Questions

Dealing with an upset customer

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Dealing with an upset customer

kgunnIT
What do you do when a client tells you the work you did should take only x hours and that's what they are paying you for, when in fact, it did take x hours, plus the other hours spent playing with layouts and ideas with the client.

I have a client that tells me the work I did is only an hour worth of work and that's what she is paying for, and not the 2 hours I spent at her house in front of the computer going over changes that she wanted made, going through pictures with her, etc. She does not want to move forward with the work we discussed. Is it not far to invoice her for all of my time, whether the work is complete or not?
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    ---TK---

    to the geek squad if she doesn't like it... The way I price things is per job, not per hour (to avoid things like this). Finish the project and collect or stop right now, and cut your losses.

    If she can estimate how long it "Should" take then why didn't she do it her self...

    Added: always learn from your mistakes!!

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    KSoniat

    If you agreed to an hourly charge you should be paid for your time each hour spent doing client's work. It sounds like she just wants to pay you for the "programming", not the design and discussion time.

    It is her decision not to move forward - you spent your time you should be paid.

    I like the per job recommendation - but you have to be able to judge depth and breadth of project up front.

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    cmiller5400

    If you worked with her for X number of hours that is what you should be paid for, if you negotiated an hourly rate.

    I always tell my clients that I am paid hourly and that it is $XX per hour.

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    mjd420nova

    I use two different approaches and they are not an issue I have to deal with. The saleman either designates a job to be done at a fixed rate or an hourly rate. If a job is on a fixed cost per job and it runs over the time normally allowed to do a job, the saleman has to negotiate with the customer any increases or it comes out of his budget accounts. With an hourly rate application, I stay until the customer is happy and the job is done or they decide to end the call before the job is done, it's up to the customer. Our rates are spelled out as a site charge and one hour minimum and additional hours at a fixed rate. Any parts used are at cost plus a fixed percentage markup that may vary depending on the rarity of said parts or need for increased charges to impliment a kit of replacement parts and not just one individual part.

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    OldER Mycroft

    Then just REMOVE it.

    Oddly, most of 'em wanted it put back in and agreed to pay up front for the privilege.

    Do you have any copies of old implementation code from before the changes? Give them what they've paid for! :)

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    kgunnIT

    Lesson learned: Have written contract, even if working for an honest, trustworthy individual. And, invoice client for all time regardless of what goes on in the phone conversation.

    Over the phone, the client told me she wanted to stop all work and was going to pay me for what she thought I had done. I sent her an invoice for ALL of my work and a description of what I spent doing each day. A few days later, I received a check and balance was paid in full. Next time, a contract and if a large project, I will require a percentage of the estimate paid upfront before any work is done.

    In the future I think I might keep a copy of the original work if doing a website. If the client does not pay, just upload the old, original files, and count my time as a loss, but client doesn't get any free work out of it either. Then, when, or if, they do pay, I can re-upload the new files and they can have their new site again.

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    KSoniat

    We've all learned something - but thanks to your sharing we don't have to go through the heartache ourselves.

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    jake

    you have to have a policy in place that states whether or not you charge for "consulting time". If you are going to charge the customer for the time spent on developing solutions is completely your discretion. My company does not charge for this time because the work typically makes up for the time spent developing solutions.

  • +
    0 Votes
    ---TK---

    to the geek squad if she doesn't like it... The way I price things is per job, not per hour (to avoid things like this). Finish the project and collect or stop right now, and cut your losses.

    If she can estimate how long it "Should" take then why didn't she do it her self...

    Added: always learn from your mistakes!!

    +
    0 Votes
    KSoniat

    If you agreed to an hourly charge you should be paid for your time each hour spent doing client's work. It sounds like she just wants to pay you for the "programming", not the design and discussion time.

    It is her decision not to move forward - you spent your time you should be paid.

    I like the per job recommendation - but you have to be able to judge depth and breadth of project up front.

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    0 Votes
    cmiller5400

    If you worked with her for X number of hours that is what you should be paid for, if you negotiated an hourly rate.

    I always tell my clients that I am paid hourly and that it is $XX per hour.

    +
    0 Votes
    mjd420nova

    I use two different approaches and they are not an issue I have to deal with. The saleman either designates a job to be done at a fixed rate or an hourly rate. If a job is on a fixed cost per job and it runs over the time normally allowed to do a job, the saleman has to negotiate with the customer any increases or it comes out of his budget accounts. With an hourly rate application, I stay until the customer is happy and the job is done or they decide to end the call before the job is done, it's up to the customer. Our rates are spelled out as a site charge and one hour minimum and additional hours at a fixed rate. Any parts used are at cost plus a fixed percentage markup that may vary depending on the rarity of said parts or need for increased charges to impliment a kit of replacement parts and not just one individual part.

    +
    0 Votes
    OldER Mycroft

    Then just REMOVE it.

    Oddly, most of 'em wanted it put back in and agreed to pay up front for the privilege.

    Do you have any copies of old implementation code from before the changes? Give them what they've paid for! :)

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    0 Votes
    kgunnIT

    Lesson learned: Have written contract, even if working for an honest, trustworthy individual. And, invoice client for all time regardless of what goes on in the phone conversation.

    Over the phone, the client told me she wanted to stop all work and was going to pay me for what she thought I had done. I sent her an invoice for ALL of my work and a description of what I spent doing each day. A few days later, I received a check and balance was paid in full. Next time, a contract and if a large project, I will require a percentage of the estimate paid upfront before any work is done.

    In the future I think I might keep a copy of the original work if doing a website. If the client does not pay, just upload the old, original files, and count my time as a loss, but client doesn't get any free work out of it either. Then, when, or if, they do pay, I can re-upload the new files and they can have their new site again.

    +
    0 Votes
    KSoniat

    We've all learned something - but thanks to your sharing we don't have to go through the heartache ourselves.

    +
    0 Votes
    jake

    you have to have a policy in place that states whether or not you charge for "consulting time". If you are going to charge the customer for the time spent on developing solutions is completely your discretion. My company does not charge for this time because the work typically makes up for the time spent developing solutions.