Me: Looking at my schedule, I think I’ll be able to start by the weekend and have the finished product by the 18th.
Client: That’s great! can you go ahead and write the contract up?
I email the client the contract with a start date on the 1st of the next month and an end date on the 18th. We both sign the contract.
Well before the official start date of the contract:
Me: I was able to get started a little early. If you look at www.domain.com/testing and enter the login information provided at the bottom of this email you’ll see the progress I’ve made.
Client emails back with 87 revisions.
Me: Ok, I’ll those in for you by the next draft.
Before the contract’s start date has come, he sends me this:
Client: I’m going to need all these revisions done by tonight or else I’m finding someone else to do the work. You will not be paid if I need to do this.
Response from a funeral director when I asked when I could expect payment for some graphic design work.
Me: Can I ask why you think I’ve overcharged you?
Client: I paid $100 for five last time. Now you’re charging me $200 for ten. If you’re going to charge me more, you should have let me know.
Client: How can you ask me for another payment? We already sent you a check with the signed contract months ago!
Me: That was the 30% advance payment, as outlined in the contract. The remaining 70% of the payment is now due.
Client: You should have told me that the 30% advance was only a partial amount!
Client: The invoice you’ve sent me is wrong.
Me: Ok, I’m looking at my copy. What’s the problem?
Client: It doesn’t include the payments I’ve made.
Me: I don’t see any record of payment being received here. When did you make the payment and how did you pay?
Client: I wrote a cheque this morning.
Me: That you haven’t posted yet?
Client: Exactly, so why isn’t it on the invoice?
After third round of changes client is happy and approves our new design for their website. We code it and send the URL over for approval before launching.
Client: Hmm. Looks alright. But could you try the logo a bit smaller and in the center?
Me: Sure, like this?
Client: Yeah no, that didn’t look as good as I thought, change it back. And could you try the sidebar in darker purple?
Me: Sure, like this?
Client: Yeah like that! But now the content boxes look a bit bleak. Could you make them stand out more?
And so on, this goes on for about seven rounds of editing (and about seven times I managed to talk them out of something). We get closer and closer to the original until:
Me: Look, you approved the design. Any changes are heaps easier to do in Photoshop than on the actual site with code. What are we doing here?
Client: Oh, sorry. I’m used to working this way. By the way, I talked to our AD and he had some good points. I’ll send them over.
I receive a PowerPoint that’s similar to our first design but requires fresh coding and work. The back and forth occurs five more times
Me: All right. Like that?
Client: Yeah that’s good enough, I guess. But we decided to postpone the launch until after summer so just save it somewhere and we’ll pick this up in August or something. I trust you won’t invoice us since you haven’t delivered anything yet.
I was asked to do a “very simple” and “very small” project for a roofing company - they needed a presentation folder. The project was given to me on a Wednesday evening at around 7 PM. I was told to have it done by Thursday afternoon.
I received a call at around midnight on Wednesday
Client: Where’s the project? We’re running late.
Me: It’s not even Thursday yet.
Client: I just got to China, and it’s already Thursday here. Noon, to be more exact. Which makes you late.
Flustered, I stayed up until 4a to complete it using the criteria they gave: follow the website aesthetic, use the following elements, use the logo from the website (which I had to redraw due to its small size), use the corporate colours, etc.
I then get a call from the client’s mother-in-law, explaining (on behalf of her son), that they don’t like the colour choices, the elements I used, etc. She less-than-politely told me to start over.
Me: I’m afraid we’re already well outside what we agreed on as per our contract, and I would have to charge additional time if you want any more changes.
Client: You’re greedy and a cheat. I want our deposit back.
Me: I’m sorry, but you’ve already breached our contract several times and I’ve been polite enough to ignore the penalties that come with doing so.
Client: I’m in China, there’s nothing you can do.