Being a Fiverr seller and buyer for almost 8 years and have accidentally violated their terms of service several times over that course. The first impression that comes to mind is that I did not read them at all, but on the contrary. I re-read them every 6 months. Fiverr changes their terms of service very often and usually does not communicate it to their members either through email notifications or their blog. Most terms of service are in place to protect the members of the Fiverr community. Whether you understand their terms of service or not, you find out the hard way when they reject any of the following:
- your new gigs including violations containing fraudulent services, adult oriented services, pornographic, inappropriate/Obscene products, intentional copies of Gigs, copyright Infringement
- buyer request
- profile description
- private messages between members
- spamming other members
- reselling regulated goods
These types of terms of service violations seem obvious and we really do not need these terms published as they should be common sense to most members. It is appropriate that Fiverr includes these on the TOS page anyway. Fiverr’s most famous terms of service violations include:
- providing contact information including Skype, email address, phone number, or any other way that people can contact you both online and offline.
- threats and violent messages to other members
There are many other terms of service that are not obvious to members until they are read or discovered the hard way including but not limited to:
- buyers and sellers’ rights
- ownership rights over delivered work
- selling and including stock images (unless you follow Fiverr’s stock image policy)
- shipping of physical goods and deliverables
- printing services
- properly handling orders
- the buyer/seller review process
- disputes and cancellations
We can read the terms of service over and over again, but since the Fiverr terms of service page is missing vital information, terms of services that are NOT clear or even written can easily be broken. When they are broken, the Fiverr editors seem to punish us for not reading the terms of service with generically written email notifications of rejection. The notification also includes news that we may have our current seller level demoted. This just puts more fear into sellers and makes them re-think whether or not to consider selling on Fiverr.
Ironically, as mentioned above, I do read the terms, but the email notifications from the editorial staff lead me to believe that they do not believe that I have read them at all. For example, just this week, I posted a buyers request. It got rejected 4 times with an email notification:
Email Title: There was a problem with your recent request
You submitted your request to multiple categories.
You should select the most suitable category and subcategory, and then submit only one request.
It contains a request for services, which are not allowed on Fiverr (e.g. violation of third party Terms Of Service, Copyrighted materials, licensed software, etc.).
Repeating these violations can result in your account being restricted. For more information, please read our Terms of Service.
Ok, great. My first few requests unknowingly violated some of these rules, but my second, third, and FOURTH request did not break any in my opinion. I never asked for payment information, contact information, multiple categories, services involving copyright infringement. Finally, after their conversation with the editorial team, an email to Customer Support revealed that orders involving reviews and testimonials are not allowed. I quickly went to back to the terms of service page to search for this information. It was not there. These type of gigs used to be allowed until it was discovered last year that buyers were requesting fake reviews on big sites like Amazon, Yelp and other big players. I wish the editor who rejected my first buyer request would have told me that instead of sending me a canned, pre-written list of notifications 4 times in a row. Yes, I understood it in the first rejection.
Read the terms of service page at https://www.fiverr.com/terms_of_service every 3 to 6 months to get an update. The “Last Updated” date is always at the top.
I have been a member for almost 8 years and love your website, although I do not agree with your policy to allow the editors to hand-pick the top rated sellers since they should also be promoted on a specific goals and merit like second level sellers. It is not fair that TRS are hand picked, almost seem like playing favorites, to top rated sellers who have less sales that I do.
My big frustration is that the editors force terms of service that are not published and in the process, cause a lot of innocent members to break them. For example, if you do not allow testimonial videos, then you need to tell us that. There is no mention of the word “testimonial” on your terms of service page at all. I only found this out through several emails with customer support. How are we supposed to know if you do not inform us?
I think the department that wrote up the terms should consider adding all the different types of gigs that are not allowed. Telling us that Illegal or Fraudulent services, Copyright Infringement, Trademark Infringement, Pornographic, misleading gigs, etc is simply not enough and not clear enough to some of the sellers and buyers who do not read English.
Also, if we accidentally break one of the terms of service, please do not make us feel punished by sending us a generic list of pre-written terms and a link to the terms page. The editor who rejects our efforts should personally write to us and tell us what we need to do to prevent breaking the TOS again. Otherwise, we can accidentally break them over and over again as I have found out the hard way. I am very grateful for the customer support reps who instill some confidence back to me.
I do not intend to leave Fiverr and I still tell people that they should buy and sell on your platform, but constantly frustrating members with poorly written terms of service can lead to less sales and people leaving the platform. After 8 years of being a member and logging in almost every day, I think I deserve to be a top rated seller and receive personal emails from the editorial staff when something goes wrong and creates unnecessary frustration.