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very unhelpful buyer suddenly wants a refund after working for 4 months, 3 milestones, order completion



So, I was reached by this buyer approximately 5 months before, he told me he wants a recruiting website with some complex machine learning features, mobile responsive frontend design, two apps (iOS, android).

Relative to the volume of work, he had a pretty low budget, around 2000 USD, but I agreed due to the volume of work. So, there were 6 milestones for the complete project.

Before the start of the project, he gave me a website, and told me he want exactly same frontend, with his brand name X.


After just starting, it was obvious he was very unhelpful and unavailable. I would get a response after 4-5 days, sometimes even later, and the answers were always unhelpful. I looked into his buyer profile, the 2 reviews were "got a new experience" with 3 stars, which give me an idea that it's not going to be easy.


But I tried to follow all his instructions clearly. As I only work on the backend, and ML part, I had to hire a frontend dev myself for his design. Initially, he was fine.
My first milestone was: backend, but as he said, he is not technically sound so he can't test the backend code with postman. So, even though frontend was milestone 2, I had to integrate the frontend with the backend, and then he accepted it.

Now, technically, I had more time needed as I had to work double time. After that, I improved the frontend and backend further and delivered the second milestone.


Suddenly, he said that after probably 3-4 days of waiting, he changed his brand name, and he doesn't want to copy a competitor's website. He showed me a completely new design, at this point I already paid the frontend dev. But he insisted, he won't accept the second milestone, if I don't deliver the new design. So, I had to pay the frontend dev a second time.


In the meantime, as he needed linkedin profiles, I asked him to go for a partnership with linkedin, or indeed for getting their api access, because I can not get it, it will require a company recognition. He just insisted I do some kind of scraping to get a lots of linkedin IDs. But it was not possible, so I used a third party api service (rss feed) to get job profiles, I also had to hire someone here, as I only told him that I would use the API keys given by the buyer to connect linkedin which he never gave, so someone with already experienced in it help me write the api.

Then, again he changed his statement, and said it's not possible to use these third party services, he wants the service in built in the website, so I wrote the backend for it so that it's similar to linkedin now with profiles, comments, and some other options, again I had to hire the frontend dev.


The final point, I asked him at least 10 times, to get a server, as I was paying to host his website. He never listened or replied me on that topic. For 4 months, I had to pay additional 20 USD in digitalocean.


Finally, he accepted the second milestone. After the third milestone, he completely vanised. He marked the order complete and didn;t proceed with the next milestones, and didn't even contact me regarding this. No updates or anything.

I then naturally, shut off his application, as it was costing me money.


Suddenly, he knocked me 2 days ago, and said where is his website as he can't find the live link anymore. I gave him the full source code.

He says he can't run it (I am not sure what does he mean, he probably thought he can run it directly like an HTML website or something).

and says he wants a refund.


I got literally depression working with this buyer. There were so many tasks, and in the midway, he just got away without any explanation. I worked around 4 months on it while spending my own money (approximately 200 USD), while receiving only 800 usd (as he cancelled it midway). (So, technically I did 1500+ USD worth of work in 600 USD)


Now, he wants refund. I am literally confused, sad and depressed, how can someone be so unhelpful, and heartless. He didn;t have any focus on his product, and now after working so much he is coming after my hard earned money. What should I do?



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Its so hurtfull to see the situtation like this, afterall you worked for 4 months and the buyer just cancelled in the halfway. Stay strong, life is like a rollercoster sometimes it goes so well and sometimes situation like this happens, Fiverr should consider about situation like this. 

Fiverr should also gave a customer rating system and a voting system for sitution like this, so that fair judgement would be possible, afterall we are not taking money for free, we work so hard for client satisfasction, so it would be better if a client could cooperate a little in a situtation like this.

my suggestion for you is that., contact fiverr support team and dont give any refund to this client, cause you've worked for it and still got a less amount than you deserve.

Thank You- Inpaper 

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30 minutes ago, inpaper said:

my suggestion for you is that., contact fiverr support team and dont give any refund to this client

He couldn't give a refund even if he wanted to, the order was already marked as completed.

@furcifer if you have delivered what you initially agreed on, the buyer can't cancel the order. The ToS state that a buyer can't cancel the order based on the quality of the work, so if they actually received what they asked for, but the quality does not match their expectations, they can't cancel the order. All they can do is leave a bad review, which would be way better for you than losing all that money and time.

If I were you, I'd contact customer support and explain the situation to them in order to give your side of the story before the buyer tries to get a refund through them. Remember to include screenshots of your conversation with the buyer and explain everything clearly (as you did in this post).

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Thanks, yes, the order was completed and in fact he approved two of the milestones himself, the last one I guess was completed by default due to his absence. Thanks for the guidance, I will create a ticket to let the CS know about the situation.

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