Over the past couple of months, I have printed labels for a client’s farmer’s market product. Each time they order they don’t give me enough notice and argue over the rush fee.
Last week they sent me an e-mail at 7 PM, asking for another batch of labels to be ready the next day and to be put in the mail first thing in the morning.
Me: I’ll be glad to do this for you, but it will be a rush order. That will cost extra.
Client: Why do you keep charging me extra? I’m a repeat customer. All I want is my labels the next day and guaranteed shipping to my door by Saturday.
Me: We’ve been over this multiple times. It costs extra to ship Express or Priority to your state. It also takes two days minimum without rushing to print and prepare your labels. I’ll need to stay up late tonight and work overtime to get it in the mail at all tomorrow.
Client: I’m a small startup. I can’t afford such huge rush costs.
Me: Say you’re at home eating dinner, and I message you to print labels for the next day. Then you have to drive 20 miles one way back to the design studio, which you only just got home from, and spend 4 hours working. You need to arrange for someone to look after your kid in that time, and because you’re working until after midnight you wind up on a sleep deficit for the rest of the week. Do you really expect me to do all of that for you just for free without additional cost?
They finally responded with two words:
Client: I understand.
They then proceeded to agree to the payment terms for their rush order.
I’d say this had a happy ending, but I’ve had clients conveniently “forget” lessons like this before. Let’s hope the lecture sticks.