I wish I was coming here to write something positive in the forums, but my early experiences with Fiverr has been a mixed bag. After doing a few starter gigs for under $50, I worked out my true value as a copywriter and started writing articles for $100+.
Since doing this, I have had two gigs. One, was a patient guy who is now looking to offer me some regular work as he builds his website…I am ecstatic about this! The second has been a complete nightmare…
I offer a proofreading & copywriting service, and always make it clear to my buyers that they will receive written work only. Additional pictures, videos etc can be provided, but they will come at an extra cost - especially if they need clearance for commercial use.
So the nightmare buyer comes along and asks for a Buzzfeed blog style 10 point listicle about making money online. We agreed a price of $110, with approximately 2500 words for the points in addition to a short intro and outro. He actually asked if I would design his website for him too, but I explained that this is outside of my skill set and he accepted that. A few days go by, and I deliver the work a day before the agreed deadline.
“Where are the pictures and videos?” he asks almost 3 days later, just before the automatic completion of the gig.
“Sorry, you didn’t request those at any point and I don’t usually provide these as a service.” I reply, “I could add some commercial use approved stock images, but they will cost money, so we will have to negotiate this as an extra. I don’t produce instruction videos or anything like that so you’ll have to prepare or source that yourself”
He marks the gig as needing a revision with a one line message “this is not what i wanted”.
I couldn’t believe it! He refuses to pay me more for the extra work (which would actually cost me money rather than just labour time), and the Customer Support just tell me to negotiate with him. After exchanging a few words with the buyer, it descended into light name calling (calling me a fraud, liar and unprofessional) before we both decided to stop communication.
I realised that when it comes to written work, there is very little you can do to protect yourself from this type of buyer. If it is a JPEG drawing, you can watermark it, but if it is written work you send them the completed job! They can take the work and get their money back!!!
I had read on here that CS has been very helpful to some sellers, but in this instance I have found them evasive and unwilling to do anything. After about 8 messages back and forth over the last few days, my CS agent mentioned that the seller is being looked into by Trust & Safety team, but I will not be receiving any payment for the job unless the buyer marks the job as complete.
Shockingly, in the very first reply to my complaint, the CS agent admitted that I had done nothing wrong:
_"I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had difficulties with your buyer. I reviewed the order, and I see that you’ve delivered work and modifications per the buyer’s request. _
However, we cannot force your buyer to accept the order if they have issues with it, so you will need to persuade the buyer to accept your work, or negotiate for an agreement with your buyer."
Has anyone else had more luck in this kind of situation?
Any advice for how to beat this kind of scam?
Has anyone seen examples of CS supporting writers in this situation?
So far, the response has basically been…what do you want us to do about it?