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Review Arbitration

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With the inception of the new Advanced Rating System, sellers are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain their good standing (mainly due to the subjective nature of the new system, amongst a dozen other problems which seem to be ignored by fiverr). The solution to this problem is relatively simple.

Why doesn’t fiverr allocate a few outstanding members of the community to arbitrate between buyer and seller when a dispute arises? As far as I can see, this would be incredibly easy to implement; and come at no cost to fiverr.

Currently, this is how the system works:

Seller completes $50 worth of work for buyer, who is unhappy with the quality received and leaves a negative, 1 star review. Seller is adamant that they delivered as promised and believes the buyer is being unscrupulous with their rating.

Seller forwards the feedback onto fiverr customer support who, unsurprisingly, say they can’t do anything about it. In order to preserve their rating, the seller opts to cancel the order, thus refunding the money back to the buyer and having the feedback removed. In this situation, no one wins. The seller loses their revenue and becomes jaded, the buyer has no rights to use the work provided, and fiverr doesn’t earn 20%.

Instead of the above, I propose the following:

Seller clicks on an arbitration button under the resolution centre tab. By doing so, the entire order is forwarded onto 2 anonymous arbitrators from the fiverr community who subsequently review the work provided in relation to the gig description. In doing so, they will receive a nominal fee from the order which will be deducted from the sellers revenue (perhaps an additional 20%-30%).

This means the rating left for the seller will be fair and justified (and they still receive partial payment for the delivered work), it means fiverr will still receive their revenue, and it acts as a deterrent to prevent bad buying behaviour (something which fiverr seem inadequate at preventing).

In order for this to work, the arbitrators would have to be completely neutral. Similarly, I would only recommend it for orders over a specified amount (perhaps $20+), to prevent the service being inundated.

This simple solution would provide me with an immense amount of confidence going forward, knowing that I’m unlikely to be victimised fraudulent buyers.

Please feel free to tear the above idea apart. :-)
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Reply to @madmoo: I understand where you’re coming from and appreciate your input. Again, this is wide-open and was just a quick idea I thought I’d write down.

Instead of anonymity, perhaps the arbitrators could be known, visible, and have a specific set of guidelines in which to follow.

They could view the discussions between buyer/seller, examine the work provided in relation to the gig description and just generally mediate to ensure a fair outcome.

The idea could still work if fiverr hired an additional employee who was essentially a freelancer, paid entirely via arbitrated cases.

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It’s a good thought, but humans can never ever be truly neutral. Also, there would be conflicts regarding who is chosen to arbitrate. It’s a lot of power for someone to hold and I know that many sellers have opinions of others already, whether good or bad. I don’t think that having arbitrators would be any different than each customer service representative contradicting each other as they do.

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Reply to @alliemadison12:

alliemadison12 said: Also, there would be conflicts regarding who is chosen to arbitrate.

This is true, however, customer support must already have opinions of people which may affect the outcome given. I imagine a frequent moaner like me receives less diligence than somebody who pays customer support nothing but compliments (think of the person who backed the ARS with his blog post). It would be easy to set rigid guidelines which must be followed by the arbitrator. Any individual, buyer or seller, who thinks the arbitrator didn't provide a fair outcome can simply drop a message to customer support, much in the way we do now.

This system is already in place on another huge freelancing site (though it's mainly for larger valued jobs - which is why I recommend a certain price before arbitration becomes available).

Do a search for "Dispute Assistance for Fixed Price Jobs" to understand how it has been implemented successfully.

At the moment I feel as though the outcome of our request to customer support is based solely on how the rep feels that day.

Bad mood? Bad outcome.
Good mood? Good outcome.

This isn't a solid business model and it provides neither buyer or seller with confidence.

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