Me: We received the manuscript you asked us to edit and rather than the 200 pages we quoted, this is nearly 500. Would you like us to revise the quote for the expanded scope of work?
Client: What? No, just edit 200 pages like we agreed.
Me: Which 200? Just the first 200?
Client: No, read all of them and pick the best 200, and then just edit those ones.
Me: Reading through all of this vastly increases the number of man-hours required to complete the project, and picking out “the good ones” requires editorial input, all of which requires compensation.
Client: But if you’re not editing every little thing, it doesn’t count, right? Right. So I shouldn’t be charged anything extra.
Me: So let me see if I’ve got this – you’d like to double the workload but pay the halved rate.
Client: Now you’ve got it. Glad you’re being so understanding about this. Oh, and you’re still making the deadline, right?
We picked 200 pages at random and didn’t bother wasting time reading the rest. The client seemed pleased enough and didn’t notice, so at least everybody goes home happy. We’ll have to include stipulations in further contracts about automatic scaling based on hours worked.