I was project managing a website build for an educational company. The website came after a yearlong “brand refresh” project. We did three separate photoshoots, two video shoots, and created a ton of new collateral.
They also took eight months to finalize and send me the content for the new website, so our original timeline was absolutely blown out of the water, which they were not happy about, of course. How dare the timeline shift when they don’t meet their deadlines, right?
At long last, after an arduous design and revision process, I send the development link over for final QA. Bear in mind, they had seen the development site before. Many, many times.
Client: This won’t work.
Me: What won’t work?
Client: Any of it.
Me: I beg your pardon?
Client: I guess the design is nice. But the images absolutely don’t work.
Me: Every single one of these images was vetted and approved by your team. We held multiple photoshoots with paid talent to get these very specific images, images that you insisted we needed to take ourselves because you didn’t want to use stock.
Client: They don’t work. I never approved them. And the copy on the website doesn’t work either. It will need to be completely rewritten.
Me: Completely rewritten? It took you almost an entire year to finish it.
Client: I’ve never seen a single word of this copy in my entire life.
By this point, I’m about to quit my job, but I don’t for the sake of my poor coworkers who would have to deal with the aftermath. Instead, I dig through the hundreds of copy docs and pull out several that include her comments in the margins, which is proof that she had, indeed, seen the copy. I send those to her.
In the end, we had to do another photoshoot, and she took another three months to “rewrite” the copy, where she changed adjectives and a few sentences here and there but essentially kept everything the same.
The day after launch, I get an email.
Client: I will not be paying this “change order” invoice that you sent to me. This website was supposed to launch over six months ago and you did not deliver it until yesterday. In fact, I was going to reach out about a partial refund.