Refusing to provide support for good reason.

Hey guys.

Recently I had a buyer purchase an item of mine, and he literally rated it 1 start 10 minutes after purchasing for a reason I honestly find bogus. He states the upload speed to his server is low ( the item weighs in at 3 mb with all resources and elements included ) and that his DOM is overloading. The item was properly tested before launch and the reason given by him is complete bogus and I believe he is a newbie.

I wouldn’t mind him asking for help, I would’ve gladly helped!

So, now he rated the item one star, and copy pasted that reason to the item comments. I refuse to help this guy out, and I directed him to get a refund for the item. I find it absurd that people can do this! What do you guys think?

And please don’t tell me that I have to answer his questions after he immediately rated the item 1 star without taking into account ANYTHING but his lack of experience.

I had a similar situation a few weeks back, 1 star with no chance to help an inexperienced customer (which I don’t mind doing at all). He didn’t rate it down after 10 minutes, however, that’s a bit much and I feel these reviews should be able to be contested somehow.

While I understand it’s important to give buyers leverage and preserve the integrity of their experience, the same mentality should be applied to authors as well. It seems like Envato takes this “you get to be here, we don’t owe you a thing” approach when it comes to the author experience which is a shame considering we’re an important component in this ecosystem.

Sorry to hear about your rating, this stuff eats at me for days when it happens to me. There have been instances (I’ve seen this once or twice on the old forums) where support has overturned reviews, it never hurts to try.

By the way, I would try to help him if you still are in contact. He might change his rating! Forget about weather or not it’s the right thing to do, I’d try to make the best of the situation if it’s still possible. Just my 2cents. :wink:

I’ve had similar experiences (low ratings due to user error), and while I don’t refuse support after this, it certainly ticks me off and makes me less inclined to go out of my way for that customer in the future. Since the inception of the “respond to ratings” feature, I’ve contacted a couple of customers who gave low ratings, and offered to help if they submitted a ticket - no response.

I was considering this earlier, and wondering how a customer could be so unreasonable as to rate so quickly without even asking for support. It seems that before accepting a rating the user should be given an option (via a popup dialog):

“You’re about to give this item a poor rating. Have you reviewed the item’s documentation or contacted support for assistance with your issue? Often seemingly significant issues have simple resolutions”

[Options: Continue with 1-star rating | Contact Support]

(Obviously that would be a link to whatever support system the author uses)

I think saying to customers “hey wait, you know you can ask questions about this?” before they actually leave the rating would prevent at least some of these ratings.

(Or maybe this already happens? I’ve never rated an item 1 star and don’t want to test it out :slight_smile: )


I always hate hearing about these stories. :frowning: It’s happened to me too - someone has purchased the wrong item (even though my item is clearly described as a certain type of item) and the customer has rated it 1/5. It’s a huge motivation killer. I think I took a long time off creating new content after that so I know what it feels like.

I know these conversations typically lean more towards what ENVATO can (or should) do, and that’s okay, there’s a time and a place for those conversations (i.e. a lot of other, existing threads), but I wonder if there’s any practical advice authors can offer here in this particular thread?

Here’s some personal advice I can share that basically focuses more on doing what you can do yourself to be in control of the situation, knowing that “unjust” ratings will always exist:

  • Don’t take reviews personally.
  • Understand that people, and opinions, will vary. Some people describe Shakespeare as “boring”. Go figure!
  • Politely, professionally, publicly respond. It will show other customers that you are the “real deal”.
  • Similarly, kill them with kindness.
  • Learn/know that most customers (existing and potential) are savvy enough to know/determine if an online review is genuine/just or not.
  • Have a plan ready when things like this happen. This keeps you in control of any situation, saves time, and will make you more proactive rather than reactive.
  • Know that these things happens across all industries (movie/book/music etc… reviews), all the time, across the entire internet. Research how those other industries teach how to handle negative reviews. Here’s Etsy’s for example.
  • Go the extra mile. There’s a time and a place to do this and it’s most often conducive and beneficial right at the start of the dialogue with your customer. i.e. in your situation here about slow upload speeds, could you have volunteered to upload the files for the customer? Again, not saying this is required, necessary, or even justified, but I think changing our perspective sometimes and going the extra mile for a customer, although not guaranteed, can often help.

To get started with some further reading, have a look at the following:

Would love to see/hear about more examples of practical guidance for authors in these kind of situations! What can other authors share that can help @Enabled in this kind of situation?


Cheers for the feedback guys! When I told the customer I refuse to work with him due to his direct low rating, he admitted that he was a little bit temperamental and decided to change his rating. We’re now collaborating. My decision was harsh but I must stand by it. The item cost is low, and getting slapped with a 1 star rating then getting a douzine support questions is in my opinion unacceptable. Apparently the customer shared my views on this matter and all is great now! Thanks guys and also, thanks @scottwills for the insights! Much appreciated! :slight_smile:


Great result for both of you, @enabled, glad it worked out well and thanks for sharing your story and perspective!

Same issue i have faced here, a buyer rated me 1 and he mentioned poor support. Imagine poor support and he didn’t submit us on ticket or event a public comment. I have replied to his rating with the issues he was facing and then we have solved most of the issues then he updated the rating to 5 star. :)… The issue is customer always right even if he is wrong

I also get similar ratings but with time people will tell the true value, and you will end app with 4.x but never 5

I think it should be only Pro review and Negative Reviews Without stars

@janxcode what about those who don’t want to solve the problem, they just rate !

There is this saying:

He who knows not, and knows that he knows not, is a child - teach him.
He who knows, and knows not that he knows, is asleep - wake him.
He who knows, and knows that he knows, is a wise man - follow him.
He who knows not and knows not that he knows not, is a fool … shun him.

So you wil lalways have that 4th group, but this group can be reduced just if envato introduce that buyer must contact seller if he rates smaller than 5 stars in order to fix the issue ( or maybe 4 or 3 ) and after the sellers response he can rate. If the author does not respon in 72 hours buyer can rate without the author response.

Simple and powerfull. But its not like anyone asks authors…


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Last month, my item was selected as free file of the month. Now I have a ton of not-purchased-support request :’(
Thank God they can’t rate :smiley:

Unacceptable is it? As a buyer only here I find this thread and attitude to be mostly bizarre. If a customer pays the same as anyone else why on earth do you think that a condition of purchase with support is that the customer likes you or your item? You are basically saying “I won’t give this guy what he paid for because he hurt my feelings!”

I have an internet business with many customers and over the last 15 years I have had many newbies complain, say stupid things, write bad reviews etc etc and so i understand what a pain it is when ignorance wastes your time and drags your ratings down… but refusing to provide the service paid for is not the adult answer.

This is part of life and business guys and this needs more of a response like sevenspark suggests as follows…

//“You’re about to give this item a poor rating. Have you reviewed the item’s documentation or contacted support for assistance with your issue? Often seemingly significant issues have simple resolutions”

[Options: Continue with 1-star rating | Contact Support]//

As much as newbie customers can annoy, so can newbie or inexperienced authors/service providers.

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I’d agree with you on this matter if the rating wouldn’t have been given 5 minutes purcahsed with no questioned asked before. So, I come into your office, purchase an item, without asking anything, then start cursing you out because your Ferrari isn’t the 4x4 I wanted, and then I ask you to make it a 4x4 and when you tell me it’s not compatible, my reaction is “oh, I should have asked before rating and getting angry” … hmmm … :slight_smile:

I get your point, and agree with it, but, being a douche and having a bad attitude, rating 1 star, and then asking for help, is quite “rude” (i’m thinking of something else :smiley: )

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