[thelist] What would you do?

Andy Olsen andyo at tds.net
Fri Jan 5 12:39:10 CST 2001

Sounds like they did an oversell job on their qualifications.

I'd suggest that you should inform your client of the problems on their new 
site. (Not mentioning stuff like FrontPage). You can couch it in terms of 
"due to our long history of collaboration, I thought you should be aware of 
what is happening on your site."

You may want to offer to work with this firm. Seems they (client and other 
firm) don't appreciate the challenges of web site design. Offer to work 

You can also offer to work with the other firm. My experience, though, in a 
similar situation is that they may not be cooperative. So, it can get 
stressful and political. If you do work with them, set up some ground rules 
up front: they deliver graphic files in a format you specify.  You will 
have to CYA every step of the way, if you get the work back.

Put your concerns out front with the client. Maybe the initial discussion 
should be over lunch or coffee. You need to find a way to address every one 
of the clients needs while still helping them get the best possible 
service. Make the client happy. Be a peacemaker and offer to work with this 

At 11:36 AM 1/5/01, you wrote:
>Hey evolters --
>We recently lost a client who's site we had been doing for four years. The 
>site was fairly extensive and we never had any major problems with it. The 
>reason we lost the account was that the company they went to also has 
>in-house production facilities to do their TV commercials, CD-ROM 
>duplication, etc. that we don't have. The client swears to me that was the 
>difference, and that they've always been happy with our work, yada, yada, yada.
>They launched the new version of their site a couple days ago, and to put 
>it mildly this company it sucks. There are amateurish mistakes throughout 
>the site, a few "lowlights":
>1) The pages have no background color defined so they have gray 
>backgrounds in Netscape and white in IE, so the graphics which were 
>designed for a white background don't look right.
>2) Two of the links in their main navigation menu give 404 errors, because 
>they have capitalized the .html extensions which should be lowercase.
>3) They have a poll which uses a poll script downloaded from 
>cgiresource.com which is incorrectly configured and doesn't work.
>4) They have overused Flash for all their headers and navigation. When I 
>open their mainpage, which has four frames (header, left nav, right nav 
>and body) in IE 5.0 on a Mac, a second window opens which tries to load 
>the header frame. When I open it in IE 5.5 on a PC I get a dialog asking 
>me if I want to install Flash 5 (which is already on the machine) and if I 
>say no it keeps opening again and again until I say yes. When I say yes it 
>then tells me it's already installed.
>This site was obviously only tested in one browser (if any). Clue #1 the 
>new company doesn't know what it's doing, quoted from their homepage:
>      <meta name="GENERATOR" content="Microsoft FrontPage 4.0">
>Their new company has already pissed me off. I got a phone message from 
>someone at that company on December 28, when I was on vacation, and called 
>them back from my cell phone about a half-hour later. They wanted the 
>username and password for the server the site we had done was on, 
>basically so they could steal a bunch of custom scripts we had written. I 
>explained to the guy that the clients contract explictly said that we 
>owned the scripts and that we granted them permission to use them as long 
>as we were doing the site. He said OK.
>Two days later I got a message from my former client asking me why I had 
>not returned any of the five messages this company had left me. I called 
>him back and told him (truthfully) that I was on vacation, I got one 
>message and returned it, just like I did when I got a message from him. I 
>think the new company was worried about missing their launch deadline and 
>was trying to use us as an excuse. In spite of this when they did launch 
>the site they had one form hard-coded to use the script on my server. I 
>removed the script when I saw this, but they haven't figured that out yet, 
>since submitting their form now gives a 404 error for my script :^) .
>So my question is (yes, I do have a question), how should I approach this 
>with my former client? Should I tell him about the problems? Assume that 
>he knows they are there? Will anything I say to him just sound like sour 
>grapes? I couldn't give a crap about the other company, which BTW is much 
>bigger then mine, but I would like to keep a good relationship with the 
>client because I think that might be looking for a new web design company 
>in the future :^) .
>Any input is welcome and appreciated. Thanks.
>For unsubscribe and other options, including
>the Tip Harvester and archive of TheList go to:
>http://lists.evolt.org Workers of the Web, evolt !

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