[thelist] How would you respond to this client

Isaac Forman isaac at members.evolt.org
Tue Jul 18 09:29:37 CDT 2000

> So tell me how you would respond comments like this:

Before I can suggest a response, I would need to know what schedule (ie,
timeframe for each stage of development) you had agreed upon with the client,
why you pursued the job after they refused the contract, and if you asked for
money up front before commencing work. Also, have you lost much money/time on
the job so far? Is it likely to be more painful in the future?

If you want to go sky-diving, I'll bet the operators would ask you to sign
something saying that you can't get shitty at them if something goes wrong. If
you don't sign the form, you don't go sky-diving.

You should get clients to see your services in the same light - if you have a
contract, make them sign in. Don't put up with unreasonable price-bargaining
either. Do you try and talk down the sky-diving gang because you're stingy or
short of cash?

What does a developer get from a project? There are a few possibilities: money,
experience, future work from a good portfolio piece, and future work from a word
of mouth via the client. I've talked about this a few months back on thelist.

For a great project, you'd get the cash, learn some tricks, add to your
portfolio, and you have a happy client telling all their friends.

Now, with this fucker of a client, you struggle to get any cash (I'm doubting
this guy will pay), you'll learn not to put up with this shit again, you
probably won't want his project in your portfolio, and you can guarantee he's
only going to whinge about you to anyone who asks. It's really not worth the

What can you do?

Get out of there, learn a lesson from the situation, and accept that you've lost

Cut the project short, and refuse to hand over your work until he's paid for the
services rendered - in this case, you may lose money/time, but you may get some
cash. If he doesn't hand over cash, but steals your design, hunt him down. If he
doesn't pay, either way you can recycle the design somewhat (if it's worth doing

In either of these cases, he's still going to bitch about you - some clients are
just like that.

Option three? Endure it all. Maybe get some cash (if he pays, which I doubt he
will; you can assume that he'll complain about having to pay the full amount),
put up with hell for a while, and yeh, he's going to bitch about you anyway...

I'd cut it short and find another client to work with. Even when you're starting
out - it's hardly worth working with a client like this one.


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