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Clients From Hell


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#1 sanity

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 06:02 PM

I'm currently dealing with some clients that quite frankly I want to <beep>. :mad: They're rude, demanding and totally unreasonable. Unfortunately I'm in the middle of the job and walking away from it is not an option. Once it's finished I won't take on any more work from them but until then I'm having to grin and bear it.

I'm sure many others have experienced this. How do you handle it?

#2 BillSlawski

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 06:07 PM

OH! We had some clients who were the answers to our prayers. At least they were in the beginning. They kept us busy, and we worked with them to resell our services.

They expected a lot, though. And as time passed, they expected more and more and more while wanting to pay less and less and less.

We kept this going for a couple of years, and finally we just had to let them know that we couldn't do certain things for them for free anymore, and that we had new higher prices for other services.

They've found other folks to work with.

#3 dragonlady7

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 06:22 PM

>They've found other folks to work with.

Poor, poor other folks...

#4 cre8pc

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 06:26 PM

There are times when I learn best from a client from hell :wink:

One owner of a company had me redesign and rebuild his website. The Vice President of his company told me the job was worth the $5000 quote I put in, but the President/Owner refused to pay that much. Instead he paid me a grand total of $2000, which amounted to a little more than $20/hr BEFORE TAXES, for the design, SEO, graphics, JavaScript, planning and HTML.

He gave new meaning to the word "a**l". It seemed like everything was redone, down to shades of color to spacing of sentences. But, the severe attention to detail helped develop my eye and prepared me for later projects (by companies that paid better.) I later learned that VP quit in digust over how I was treated. Turns out the President found out I was a single mom and felt I should be paid less because of that!!!!!

More recently, I lost a website maintenance client because Yahoo! charged her the $300 renewal. She didn't want it and didn't notify them in time. She said it was my responsibility to do it for her. When I didn't, she fired me.

Kim

#5 BillSlawski

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 06:27 PM

One man's client from hell can be another's godsend...

Just depends upon your perspective I think.

Anyone else?

#6 sanity

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 06:30 PM

They've found other folks to work with.

It's funny isn't it - there's always someone willing to take on the duds.

In my experience the best clients are always the ones where you're a team. They don't always realise you're chooing them as much as they are choosing you. A good thing to remember Bridget as you start off - always make sure that you feel comfortable with the prospect. If it doesn't feel right it often isn't and can become a huge pain down the track. Walking away isn't always easy, especially when you have bills to pay, but I've never regretted doing it.

#7 BillSlawski

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 06:45 PM

the best clients are always the ones where you're a team


It makes the workday so much better when you're comfortable around the people you work with.

If you can communicate ideas, and pose alternatives to suggestions that they make, and they listen while you explain why, it's a great situation.

Kim's example. :shock: It really makes you wonder. But, trouble, adversity, and challenges like that are the things that build characters, er.. character. As painful as it might be, we need experiences like that every so often...

#8 Guest_Lots0_*

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Posted 17 October 2003 - 12:55 AM

As some of know I can be rather gruff at times, So my experience may be little different than yours. :wink:

I am considered by my clients as the "SEO from Hell", I am demanding, rude, I don't suffer fools well and I am way over paid (according to them). But as long as I get results, they continue writting checks and they keep their mouths shut and do as I tell them. And you can bet your bottom dollar that the second I stop getting results is the same second my clients tell me to hit the road...

To be honest I would not have it any other way... :twisted:


Turns out the President found out I was a single mom and felt I should be paid less because of that!!!!!

That SOB should be horse whipped!!!

#9 Black_Knight

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Posted 17 October 2003 - 02:06 AM

Happens to us all. Even those of us who pick and choose their prospective clients carefully. There's an element of human nature to 'try it on', to push the boundaries and test them. If you give a little, you are showing that there is leeway, and starting an endless haggling process. Never budge on anything you don't want to be haggling over endlessly from that moment on.

The more you give, the harder they'll push just to see how much more they can get. Its the flip-side of the same challenging nature that makes humans accomplish things against the odds. Except in this case, you are the odds. :twisted:

People will try to get everything for nothing. Accept that as fact, and be proud enough of the value you offer to be absolutely unyeilding on price and quality. Their time to shop around for a cheaper provider ended when the contract begun. Let them know that in no uncertain terms.

I'm about to ditch one of my clients, one who has been quite an enjoyable project overall actually, because they continually need chasing up over invoices, and they always haggle over details. Twice they attempted to twist contractual terms around (unsuccessfully) and I don't tolerate that. It does make a difference that I have plenty more clients waiting though.

Ditching a client is a sign that things went wrong though. Standing firm can usually prevent that from happening. They will try it on. Expect it. You shouldn't budge, and they are probably expecting that, no matter how hard they try to beat the odds on you working more for less. :D

#10 sanity

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 03:50 PM

Ammon as usual you're a voice of wisdom. Thank you. :lol:

Lots0 I don't think you're half as gruff as you make out but don't worry your secret's safe wih me. :wink:

Well as an update, the clients from hell are still, well hellish. :( Am almost finished the job and I'm outta there. I won't be taking on any future work.

#11 Guest_Lots0_*

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 06:19 PM

Lots0 I don't think you're half as gruff as you make out but don't worry your secret's safe wih me.

LOL ... Ok, but don't tell abody else, you'll ruin my rep. :wink:

#12 dragonlady7

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 08:18 AM

What if you're a full-time employee of the clients from hell?

#13 yellowwing

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 10:10 AM

These types of clients are learning experiences. Where did I go wrong, where was I unclear, why is this personality type getting me bent out of shape?

We've all handle dozens upon dozens of sites and clients. But that is nothing compared to the neighbourhood florist or jeweller that's been in business for 30 years! :shock:

Being an entreprenuar is being able to do fun things in a universe where anything possible!

#14 tosheroon

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 11:47 AM

We once had some clients who were setting up a buddhist retreat on Corfu they wanted the site in English and Greek and some pages in sanskrit (now thats fun to code we cheated and used jpgs in the end) but the worst was they wanted us to promise to refrain from eating meat for the duration of our work on the site. Thank god I'm a tele-worker and they couldn't smell the peperoni pizza via email and phone my partner was much less lucky he lives there and had to eat with them every evening.
Still it was well paid while it lasted. Eventually they found a co-religionist to take over the administration, I waited until he was sure he had all the files archived then deleted the site from our servers.
It turned out he had copied the text directly from the site, when he pasted all those greek letters into his note book of course it came out garbage.
Fortunately this old carnivore had secreted a copy on a cd and 6 weeks later when he finally gave up praying for salvation ignored his embarassment and asked, I could pass the code itself on to him.
Now that what I call good karma.

#15 loki

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 04:44 AM

i usually get pretty wound up about issues or disagreements with clients until i sit down and analyse what went wrong.

i usually see that if i had handled things differently, i/we could have avoided the problem.

as much as i love my job, this sector and being freelance, the most interesting part for me is learning how to deal with different people.

i guess that when i was starting out i took more time to read the signs. as soon as i forget this and get too busy with 'work', i tend to have more hiccups.

it's too easy to blame the client from hell and not look at the other 50% of the relationship.

but there was this one jerk who...

;-)

#16 James

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 08:10 AM

I have been very fortunate in having most clients aware of the scope of the Site-Reports that we produce. Sometimes, I have offered a freebie Summary Site-Report to give an idea of the high-quality of our product. I don't mind spending an hour or so producing these if there's a good chance of a follow-on. Fortunately, this works more often than not. It also means that those potential clients have a report with Site-Report written all over it, a very good reminder of the quality of our services.

However, things don't always go as smoothly. Ammon and I visitied a ecommerce solution provide in Mayfair who wanted information on how to make their solution search engine friendlly. After giving them information regarding the solution and a quote for further work, we heard nothing and still to date have heard nothing. No responses to emails asking how things are going. Having said that, their clients are very unhappy with them too as they've not managed to resolve the search engine unfriendliness of their product. Maybe they should have agreed to work with us after all.



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