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How to deal with uncomfortable clients


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The title really says it all.  I have found I encounter an increasing number of (male) clients who ask uncomfortable questions but skirt just on the edge enough to avoid violating the terms of service.  Things like asking if I'm single, asking about my race/ethnicity, etc.  I really have no idea how to respond to these types of clients without causing an issue, especially the ones who act normal at first and only let their freakiness show once the gig is already in process.  They're not dumb, they know exactly how far they can take it without getting into big trouble.

Forgive me if this is not in the correct category, wasn't sure exactly where to put it, but overall this part of the job has become really mentally taxing to me due to some personal issues in my past involving male stalkers.  I tend to clam up and just try to lightly change the subject with these clients because I'm afraid of escalating the situation and making things worse by canceling the order =/

Edited by thefarrahmonste
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First of all I'm so sorry to hear that you have to deal with such clients 😕 I wish I could say I'm shocked but as a fellow woman, I know it's sadly something we're apparently just 'have to deal with' which, and let me be extremely clear about this, is nonsense. Especially in a (supposedly) professional work environment. So I'm really proud of you for posting this in the forum, despite everything being mentally taxing for you 💖

If you do have this gut feeling of it not being right and you want to address it (since you mentioned many of them do it after they placed an order) is to begin by stating that such facts are irrelevant for them to know. They want you to record vocals so that's it. Nothing else they'd need to know about you. Point, blank period. And btw, I checked your profile just to see what kind of field you're operating in to know your business clientele, I hope that's okay! 

However, if someone makes you extremely uncomfortable during an order you should never and I really want to emphasize never feel the need to continue with their order just because you fear a cancellation. They are overstepping a boundary and, again, especially in a work environment there's never an excuse for. The type of personal information they're requesting are out of the scope of the order and you can simply say something along the lines of 'I'll gladly work on these vocals for you but for you to know anything about me personally is unnecessary'. 

If a client does continue to make you feel more uncomfortable with things they say, I'd highly recommend contacting CS and including your chat. You could then refer to this line in the ToS section; 

"Inappropriate Behavior & Language - Communication on Fiverr should be friendly, constructive, and professional. Fiverr condemns bullying, harassment, and hate speech towards others."

I want to emphasize the words 'professional' & "harassment' here, which you can mention to CS as well and kindly ask them if they can cancel the order without it affecting your stats. Because you'd be happy to fulfill an order, but this buyer is clearly out of line and you feel too uncomfortable to work with them. 

I hope the things I said were helpful to you in one way or another! I also hope that these experiences don't outweigh your positive ones, and that when you do encounter them you have someone to talk to so you don't feel alone. If it means anything; I think you're really courageous for posting your uncomfortable experiences & for continuing to deal with such buyers despite of your past ❣️I wish you nothing but the best and all the strength and power to you madam! 💪

 

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@sabinespoems has having you both powerful and comforting advice from a woman's point of view. 

From a man's point of view who finds this abhorrent, no gig is worth the harassment.  My recommendation is to state the following, "What you are saying is abusive and inappropriate.  If you do it again I will report you to Fiverr and recommend you be banned from the platform.  I will not tolerate this kind of comment from anyone. 

I know this comes with risk for you for getting a bad review or a canceled gig, but something supersede a single sale. 

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