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How do you deal with unresponsive buyers?


pradeepcep
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The short version:

A buyer is not responding to my messages, and it's been well over a week. Over the course of this week, I checked the thread several times and it always shows that they were online 30 minutes or 1 hour ago. The delivery time is past, and I am at a loss for what to do. What do you kind people suggest I do?

The long version / backstory:

I had a buyer a couple of weeks ago. Fiverr told me they were a first-time buyer, and so I worked hard to make sure they had a satisfactory experience and that the work they requested was nicely done and documented. When I delivered the order, I told them to contact me if there were any issues or concerns at all, no matter how small. I think I did a good job with the order overall.

After I delivered the order, they did not reply for a couple of days. Concerned that the order would be auto-accepted before they had a chance to review it, I reminded them of the 3-day auto-accept and suggested that they might want to request a revision (and extend the timeline) if they needed more time — I had offered a few revisions for the order. They requested a revision stating that they hadn't had time to fully reviewed the work, but from what they could see, it seemed ok. They also said that they might require some help installing the code I wrote, to which I said I was happy to help, as always. The timeline (delivery due date) was also extended by a couple of days.

After that, I have been following up with them every one or two days, but I can't seem to get a reply out of them. If I raise a request to extend the delivery timeline, it's ignored and then ends up auto-withdrawn. Here's my dilemma:

I thought about just creating a delivery, but I'm concerned that it will be a bad experience for the buyer if they were away for some genuinely unavoidable reason. I have seen the "last online" time be wrong before.

The delivery time is past now, and even if I were to deliver,  it would be counted as a horribly late order — which I have a hard time accepting 😅

What would you do? What options do I have here?

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26 minutes ago, pradeepcep said:

The short version:

A buyer is not responding to my messages, and it's been well over a week. Over the course of this week, I checked the thread several times and it always shows that they were online 30 minutes or 1 hour ago. The delivery time is past, and I am at a loss for what to do. What do you kind people suggest I do?

 

If you have tried multiple times without a response, I'd contact customer support, unless my solution below works out for you.

They can offer you two options: 

  1. Cancelation without it affecting your stats, or
  2. They can try to reach out to the buyer to get things moving

My personal favorite would be to simply re-deliver, stating that you have tried to reach out to them multiple times without a response. Since they haven't provided instructions for the revision, it doesn't count, and so you're delivering what was described and agreed upon in the first place. Make sure to let them know that you're happy to help if/when the need arises, and that your inbox is always open. 

If you have delivered what was agreed upon, you totally have the right to close this order, especially if you haven't received any specifics for a revision. 

Before I do this, I would send the buyer a message, explaining the situation and that I'm planning on re-delivering this order, unless I receive further instructions, since the revision button should only be used if you also receive instructions on what to change. 

The re-delivery will not harm your stats in any way, even if the order has the "late" badge on it. As long as the original (first) delivery was on time, you're good! 🙂

Edited by smashradio
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Thanks @smashradio, I took your suggestion and re-delivered the order.

I let the buyer know I'm available to support them even after the order gets auto-accepted, and I'm only doing this because I've been trying to (unsuccessfully) contact them for over 10 days. I'm hoping that they'll be okay with it.

To be honest, I am half-dreading a negative review because I've had a perfect score so far. But I suppose if you do this long enough, you are bound to have atleast one unhappy client even if you do everything to the best of your ability. Let's see how this plays out 🙂

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4 hours ago, pradeepcep said:

Thanks @smashradio, I took your suggestion and re-delivered the order.

I let the buyer know I'm available to support them even after the order gets auto-accepted, and I'm only doing this because I've been trying to (unsuccessfully) contact them for over 10 days. I'm hoping that they'll be okay with it.

To be honest, I am half-dreading a negative review because I've had a perfect score so far. But I suppose if you do this long enough, you are bound to have atleast one unhappy client even if you do everything to the best of your ability. Let's see how this plays out 🙂

Don't be so afraid of negative reviews. We shouldn't let sellers bully us or disappear on us, causing us lots of frustration, just because we're afraid of a negative review. I have only received a single negative review, and that was because I refused to work for free. 

In this case, the buyer might have become ill or just forgot about the whole thing. It happens. You did tell them that you are available for support, so I think you'll be ok. 🙂

I think a profile with 100% five-star reviews can look a little fake. Like @newsmike likes to call it: review sanitizing. It's a thing, where buyers will forego their payment for work provided in order to avoid negative reviews. Having a couple of negative reviews among hundreds of positive ones should be expected. 

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On 7/15/2022 at 5:22 AM, pradeepcep said:

The delivery time is past now, and even if I were to deliver,  it would be counted as a horribly late order — which I have a hard time accepting 😅

What would you do? What options do I have here?

Sorry for coming in late on the conversation! I like what @smashradio said. I'm happy to see all of the great advice that he gave you! You should never be afraid of getting a negative review and you should always get Customer Support to help out if there is a buyer-caused issue.

Two months ago, I had a buyer disappear for 2 weeks (he's still MIA). Customer Service ended up canceling the order so I wouldn't have a "late" on my statistics and then three weeks later, Customer Support actually paid me for the work that I did on that canceled order (I suspected that he was using the files that I pre-delivered to him).

Here's another conversation I had with another buyer on getting Customer Service involved as quickly as possible (and you can also see the link to a post I wrote on my disappearing buyer):

 

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On 7/19/2022 at 10:02 AM, vickieito said:

Sorry for coming in late on the conversation! I like what @smashradio said. I'm happy to see all of the great advice that he gave you! You should never be afraid of getting a negative review and you should always get Customer Support to help out if there is a buyer-caused issue.

Two months ago, I had a buyer disappear for 2 weeks (he's still MIA). Customer Service ended up canceling the order so I wouldn't have a "late" on my statistics and then three weeks later, Customer Support actually paid me for the work that I did on that canceled order (I suspected that he was using the files that I pre-delivered to him).

Thankyou so much @vickieito for taking the time to answer 🙂

I clicked through the link you posted, and read other posts that were linked from there — it does look like a lot of people have had this problem, and I am now feeling more confident about delivering my work.

I am going to do the right thing and support the buyer when they come back, irrespective of how long it takes them to.

 

On 7/19/2022 at 3:17 AM, smashradio said:

Don't be so afraid of negative reviews. We shouldn't let sellers bully us or disappear on us, causing us lots of frustration, just because we're afraid of a negative review. I have only received a single negative review, and that was because I refused to work for free. 

In this case, the buyer might have become ill or just forgot about the whole thing. It happens. You did tell them that you are available for support, so I think you'll be ok. 🙂

I think a profile with 100% five-star reviews can look a little fake. Like @newsmike likes to call it: review sanitizing. It's a thing, where buyers will forego their payment for work provided in order to avoid negative reviews. Having a couple of negative reviews among hundreds of positive ones should be expected. 

Thanks again, @smashradio 🙂

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update: my buyer came back!

Turns out, they were just juggling a lot of things, and this wasn't the priority. They were understanding of the fact that I had to deliver, and left a nice tip and review too.

Thankyou all again for your help 🙂

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