How do you stop a client taking advantage?

Discussion in 'The Business Aspects of Web Work' started by Mole, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. Mole

    Mole New Member

    I'm working on this website for a client, it's finished as far as I'm concerned. I knew the person before this and am friends with her sons. Problem is I have already over delivered on the job, but she is still demanding more. I can't really want to ask for more money as I don't want to create bad feeling, but I need to draw the line somewhere.
    I have met her twice and both times have spent 3 hours explaining how the site will work and how to use the CMS. That's 6 hours of meetings/tutorials before I add the hours spent putting the site together. She now wants to meet again to go through more stuff. I really don't have the time and I have already done the demo for her, it's not my fault she didn't listen, how do I break the news gently and get my money?
     
  2. paul

    paul Ninja

    1) outline and agree (from both sides) with the client with what is left to be done. Agree what's in-scope and out of scope.
    2) agree a schedule for in-scope things, when you can deliver them, payment request will follow these being done
    2) for out of scope, esp. with a client like yours, say you can talk about those things after the current bits are done.
    3) finish in scope things, getting client to accept as things are done, i.e. explain how to make a new page ... explain how to upload an image.

    Or the alternative is to make yourself difficult to contact, but that's not really professional ;)
     
  3. brianbaru

    brianbaru New Member

    Personally I make it a point to never do work for friends and family. "I'm simply to busy but heres a number of a good guy". I don't like doing it but I've lost count of the number of times I've found myself in your position. Whatever you do, finish the job to the best of your ability and take it as a lesson learnt. Have a good solid contract with everyone else.
     
  4. unrealindeed

    unrealindeed Administrator Staff Member

    Explain to her that when you quoted to do the job, you allocated working hours against the project to match the price, and now with the complexity of the updates/changes applied you have gone over the initial timeline and are losing money…you cant be expected to work for free. I tend to do screencasts and email them to client on DVD so they can reference the disc in future as opposed to meeting every time they need to change something and have forgotten. If she doesnt understand...cut your loses! Sounds harsh, but life is short, dont spend it over working on one project!
     
  5. link8r

    link8r New Member

    I feel for you. Like BrianBaru I don't take work with friends or family. Its always difficult.

    You've got two issues at hand here. One is that this person thinks they're buying a product (like a car or a brochure) and they want to pay a product build price, not a service. Services don't come fixed price, they are on a sliding scale according to the work required. If the work required goes beyond the scope, so does the fee. It's simple economics. When people buy products, they don't expect to be charged for the sales service - so you don't pay an extra fee at the checkout or for meeting with the car salesman at the forecourt

    The second issue you have is that because you're a friend of he sons, she's expecting you to do her a favour (which you may have already done). Its a bit like fixing people's PC's but a website doesn't have a definable, absolute, end-of-life point because it's not a product.

    So you're going to have to site down explain the hours and time you've put in. If for example you go €1000 but put in 150 hours - then technically you're paying yourself less than minimum wage (hopefully you won't sue yourself as a result :p)

    The idea of 'fair price' is usually designed to "protect" the business owner from paying something that they think is "too much." It's not based on budget, market prices, reality. It's not factual. It's opinion. You need to address that upfront.

    Like you said, this person isn't just taking advantage, they actually have you investing in their business assets without paying for it... but its also your fault for not explaining what you do at the outset.
     

Share This Page