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Thread: Uncooperative Clients

  1. #11
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    When clients avoid wrapping up the project (and PAYING) I escalate quickly.

    I'd send him a certified latter stating that if he has not provided feedback within 2 weeks, you will consider the project to be complete and accepted as-is, and invoice him.

    Then do so.

    You probably have not discussed terms. I don't know where you are located; in many states the default is net 30. So you may have to wait that long to see if he actually pays you. If not, you have no reason to extend a grace period. Once he's past-due, let him know that if he doesn't pay in 2 days, you'll file a small claims suit. And again, this is something you should be prepared to do. I find that a court subpoena has a marvelous way of shaking loose payments.

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  3. #12
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    Sorry for the delay in responding! I didn't realize there was a new reply.

    To update everyone, after 34 days of repeatedly trying to make contact (5 phone calls, 7 emails, 1 letter), I invoiced my client for 90% of the agreed estimate (10% undone for any remaining changes to be made) with the understanding that the additional 10% would be due immediately upon completion of the website. No sooner did I hit send than my client replied back saying he would pay the invoice immediately, and would be getting with me soon to discuss completion. I received the check within 7 days, and haven't heard from him again since.

    That 10% is still worth one or two Green Benjamin's, but I am not concerned about collecting it. However, should he contact me to do the remainder, I'll do it and then release him as a client via certified letter. I don't want to do business with anyone who has that much trouble with communication. It's just not worth my time.

  4. #13
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    i don't see a reason why you can not call him - if he doesn't respond to your emails and etc. You did a job and there are a few options only - either he pays and moves along with his website, either he asks you for some changes that he wants to see. That's it, ask him those things when you call and everything will be clear. Do not wait until he will forget about you at all.

  5. #14
    Junior Member momtrck's Avatar
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    If you aren't willing to make the changes he requests when he sends them to you in .....9 months.....2 years....or later I suggest you send him a letter, email and call with an expiration date clearly explained. Or this thing will hang over your head for a long time. I speak from experience. I learned to make my Proposals good for only 30 days when a client came back 1 1/2 year later wanting to start the website and requested a Contract. Whoa, my prices had changed and I didn't want to work them anyway so I explained the situation and although he wasn't happy it wasn't my job to worry about his happiness. This is business. Every client teaches us something.....

  6. #15
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    momtrck,

    He paid the 90% I invoiced him for. I told him when he was ready to continue, I would require 1/2 of the remaining 10%, and then 1/2 due within 24 hours of go-live. He said he'd contact me when he was ready to go forward with completion.

    At this point, I'm not concerned about it. Whether he does come back or he doesn't, whatever.. don't really care anymore. Should be come back and want it done, I'll do it. However, he's already 4 months into his 1 year registration/hosting, so the next contact I initiate will be to let him know his site is about to expire. When that happens, I'll contact him 30 days out from that date and give him a 15 day deadline to respond. If no response, the website dies and he's out of luck, the end.

    In the end, he'll receive a certified letter that I won't be conducting any business with him in the future. REALLY looking forward to sending that letter

  7. #16
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    I know that you're looking forward to telling the client to go to a place that is very warm and toasty and will be so for the rest of eternity, but you may wish to think a little longer and harder before you do so. I've been where you are and I've done something very similar in the past to what you wanted to do...except that I never sent a certified letter, since an email would suffice.

    Here's what everyone thinks happens:

    1) Prepare letter with just a touch of snark to convey the overall message of "you pissed me off, you wasted my time, and now you're not going to do it any more."

    2) Send letter.

    3) Customer realizes what a horrible mistake (s)he's made, feels a great sense of personal shame, and will never call or bother you again. You have now won the battle with the annoying, slow, headachey customer who has taken your time away from others. Celebrate your superiority and your victory in whatever manner you see fit.

    Here's what really happens.

    1) Prepare letter with just a touch of snark to convey the overall message of "you pissed me off, you wasted my time, and now you're not going to do it any more."

    2) Send letter.

    3) Customer reveals sociopathic narcissist side of his/her personality that you had either not previously seen or chose to ignore since customer never directly targeted you with any irrational outbursts or condescending remarks. Customer proceeds to harass you by email and/or telephone for several days on end in order to show you what a horrible mistake you've made by no longer doing business with said customer, explaining in several different ways the imminent doom you will now face because of your refusal to service said customer.

    HINT TO ALL DESIGNERS/DEVELOPERS: this is where a VoIP line with some form of call treatment is of particular value, as you will be forced to assign special treatment to any and all of the numbers your customer will call you from. Primus TalkBroadband offers such a service in Canada; not sure about anywhere else in the world.

    4) Customer will contact other customers to let them know what a horrible, awful person you are and how you've destroyed your other customers' businesses and how they're all going to sink in six months if they keep retaining you. Yes, this really happened to me.

    5) Customer may attempt to receive a refund for services rendered, especially if said customer paid via PayPal or credit card. Fortunately, I waited two months to send the letter, so in my case the time to request a refund had expired.

    6) Customer may post negative reviews of you online. Fortunately in my case, they were pretty easy to find and get removed...it also helped that the client used the "F" word in every review. Review sites don't like that.

    7) Customer may solicit an attorney. Fortunately in my case, the customer solicited an attorney that specialized in will preparation and was out of his depth in terms of contract law.

    8) You will undergo significant misery in the process of getting rid of your client. In prison terms, this is known as an "exit tax", and it can be very steep.

    In other words, be prepared for hell.
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