Those of you who know me, will know that I really despise complaining. I’ll actually be the first one to jump and mock complainers expressing my sentiment that one should use the challenging situation to grow, improve and adapt, instead of complaining.
So I won’t complain.
Instead, I’ll do my best to provide true value to you. Like I always do.
Many times I’ve come across fellow Sellers complaining how buyers mistreat them, try blackmailing them, coercing them into doing free additional work, straight out tricking them and similar. We all know what do to in those situations.
As someone selling on Fiverr for 5+ years I’ve learned the importance of the old folk saying “it takes all sorts (to make a world),” and adapted my career on Fiverr according to it.
I’ve had my fair share of abusers, insulters, unreasonable people, and similar.
I’ve never so far had someone threaten to kill me, try verbally sexually abusing and racially discriminating me so far.
It took 5 years of full time work on Fiverr, several thousands of orders and the same amount of different people I’ve worked with to come across someone that really, truly upset me and stressed me to the point of finding it challenging to work.
Let me tell you my story, and see if you can learn/get insight from it…
I’ve had a buyer send me a vague “need an article for my vape product” message, then order, give no additional instructions but agree that all are delivered and tell me he expects a delivery within 24h.
No big deal. Got used to it. You have to if you work on Fiverr.
I do my best to work with what I have I’ve delivered the best I could with the information I’ve received.
This is where things take a turn for the worse…
First off, I get a strange vibe from a buyer that is insistent that he can’t provide me with the needed, real information for a revision because we need to “talk on the phone” and “do a teamviewer to show me each (instruction I guess)”.
A Buyer attempting to breach the ToS because they can’t be sanctioned and don’t care? No problems, got used to it.
Always handle it the same way: reasonably, professionally, politely and kindly explain to them that you’re unable to do it in order to respect the ToS.
I’m fired? Well, technically I’m not an employee of the buyer so I can’t be fired but if roleplaying a Boss is what fancies buyer’s imagination - who are you to complain? Customer support shells out warnings, demotions, infractions and urges to “always act professionally and politely” at any argument (no matter how professional, polite and rightful) with the Buyer.
It’s them financing Fiverr and putting food on both theirs, the CEOs, and Seller’s tables.
I get it. Diplomacy. Capitalism. Buyer is always right. Adapt and overcome (less fancy: shut up and put up) else you’re being replaced. As quick as 1, 2, 3.
This is exactly why I answer highly professionally and politely.
Guess who’s message is being reviewed? Mine of course (sellers)!
You should always be kept in a state of fear. Always treading carefully, knowing that the one wrong move can take bread off your table. Did the buyer get sanctioned for breaching the ToS? Warned even? Of course not.
“I see I’m not right about this cancelling thing as he has done everything requested upon with what he had… But I’m too laze to send the instruction. Let’s try a different threatening and blackmailing approach” ~ Buyer’s train of thought
I better cancel this order else the order is getting disputed. Who cares, right? No one will get sanctioned or anything. Even if they do, they’ll just create a new account and go on a happy buying trip again…
So what happens next?
"■■■■ it, this guy knows too much about the ToS. Threats with direct cancellation don’t work. Let’s do a different threatening approach again… ~ Buyer’s train of thought
So, we went ahead to blackmails stipulated in “give me your work for free else I’m harming your reputation, making your life a living hell and lying about you while changing my mind and disputing directly with Fiverr. Oh, and laugh about it in the process…”
Well, “you’re on Fiverr, son” I’m thinking to myself. "Not on Wall Street, “not in Sillicon Valley,” “not an important CEO of a Fortune 500 company”. Human and work rights work differently for you, as you’ve learned.
Fiverr won’t do a thing. “Improve your communication with the buyer”. Learn to adapt and play the game else you’re getting fired. For real. What’s taking a bit of written abuse, having someone constantly breach the ToS and be the one reviewed and inspected for it?
I answer like always. Professionally and politely. It’s how I was taught.
So the buyer decides that going down the “let’s try to blackmail this person into giving me work for free” route to direct insults.
Well… The buyer goes on to decide that going back to direct dispute (forget the Fiverr one, CS seen what’s going on, at least this must be handed to them) is the best route.
Of course they don’t care. There’s no sanctions for Buyers. No matter how hard they breach the ToS.
Since they can’t be sanctioned, why not amp up the abuse?
Please note that ALL of the previous messages that breach the ToS have been reported to the CS at this point and they haven’t even issued the buyer a warning, let alone sanction him coming from the way he kept behaving.
Despite the angst, frustration and bitterness I’m feeling knowing that I have to put up with all this, remaining fully professional, protecting my work and the 50 minutes I’ve invested in writing this copy with the vague information presented to me and agreed that they’re all I need to do the work, I still keep my composure and professionalism.
It’s how you stay afloat in this game.
Yet the buyer says something very important outlining why he doesn’t care about his behavior. “I can do it” sums it up quite well.
Well, if a sick and demented mind feels “they can do it” and “get away with it”, they’ll amplify their behavior, as history taught us.
This is where we get to death threats, verbal ■■■■■■ abuse and racial discrimination…
I’m feeling so bitter and angry writing this. I’ve always been professional, delivered the best I possibly could, worked when being ill, adhered to the rules and enjoyed great cooperation with thousands of great buyers.
The problem that troubles me is not that there are psychopaths who will threaten your life unless you give them your work for free. Not that they are demented minds around.
It’s that the system is created in a way that facilitates and supports their behavior by not sanctioning it.
ALL of the previous abusive and messages breaching the ToS were reported.
None were acted upon.
Now I’m finding myself having my life threatened, insulted on the basis of what I’m most proud in my life (my nationality) and abused for not wanting to work for free, accept blackmail and give in to the harassment.
While Fiverr is still doing nothing to prevent this or protect me as their Seller.
But I’m not the one to let threats at my life, racial discrimination and verbal ■■■■■■ abuse go like that.
I have filed a police report with my local police station and contacted a law firm in the designated country buyer’s from to file a report on my behalf.
I will take this to court. As far as I can.
“Customer is always right” is fine by me. But you don’t cross certain lines. When my life is being threatened and most basic human rights are endangered while the workplace I work on is giving support to it with its silence, I will do the standing up for myself, and Sellers in similar situations, myself.
You’ll all get to see the epilogue of this. I’ll update you.
My message so far to all those Sellers experiencing lighter or even more dangerous version of harassment of Fiverr: I want to tell you that you’re not alone and that there is no money, policy, organization, Terms of Service, or individual in the world that can take your dignity away from you, unless you give it away willingly.
I’m not giving mine. Promise.
I’ve experienced hundreds of similar cases like this throughout my years here, always being afraid that it’ll be ME getting sanctioned if I stand up for myself. But this is where I draw the line.
Thank you for reading and sorry if I came across incoherent at times… I’m highly upset. Much more than I like to show.
Will keep you updated.
Mod Note: Title edited, screenshot removed, Please blur/hide inappropriate words.