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What are your steps for difficult clients?


#1
So I'm having a difficulty with a client who pushes timescales and ignoring requests for payment.

Just wanted to know what other people's procedures are for these things? Has it ever gotten to the Small Claims stage?
 
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Sean Lee-Amies

Guest
#2
Some times its just the case that you can't change the client so its best to discover if that's the case early on rather than wasting your time. You have to have respect in the working relationship or you're always going to run into issues, but it's hard to judge what's really going on with such a limited amount of information.
Can you go into a bit more detail about the issue? How many payments and how long have each been unpaid for? Any other issues you have with them, or think they might have with you?
 
#3
We started a site back in March, an eCommerce site to expire his eBay account. Everything was going well, up until around June, and then I didn't hear anything. So I sent an email at the beginning of August, just finding out what had happened as he seemed to drop of the radar.
He said eBay had messed him around, and he's having to change lots of things with his products on there. He said he'd have the remaining products over to me after about 3 weeks. By this point his site is already done and working, it just needs to have some products added (around £100 worth). I said that should be fine, but I'm aware this is taking much longer than we initially anticipated.
Anyway, didn't hear anything back, so yesterday I emailed the guy and said it's now been over 5 weeks and I haven't heard anything and haven't received anything at all. I said that we could do to move forward with this and to get in touch.
He sent an email today saying he's still having issues with eBay, and he's got so much to do with that he doesn't have time to send me images and descriptions of his products (that's all I want!). He said - and I quote:
​"With this in mind I think it will be sensible to continue with the Eden Envelopes listings at the start of December, this is the quietest month so it should be easy to kick start things."
Also, that would be a good time for a launch in the New Year! Ha! We've been on this site since March.
Any ideas? Other than a wet fish to his head?
 
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Sean Lee-Amies

Guest
#4
I'm wondering how these delays are affecting your payment. What arrangements have you got, is he paying you hourly/weekly or is it a fixed price for the project? Problem is that the project has taken so long already, in their mind a couple more months doesn't really mean anything, especially if you haven't tried or haven't been successful in getting them to hurry up and respect the fact that projects can't just go on forever.
What he means with eBay messing him around, I believe, is probably the new selling rules, which they do on occasion just to annoy everyone, which they don't supply the tools to change products en masse, that I'm aware of so he is probably inundated with work if he has anything more than a few hundred item listings!
Before recommending any course of action, I'd like to know how the finances of the project have been dealt with, in addition to my first question. Was a deposit asked for, has it been paid? Are you waiting on any money now, how long have you been waiting? What, if any, comments have they made in regards to payment that is causing frustration?
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
#5
I'd be pretty simple then. I'm happy to wait until you're ready to complete this project but I will require payment for completed work up to this point, if you're still waiting on money. Give 30 days to pay and remind him of the terms and conditions that he signed up to :)
 
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Sean Lee-Amies

Guest
#11
scotty said:
I'll be in my tailer if anyone wants me. Hmfff! SLAM!
Think you missed an r in there somewhere, you must have been stuffing your face with cake to have noticed! Perhaps your R key is hidden under a pasty? Oh and was that the door slamming, or the trailer collapsing through the axles under the immense weight? :p
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
#12
Sorry Sean. A typo.
I meant to say "I'll be in my tailors" being fitted for a lovely new gaberdine suit.
To be expected for a sleek, trim gentleman designer like myself.
 
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Sean Lee-Amies

Guest
#13
Ahahahaha, that's awesome.
P.S. We can resume the original discussion when Jonna answers the questions :D
 
#18
Lol well that went slightly off topic :s
Ok, so I always take an initial deposit up front - 50% of the total cost. So currently outstanding is 50% remaining. He had agreed to pay some extra money for responsiveness of the website, but that hasn't been contractually agreed and no work has been carried out, so I'm not bothered about that at the moment. But as it's worth a bit of money I'm being careful not to rile the guy up too much as I don't want to lose that cost.
He's basically saying he doesn't have the time to invest in sending some images and text right now, because of the eBay issue, and therefore needs to delay. When I've mentioned payment of work to date, he's not directly responded to that. So he's not said he won't pay, but rather just ignored the topic altogether.
There's essentially £100 worth of work yet to do to complete the project, which is an addition of some products to the site he's had built. So all the work building the site and designing it and configuring it has been done, which is why I'm a bit p****d that he's putting it off.
What I've advised is to pay for the work up to now, and if he wants to come back in December for the addition of the other products, even if he doesn't want to launch the site now, he can do that and pay for it at the time. Not a problem.
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
#19
From what you're saying it does sound a little like he's stalling due to 'lack of funds' to me.... hopefully that isn't the case