Me: Alright, the translation will be 220 Euro.
Client: Ok, 200 Euro.
Me: No, 220 Euro.
Client: Oh I know, I’m not trying to bring your price down. I’m just looking at the bigger picture.
Client: I’ll fax you a copy of the cheque.
Me: Great. I’ll fax you a copy of the goods.
As I do with all of my clients, I was upfront about my rates and that tasks and time outside of my initial estimate are charged at that same rate.
Client: Can you do this task for me?
Me: Sure, that’ll take about five hours.
Client: Great, go at it then.
Me: Here you are. It only took me three hours.
Client: That’s great, I have this other requirement, can you change that?
Me: Sure, that’ll take about two hours.
Client: Great, that works.
Me: Here you are, it only took me an hour and a half.
Client: Ah, we also need this other change…
Me: No problem, that should take another two hours.
Me: Here you are, took me two hours and thirty minutes.
Client: Great, that’s exactly what I need.
I send the client my invoice.
Client: Uh, I’m surprised by this invoice. It’s for seven hours. This is not what we agreed upon in the initial estimate.
Me: You asked for those additional changes…
Client: Yeah, but I can’t pay you that much. Can we maybe talk about your rates?
Me: Sorry, no, I stated my rates upfront and I don’t give discounts.
Client: You’re making this difficult for me. I’ll tell you what, I pay you 60%* of what you want to bill me and we call it quits, deal?
Me: No deal. You pay me for the time I worked at the rate I quoted. End of story.
Client: We’re at an impasse here…
Me: I’m sorry to have to decline further negotiations and work for you, other obligations from paying clients have popped up. Please pay the invoice at your convenience. Once it’s paid in full, I’ll send you the work I did for you.
Client: But I need this work, can’t you send it to me now?
Client: You have high rates, you know.
Client: I won’t pay you what you asked, this is outrageous.
Client: Please send me the work.
*Editor’s Note: 60% of that invoice is even less than what was originally quoted.
Client: I think it would save us both a lot of time and effort if I got the final files now and you just trusted me when I said the check for the full $500 was on its way.
Me: I quoted $1000.
Client: See, this is the sort of issue I didn’t want the project to get hung up on.
Client: I’ve browsed through your online portfolio and hated everything your done. So can you build me a website?
Me: Uh, I don’t think I’m the right person for the job. Why would you want to hire me if you don’t like my portfolio?
Client: Well, I expect a discount since I’m a hard sale.
Client: We would like you to make a brochure insert for our DVD.
Me: Sure. What colours, font, pictures and written content would you like?
Client: We don’t know. We’d just like it to be professional-looking. Just do what you think looks good.
Me: Sure thing.
After doing research on their business, I created a brochure based on the colours and fonts that they use on their website, as well as sourcing pictures from the DVD for the brochure.
Client: Thanks for your effort, but we’d like to make some changes. We’d like the font to be plain Arial, remove the colours to just black and white, and remove all the pictures. We think they’re too distracting.
Me: I wouldn’t recommend that. You need at least some colour or pictures, otherwise it’ll be boring and flat.
Client: Just remove them, please. And we’d like a copy so that we can show our CEO for approval.
Me: *shrug* Sure.
After several days of waiting for final client approval, I finally hear back from them.
Client: After much deliberation, we’ve decided that we no longer require the brochure. And we’d like to add that we are very disappointed in your design services, and we’d like a refund on our deposit.
Me: Oh, why is that?
Client: We found the brochure too boring and unprofessional. I mean, there aren’t even any colours.
A client emailed me wanting corporate photo headshots. I sent back a quote.
Client: I have never come across a photographer that charges a fee - as generally they want to use the photos for a magazine, portfolio, etc. Do you not submit the photos for publication? Or are you not a professional?