About 5 years ago, I was working on a design for a client who had previously told me that it needed to be finished by the end of March. The week before the end of February, I got food poisoning, and called him, telling him that I’d be taking a few days off to recover. This was his response.
Client: Well that won’t do! You need to have this done by next week at the very latest!
Me: Pardon? You said this needed to be done by March.
Client: You must have misheard me, I said this needed to be done by the end of February.
He sent me the details about the deadline in an email, so at this point, I was scrambling to open it up
Me: No, it clearly says here that the deadline is March 27th, and the contract you signed stipulated you would be paying me for two months of work.
Client: Well I never agreed to that! Whatever, you lied in the contract so I’m not paying you.
At this point, I hung up and contacted a lawyer. After I completed the design and received no pay whatsoever, I threatened to sue, and only then did my client pay.
As it turns out, the client had gotten his deadlines mixed up, and only bothered to check a week before the work was due. Why you wouldn’t confirm a deadline when SIGNING A LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT is beyond me.