Fiverr Review: Why You Should NEVER Use Fiverr For Freelance Work

by on

I’ll be honest, I always liked the concept behind

Just a few clicks and a client can place an order with a freelancer based on a specific set of deliverables.

Easy peasy, right?

Sure, but it comes at a cost. A big one.

This is one the few freelance platforms where buyers are given free reign to abuse, threaten and outright blackmail sellers any way they like.

Why? Because Fiverr turn a blind eye to it.

In this post, I want to share a recent bad experience as a seller on Fiverr, and why I decided to give up on the platform altogether.

How A Regular Order Quickly Turned Into A Hostage Situation

While I’ve been using Fiverr myself (on and off) for a while, this particular experience relates to my girlfriend’s account, not my own.

(I’ve been advising her on building up a reputable account, and how to go above and beyond with every last order. Everything stated is her doing, I’m just an observer.)

In this case, she had just gotten another $5 order on her logo gig, which seemed to be like any other… or so we thought.

The order was fulfilled in good time, and my girlfriend had even included a bonus logo concept as well as the source file (which is usually part of the more expensive package).

The client “loved” one of the concepts and so we proceeded to send her the appropriates file sizes, as stated in the gig description.

Soon after, things got a little weird.

The client came back asking for a social media kit to go with the logo, something that is clearly not offered as part of her gig.

Against my advice, my girlfriend decided to deliver the additional work, despite not getting paid any extra for it.

After that, the client responded with even more demands and some changes to the social media files.

At this point, she agreed enough was enough.

Despite every effort to please this person, they were clearly overstepping their boundaries here.

So, she sent the client a polite message:

The next reply was the nail in the coffin.

This is when the client went from simply overstepping boundaries to unquestionable blackmail. (The equivalent of taking my girlfriend’s Fiverr reputation hostage.)

F*cking disgusting.

While she took some time to ponder a response and reach out to Fiverr support for assistance, the client did eventually go ahead and leave a 1 star review.

Presumably this was to show her he/she wasn’t kidding.

Soon after, while still waiting on Fiverr’s response to the support query, the client paid an extra $10 for the social media kit.

Of course, the payment was accompanied by yet another threat.

At this point, all I wanted to do was go all Liam Neeson and hunt this person down so I could repeatedly punch them in the face.

(Seriously, I would have paid good money for the privilege.)

But, at the time, I still had hope that Fiverr support would step in and rescue my girlfriend from this PITA client.

Enter The *Almighty* Fiverr Support Team

When the response came back from Fiverr support, they told her they couldn’t force the buyer to accept the order.

Okay, that’s fair enough. (Even though the buyer already accepted it, technically.)

They also suggested drawing up a list for the buyer to show the work has been completed in accordance to the gig requirements.

Honestly, this reply just didn’t cut the mustard.

My girlfriend communicated in her initial email that the client was trying to extort her for free work outside the agreed terms, by leaving a negative review if she didn’t comply.

Of course, it wasn’t really about the work, it was about seeking protection from an abusive client who was blatantly pushing their luck.

Their reply didn’t give either of us any confidence that Fiverr really understood that, and even at this stage we felt like they didn’t want to get involved.

Here was her reply to Fiverr:

At the same time, she also responded to the buyers latest threat, explaining that she would not continue to work with them unless the feedback was changed/removed.

(Again, this is feedback that was clearly and intentionally left to bully her into providing work outside of the agreed terms.)

A fair request by anyones standards, right?

Well, apparently not.

Rather than acknowledge what the buyer had done up until this point, Fiverr immediately turned the tables on my girlfriend.

Turns out, she was the one breaking all the rules.

Because she had asked the client to change their feedback, she was no longer entitled to any help from Fiverr support.

You can imagine how we both felt reading this.

Everything that the buyer had said and done prior to her last message was now being swept under the rug — as if never happened at all.

Fiverr essentially chose to support a manipulative bully, leaving my girlfriend with a permanent stain on an account she’d worked so hard to build up.

Case closed.

What a f*cking joke.

Think This Was Just A One-Off? Think Again.

If everything that happened wasn’t upsetting enough, it’s knowing that this person is still running rampant on Fiverr, preying on defensless sellers without a shred of repercussion.

And believe me, there are plenty of buyers doing exactly this on Fiverr, knowing they can and will get away with it.

How do I know?

Well, as all of this was happening, I did some research to see if any other sellers went through a similar ordeal with a buyer.

Very quickly, I found a number of almost identical cases on the Fiverr forum dated years back. (that’s right, years.)

Here are just a few examples:

And this…

And this…

I could go on, but I won’t.

This is clearly something that’s been going on for a long time and it all stems from giving buyers too much power over sellers.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Fiverr, it’s that clients are ALWAYS more valued than freelancers.

Doesn’t matter how much time you put into a project, or how hard you worked on it, or even how well you handled communication during a dispute, when it really comes down to it…

…freelancers have little to no protection.

Even when it’s a clear cut case in your favour, there’s still every chance the client will come out on top. All it takes it one tiny thing you “did wrong” according to their terms of service and EVERYTHING else is disregarded

The worst part?

Looking at the evidence, it’s obvious to me that Fiverr is well aware of what’s going on, yet is still willing to sit back and let it happen.

Tut, tut.

A Final Message To Fiverr…

If you’re a decision maker at Fiverr and you’re reading this, I implore you to seriously reconsider your current support procedures for freelancers.

It’s not right that someone can put all that time and effort into building up an account and over-delivering at every possible opportunity, only to be shot down by the very people you rely on to protect you.

Look, I don’t want to abandon Fiverr.

I don’t want to be telling people to avoid your platform.

But after everything that has happened, you haven’t left me any choice.

Until something is done to protect freelancers from this kind of abuse, I will continue to spread this post and do whatever I can to prevent others from falling victim to your one-sided support team.

The second you actually do something about it and give freelancers a way to fight back, I’ll be more than happy to update the post.

39 thoughts on “Fiverr Review: Why You Should NEVER Use Fiverr For Freelance Work


  1. Hello,

    Thank you for the post, I felt heard!
    I am a bilingual translator. I am not active on Fiverr, but I have just had a similarly awful experience with Peopleperhour. It wasn’t the first nasty experience with their customer-non-service and bullies/clients.

    I am amazed by the shortsightedness and greed of the site hosts. What makes these platforms successful are the sellers, not the buyers. Honest, hardworking sellers who provide quality work and services are penalized, vetted with vengeance, but sellers measures are lax and sloppy.

    I am stumped by negative reviews on all the freelance platforms. It makes you wonder where you can get fair work as a freelancer. Where to go next?


  2. Hi, thanks for alerting people on this. I was thinking of doing freelancing work as an editor on Fiverr, but I think there’ll be many PITAs over there. Not worth my time.

  3. I can add that the same seller/buyer disparity exists on eBay too. I’ve been an eBay member for 17 years and my experience of the site as a buyer was overwhelmingly positive, so I didn’t think twice about selling a couple of items on there just before Christmas. HUGE MISTAKE. Despite two of my buyers being clearly in the wrong *one with written evidence saying that the items broke in their possession* eBay still found in their favour and even charged me for the cost of them returning items to me. It cost me £20 and I was left with a broken item that I obviously couldn’t then resell (plus the email stating that it worked when they received it – kicker).

    As a seller it was almost impossible to get hold of eBay customer services and when I finally did, they told me that according to them an individual person (not even a shop or professional seller) should be able to guarantee an item against misuse by the buyer for 30 days after purchase. 30 DAYS.

    What frustrated me was that I had written in my listings that I don’t accept returns. It cut no ice – there is an eBay buyer protection guarantee that overrides the seller’s choices. Buyers can lie about the condition of the item (and get really nasty about their accusations) and get a refund, and eBay can garnish the seller’s PayPal account for the money, plus charge the seller for the return! (An eBay employee told me that they always ask the buyer to return the item so that the seller can inspect it – fair enough – what they didn’t tell me was that they then do not listen to anything the seller says subsequent to that.)

    As a buyer you have complete protection and a more-or-less iron-clad return policy. As a seller… well you’re on your own.

  4. Fiverr is something which is only good for buying. If you are selling your services, get a website. Promote your website instead of relying on Fiverr. After 1-2 Years you will realise how much time you wasted on Fiverr sucking support.

    Freelancers have been exploited on such websites with fear of negative reviews.

  5. Great blog. Totally agree. I’m a seller who’s always had 5.0 marks for 2 yrs straight on fiverr, but one buyer who claimed to be satisfied and happy with a gig that I revised 3 times for her (well beyond the limit) left me a 3.7 for no undisclosed reason and now my ranking have suffered severely. Not to mention that their so called app wasn’t Sending me notifications as promised or programmed and I missed several inbox messages. They claim to be compatible with iPhone. Yeaa-no. I’m looking for alternatives ASAP for online work.

  6. I had a similar experience with UpWork (…more like “Up Yours”) except I was the buyer. Seller accepts project based on my specifications. Seller completes all design pages that were to be used for an X-Cart integration. Seller is paid in stages. Final stage ~ Seller tells me that the design cannot be integrated into X-Cart even though my project details indicated the specific integration. A huge WTF on my end. I placed into dispute with Citibank but they were useless (I closed all my Citibank accounts…
    F them)…UpWork was equally useless. I got to the point where the all the stress landed me in the hospital for respiratory distress. My best advice is to grow your business slow and steady through channels outside of these companies….especially UpWork. Your talents are worth more than $5.

  7. Thank you for your post. I’d like to add Fiverr both ‘customer service’ and their ever changing & faulty algorithms punish & penalize good people w/ out recourse

    When one contacts Fiverr for resolution, Fiverr ‘customer service’ simply cuts & pastes from their computer generated answers to ‘key words’, never actually reading emails or complaints & never, no matter how many attempts you make, resolving issues. It is a literal nightmare of horrible constructed algorithms & seemingly mindless ‘customer service’ bots run amuck

    God help anyone venturing in as you will be eaten alive & treated like dirt

    • Sandra, I know exactly what you mean with the ‘copy paste’ templates. It grinds my gears. I really hope I can update this review to reflect a positive change one day, but I can’t see it happening any time soon.

  8. As a seller they aren’t very helpful either. The CS is subpar. Lack of phone number and real time communication make problems drag out for days.

    I paid an invoice from my seller and the system hit my multiple times to the tune of $2000 USD. Drained my account. Within a 2 hour period of time I only got 2 replies fro the Team leader…THE TEAM LEADER. all she did was tell me she needed the transaction IDS and order number . Ok. only the vendor hadn’t been paid and there are no numbers until then.

    It’s ridiculous. Don’t use them. They are completely dysfunctional.

    • Wow… that’s just… wow.

      I appreciate you taking the time to let us know. Nothing will change until they get enough bad press. Such a shame considering how much potential this platform has.

  9. Thank you… Thank you so much for this! I have been extremely depressed since yesterday over my first bad experience with a fiverr buyer.
    This buyer had essentially ordered a gig that required me to do an unreasonable amount of work in a short period of time. I was creating a website for her but I first had to design a mock up design of the website, create a bootstrap website from the mock up and then make a wordpress website in 5 days time. Yeah I know, it doesn’t sound so bad. But here is where its really funny… The seller said they would send the images I required to create the website… They did not send anything. They disappeared from fiverr for several days and only appeared online to give an “okay” reply. Well being a seller hell-bent on trying to deliver good work on time, I created a mock up using some images I took time to research, created a bootstrap file and started making the wordpress website. At the time of delivery I sent them the mock up and bootstrap files and asked them for where I would finally integrate the wordpress website. They gave me a domain name… not a host. Almost like I had to purchase a hosting plan for them so that I can deliver their work. After explaining to them tirelessly the things I needed inorder to completely finish the work they called me a scammer. I asked customer support to cancel the order and refund the buyer as I had just hit rock bottom after the buyer went ahead and left a 1 star bad review. Yeah I know right, five days with about 16 hours spent a day to complete a job, only to be called a scammer, you get a tarnishing bad review and the support is happy to refund the buyer who won’t remove their bad review. What a life.

    • I’m sorry to hear about your experience. Nobody deserves that.

      I can only hope that Fiverr customer care find this review (and people like you in the comments) and actually do something about it. The problem is, too many Fiverr sellers just roll over and take it rather than make their story known.

      So I appreciate you taking the time to comment, because people really do need to know how badly Fiverr treat their sellers.

      • I just got banned and blocked. No free speech, I joined fiverr in 2010, took me years and hard work to get to top rated seller, the they pull your most profitable gigs without explanation and put you back where you belong.

        Not a revenye and seller/buyer-focused system, fiverr !!!

        • I’m really sorry to hear that, Roger.

          Maybe turn your attention to cold email outreach. This is something I’ve started to play with lately and I’m seeing positive results.

  10. I was scammed on Fiverr for 127,68 euro by developerstate . I ask for a 3D logo and get back a 2D drawing that looks like made by a child.
    He take a free clip-art and chanced a little bid, this is not designing, this is stealing.
    I give this guy more input and a lot of examples how I want the 3D logo look like.
    The response was worse then before.

    I is a totally waste of time, stay away from it.

    • Yep, I feel your pain. This is something Fiverr need to start paying attention to if they want to keep their position in the market.

  11. Hi Lewis, thanks for the article. It is quite an eye opener. I’m really curious to hear what Fiverr reply will be.

    • Thanks Jack. I’m curious if I’ll ever get a reply to be honest. I did email them the link and tweet their CEO, but nothing yet.

  12. Sorry to read of your experience with fiverr customer care. Please understand that a 3 year old could do more than those stupid uneducated An Idiot Abroad type customer service people. They dont value freelancers you only make them money. They break there own T&C that often i am not surprised those idiots replying as so called customer care dont care. Report your cause to visa or MasterCard, then you see the top scammer owners of fiverr working. Stay as far away from as you can. in saying that there is a lot of real and genuine freelancers on the site . but with the most stupid pigs ever in customer care, scammer owners and the biggest load of scammers going fiverr is the new style of fraud.

    • I know exactly how you feel, trust me.

      Fortunately, in this case, a refund wasn’t offered to the seller since feedback was already left. It wasn’t in my girlfriends interest to refund the money after that. Especially since the work WAS carried out.

  13. Fortunately, I did my due diligence before posting my seller profile on fiverr. It led me to your serendipitous article and I have now deleted all my info from the site. You saved me a lot of potential sweat and tears. Thank you.

    • Thanks Phoebe!

      I hope people don’t abandon Fiverr altogether. I believe it still has a lot of potential if some of the issues I mentioned in this article are taken into serious consideration. That’s a big if, however.

  14. I was going to buy from this site but I do not need that headache. Sorry to the potential freelancer who may have been able to provide service for me.

  15. I have had these kind of experiences. One just now and this is just but the truth. As a seller you really have no protection.
    My case is interesting because i have just contacted them as a seller requesting for a potential customer bullying over an order. They replied with their usual automated responses. I then replied to them asking if they really help sellers at all because with all the evidence, a buyer will still cancel and i lose my money ,sweat and time. I get a reply check this out:

    Michael (Fiverr Customer Support)

    Mar 24, 6:04 PM EDT
    Hi again,

    We are very sorry if you got the impression that we are helping the sellers.

    We would like to clarify that both – buyers and sellers are from the equal importance to us.
    We do not take anyone’s side. Our goal is to make everyone satisfied and to assist them with their issues.

    Your order is still active. We suggest you to communicate with the buyer and try to come to a common ground in an amicable way.

    Hope this helps. ”

    They just addressed me as a buyer. They dont even check , i think when we report to them, bots are the order of the day. How could they miss am a seller and address me as a buyer? Beats me

    Again, there is this thing of removing the best rated gigs for imaginary TOS violations. God, this is so frustrating how they beat us down after all the effort we put for them as they make cuts.
    I also like Fiverr as a platform, the dynamics are great but currently they should be dealt with at workers’union. PS: Joke…wish it was possible though.

  16. Thanks for your wonderful post.

    I also had same brutal experience with Fiverr. I would like to tell my story so as some one else could be saved.

    It was my first contract on Fiverr( was of $160 ) and was related to WordPress plugin development. It was a 30 days gig and I completed that in 27 days, delivered to client and client completed it successfully with a 5 stars review.

    Then after 2 months, client came back and asked me to do some extra with same money on which I clearly asked him that it can’t be done in same money and definitely it would cost more.

    But that guy was not ready to understand and keep on asking me to do it in any way. So at last, I just stopped responding him thinking that Fiverr does understands that gig was completed and changes can’t be done after 2 months, especially after 2 months of order delivery( none of the freelance site will understand this, I think ).

    But I got surprised when Fiverr cancelled the completed( and 5 star already given ) order and also removed the funds. So I contacted Fiverr support to inquire why did they do it.

    To my surprise, Fiverr support asked me that it is unprofessional to not responding any person. So basically, according to Fiverr customer support, as I am seller, I don’t have right to decide whether I should speak to a person or not( which is the first right of every person living in democracy ).

    Further they asked me to fulfill the buyer else they will take all money( $160 ) from my account( to this point they only took $10 ). So I decided to fulfill him as this was my first order and was not willing to worsen the experience. So I started communication again and fulfilled his requirements. And as a proof I asked my buyer “IS THIS ALL DONE..?”and he said “YES”. So again I went to Fiverr support and asked him to complete the cancel order as you would probably know that “Cancel” order worsens the buyer experience.

    Again to my surprise, they said me that this is not possible. “Cancelled” order can’t be reverted to “Completed”. To this I was like cut sharp to death. If they can cancel the completed order, after 2 months, then why they can’t complete the cancelled order..?

    Is this a joke..? How I will get $10 back..? If I am not getting then why I helped buyer..?

    To this Fiverr asked me to convince my buyer to place new order and get money. Hell, this is a SHIT. They are asking me to convince my buyer so as I can get my money..? And just forgetting money, what about cancel order..? This also effects my ranking, as per stated by Fiverr itself.

    So after doing all, giving an extra-ordinary support, which no agency usually provide, Fiverr dumped me out and there was nothing that I can do against Fiverr’s ALIEN policies.

    I wonder if there is any court where I can make a case against Fiverr and close them permanently. I immediately closed my account and started my new account on UpWork and guess what I am earning lot more with no ALIEN policies as do Fiverr have.

    Thanks for reading.

  17. As a top seller in Fiverr, working full time for the last 6 years making 6 figure earnings, I have to say that Lewis, your review is quite monochromatic and it doesn’t reflect the true core state of our marketplace. Too many things I disagree with, I wish i had time to comment on all of this. It was a bit disappointing reading your article. 🙂

    • Hey Maria,

      For sure, this is just one experience. Thing is, if you look at the other comments, you’ll see that most people’s experience with Fiverr is pretty negative. I’m pleased that not everyone gets burned, however.

    • I think you are the only one who is satisfied. I, with my many friends had same experience and thus I can say you are among the 1% happy people in the burning hell.

      If you would have suffered the same experience as I had then you would also say same thing and just use any other market place.

  18. I had the opposite problem. Tried to buy some service to produce graphics for a book cover. I included a rough mock-up of the cover design. What was returned was a horrible copy of the mock-up. Poor color choice. No artwork at all beyond what was supplied. No real evidence of effort at all, just a quick and dirty poor copy of the mock-up. And arbitrarily different fonts. The font on the spine was FAR too small to read. Every person I showed it to thought it was really bad — far worse than the mock-up I had sent.

    But since I had paid already, there was no recourse. Technically, she did the job, it just looked really crappy.

    I could not find any place to “review” the gig. I have seen reviews from other people, but somehow I am not able to add one. Of course I would add a scathing review. Any real review system has to allow all recipients to review to have an accurate representation of the jobs. It was strange how I received such a scammy job, and no ability to review, no recourse whatsoever.

    So … that is $35 thrown away, and I will never use Fiverr again. Ever.

    • Keith, asking someone to do a book cover for $35 is like asking me to suck your d*ck for a penny. If you can get it for $500 you’re “REALLY really lucky.” – a quote from a talented designer with many years of experience.

  19. Sorry to hear your situation bro. I’ve been a Fiverr seller for over 2 years and I could tell you that so many days I feel that I want to give up on Fiverr despite it is my main source of income.

    Fiverr has given me so many good things, for example, I could make in 2 years $200k, but the pain to get here doesn’t worth the money. I know so many people would like to get paid $200k but believe me Imma real hustler.

    The pain to get this $200k is really big, especially this month with over $3k in cancellations. For example, an $800 order where the customer got the work for free just because he keeps sending revisions until he could cancel the order. A Fiverr CS cancellation of my work cause I delivered what I didn’t promise, and so and so.

    Sometimes the answers from CS are like “Wtf man?”, they just copy paste the answer without even read the messages, sometimes for a really easy thing I have to write them for 3 or 4 days until we almost solve the problem, but the client will always right.

    As I said, I just have given up, I don’t care anymore, I don’t care if the client like or not if my gig doesn’t show on the results, if the scammer rips me off or if the CS just downgrade my seller level.

    Sometimes you might feel that you would like to punch the CS in the face, I hope one day I will haha, but the best thing is to have a Plan B in case that something happen and I see that the Plan B is coming soon 🙂

    Thanks a lot for the post, I enjoy a lot and keep doing the good work!


  20. Hi Lewis.

    It broke my heart when I read at the beginning of your article, your girlfriend’s message to the abusive buyer:

    “I have also added an extra 1 design for you, free of charge :blush:”

    Why are there such mean people in the world? : (

  21. Lewis, thanks so much for this thoughtful, beautifully crafted examination of Fiverr. My view is quite different from most I’ve read here: I am a 68 yo retired psychiatrist and was thinking about doing some coaching, thus looking carefully at Fiverr’s setup. I was impressed with how much financial responsibility they placed on sellers (the nickel and dime effect at every turn). That’s what stopped my reading their rules and regs to go find a review. Sad as your commentary is, it does not surprise me that your company (and others like it) give “their workers” no support. But, in contrast to Maria’s view (March 25, ’18), I would say that the experience of the freelance worker is in exact keeping with that of the worker everywhere, as now made infamous by the stories of subcontractors working for Donald Trump in real estate development in the 1980’s. The dignity of the worker, across the globe apparently, is the price paid for the greed of the owner/investor/buyer. The willingness of the latter to steal the human rights of the worker has led civilization to a humanitarian crisis that has resulted in a division of wealth, the likes of which may destroy civilization. The problem you are discussing here is one of the unimaginably many tips of this iceberg that may sink us all. Thank you for your ongoing efforts to make the true extent of these injuries public.

  22. Hi,
    After one bad experience I stopped using fiverr, what happened is the opposite of what you described, the gig was not delivered, and the person claimed it’s completed, fiverr support was useless, PayPal cannot do anything by the end I lost this money

  23. Thank you for positing this…i do not feel as if i am the only one that this has happened to 🙂
    I also got knocked back down to level 1, and some of my gigs was taken down all because some one wanted something for nothing and abuse the system.

    Fiverr always seems to side with the abusive client rather than getting both sides of the story before they deliver the TOS violation and destroy the 4 years of hard work and client building that i had performed before this “person with ill intent to begin with” ruined my reputation with lies and deceit against me.

    Thanks again for posting 🙂

Leave a Comment

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons