Before you say that I should take this up with customer service, please note that I ALREADY HAVE. All I got were canned responses and a general unwillingness to look at facts.
I have now had two gigs deleted because I supposedly violated third-party terms of service. However, when I tried to find out what exactly I had done to violate the terms of service of a third party, all I was told was that it is unethical and often illegal to provide “paid reviews”.
Here’s the thing, though: I do not provide paid reviews.
I made this clear in both gig descriptions. Regardless, I went ahead and sent Fiverr a complete explanation of what I do and even a process visualization to show that “paid reviews” are not a part of what I do.
All I got in response to that was another canned message about how I had violated some unnamed party’s terms of service.
I am quite familiar with the terms of service and content guidelines for Yelp. I have studied them in-depth. Nothing I do violates them. Nothing. And other online review services have similar terms of service and content guidelines.
What I do is help business owners to do EXACTLY what Yelp tells them they should do in order to improve their scores organically. This means engaging with customers in a professional manner, analyzing problems, improving business processes, etc.
When someone offers “paid reviews”, that usually means one of the following things:
- They pay or reward people to write stellar reviews for the client.
- They write fake reviews for the client, using fake profiles.
- They receive payment from the client based on the number of stellar reviews created.
I do not do any of these things. I do not reward reviewers in any way, I do not write fake reviews, and I charge a flat rate. As I explained in both of my gigs that I created, I do not guarantee any specific results: I only guarantee improvement. Because what I do is legitimate and organic.
I have not been on Fiverr long, but so far, I have found the review process for gigs to be seriously lacking in the thought department. Again, nothing in my gigs that I created makes it evident that I violate any third party’s terms of service in any way. I actually explain how what I do is “white-hat”.
If Fiverr personnel had read this, they would have understood, and removing my gigs would not have made any sense. If they read and saw some problems with my reasoning, they utterly failed to explain what those problems were. They just said that I violated someone’s terms of service because I did because I did because I did because thank you for using Fiverr don’t bother replying to this email.
I understand that there are people out there who offer paid reviews, and I understand that Fiverr would want to crack down on that, but you cannot just assume that everyone in reputation management is doing that. A categorical suspicion is not enough, because virtually any other gig could similarly involve unethical or illegal behavior.
Reputation management is a legitimate service that, done correctly, creates a better business environment for everyone. It is not a categorically unethical practice, and it does not categorically violate some unnamed party’s terms of service. Good grief.