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Frustrating Buyer Experience--Inconclusive!


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     It is always frustrating when you have an experience with a client that is not great, and one that you would want to expand on in a review, BUT not one that is offensive enough to warrant reporting the client!

     I had an ongoing client for the past month. She had a cartoon on the buyer request page that I auditioned for. She asked me to provide a couple of samples, giving me pointers in-between, and I gladly did so! I was incredibly kind and prompt with her right from the beginning. But I could also tell right from the beginning that she was very very direct in a way that was off-putting. Of course I figured "it's okay, this will still be fun of course!"

     Afterward she sifted through other applicants, and then told me "you are going to be the five main characters." ALL of them. Could I have said no? Of course! But I thought, if she knew what my samples sounded like and liked it, then I would be okay carrying on, especially since I'll be getting paid for the word count. I accepted. She was just always really direct and gave lots of pointers. Of course it is good for me to fine-tune according to pointers! But they were never-ending and extended beyond my first revision. And she very directly told me to give her word counts for her own scripts and calculate the prices accordingly. This is something Fiverr could calculate for her, and to find the word count, I had to copy-paste ALL my lines into a separate doc and calculate it! That was so annoying! But she was so insistent that it felt like it would be awkward to ask her to do it.

     Then she asked me if I could do a black, urban accent (AFTER I agreed). I told her that I knew what she was talking about, and that I'd be happy to try it! I tried it, she told me to do it differently, I tried it again, she said she thought it was great. Cool! So I went ahead on recording the two episodes included in her first order. Of course I understand how long it takes and the amount of work for the pay--I totally got that! But yeah, it was a lot of work, especially because this accent was new to me; I had watched a ton of The Proud Family to study the accent and try to correct mine, haha!! It takes a very long time to edit down a 30-minute recording session as well. (This wasn't the problem at all. It was her attitude and reactions and demanding nature as a buyer.)

     I understand the work and to expect revisions on some of the lines. But she wanted me to redo THE ENTIRE SCRIPT. I don't think my accent was great, but I was trying!! I would've felt more okay about doing the revision if the client wasn't so gosh-darn DIRECT and seemingly-unappreciative about it. So I did all over again, studying more examples and keeping in touch with her on my progress. I really was so polite and accommodating to her, and always got my recordings in in a timely manner!

     Of COURSE I understand wanting work fine-tuned, and I am more than happy to do that, but she never seemed very appreciative of all the time and effort I was putting into the initial product and corrections. I know that seems like a "well, this is a paying gig, it's just life, just suck it up!"
     I turned in the revision after more hours recording and editing. She wanted MORE revisions! It just seemed like she wasn't being very aware of how big an ask this is.

     Also, when I record, I always do three or so takes on each line, so that the client has different takes to choose from (I think this is what a recorder would want to do, anyways. And she never specified a certain amount of takes). But she said "The multiple lines gets to be too much. Just say each line once." Like oh my gosh!! Just edit it out yourself! This stuff takes a long time!

     I had to do multiple takes per line, for MYSELF, because, again, I was trying to get the accent right, and it took a few tries. So, afterwards, I had to choose the best takes of every line of every character of TWO episodes!

     All five of the main characters are all in the same age-range with very similar personalities. And then doing the accent while being cognizant of the changes in character voice was difficult. This was why it took so much time. I thought I did a really good job the second time around (not that this is my project and that she has to have that same opinion, but I was proud of it!), and my personal offer to her was only for one revision, anyway!

     "When so-n-so sings, make sure to really sing in her voice." (This was one line. I thought I DID sing it in that character's voice. Her voice is the most distinct one because it's much higher than the others'. The way the client frames her requests just sounds too direct and kinda impolite, which is frustrating considering all of her requests.)

     Still being super kind, I thought about how to politely resign from the project/order. I was super polite! I never mentioned the client's own words and directness, but rather the difficulty of the accent (hoping that wouldn't sound like too dumb an excuse). I created a little dispute to cancel the order. Then she didn't respond. I could she that she was online, and she just didn't reply--I do understand if she was thinking about what to say, like I did. But she didn't respond for a couple days, and then finally she declined the order cancel and told me "no I really think you are doing a great job [I appreciated that of course] I want you to keep doing the lines."

     I totally could've said yes, and one episode of that would have been fine, but working with this client long-term? Would not have been worth it. So I politely restated about the difficulty of the job, and (I've never cancelled an order before so I didn't know how payment worked) I said if Fiverr let me I would give her a full refund for the trouble! Even though I had already done all that work! Again, she didn't respond for a couple days. Then just today I tried to cancel the order again and she finally cancelled it.

 

     Okay, the most annoying thing? This buyer is a FIVERR SELECT BUYER. Like, she has that label and Fiverr is always telling me "Expect great communication etc. etc. from this buyer! make sure to deliver high-quality work so they come back!" when this was a (pretty harmless but) frustrating client to work with, and seriously, again, I was so kind, prompt, and accommodating! And her profile is stuffed with glowing reviews!!

 

     This is why it would have been so nice just to leave an honest (but of course not blunt) review for others to see!! But because the order was cancelled, I don't get paid for my work AND her probably undeserved reputations goes untarnished. Of course, I'M the one who cancelled the order, so of course that is on me, but it's just frustrating, y'know?

     I could report her, but the reason would be comparatively benign, and she totally hasn't bullied me or anything!! Just feel like I need to get a little justice here.

 

     Thank you guys so much for reading that. It was just a frustrating experience and needed to vent about the pretentious labels (not that the buyers/sellers choose that themselves, just that they're pushy and Fiverr rewards them for it!). Ugh!

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3 hours ago, charlottelou856 said:

could report her, but the reason would be comparatively benign,

To be honest I see it more as your mistake and not a client being difficult 😉 

Was she a bit more maintenance than usually? She probably was but you also didn’t handle that and kept giving free revisions, no matter how difficult it is if you don’t outline your terms in your gig or the offer clients can request as many changes as they want. 
But your very first mistake was to even take an order with the accent that is not yours and that you have to imitate. That’s the biggest lesson: never take a job that you don’t know if you will be able to complete. In a professional setting “trying” is not enough, that’s not what clients are paying for. That’s why you were stuck with revisions. 
 

3 hours ago, charlottelou856 said:

Just edit it out yourself! This stuff takes a long time!

She is not paying you to edit it herself 😉 she is paying for a finished product. If it takes you a long time to edit why do you think she has all right tools to edit it herself or why would she need to spend time editing your work when it’s supposed to be a finished product? 
 

I see this whole situation as YOU needing to have a proper workflows for the orders to make sure that they go smoothly and that you can direct clients along the lines of a contract and setting terms correctly from the start. 

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@charlottelou856 - I can feel your pain because I found myself often in that situation with many buyers earlier this year, when I had unlimited revisions and could not say "no" to any requests. However, I also agree with @mariashtelle1 that I was the cause behind most of the grief that I was experiencing.

3 hours ago, charlottelou856 said:

told me "you are going to be the five main characters." ALL of them. Could I have said no? Of course! ...

And she very directly told me to give her word counts for her own scripts and calculate the prices accordingly. ...

Then she asked me if I could do a black, urban accent (AFTER I agreed).

If you tell your buyers "yes" to everything, they will expect that you will do just that. Don't afraid to say "no"!

I found that I was doing logo design, voiceovers, video creation/editing, ebook designs and formatting, content writing, curriculum alignment, researching, data entry, virtual assisting, writing and editing, ESL coaching, and on and on. I was saying "yes" to everything and holding myself to high standards to complete it all.

3 hours ago, charlottelou856 said:

I was so kind, prompt, and accommodating! 

Sometimes the kindest thing you can do is to tell them is "no," and set expectations and boundaries from the beginning so they know exactly what you will and will not do. Saying "yes," to everything has not only hurt me, but it hurts my buyers when I take too long, or end up canceling.

My buyers have all responded positively when I tell them I won't do their logo designs, because I'll direct them to sellers who can. It saves me a lot of headache, too. I also refuse to do voiceovers anymore because I can refer them to amazing sellers who can do voiceovers so much better than I can.

The turning point for me was when a buyer accuse me of slacking off (when I was spending over 8 hours a day trying to get his project right). It was an order for 3 resumes and 3 cover letters for a PhD in robotics/simulation. Each resume and cover letter set had to be exactly optimized and specific for each area of research, robotics, and software development that he was involved in per his 25 GB portfolio that he sent me. I told him I wasn't an expert in that area, but I was researching and sounded intelligent enough that he assumed that I was on the same level as him. When he realized how much effort I was putting in, he apologized profusely. After many grueling hours, I not only delivered an excellent product, he came back with "raving' reviews from recruiters and head hunters who absolutely loved all of his cover letters.

Was is worth it?!!! I don't think so. Even though I was happy with the finished product, I literally cried every day of that order. And the $$$ wasn't worth it. After that, I decided to come to the forum because I knew there had to be a different way to do business, or I would go crazy. That was the best decision I've ever made. 😂

I hope it's the same for you!

 

 

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In my opinion and experience, unlimited revisions leads to unlimited work but not to an unlimited budget, that's why I never do that and why i think that's a bad practice.

Also, i know it may be tempting to take the money and try to do something new, but as said before, people don't way you to try, they want it perfect.

As for the client, whenever you don't feel that you "click" with the client, or in the initial conversations you find that it will be hard to work with, or is a person that is rude or harsh, sometimes is better to pass the order.

Hope you have better experiences from now on and use this experience to grow as a professional!

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