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Thread: Customer that expects too much

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    dvduval is offline Newbie Net Builder
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    Customer that expects too much

    While a majority of our customers are great, I have a problem customer that I am dealing with right now where we spent 17 hours of work on a job they paid 7 hours for already. I will say that I initially gave them an estimate of about 5 hours to code a psd to html, but then they gave me 4 PSDs. And we still aren't done and they are demanding results. I'm holding firm and demanding more money to continue. Any advice?
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    javanx3d's Avatar
    javanx3d is offline Net Builder
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    Ya, give up the client or layout the (if you change this it equals this in increased cost) metrics...

    I had one like this for a 400 dollar job (religious site) for "coding"...she wanted me to start doing art, etc, we parted ways after I probably had put about 1K + of work into the stupid thing.

    Cheers,
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    elbandelero's Avatar
    elbandelero is offline Net Builder
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    Get rid of the client. We can 'fire' clients, and the sooner they realise that you are a professional who needs to be paid for their time the better.

    The clients I hated the most were the ones who see me do something in 2 minutes, then every time they want something they say it will only take you two minutes, couldn't you just do it for me...

    Then they don't want to pay because it is only 2 minutes, and if you add up all the 2 minute jobs it can be a couple of hours, but usually not in one week or one month, so when you finally invoice them it might be 6 months later, meanwhile other clients have been messed around because you had to stop what you were doing for the problem client.

    Best advice I can give is to tell every client you bill in 10 minute or 30 minute increments, and even if the job only takes 2 minutes you are still going to invoice them, so they better save up all those 2 minute jobs and get you to do them in one go otherwise they are going to pay a lot more for the project.

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    bogart is offline Super Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by dvduval View Post
    I initially gave them an estimate of about 5 hours to code a psd to html
    How many hours did it take you to finish coding the original psd to html?

    At 5 hours you should have stopped and given an explanation of why it was going to take more hours. At that point, you should have also agreed on the pricing to proceed. So, at worst you would have eaten 5 hours of time.

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    Andy101's Avatar
    Andy101 is offline Code Otaku
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    I worked with just a few customers in my career in engineering and as a web developer.

    Generally, I try to avoid working for somebody else. Having said that, I have completed some self-managed projects involving billing a client.

    First I have a consultation with the client to define a specification. And then I provide them with a project plan that defines all the stages of the project. A Gantt chart. This shows each task, with a time line. And you can also add a cost to each task.

    So the client must accept this before work commences.

    So it is like a contract. We agreed that XYZ is done in a particular time frame and the likely cost, and after all the task completion boxes are ticked, the money is paid (with a deposit up front).

    This technique worked really well for me. The customer has to agree or disagree that the project was not completed according to the plan and pay up, otherwise they look stupid unless I failed to deliver.
    Last edited by Andy101; 13 November, 2010 at 13:22 PM. Reason: Typo

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    SonnyCooL is offline HeeHa
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    normally i won't go for hourly pay project cause i hardly trust anyone online .... My previous project is screw up by freelancer, he promise to complete my task in a month time but after two month still nothing come out .....

    Another freelancer i pay hour job but return is horrible, promise to pay him 5 hour for the script (he quote me the time frame), result is use less script with plenty of bug, then he request more time (more money), why should i pay him for his broken promise ?

    For me i always prefer project base promise, keep the promise, done what u promise, extra stuff with extra fees ..... just complete ur promise and deliver ....... the rest ask him to top up

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    Andy101's Avatar
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    To get a project completed on time requires previous experience of similar projects so that the project plan is realistic. So both the freelancer and the client need to have this experience ideally or the freelancer has a track record of delivering what people want even when the specification may be a bit sketchy.

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    bogart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy101 View Post
    So it is like a contract. We agreed that XYZ is done in a particular time frame and the likely cost, and after all the task completion boxes are ticked, the money is paid (with a deposit up front).
    Another thing is should the tasks fall outside of the scope of the work, you can quickly point this out to the client.

    Quote Originally Posted by SonnyCooL View Post
    normally i won't go for hourly pay project cause i hardly trust anyone online .... My previous project is screw up by freelancer, he promise to complete my task in a month time but after two month still nothing come out .....

    Another freelancer i pay hour job but return is horrible, promise to pay him 5 hour for the script (he quote me the time frame), result is use less script with plenty of bug, then he request more time (more money), why should i pay him for his broken promise ?

    For me i always prefer project base promise, keep the promise, done what u promise, extra stuff with extra fees ..... just complete ur promise and deliver ....... the rest ask him to top up
    If it isn't going to work after 5 hours, the best is to cut your loses. Don't allow the vendor to continue to rack up billable hours when it don't appear that they will successfully complete the project.

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    I never work on a project for a client without an agreement. The agreement includes an attachment called Scope of Services for each project. This spells out specifically what I will do and what it will cost. Anything beyond that is outside of the scope of the project and the cost is in addition to the estimate defined in the Scope of Services.

    Scope creep is a common problem with projects and there are clients who will intentionally try to get much more from you than what you agreed to give them. I always try to give a client more than they expected, but the agreement helps to draw a line when you need it due to an abusive client.

    David, if you already delivered the first PSD conversion, or the first two, then stop working on this and tell the client that you have already delivered what you agreed to deliver. If you provided a quote for 5 hours for one PSD conversion, it is reasonable to assume that 4 PSD conversions will take 20 hours. If they get stinky, then give them the $700 worth of work that they paid for and walk away.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin


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    That must be painful. I am dealing with a number of revisions on an e-book at the moment. The client wanted something that described SEO in simple terms. I wrote it as simply as possible, with the little information they gave. Now they want all of these add-ons to go with it that deviate from the original plan.

    When something like that happens, it is best to hold firm and get more pay. It is probably a good idea to set rules at the beginning too. If the project goes over what they pay, just make it clear that they will have to pay more before you continue. You have already completed what you were paid for, so why should they suck more from you?

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