I have a standing agreement with client who is also a former employer of mine. I’ll refer to her as the PM. We’ve been primarily working through a small group of companies under the same parent, providing each with a small brochure website. This is the PM’s client and I subcontract under her. I’ll refer to this party as the client.
The most recent request to take the last website we did together and duplicate it, changing only the colours and main logo. Simple enough, but since there’s all new content so it’s not a straight duplication. I provided a quote under these parameters, which was substantially lower than the original build, and the PM agreed. She later sent word that the client also agreed.
An email chain was started to kick off the project that included myself, the PM, and the client. It this message, the PM outlined the scope of work to the client, committing me to items well beyond the original quote. Furthermore, she included the billing information which was much higher than the cut she usually takes, and requested half payment up front, which is customary.
This alone wouldn’t be enough for me to take issue. At the end of the day, she manages the client relationship and has her own set of marketing services. However, when I spoke with her directly about the change in scope and the price it would entail, she actually lied to me about her cut and tried to get me to do it without an increase. She obviously forgot that she had included the billing information at the bottom of the email she included me on.
The project has been stalled for a month now. I’m unaware of any discussion happening between the PM and the client regarding the change in scope. The latest commitment made on my behalf by the PM without any prior discussion with me was for the project to be completed a week from now.
I believe the PM enlisted me to duplicate a previous project and sold the client on a new build and now she doesn’t know how to fix it.
The moral of the story is to always have a contract and never work with former employers at preferred rates. There’s an old power dynamic here that’s very difficult to shake.