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

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I'll be honest, I always liked the concept behind Fiverr.com.

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.

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

7 comments

  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?

    Bonnie

  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.

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