Yesterday morning I woke up to find that my Fiverr.com account had been banned.
I have taken this personally even though I know I probably shouldn’t. The reason why is simple. I have been an extreme supporter of their service to the point where I recommended them to hundreds of people when I talk onstage at conferences, to my blog readers and even in my reports.
Now I feel like I may have steered people in the wrong direction. Which frankly makes me sick to my stomach.
What bothers me more than anything when this happens online is the lack of communication from the site that cuts you off. This has happened to me with PayPal in the past and I had to fight very hard just to find out why they banned me. Then I had to fight even harder to show them that they made a mistake.
Most often when you get banned from a website or a community it’s due to some kind of terms of service violation. Of course most people don’t read terms of service, I do. And for the most part I’m pretty good at not breaking rules. In this case I am to understand that they did a massive sweep of accounts. I was also told that gigs receiving lots of purchases are particularly flagged.
Either way, it’s pretty sad when a website holding your money just blocks you with no explanation as to why.
This leads me to guess the reasons. And that’s what you will see below, my educated guess as to why Fiverr.com banned me.
One of the problems with Fiverr.com is the lack of good quality writers. You simply can’t get great quality and consistency with article writing at five dollars. I’m sure some people will argue with me here but in my experience the best writers won’t touch low-budget.
That led me and one of my mastermind members Andy Beveridge to start a new website called WriteSwap.com. Now at first glance our website does look similar to Fiverr.com because it uses a similar content management system. No different to the way WordPress websites tend to look similar.
On Tuesday morning, I logged into my Fiverr.com account and started ordering five dollar articles and press releases to promote my new website. That collateral was to be given to a virtual assistant for link building purposes.
I’m thinking that they banned me because I’m running a competing website. Now obviously the main difference with my website is that we are only offering writing services and written content and we do not limit the pricing at five dollars. Clearly we are not a competitor or any threat to Fiverr.com.
I have sent a Facebook message to the CEO of Fiverr.com. He said that he is looking into my block but I have not heard back. I also tried their customer service desk and got no explanation except you have been blocked.
At this point my recommendation to you is this. If you plan to use Fiverr.com make sure you keep your account balance at an absolute minimum. Withdrawal your cash immediately.
Right now Fiverr.com is sitting on hundreds of dollars that belonged to me. Thankfully for me I don’t need that money and can wait for 45 days they require banned accounts to wait before withdrawing money. But I can’t help think about all the providers on Fiverr.com who use that money to buy groceries, pay rent etc.
When you own a business, you will have to deal with growing pains. The reality is the bigger you get, the more you will have to deal with this kind of thing.
I remember, 12 years ago I started a merchant account. Within a few months I had increased my volume a little. Then one day a customer wanted to pay me $5000 on his MasterCard. After running his card I received a phone call from my merchant bank. They were trying to verify the deal and they were suspicious because my customer’s bank was closed.
I had to explain to them that his bank was closed because they were in the UK and they were five hours ahead of us.
The woman at the bank said to me that they were going to hold my $5000 for 60 days because they were afraid I was going to “take the Money and run”.
I literally laughed out loud at this woman. And I said to her “how far do you think I could run with $5000?”
Nonetheless I was told I had to wait for my money to clear. When I called the woman back a few days later she had gone on vacation. I asked for her supervisor, asked her what she thought about her employees take the money and run scenario. She released my funds immediately.
This is one of my longer blog posts but the moral here is pretty simple. If someone tries to mess with your business by limiting your ability to do business, don’t take it lying down.
Now of course I have an easy solution. We own several accounts with fiverr.com and can easily fall back on one of them if we need to purchase cheap outsourcing. And in any situation where I have an account getting blocked, I will just go open another one.
Don’t ever let a third-party website throw a wrench into your business machine. Fight back, fight hard, fight to win. It’s your business after all.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Have you ever had an account blocked or banned? Did you let it affect your business? Did you take it personally?