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How do you know if a customer is a bad one?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum:' started by robsteele, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. robsteele

    robsteele Member

    I have taken on a project for client which is, website, logo, flyer, advert.
    Now it all started off ok, we met went through everything and discussed terms/costs. All was agreed i was sent on my way to start the logo design first before moving onto the advert and flyer. Logo was around 20 proofs, many many revisions only to go back to the original. I was starting to get worried about the website and flyer due to the client changing their mind. Advert took couple of weeks and i was starting to pull my hair out, the client was calling me constantly and starting to change the logo again and advert many times. On day of press for advert he decided to change the images, the ones he sent me was low res.

    So i decided to bail out which is not my usual way of working, told client this isn't working and i cannot work with a client who cannot make up their mind what they want and desides to change the design when all was agreed, the website cost wouldn't have come anywhere near the time i would have spent on it.
    Have you guys had some bad experince with clients and what are the tail tail signs?
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2013
  2. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    I've yet to have a truly bad client. I find asking them to read and sign a contract/agree to terms before hand, as well as taking a deposit, helps to keep the troublesome tyre-kickers away.
  3. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    I agree with Paul, in my experience they tend to be the ones that don't want to pay a deposit or anything up front, steer clear of these people.

    ARRIVALS Well-Known Member

    Agree with the guys above. If they're not keen to sign a contract or pay a deposit they're obviously not that serious about their business and generally tend to end up being nightmare clients.

    If they do agree to sign one and pay a deposit it's a good start, but make sure you've stated in the agreement what they're getting for their money I.E, 3 logo variations and 2 sets of logo amendments, because things can still take an age to sign off otherwise.
  5. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    Bad clients are often the result of bad client management, I'm afraid; if expectations (on both sides of the equation) aren't properly established at the outset the goalposts might as well be on wheels. In this case, as has been said, you've failed to set out exactly what you're prepared to accommodate in terms of revisions, supply of content/ideas/etc. and the result is someone who fails to appreciate the unreasonable, unsustainable nature of endless umming and ahhing.

    In short, always assume that new clients have the potential to become difficult and head it off by being clear about what they can expect, what you expect in return and the fact that deviation from any agreement will result in additional work at an hourly rate (this last point, in my experience, is key in focusing people's mind on the task at hand).
  6. Edge

    Edge Active Member

    On the nail.
  7. robsteele

    robsteele Member

    Thx for comments really helps, not had too many bad ones but they come along occasionally, i do ask for deposits normally 50%.
    I take on board the comment about bad client management from Dave i do think i could have handled the client better really learn from past experiences.
  8. Minuteman Press

    Minuteman Press Moderator

    Up front payment for new clients does help filter. Also - 'I had problems with my previous designers' - clarification of which is seldom forthcoming.
  9. Edge

    Edge Active Member

    can often really be 'My previous designers had problems with me' :icon_smile:

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