Three days ago, in the middle of the night, I received an order.
It was a standard rewrite: tiny thing, 2 days delivery, nothing out of the ordinary. I woke up the next day, gave it a quick look, realized it wouldn’t take much of my time and went back to my schedule. Because, you know, we aren’t really given that much spare time around here and I had three more of these things waiting in line.
I eventually got rid of the queue, went back to that order and started working on it. Upon further inspection, it was clear that the buyer didn’t provide me with everything I needed. He didn’t seem to have read my gig description, my list of requirements, nor the FAQ section in which I SPECIFICALLY request that people contact me prior to placing an order.
With still a few of hours on the clock (for reference, the Editorial Freelancers Association sets the average completion time for a 500 words rewrite to 1 to 3 hours - it usually takes me 45 to 90 minutes), I opened a dispute. I clearly told the guy that I couldn’t work with he had given me, asked him for more info, and suggested we added 24 hours to the deadline. I figured: if he doesn’t answer immediately, that still gives me some time to deliver without risking the dreaded “you’re late” e-mail.
Fast forward to two minutes ago, more than 24 hours from the moment the dispute was opened, when the person on the other end simply accepted the extension and told me “thank you for your time”. No indication as to what they wanted me to do with their order; no sign of the additional details I had asked them for.
Moral of the story: I am now at a crossroads. I could try to imagine what the buyer wanted and deliver the order or I could ask for a mutual cancellation.
The former has its risks: the person might not like what I send them, they might leave a negative review, and even ask for a refund later. That’d rob me of both my earnings and my time. Additionally, the order is already marked as late, meaning that even if I deliver it my “on time” percentage is going to take a hit. There is nothing I can do to save it. Considering the relatively low number of orders I delivered in the last sixty days and the fact that this thing has already happened once, as of January 13th I am a level 1 seller. Nothing I could have done to prevent it!
The latter is arguably better but It’s still going to do some damage. I could go for a mutual cancellation and hope the person accepts it. As Fiverr was so kind to remind me, cancelling an order means that you won’t profit from it (obviously) but also that your completion rate - another one of the standards they want you to maintain if you want to avoid demotion - will go down. My placement might also change.
Now: there’s clearly some extremely moronic design choices at play here.
Let’s look at them together, like in kindergarten!
First of all, if you work with Fiverr’s HR department and somehow ended up reading this message, please fire the guy who thought it was a good idea to extend delivery times from the original deadline and not from the moment the issue is solved. This is so inconceivably stupid that I can’t wrap my head around it. If a seller is opening a dispute, it is to vault an otherwise insurmountable obstacle that prevents them from completing the order. For all intents and purposes, whether it is time, lack of details or personal problems, that individual CANNOT progress. The countdown should be frozen in place at least until both parts come to an agreement. It’s actually quite straightforward, I don’t even get the need to tell you guys about that.
Secondly: give us sellers the chance to decide whether we want to accept an order. Or at least give us 12 hours from the moment it is placed to pick yay or nay. Give us a toggle option, ANYTHING! Hell, even my girlfriend, who occasionally dog-sits through a dedicated site, has the ability to speak the last word. We are the ones doing the job, we are the ones having to deal with ignorant buyers who seem unable to read even the most basic of sentences and still throw money at the screen expecting results. In fact, good sellers are the only thing keeping this place alive. Without people who pour their heart, soul, and dedication into what they do, you’d be stuck with the stereotypical**************** who spins copyright-protected material and the ************ holding *********** signs.
Fiverr shows no willingness to care for the very engines keeping this disastrous machine moving forward. According to the forums and to some of the people I had the honor to chat with in the past year, the company never even tried to. To me, such a situation is mind-boggling. I don’t know what most sellers are trying to do on the platform, but I’m here to run a business and I’m clearly paying a fee for a service and a series of tools that I’m not guaranteed nor provided with.
This rant is my way to finally say no; to cross my arms, lift my head, and show that I’m fed up with all this. I am done with buyers strong-arming me into doing jobs I wasn’t paid for (yep, that happened), I am done with unresponsive customers waking up two weeks after a 60$+ order has been completed, asking CS for a refund although they never requested a revision, and receiving one just because they are buyers (yep, that also happened), I am done with customer service reps coming up with all sorts of excuses and “interpreting” the ToS we both signed to side with the buyers. (yes, you guessed, that also happened).
Fiverr is actively peddling a work culture that can only be described as “shut up and do exactly what we tell you to”. They are presenting sweatshop-like working condition as the new frontier of freelancing, creating a cartel within the industry, and depreciating your skills.
I’m out! If you care about your future as an independent creative and wish to make a proper living out of it - no matter your field or niche - strongly consider putting some distance between yourself and this site.
Mod Note: Inappropriate references removed. It is against the forum rules to post with this type of negativity directed toward a specific region.