[thelist] Billing for Site Building

AJ Dalton a_j_dalton at hotmail.com
Tue Apr 2 17:07:00 CST 2002

Q:  How do you remind your customers that there is a bill
to pay, . . . in a nice manner?

A:  Generally, the advice here is right.  A contract (verbal or written)
must contain 'quid pro quo' terms of some sort (something for something, an
exchange).  Often, this is money or goods exchanged for some work.  Without
some conversation to the effect of:  I'll do 'this' for you if you do 'that'
for me, well ... it's likely to be considered a volunteer effort, a favor by
the other person.

If you haven't delivered the product, briefly hold off on doing so.  Then,
go in and say that:  "... it's ready to go, but I guess we didn't finalize
anything on money on this, did we?  I'd like to be fair to both of us for
this.  I've spent 'x-hours' on it and spent $x for ___.  Generally, the
going rate for this work is $x/hour.  So, that would total up to $x.  Does
this sound fair to you?"  If it doesn't, ask what they think would be fair.
Try to negotiate and/or split the difference with them.  If you haven't
delivered the product and they maintain that they thought you were doing it
as a favor or for experience, you'll have to decide if you want to give it
to them or not.  That's a PR / Human Relations thing.

For the future, get a 'quid pro quo' of some sort.

Let us know how it comes out.


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