Fiverr Community Forum

When a Disputed Order becomes a Late Order

This is a bit of a rant… but I do also have a question…

We seem to be going through an unfortunate spell of customers under-ordering, then going off the radar when we ask them to add the required components to their order. Commercial Usage is the common one for us, but today we had a buyer who not only failed to add Commercial Usage for their advertisement, but massively under-ordered on word count. We basically need the client to pay almost double.

We’ve politely explained that they need to add the missing components in order for us to continue, and used the dispute center to request this. So it’s the usual drill… buyer has 48 hours to respond, otherwise the order cancels (I won’t harp on about how unfair this is, as it would be our second order like this in 5 days, and we have zero control over this).

My question is… this buyer has requested 24 hour turnaround. What would happen if, tomorrow, after the 24 hours of the order has passed, the buyer decides to pay the extra? Or if they simply declined the dispute? The order is then back open, and we’re then technically in ‘Late’ territory. Could they then cancel the order themselves, giving us a 1 star for ‘Seller Failed to Deliver on Time’? Our on-time delivery rating has been unblemished since the beginning, and we don’t want that to change!

I understand that this might be more of a question for Customer Support, but I thought I’d check here first.

In both stated conditions: yes, they could cancel the order.

But within the condition that they agree to pay for the extra, i don’t think any reason why they should cancel the order after paying the extra.

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Thanks for the response.

I guess I’m more concerned about what happens if the buyer simply ignores us from this point on. For example, this time tomorrow, the order would be 2 hours late, but the dispute would have about 22 hours left before it auto-cancels. That’s 22 hours where the buyer could decline our offer, and then hit cancel. They get their money back, and we get 1-Star’d for failing to deliver on time. Surely that isn’t fair!?

And I’m not just playing the ‘what-if’ game here, buyers under-ordering then going off the radar is happening to us way more than it should. We had one just last week, and it ended with us asking customer service to cancel the order.

Ultimately, if in about 12 hours time the buyer still hasn’t responded to our numerous messages, I’ll ask CS to step-in again. But why would opening a dispute not pause the order timer? I get that this could be abused, but much like the order button, simply punish those sellers who are clearly abusing the dispute button. The fact that we’re waiting for the buyer to respond, watching the order clock tick away just doesn’t seem fair.

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If i’m not mistaken, i once opened a dispute for mutual cancellation, and it did pause the order timer. When i opened a dispute for extending delivery time or asking for either information or requirements, it didn’t pause the timer.

This definitely doesn’t fair at all, and it seems that it is a matter of bad luck for getting an order from that kind of buyer; unless Fiverr fix it.

I hope CS will be on your side and both of you don’t get the “Seller Failed to Deliver on Time” bomb at the end :grinning:

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This is a good point - If, ultimately, the buyer refuses to respond, I’ll put a dispute through asking them to cancel. I think you’re correct that this pauses the clock (I can’t remember, guess I might be able to confirm this soon!).

I just don’t get the mentality of buyers who do this! We’ve just sent another polite but firm message asking the buyer to communicate with us, and explaining clearly that we won’t begin the work if they don’t cover the deficit. They’ve paid for 24 hour delivery so they clearly have a need! I’d love to understand what’s going through people’s minds when they knowingly ignore messages (the buyer had gone offline, and is now back online).

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As far as I am aware, yes. I had this happen last year with a buyer who was a demon. They kept re-ordering from me despite (apparently) never being satisfied. Finally they ordered in bulk but paid less than half what their order was worth.

I opened a dispute and forgot about this. The buyer rejected the dispute and asked me to send however much text I would write for them. I was reluctant to do this and hadn’t started work until after the order was already nearly in late territory (due to the time it took for the buyer to respond.) Then, the buyer decided to cancel after the order was late, leaving me with a late penalty and a cancellation.

Of course, this might not happen to you and it was the only time it has happened to me. However, I think that as soon as an order is over 24-hours late, a buyer can cancel. Perhaps cancel the dispute which you have opened and open a new one with an extended delivery time, plus a custom offer for the correct payment. That said, I’m not entirely sure that doing both these things simultaneously is possible.

Good luck!


Yes, i was thinking the same thing but i always make a personal assumption that they just haven’t been educated with those usage-and-license things, just to save me from headaches. I wonder what will happen next.

Actually, Andy @cyaxrex just spotted a weakness on the dispute system. I found that we can only input a single request in a dispute at a moment.

I think (although as we’ve got a dispute open I can’t validate this) you can do both at the same time by changing the number of days needed for your extras. So for example, when adding ‘Commercial License’ as a gig extra in the dispute menu, I believe you can state how many days that will take to complete. So I guess if you added a day there, this would add a day to the order…

I’ve been doing voiceovers on Fiverr since 2013 Here’s what I do when this happens. and It works 100% of the time.

I send them a message similar to the following:
Hi, Thanks for the order!
I see that your script is 250 words, but you only paid for 50.
It’s OK, We have a few couple of options.
I’m sending you a quote for the remainder needed to complete the entire job.
If I don’t hear from you by --TIME–, I’ll have to deliver only what was ordered (The first 50 words of your script)

Here’s a pro-tip: Do a Google search for “wordcounter” and you find sites that will count your words for free. I use these sites daily and they’re an awesome tools! Most major word processors will also give you word counts down at the bottom.

-------END PASTE-------

That works for me 100% of the time. It’s an honest mistake. And the thought that they could potentially lose their $5 getting exactly what they paid for is a powerful motivator.

Fiverr folks aren’t your regular VO clients. They’re typically just regular folks who need a voiceover.
I’d put the commercial fee in there, but I honestly just let those go and do it on “honor system.”. You can’t enforce it and I chalk it up to cost of business on Fiverr. You’ll hurt yourself more than help, trying to pursue it.
Folks who are honest become friendly colleagues that I have a rapport with, those who aren’t get their voiceover, but are just another customer.

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Thanks for this! It’s a good way of wording it. We send something similar, but I really like the way you’ve phrased this.

Yes, we’ve been thinking this more and more lately. We hate the fact that it feels like we, and our honest buyers are being punished if we do this… but we had 3 cancellations in October because of this. This still keeps us comfortable away from the 90% completion rating, but it’s still too much.

Thank you again, some really good food for thought here.

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I used to think like this. It’s antithetical to business, however.
Never feel bad about getting paid what you’re worth.

It’s a hard concept to adjust to, but you’re thinking about it backwards.

Let’s put this in a retail perspective.

  1. You have a retail store that sells kazoos.
  2. Plastic Kazoos are $1
  3. Professional metal Kazoos are $25.

If you had a customer who got away paying $1 for a pro Kazoo, are you going to feel bad for the ones who paid the correct price? Nope. You’re going to look at the one who underpaid as a thief. Which is what they are.

Unfortunately opening shop on the internet is like opening shop in a bad neighborhood. Some product is going to grow legs and walk out the door on its own. It’s cost of doing business in that neighborhood.


This is a great way of thinking about it… And you’re absolutely right. When we think about not only the money we missed out on in cancellations this month, but possibly the money we missed out on BECAUSE those cancellations caused us to lose gig ranking etc…

Thank you for this, genuinely. It’s really changed the way we look at this issue.

Thank you for your advice. I have one of these buyers who has paid for less than they ordered and I have used your verbiage. I hope it works.