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Safely Cancelling an Order on Fiverr

When a buyer places a Fiverr order, then changes their mind right away and cancels, the result can bite into our completion rate...and if there haven't been many orders lately, that can dramatically affect the percentage of completed orders for you. Personally, I think allowing this degradation, regardless of how small the percentage, is intolerable, and I'm aggressive in assuring cancellations like that don't count against me.

Here is a communication I sent Customer Service the other day, making my intention and sentiments plain. Referencing the order number, I wrote:


"I have refused the cancellation based on grounds of a false excuse being used for the cancellation, and have added the following note to the correspondence in the order:

"This buyer has requested cancellation, giving as their reason that, "the seller can't deliver on time." Since no such problem exists, and the buyer cancelled immediately after placing the order, I'm not sure what the reasoning was for that. What it amounts to is the buyer changed their mind before any communication between us was ever begun. It's purely a mistakenly-placed order, and I don't feel it would be right to penalize me or affect my completion rate by accepting it myself."

"I would appreciate it if, under the circumstances, you would cancel the order for me, because I have no wish to affect my completion rate due to something like this."

(to which CS replied as follows)

"I completely understand what you mean. No worries, allow me to assist you with this Order.

"Checking your Order it was clear that the Buyer requested cancellation before you were able to start your work. For this reason, I canceled your Order without it affecting your Order Completion Rate.

"If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to ask, I will be more than happy to help."


It's my experience that when the cancellation is clearly not the result of my having dropped the ball somewhere, and I document and explain things plainly (and have made some attempt to reconcile first with the buyer, without success), CS has been 100% cooperative in cancelling for me without prejudice. If things aren't documented well, or I haven't at least made an overture to the buyer, they basically say, "cancel it yourself." So yes, definitely, get with Customer Service, but first get your notes together so you can clearly demonstrate that the situation is something out of your hands.

One other circumstance that comes up: Sometimes a buyer will place an order that is clearly outside of what you offer in your gig. Some examples:

  • The buyer placed an order for a voiceover with a word count of up to 100 words, and then in the order, sent you a script that's nearly 400 words long. You've sent them the extra that'll cover the extra words, and the refused it, twice. Time to contact Customer Service.

  • The buyer sent you a job that involved pornography, while in your gig, you mentioned specifically that you will not do such work. In some cases, if it's just a dirty word or two, I have been able to convince the buyer to allow me to just change those words. But if they refuse, or the content is way beyond redemption, I tell the buyer I will be unable to do the job, and ask CS to handle the cancellation.

As you can see, there's merit in making it very clear, in every way you can, what your policies are in your gig. The most crucial things can be mentioned in your gig description (though be careful not to chew up too many characters on that stuff, because there is better use for that description space than that), and also in your Frequently-Asked Questions, and also potentially expressed again in your Order Requirements, requiring them to agree with Yes to the terms as they are placing the order.

As you can tell, I put a lot of importance on preserving a high completion rate. That's because, as Fiverr will freely tell you, the completion rate can have a strong bearing on how well or how poorly your gigs show up in the search results...and if we fail in search, we won't succeed very well at all on Fiverr.

For those of you who do voiceovers, or who are interested in entering that fun profession, I can help there too. Check out my voiceover coaching services.

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