My way of dealing with nightmares is to avoid as many of them as possible in the first place. You’ll get fewer orders like that definitely, but hey.
Those that will slip past your ‘spidey senses’ as we use to call our internal red flag system here, will become fewer and fewer over time and eventually be reduced to those who order right away without prior contact.
As Eoin pointed out, I’m also convinced that there are many who prey on new sellers (even up to the point of purposefully luring them into doing work without an actual order never intending to pay). Also, don’t trust the buyer crown symbol (“top rated buyer”), only trust your spidey senses.
The best way to deal with them is to hold your ground, even if the buyer leaves you a negative feedback you can have the CS remove it.
There are a lots of nifty scammers like that one that try to get free services by canceling for ‘weird reasons’. I deal with them on a weekly basis. Most of the non-speaking English buyers don’t really read the gig description, the FAQ nor the PDF that’s attached on the gig page, and that’s a pain in the arse for the seller, as he needs to explain everything and in most cases the buyers still doesn’t understand.
Make sure you are really specific on your gig description, on the FAQ section and inside the order page. Yon can also upload a video explaining your services.
You can also upload a PDF (because you are not limited, you can write 10 pages).
Make sure buyer reads that, even if messages you, just before ordering ask the buyer if he read everything.
Yes, sadly the most pressing issues which Fiverr needs to address are payment and seller safety.
If you are a new seller, it literally takes just one scammer to bring your profile down before you have time to properly cement your reputation. Worse, as time goes by, even experienced sellers like myself get faced with the same type of scammer tactics. (See my latest ranting pot post).
Until this year, my experience with behavior like this was actually positive. In cases where buyers asked to cancel an order after delivery, I simply said no and that was the end of it. If a buyer left a malicious review in protest at me not canceling, I’d then have the opportunity to tell my sde of the story.
What I noticed is that after refusing to cancel orders and stating in reviews things like: “This buyer received their work but requested a cancelation and has left this review because I refused,” scammers become few and far between. This is because many scammers target the same sellers over and over again. As soon as they know they can get work FOC, they take full advantage of this. All they have to do is open a new Fiverr account to disguise their identity.
When you stick to your guns (and refuse to cancel), scammers like this consider it too risky to order from you. This is why they often target new and inexperienced sellers like yourself.
Sadly, this year something has changed in Fiverr. Word seems to have got out that all any buyer has to do to get a refund is complain to CS. Also, now we have the new report button on every seller profile which, to be honest, will only appeal to malicious and vindictive people. After all, any buyer who experiences legitimate problems with a seller could already complain to CS.
I’ve had more cancellations, more problem buyers, and more completed orders refunded by CS, this year than ever before. Fiverr seems to be trying to leverage its reputation as a ‘safe’ marketplace for buyers, by increasingly assuming that every seller is a criminal. If this strategy continues, it will only lead to more people like yourself giving up on the platform early.
I checked out your profile and I think you are the kind of seller Fiverr should be going to lengths to attract and retain. For every one of you at the moment, there are 10+ ‘mek-sellers’ peddaling the same $5 logo promises and who just turn Fiverr into a bit of a joke.
Depending on how your order eventually works out, you might want to consider writing directly to Fiverr and expressing your concerns. Also, you are kind of lucky in a way. Fiverr can become a time thief which demands more and more comitment from you, until other off-Fiverr freelance projects get put by the wayside. Then suddenly, Fiverr changes course at the flick of a lightswitch, making you wish you had never invested more than a few hours a week.
In either case, sorry this happened to you. Chin up, though. Freelancing itself can be very rewarding. Especially for us expats and non-static location people!
The one thing I can say about this experience is that you guys on the seller forum are full of information and kind words of advice. It’s enough for me to say that I’m going to stick around for a bit longer and give it another go.
This is exactly what I’m doing now, he actually only made the official cancellation dispute yesterday evening (which I declined immediately). The status of the order is hanging in the automatic completion in 3 days area, so I’m perfectly willing to hold on and hope it completes eventually…even if it goes on for a year If he isn’t going to let me have the money owed to me, I’ll make damn sure he does without it for as long as I can.
If it goes down to whoever blinks first, it sure won’t be me. I’m persistent as hell.
On the plus side, I have a call today with an outside-of-Fiverr company about some long-term web content work that could eat up a month or two of well paid work
One thing you might want to do is try and kill your buyer with kindness. In declining to cancel my current order, I have simply stated the facts and offered to revise the work in question:
In your brief you stated that:
"Hi I’m looking for some content on my website page. I’m a contractor in construction and I want to offer some financing for theirs renovation projects. I’m in partnership with “XXXXX “ we offer financing for any homeowner. You could go see their website."
I provided you a sales copy titled: XXXXX Home Renovation Financing In this article, I detailed how you offer financing through XXXXXX to finance home renovations and remodels. In this case, I am afraid that I can not accept your request to cancel this order. You are more than welcome to ask for a revision. However, I do not cancel delivered orders. Sorry.
This way, if my buyer goes to CS and they look at what has transpired, they will see my side of the story, plus the fact that I have offered to revise the material in question.
Just keep on repeating what you have done and what you can do, rather than argue. (I’m not suggesting that you are arguing.) Usually, scammers will then sleek away. However, this doesn’t stop them trying to get their money back via a chargeback.
This isn’t true in all cases. If a buyer pushes hard enough. CS will cancel an order, even if the seller has delivered appropriately. It happens tp me at least once a year. Part of the problem is that some things are subjective. I have had orders canceled by CS, when I delivered, even overdelivered, and the work was excellent. But, for whatever reason the buyer didn’t like it.
I refused to cancel, and they went to CS and had it canceled anyway. This is a risk of working on someone else’s platform. I have done a lot to try and protect myself from these issues. But, I am convinced that I will always have a tiny handful of rotten buyers here. Interestingly, I have never had anything remotely like this happen in my business off of Fiverr. There is something about the productization of services that encourages the worst behavior in some buyers.
@cyaxrex I was going to quote a section of your post, but I’d have to quote the whole thing! I agree with you. Fiverr has been good to me. But, especially in the past year, it has become a frustrating and stressful platform. I have let too much of my other off-Fiverr business slide. Now, I am working hard to build up other alternative income streams.
We are all just on flick away from having our businesses disappear as long as any of us are overly dependent on a single platform. Time thief indeed.
The important part of the Disputes and Cancellations T&C’s: "Orders are not eligible to be cancelled based on the quality of service/materials delivered by the seller if the service was rendered as described"
It literally describes this situation, so surely that would mean this buyer should not be able to cancel the order, even if they complain to CS, right?
I understand that. However, I have had buyers throw in statements of things they are expecting even though I do not offer that service. I am very careful to refute it. I go to the extent to say it in my gig offer too. CS once canceled an order for a buyer who had made a statement something to the effect that he wanted the words in an article I was proofreading to pass Copyscape changed 100%. I thought he had made the statement as a figure of speech. When I delivered the article he complained it was only 86% changed. CS took his side even though the 100% wording was not in my Custom Offer!
Andy is right in saying we have to be very careful what is said in our communication with sellers when we are inboxing with the.
I have found CS does not stand behind this in other orders I have had canceled by buyers. !
I once told a client in a delivery message, “Please feel free to message me with any questions.”
After the order closed, the buyer wanted a bunch of changes. I made one round of revisions because I try to be nice. But, the buyer wanted more “revisions”. Actually, the buyer wanted additional content, beyond what i had produced, and wanted it for free. I tried to bock the buyer and stop communicating because buyer wouldn’t take no for an answer.
CS told me I couldn’t stop communicating because I had said, “Please feel free to message me with any questions.” Their interpretation that was unreasonable. I still refused to do free work and eventually the completed order was canceled.
Now on Fiverr, my delivery messages are as bland as possible:
That was my thinking as well. I think part of the issue is that most of the CS team have never worked as freelancers or working in a company that hired freelancers. There is a lack of understanding about the reality of the freelance work cycle. I also used to tell clients “Let me know if you need any changes”. But, after the debacle over “Let me know if you have any questions” I have stopped using that as well. I now assume CS will view anything in a message as a contractual term and will interpret it as unfavorably towards me as possible.
So, new question! Is it against the rules for me to clone the gig and delete the one with his review on it? If not, perhaps I’m in a decent position, as he didn’t damage any of my 5 star review gigs.
I know it is a bit dodgy on my side, but as the criticism was not deserved, I feel that destroying the gig might be my shot at a clean slate…this time.
Also, what do you think happened here? Did CS make him complete or be banned? Do they make these kind of ultimatum? He claims I worked out a way to force him to accept…I’m sure we all wish we knew how haha