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  1. #1
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    dealing with clients

    HI,

    I'm a noob in what feels right now to be a horrible situation.

    Can anything be done about a client who has basically wasted my time for the last 3 weeks if no written contract was signed? Their were meetings, emails and phone calls with notes exchanged etc but no contract as such.

    The launch date was/is today and I got a call and an email last night saying that they basically changed their mind about everything. (layout, content, pages etc). Going back on things we had already discussed (repeatedly).

    Now they want me to launch the Home page only with links to "coming soon" pages but even in this home page changes have been requested.

    I emailed questionnaires and designs and what not, regularly for the last 3 weeks. We Spoke in the phone numerous times about content and layout etc.

    Now less than 24 hours before the site is due to launch I am told that the graphic I spent time designing and making doesn't even have the right "name" on it. Why did they wait until now to tell me that? Our initial meeting (Nov 6th) covered such basic topics, and designs including the banner/header were sent and agreed upon less than one week after the initial meeting.

    What do I do? I am not an expert in this, infact I am a total beginner, this is my second site only but surely that doesn't mean people can treat my time as if it doesn't count.

    I had work lined up for after this deadline but it sounds like the crowd due to launch today want me to keep working on this.

    Any advice as how to handle people like this...?

  2. #2
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    r937's Avatar
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    it's real simple -- fire this client

    you'll have to forego payment for work done already, but judging by your experience, how easy do you think it would be to extract full payment for all your time?

    just say "that's it, i'm done, good luck with your site"
    rudy.ca | @rudydotca
    Buy my SitePoint book: Simply SQL
    "giving out my real stuffs"

  3. #3
    From Italy with love silver trophybronze trophy
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    I agree with Rudy. Or you could ask to be paid for the work already done first, then sign a contract for the new work, and put it in your work schedule as YOU see fit.

  4. #4
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    yeah you're right. I really wanted the site to go up. Experience for me and something to show other prospective clients, but to be honest right now I don't even want to talk to that client again. Hopefully I will have chilled out enough later to negotiate pay for the work I have already done.

    Thanks. And to stop it from ever happening again I suppose I draw up some sort of written contract. Do you write your own? Can you recommend a good one to start off with (offered free online) or anything like that?

  5. #5
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Take a look at Andy Clark's "Killer contract". The download link is http://24ways.org/examples/contract-...act-sample.txt. The article that goes with it is http://24ways.org/2008/contract-killer. There is also an update at http://stuffandnonsense.co.uk/blog/a...r_the_next_hit
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  6. #6
    SitePoint Evangelist Unit7285's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipchops View Post
    The launch date was/is today and I got a call and an email last night saying that they basically changed their mind about everything. (layout, content, pages etc). Going back on things we had already discussed (repeatedly).

    Now they want me to launch the Home page only with links to "coming soon" pages but even in this home page changes have been requested.

    I emailed questionnaires and designs and what not, regularly for the last 3 weeks. We Spoke in the phone numerous times about content and layout etc.

    Now less than 24 hours before the site is due to launch I am told that the graphic I spent time designing and making doesn't even have the right "name" on it. Why did they wait until now to tell me that? Our initial meeting (Nov 6th) covered such basic topics, and designs including the banner/header were sent and agreed upon less than one week after the initial meeting.
    Well, you don't say anything about payment being withheld. Are you assuming that they won't want to pay for the additional work required? Did they say "We're not going to pay you"? I think it is premature to assume this until you have discussed the perfectly reasonable matter of charging more for the additional changes.

    You have lots of emails, apparently, and meetings have taken place, so there is little doubt about what had originally been agreed. Whether you have or don't have a formal contract document is not critical in this case (though it would have helped, of course).

    It is much too premature to 'fire this client'. Clients continually change their minds, can't decide things and behave inefficiently or unreasonably. Not just in web design, but in any business you care to mention. It's normal.

    Put yourself in their shoes and things look a little different. The website that has been produced is - for whatever reason - suddenly not what they need. Not your fault. Their fault. But the fact remains that they now need it changed. And from what you say, that is what they have asked for.

    I would suggest phoning them (you can't do this kind of thing by email or IM) and talking politely and calmly about the new situation. Don't make it into a drama, because it isn't one. Review the situation, pointing out that you've done what was asked of you and you'll be forwarding your invoice for the balance agreed, and ask them to tell you what changes are now required so you can give them an updated price to cover the additional work and make a start.


    Paul

  7. #7
    SitePoint Addict wardcosbyson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r937 View Post
    it's real simple -- fire this client

    you'll have to forego payment for work done already, but judging by your experience, how easy do you think it would be to extract full payment for all your time?

    just say "that's it, i'm done, good luck with your site"
    I agree with this one. Don't feel bad about losing some clients if they're not really worth your time. Occasionally you will stumble upon such people. Don't get too focused with them and waste to much of your precious time. Learn when to say no.

  8. #8
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    It is very easy to lose client. you should talk to him and explain the situations politely.And also get his approval page by page in writing. Inform him once you approve something and there is major change afterwards ,will be treated as new work and will be charged extra.


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