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Warning RE: Money deposits no longer yours - tales from Fiverr's Dark Side


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When you buy a “gig” you are depositing money to be paid to vendor for their services when they complete it.

What happens if they don’t complete your anticipated work or can’t as to no fault of your own?

You forfeit your money to Fiverr in which they will keep it in their bank for their use, or only give you credit back to use for more gigs that it would pay for.

What if you don’t have other gigs you need performed? Too bad, Fiverr gets to keep it.

Yes, this happened to me. Let me begin by saying the vendors on Fiverr I dealt with are great! It is Fiverr and their money policies that such, are erroneously inappropriate, unethical and could be masked in a baiting tactics to get your money.

Let me explain how based on a real life experience:

-Pay for a gig

-It takes vendor 1-2 weeks to get to it

-They tell you the work can’t be done

-You’re left with a cancelled gig, but you find another vendor

-Who maybe gets the job done

-But the gig surprisingly cost less in gigs so you have a surplus

-After they finish the work you realize the money you deposited to the first vendor was not fully used as the second vendor cost less

-Now you ask for a refund of that money that was requested of you but never applied because of incomplete work or non performance of the original contract

-Fiverr tells you, you can only use your hard cash as credit for other gigs (which you may have no need for)

-By the time the dust settles there is this time line that you’ve passed where they won’t refund your money because of the vendor timelines

-After asking again for your money they tell you then can pay it back to you as revenue earned either through PayPal or Fiverr…

What’s so bad about that?

  1. it’s listed as revenue on taxes you will owe; and
  2. PayPal and Fiverr charges fees on revenues or payments made to you.

    This my first time dealing with Fiverr… and possibly my last.

    I own a business and would never ever keep money a client pays to be to get a job done that I can’t complete if it is no fault of my clients, nor would I tell them I’ll keep their money in my bank account and they can use it as credit towards other work they would have to secure from me. Again, the vendors here are great (at least the ones I dealt with). This is about money that you deposit in good faith and is not returned to you due to policies and circumstances beyond your control that make this an unfriendly place to trust and conduct business.

    The last thing you need done is to be baited into a gig, whether it is made up or actual, and then learn they can’t or won’t do it after a 1-2 week turnaround which pushes the timeline you can get back your money, but then I didn’t even get that far so even if you are within that timeline would they make it easy for you to get your unused money back? After this experience I totally don’t trust Fiverr, and will let others know about what to expect when they put down their money in good faith. I am sure many have gotten gigs worked out. This is about what happens where it doesn’t and you’re left with money that is owed to you.

    Buyer beware is all I can say as I am still dumbfounded by this lack of customer service and good ethical business practices. Have you had any similar experiences? I’d love to hear about them. Please feel free to share this with others if you believe businesses should live by good business practice standards and act with integrity. Bad and damaging policies and company practices thrive when left unaddressed, uncontested and left silent.

    And if you’re curious I have not received any portion of my unused money back, nor a sensible solution to resolve this issue by Fiverr.
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Have you read Fiverr Terms of Service? It’s clearly stated that if you get a refund, it goes to your Fiverr credit for purchasing new orders, not to your payment provider.

I understand your frustration, but by creating an account on Fiverr you’re agreeing to their ToS.

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  • 8 months later...

I am blown away by the quality of work I have received here. They have all been Top Rated Sellers and I can see why they earned that badge. For very little money I have gotten work done worth much more.

My advise is that it is pretty easy to see usually who the high quality sellers are. Use them.

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Guest coolandcute

Contacting a seller before ordering can help prevent a lot of confusion or misunderstanding. Look for sellers with a fast response rate and high feedback. The closer to 100% or 99% feedback the better. There are a lot of good and honest sellers on Fiverr.

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I had this happen but when I read the TOS, it said that you have to order another gig for that exact amount or else you pay cash for smaller gigs. Has anyone else been able to work past this? Having a $75 credit balance would be nice to use towards another gig that may not be the same amount. I am ok with it being in my Fiverr account as I order quite a # of gigs…but can I apply a smaller amount from my credit towards another gig?

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Reply to @wahoosmiles: Yes, you can apply a smaller amount of your credit. Your only problem would be if you wanted to apply a larger amount. If you have a $75 credit you can buy a gig that costs exactly that, $50, $15, $5 or any other amount under $75. If you try to buy an $80 gig, though, you will not be able to use the credit for that.

You might be able to ask the seller to help you even then, though. If they are willing to give you a custom order for $75 you could accept that and then buy an additional (example) $5 gig to get their entire $80 paid. It’s a workaround, but it could be done.

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fonthaunt said: You might be able to ask the seller to help you even then, though. If they are willing to give you a custom order for $75 you could accept that and then buy an additional (example) $5 gig to get their entire $80 paid. It's a workaround, but it could be done.

Some buyers have asked me to do that, and always agree. It's a win-win situation: the buyer uses his credit, and I get 2 reviews for the price of one :)

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In the new terms (well not so new anymore) it states that deposit refunds are possible but the total amount of times users can request a payment provider refund is limited.

Here is the quote from the terms
"Deposit refunds, when available from the payment provider, can be performed by our Customer Support team. To prevent fraud and abuse, we limit the total amount of times users can request a payment provider refund from their account which is subject to review by our Customer Support team. Such refunds may be subject to an additional fee. If any processing fees were added at the time of purchase to create a new order, the processing fees from that payment will be refunded along with your deposit."

The big question is what is the limit and what are the criterias for a deposit refund.

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Reply to @catwriter: …but the issue stems from the initial cancelled order. It stands with a seller who faltered for whatever reason. A buyer shouldn’t be forced to forego their money as a result of something lacking with a seller.

I am very selective, and wouldn’t fork over a large sum, unless I had great communication with seller prior to ordering, as yes the terms stipulate monies remain in one’s fiver account.

I too think a seller should pay the processing fee if cancelling an order, as happened to me. Yes, that fee is small, but a cancellation a an hour before the order is due should land on seller. I think there should be recourse for such. As a newbie to fiverr, I learned I didn’t have to agree to cancel the order to allow my distaste for seller’s actions in a review.

Fiverr is cool, but I think it’s for all gigs.

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The best thing buyers can do is become sellers, that way you can use your Fiverr revenues to make purchases.

carsontang said: -It takes vendor 1-2 weeks to get to it

Then hire people with good average rates, or pay for 24/hour or 2/day delivery. You gotta read the gigs, all the information you need is there.

Example, this guy is one of the most popular logo designers

Next to the little clock under his gig title, you see: " 7 Days On Average "
That means he might deliver in 3 days or 14 days.

However, if you select “Extra Fast” he’ll do the job in 2-days.

If you read the reviews, you’ll see how often he’s delivering as well.

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  • 5 months later...

As pointed out above, it’s in the TOS, so it’s all entirely legal and above board (whatever moral and ethical objections we may have against it).

That said, if you buy and sell on Fiverr, can’t you take all the money out? So if you sell and have $100 from your work, you can withdraw via PayPal. If you have $40 in credit from a gig gone wrong, can’t you also take this out too, along with the proceeds from sales?

If you can, then there’s an inelegant solution. Plus, it amuses me to think of Incredibly Difficult Buyers potentially meeting one of their own ranks from the other side.

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I’m not sure… I did accidentally order a gig once, and cancelled immediately so I should have $20 in credit–only I don’t, or at least it’s not terribly clear to me if I do. I was just wondering if buyer-sellers knew more (I’m not particularly bothered about it)

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Guest deluxe_writer

Please, always read the TOS of any online platform. It would do a whole lot of good. There are some terms of service here with regards to the 14 days clearance period, (not favorable) but I signed for it by being here.

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