my point of view, at least three different people saw my documents and my photo. Why didn’t they confirm my identity manually?
It was past midnight. I was exhausted and drained and went to sleep.
In the morning, I saw a message that CS forwarded the ticket to another team for review.
I searched Fiverr forums for any information about similar issues I encountered. One thread mentioned problems with the verification of non-English documents. I have Ukrainian/English mixed documents that allow traveling abroad. I reached CS4 to clarify could this be the cause of failed verification. CS4 granted me another attempt to verify.
I took photos with the help of the same ‘need better quality’ mobile phone in foggy weather. It took 5 seconds to verify my ID. Everything was perfect.
At that point, I wasn’t happy or mad. I was very deeply disappointed. You can search this forum and find a lot of stories about banned people after a failed verification. These stories come from new sellers and old successful sellers alike. The Fiverr ecosystem doesn’t provide you with the answer to what went wrong. I’m convinced that CS doesn’t have access to the answer either.
Every user on Fiverr needs to play Russian roulette with uncontrollable AI algorithms without any clear guidelines or tips. Who designed this system? How did this implementation pass the testing stage? Do Fiverr have analytics on all disabled accounts? Why no one made the change to the process?
How can users trust the platform with practices like this?
P.S. I didn’t include screenshots of my talk with CS. I don’t know can I do it or not and to what extent.