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Daniel93

nightmare client wants refund

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Hi . . .

 

This is my first post so here goes. ;)

 

I have a client who I have been working with for a year and I have just finished the redesign of her redesigned site. She has been the proverbial "nightmare client" and I have been holding my tongue with her for the longest time and doing my work. She expects me to be there for her at all times and send me lengthy emails daily, sometimes ten or more. Plus she spills her guts to me about all things personal and I feel more like a therapist then her web developer. This is a site for her self promotion, with many customized galleries, 500 images, fashion, art galleries, audio soundtracks for each page, etc, all the fashion galleries are filled with fashion images that she personally photoshopped and had to re-photoshop, and re-photoshop and on and on, but was extremely happy at the end of the "ordeal" and wrote me a glowing testimonial for my site, until she got some wishy washy reviews from some of her friends and family members, more concerning her being 'full of herself' because of the 400 fashion photos she had taken of herself, etc. I have optimized the site as best I could but she is an unknown artist, writer, and model, etc., and she is not getting the hits she thought she would get. She also refuses to follow my SEO directions of getting Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in accounts for SEO optimization. She is ranking particularly high for the keywords I optimized for but that does not mean people will click into her site. She needs to do Promo but she refuses to since she thinks she will get negative comments if she posts to Facebook or Blogs. Now she wants a refund of 2000.00 because she feels she paid too much. Now . . . there is no contract, and I didn't bill her outright since I allowed her to pay me when she had money as the design and building process went on. What she sent I invoiced her for as being paid for that period. The site to me is much bigger then originally planned and it feels like I build four or five sites because of all the redoes she made me do because of her poor photoshopping work. The amount of hours I put into it dwarfs the amount of money paid. If there is no contract am I still bound to pay her this refund? I want to fire her as a client but she is a little unbalanced so I might be into some abusive emails, etc.

 

I had a friend who runs a big SEO company look at the site and her suggestions were just what my client refuses to do and she told me that her company would have charged over twice as much for this site.

 

Has anyone had that type of "nightmare client"?

 

Sorry my first post has to be a negative one. Oh well.:)

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Hi Daniel,

 

Welcome to KS. :) I'm sorry to hear you've had such a rotten experience. I've definitely had my share of that type of situation, and I vow to never repeat it. I never work without a contract and I spell things out very clearly in that contract. If my client requests something that is not in the original scope, I let them know they will be charged my hourly rate while I work on the change request. Usually that causes them to give their changes a second thought. If it's something they really want/need, they'll pay. Otherwise, they'll live with what they've got. :)

 

Since you do not have a contract, I can't see how you'd be bound to issue the refund. Maybe you could let her know in as nice a way as possible that all her change requests were billed at $X/hour. Surely it all adds up. Personally, I would not offer a refund and if she ever approached me for work again, I'd probably tell her my schedule is too full or I'd refer her to someone else (though I'd hate to put that kind of client on any friend of mine ;) ).

 

Good luck with it!

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Tricky situation considering you havent got a contract but I think it could be an idea to track the working hours you spent on the project (on each of the stages if project gone big , not forgetting the time you spend on website versions and replying on emails regarding it) and send this timescale to your client with the real costs/per hour included. It might serve as a reality check.

SEO thing is the hardest part to explain to the client. If he/she is not The Justin B., or any of locally famous people, it take enormous effort to get decent traffic to the website; so we do need to have some SEO talk with the clients BEFORE the project even started. You can add your recomendation on SEO now in written form all over again just to show the client your good will and the way for improving.

Hopfully she will get to her senses, good luck with it from me too!

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I'd say fire her. You've provided a non tangible product in which she cannot return.

 

All those long-winded emails are billable because it takes up your time.

 

Sadly, some clients can be a bit more unreasonable than you like especially when they start asking for things that are not within the scope of your contract. Since you have no contract my suggestion is to save and print out all the emails you two had along with all other emails that you had with third-parties in relation to you and your client such as your friend providing you with SEO suggestions.

 

Secondly, clients sometimes get personal about their lives. It's acceptable to a point. In most cases there should be a seperation between business and personal time regardless if she/he is a mutual client or your best friend.

 

As stated by others, always have a contract detailing out the scope of work. If you undercut yourself then it's your loss and not the client's. All the work you did may have been more than what your charged for but that's not the client's fault. Also, if you let your client take advantage of you in obtaining more work, again that's not her fault. Its yours. You don't have to be a pain in the rear with your clients but instead you should be firm and learn to say 'No' or be upfront telling them its 'billable time'.

 

If everything you say is true then you have nothing to worry about. However, I'd make a file for this client and keep every transactions, communications, etc. in that file.

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I've had a similar situation recently with one of my clients.

 

The client owns a laundry service and wanted me to create a system in which his customers would be able to sign up, make deposits and he would control everything from the back-end such as the weight of the laundry, the pricing per pound etc.

 

However I had a contractual agreement with this client and when i speak with all of my clients, i always tell them that our conversation via telephone will not be followed when developing the project. Please have written documentation in order for me to follow while developing the project as a guideline. The reason for this is for your protection, and for mine as well.

 

On the contract, you must make sure that the rights to the project are completely yours until final payment, this is very important. You must also always create an FTP account in the client's cPanel, preferably without the client knowing. That being said, let me tell you my story.....

 

I completed the project successfully in accordance to the client's documentation and the contract.

 

I asked the client for final payment and he kept telling me that the project is no where near done.

 

I told him to send me 1 email with all the changes needed and I will take care of the changes for him.

 

He told me that he did not want to send me an email with changes because he didn't understand how to use the system.

 

I told him that I am willing to create video tutorials for him explaining how to use everything and he said "I don't want Video Tutorials!"

 

I also told him that he was the one that sketched out the design in an excel spreadsheet so he should already understand how to use it.

 

 

Next thing i know, the client changed his Hosting Account Password on me and requested a $1,000 refund.

 

PayPal put a hold on my account for $1,000 because of the client and it looked to me as if the client was trying to bail with the software!

 

This is when i got upset and i called PayPal, told them the situation and the dispute was closed out in my favor so the hold was removed.

 

Once i cleared this matter up, I logged into the FTP account that i created, without the client knowing and deleted the whole entire software off of his hosting account!

 

I created a simple page that says: "Your Services have been Removed, Please Contact Developer" and then my email address underneath it.

 

 

So you should always stay ahead of the game and you have to be an aggressive developer sometimes!

 

Clients From Hell are usually the type that will try to outsmart you in anyway possible, there for as a developer you need to protect yourself and always keep your guard up.

 

I am currently waiting for my attorney to take care of this matter, but i have all of the written documentation and the contract also says that the client will be responsible for legal fees.

 

To make a long story short, Make sure you are 100% Protected no matter what! You never know when a client can turn on you!

 

 

In your case, I would've moved on already and charging $2,000 for a 1 year project is giving away your work lol....raise the rates and always charge an additional fee for additional work! :D

 

Good Luck with your Client and God Bless! :)

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Hi Daniel,

 

Welcome to KS. :) I'm sorry to hear you've had such a rotten experience. I've definitely had my share of that type of situation, and I vow to never repeat it. I never work without a contract and I spell things out very clearly in that contract. If my client requests something that is not in the original scope, I let them know they will be charged my hourly rate while I work on the change request. Usually that causes them to give their changes a second thought. If it's something they really want/need, they'll pay. Otherwise, they'll live with what they've got. :)

 

Since you do not have a contract, I can't see how you'd be bound to issue the refund. Maybe you could let her know in as nice a way as possible that all her change requests were billed at $X/hour. Surely it all adds up. Personally, I would not offer a refund and if she ever approached me for work again, I'd probably tell her my schedule is too full or I'd refer her to someone else (though I'd hate to put that kind of client on any friend of mine ;) ).

 

Good luck with it!

 

Thank you Susie . . . she has certainly sent me through an emotional roller-coaster. She told me she doesn't want to hear about my hourly rate and that anyone my 'client base' does not justify the fee I charged. As you know she freely paid me and I have emails saying I deserved the money, adn that it's the site of her dreams. I have all her emails. It's only recently that she said I overcharged, after the comments by her friends and the lack of hits.

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Thank you so much for all your suggestions. I contract is definitely a smart move in the future. She has even gone so far as reprimanding me for the way I communicate with clients in emails, teaching me the correct way . . . even though I have run my business for 13 years. Also she was concerned if I was working on other clients while I was working on her job. I made the mistake of including her number as a reference and when a potential client called her she said the "Hopefully he can get to your job after he finishes mine since he is tied up at this time". So because of that I didn't get that job.

 

I was told to send her the final disks and block her emails and number. What is your opinion on that?

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Thank you so much for all your suggestions. I contract is definitely a smart move in the future. She has even gone so far as reprimanding me for the way I communicate with clients in emails, teaching me the correct way . . . even though I have run my business for 13 years. Also she was concerned if I was working on other clients while I was working on her job. I made the mistake of including her number as a reference and when a potential client called her she said the "Hopefully he can get to your job after he finishes mine since he is tied up at this time". So because of that I didn't get that job.

 

I was told to send her the final disks and block her emails and number. What is your opinion on that?

 

Daniel

 

You shouldn't use your clients for references. In that case, you should have your own website portfolio and ONLY use client's that you have already dealt with in the passed and have had a successful relationship in your portfolio as images or links to their website.

 

If your client is asking for a $2,000 refund you shouldn't even deal with her. This means that she doesn't value your hard work and dedication. Tell the client that you do not like to go back and forth with her and that she is being disrespectful so you do not wish to continue on this project.

 

after that you should keep the ball rolling and move on with other projects..........

 

Only give her the final work if you feel like it. Don't feel forced to do anything, specially if the client wants your hard work after getting a refund or even asking for one.

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You shouldn't use your clients for references. In that case, you should have your own website portfolio and ONLY use client's that you have already dealt with in the passed and have had a successful relationship in your portfolio as images or links to their website.

 

If your client is asking for a $2,000 refund you shouldn't even deal with her. This means that she doesn't value your hard work and dedication. Tell the client that you do not like to go back and forth with her and that she is being disrespectful so you do not wish to continue on this project.

 

after that you should keep the ball rolling and move on with other projects..........

 

Only give her the final work if you feel like it. Don't feel forced to do anything, specially if the client wants your hard work after getting a refund or even asking for one.

 

I have learned so many lessons with this client. Now she wants her refund AND she wants me to lead her though the set up of social media sites, etc. She definitely disrespects my work since she told me all the ideas were her ideas and I was only a tool. Which is totally wrong since I created the site, build all the progamming designed all the backgrounds and framework . . . argh. I could go on and on. I want to block her number. :(

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I have learned so many lessons with this client. Now she wants her refund AND she wants me to lead her though the set up of social media sites, etc. She definitely disrespects my work since she told me all the ideas were her ideas and I was only a tool. Which is totally wrong since I created the site, build all the progamming designed all the backgrounds and framework . . . argh. I could go on and on. I want to block her number. :(

 

Daniel

 

Don't let this get you down, sometimes we get clients from hell but that's when you have to use your knowledge as a developer to take the upper hand!

 

If i were in your shoes, and i did all the work as agreed then i would remove all of the work from her host and tell her that she still has a remaining balance and the work will not be released until she takes care of the balance. If she doesn't like it then she can hire someone else to do the work or do it herself.

 

the problem here is that you don't have any contracts which is very important in our field......

 

Always have a contract and Written Documentation from a client prior to beginning a project. So that if the client wants any changes that are not specified in their documentation then you will be able to charge extra for it.

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Don't let this get you down, sometimes we get clients from hell but that's when you have to use your knowledge as a developer to take the upper hand!

 

If i were in your shoes, and i did all the work as agreed then i would remove all of the work from her host and tell her that she still has a remaining balance and the work will not be released until she takes care of the balance. If she doesn't like it then she can hire someone else to do the work or do it herself.

 

the problem here is that you don't have any contracts which is very important in our field......

 

Always have a contract and Written Documentation from a client prior to beginning a project. So that if the client wants any changes that are not specified in their documentation then you will be able to charge extra for it.

 

 

I don't care about the money. I just want her to go on with her life and leave me alone. She still wants a refund of 2000.00. The job was 7500.00 total, but I put many more hours into it. A contract would have been a good idea in the beginning of this. I can't afford to refund her money. I deserved that for all the ordeals she put me through. Sorry for being dramatic. :)

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I don't care about the money. I just want her to go on with her life and leave me alone. She still wants a refund of 2000.00. The job was 7500.00 total, but I put many more hours into it. A contract would have been a good idea in the beginning of this. I can't afford to refund her money. I deserved that for all the ordeals she put me through. Sorry for being dramatic. :)

 

Daniel

 

I would just tell her straight up..... LEAVE ME ALONE, I DON'T WANT TO WORK WITH YOU! :D

 

that should do it ;)

 

and NEVER do big projects without a contract! lol :lol:

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I would just tell her straight up..... LEAVE ME ALONE, I DON'T WANT TO WORK WITH YOU! :D

 

that should do it ;)

 

and NEVER do big projects without a contract! lol :lol:

 

 

Thanks for the pep talk. One more question . . . can she sue me for the 2000.00? I am going to send her the final site on disk because I just want to end this.

 

You guys rock . . . thanks

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she can try to sue you but i highly doubt that this case will be in her favor. there is no contractual agreement, so what is there to sue for? if you have done what you agreed to do in the emails and you did as you said, then you should be fine.

Edited by jbwebdesign

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Wow, she has nerve! Now she wants you to set up all her social networking profiles?? If it were me, I wouldn't answer the phone when I saw her number on the caller ID. I had a client who was calling me several times a week wanting to "chat" about this or that (all website related) or to brainstorm her next idea for her site. The calls would easily last for 30 mins to an hour. I finally quit answering the phone and whenever she emailed wanting me to make any small change, I let her know how much it would cost (after I doubled the amount of time it would take when figuring it out) before I lifted a finger. She finally got the hint. ;)

 

Sounds like it will never end with her. And I agree - she could try to sue you, but how would she possibly win? There is no contract. How did she pay you? Cash, check, credit card, PayPal?

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Thanks Suzie . . . she paid me by check. Is that a problem? She lives 3000 miles away. I let her pay me whenever she felt fit to and then I would send her an invoice according to the payment and check number, etc. I was pretty lenient with her. It got to the point that I didn't care about the money . . . let's just finish this site already. She is the type of client where I had to listen to all her problems and situations with her husband and family. It was getting too personal and then when I withheld info about my personal life she would get miffed. I don't want to be open like that and have my family life out there with clients. It's not good at all. But I have learned my lesson. I hope. :)

 

I have lost clients because of her.

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LOL Oh my. I think you and I suffer from the same disease - being too nice. ;)

 

I was curious about her method of payment just because of what a previous poster mentioned. If she paid by PayPal or credit card, she could do a charge back and then you'd have to deal with that. But since she paid with checks and I assume you've already cashed them, there should be absolutely no problem.

 

Fire her. :)

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LOL Oh my. I think you and I suffer from the same disease - being too nice. ;)

 

I was curious about her method of payment just because of what a previous poster mentioned. If she paid by PayPal or credit card, she could do a charge back and then you'd have to deal with that. But since she paid with checks and I assume you've already cashed them, there should be absolutely no problem.

 

Fire her. :)

 

 

LOL is right. :) What I am doing is sending her all the info she needs to set up Facebook, Twitter, and Linked-In with links concerning how to's. I am too nice and I let things slide with clients sometimes . . . but today I got an email from here saying I was actually "Mean" because I said she was not a "name" person and needed to do more SEO within the social networks since no one knows who she is and will not be actively searching for her. I was merely stating a fact but what can ya do. Whatever I say to her gets turned around against me. Sorry but it feels good to get this out. :) I am thinking the worst she can do I damage my reputation by contacting existing clients from my portfolio list. I wouldn't put it past her to do that.

 

This is a great site by the way. I am glad I found it.

 

Oh . . . concerning the disk I am sending . . . do you recommend I send all the Flash files too or just her actual site with no Photoshop, etc. ? I value your opinion.

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...she got some wishy washy reviews from some of her friends and family members, more concerning her being 'full of herself' because of the 400 fashion photos she had taken of herself, etc.

 

I want to fire her as a client but she is a little unbalanced so I might be into some abusive emails, etc.

 

You said it all yourself, in my opinion. ;)

 

If you want to send her the files, I would ONLY send her the website files (HTML/CSS/image folder, etc). I would NOT send her any photoshop files or any pieces/parts that you used to create her website.

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Hi . . .

 

This is my first post so here goes. ;)

 

I have a client who I have been working with for a year and I have just finished the redesign of her redesigned site. She has been the proverbial "nightmare client" and I have been holding my tongue with her for the longest time and doing my work. She expects me to be there for her at all times and send me lengthy emails daily, sometimes ten or more. Plus she spills her guts to me about all things personal and I feel more like a therapist then her web developer. This is a site for her self promotion, with many customized galleries, 500 images, fashion, art galleries, audio soundtracks for each page, etc, all the fashion galleries are filled with fashion images that she personally photoshopped and had to re-photoshop, and re-photoshop and on and on, but was extremely happy at the end of the "ordeal" and wrote me a glowing testimonial for my site, until she got some wishy washy reviews from some of her friends and family members, more concerning her being 'full of herself' because of the 400 fashion photos she had taken of herself, etc. I have optimized the site as best I could but she is an unknown artist, writer, and model, etc., and she is not getting the hits she thought she would get. She also refuses to follow my SEO directions of getting Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in accounts for SEO optimization. She is ranking particularly high for the keywords I optimized for but that does not mean people will click into her site. She needs to do Promo but she refuses to since she thinks she will get negative comments if she posts to Facebook or Blogs. Now she wants a refund of 2000.00 because she feels she paid too much. Now . . . there is no contract, and I didn't bill her outright since I allowed her to pay me when she had money as the design and building process went on. What she sent I invoiced her for as being paid for that period. The site to me is much bigger then originally planned and it feels like I build four or five sites because of all the redoes she made me do because of her poor photoshopping work. The amount of hours I put into it dwarfs the amount of money paid. If there is no contract am I still bound to pay her this refund? I want to fire her as a client but she is a little unbalanced so I might be into some abusive emails, etc.

 

I had a friend who runs a big SEO company look at the site and her suggestions were just what my client refuses to do and she told me that her company would have charged over twice as much for this site.

 

Has anyone had that type of "nightmare client"?

 

Sorry my first post has to be a negative one. Oh well.:)

 

thanks,

Daniel

 

I am so sorry for your troubles. I'm sure you heard this before but you should have had a contract. That being said I too had a client that was unreasonable. The client loved the finished product and approved it and all was fine. A few days later (such as in your case) he wanted a refund because he decided it was not what he wanted. This is after I made multiple changes upon his request for free. Then I got tired of the abuse and told him there would be extra charge because he signed off on it, and that's when he decided he wanted a refund.

 

This is what I did. I told him he has approved and signed off on the website. I also told him I am not in the business of providing free updates since it was not in his contract. And the last thing I told him is that since you approved and signed off on the website, our business is concluded. End of story.

 

He was pissed but he got the hint that he was abusing my kindness.

 

Now I don't know how well you kept every correspondence in regards to you dealing with your client, but kindly tell her that your business with her is concluded. Tell her that since she accepted the final product and approved the website that project is finished.

 

Your client had buyers remorse and now probably want the money back to cheat someone else or want to keep what you done for free.

 

This type of behavior disgust me to no end and i have the cohones to tell them to their face if I feel i have been taken advantage of.

 

But anyway, if the client persist in her emails explain all the things you did above and beyond the call of duty, all the extras you had to do for her and didn't charge, tell her in a nice way that she agreed and accepted the final product, tell her she will not get a refund, let her know that the constant flood of emails bothering you for a refund is a form of harassment and that our business is done.

 

Sometimes you just have to be firm in your position. So what if you lose her as a client? The aggravation is not worth losing sleep over.

 

The lesson learned from this, have a contract! Also be sure and have all correspondence from this project just in case she decides she wants to sue you.

 

Good luck.

 

jvalentin1

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Thanks Suzie . . . she paid me by check. Is that a problem? She lives 3000 miles away. I let her pay me whenever she felt fit to and then I would send her an invoice according to the payment and check number, etc. I was pretty lenient with her. It got to the point that I didn't care about the money . . . let's just finish this site already. She is the type of client where I had to listen to all her problems and situations with her husband and family. It was getting too personal and then when I withheld info about my personal life she would get miffed. I don't want to be open like that and have my family life out there with clients. It's not good at all. But I have learned my lesson. I hope. :)

 

I have lost clients because of her. There were days when I had to be in front of the computer ready to receive 400 photographs sent in individual emails because they were high resolution. This happened on a few occasions. If I left the computer periodically she would email me back with a remark like . . . "I bet you aren't there. Where are you? You said you would be there." Her line is "I bet you never had to work with a high maintenance client". Saying "High Maintenance" like it was a good thing.

 

Daniel

 

Don't put up with it! Cut your losses and move on. Don't lose sleep over it. She paid, you sent invoices, that's all you need. Save your correspondence between you and your client and chalk it up as a learning experience.

 

Don't let her get to you and save all emails including the ones with the stupid snide remarks. It's a form of harassment and if she tries to sue you have these emails as proof that she is harassing you.

 

Be done with this client and if she tries to sue then you counter sue for harassment and slander. Obviously she was talking so bad about you that you lost possible work because of her. Throw that in her face.

 

But most of all, don't lose sleep over this. Hold your head up, dust yourself off and keep moving.

 

jvalentin1

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I am so sorry for your troubles. I'm sure you heard this before but you should have had a contract. That being said I too had a client that was unreasonable. The client loved the finished product and approved it and all was fine. A few days later (such as in your case) he wanted a refund because he decided it was not what he wanted. This is after I made multiple changes upon his request for free. Then I got tired of the abuse and told him there would be extra charge because he signed off on it, and that's when he decided he wanted a refund.

 

This is what I did. I told him he has approved and signed off on the website. I also told him I am not in the business of providing free updates since it was not in his contract. And the last thing I told him is that since you approved and signed off on the website, our business is concluded. End of story.

 

He was pissed but he got the hint that he was abusing my kindness.

 

Now I don't know how well you kept every correspondence in regards to you dealing with your client, but kindly tell her that your business with her is concluded. Tell her that since she accepted the final product and approved the website that project is finished.

 

Your client had buyers remorse and now probably want the money back to cheat someone else or want to keep what you done for free.

 

This type of behavior disgust me to no end and i have the cohones to tell them to their face if I feel i have been taken advantage of.

 

But anyway, if the client persist in her emails explain all the things you did above and beyond the call of duty, all the extras you had to do for her and didn't charge, tell her in a nice way that she agreed and accepted the final product, tell her she will not get a refund, let her know that the constant flood of emails bothering you for a refund is a form of harassment and that our business is done.

 

Sometimes you just have to be firm in your position. So what if you lose her as a client? The aggravation is not worth losing sleep over.

 

The lesson learned from this, have a contract! Also be sure and have all correspondence from this project just in case she decides she wants to sue you.

 

Good luck.

 

jvalentin1

 

 

Thanks jvalentin1,

 

It helps to know we all go through this. I have been in the business for 13 years and this is the first time I had to deal with someone this needy, insulting, and . . . arrogant. I also sent the site to be reviewed by a friend of mine that has a SEO company for a review. My client freaked and told me all the content on the site was copy-written and I needed her approval before I allowed my friend to review it. I was told by my friend that if it is out in the public and live anyone and see it. The reason I showed my friend the site becasue I wanted her opinion and what she would charge for a site like that so I had some ammo to come back to my client with. If it rains it pours. :)

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No matter how unreasonable she becomes, never ever lose your cool and always..I mean ALWAYS treat her in a professional manner so that nothing you said or did can come back to bite you.

 

As for suing, it quite difficult to prove her case because no complaint or issue had ever surfaced until after the project was done. I would not be surprised that someone told her she got ripped off just because she carelessly told them how much it cost.

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No matter how unreasonable she becomes, never ever lose your cool and always..I mean ALWAYS treat her in a professional manner so that nothing you said or did can come back to bite you.

 

As for suing, it quite difficult to prove her case because no complaint or issue had ever surfaced until after the project was done. I would not be surprised that someone told her she got ripped off just because she carelessly told them how much it cost.

 

I have always been a gentleman and polite with her, I was told that was the problem and I should have been more forceful, but I alway treat clients with dignity. My opinion is if I am arrogant I will only get that back three fold.

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Just thought I would chime in...

 

In addition to what others have said about using a contract (especially for large projects!) I usually include a disclaimer within the contract that explains that I have no control over the number of visitors, and that simply building a website doesn't mean it will generate traffic. This is especially important for SEO related work -- I ALWAYS explain that I can't guarantee results. Might be something to consider, just to reduce your liability in the future. Obviously just including it in the contract isn't enough though; you really need to set expectations like this at the begininning of the project.

 

Though I sympathise with the client's position, it sounds like you are within your rights to provide the client with the final files and cut all contact with the client if necessary. Hopefully you can catch some of the indications of a "bad client" if you run into similar situations in the future and be able to reset expectations if necessary.

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Just thought I would chime in...

 

In addition to what others have said about using a contract (especially for large projects!) I usually include a disclaimer within the contract that explains that I have no control over the number of visitors, and that simply building a website doesn't mean it will generate traffic. This is especially important for SEO related work -- I ALWAYS explain that I can't guarantee results. Might be something to consider, just to reduce your liability in the future. Obviously just including it in the contract isn't enough though; you really need to set expectations like this at the begininning of the project.

 

Though I sympathise with the client's position, it sounds like you are within your rights to provide the client with the final files and cut all contact with the client if necessary. Hopefully you can catch some of the indications of a "bad client" if you run into similar situations in the future and be able to reset expectations if necessary.

 

Thanks Ben . . .

 

I did tell her there are no guarantees in the way of placement. Her keywords are in great placement though. It;s just getting people to click through. The only way to manage that is perhaps Social Media Marketing, etc. In her first site she was getting hundreds and thousands of hits a day and I don't know why. They were all coming from a search engine in China and practically nowhere else. That dropped and now she is getting 10-20 visitors I believe. I think that is not bad for someone who doesn't have a name in her field. Plus I sent her the links to create her social networking sites. So that ball is in her court now. I have no idea why she was getting all those hits from one single search engine in China of all things. Now she expects hundreds or thousands of visitors a day everyday.

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Sounds like she may not understand that it isn't necessarily the number of hits that matter, but the quality of visitors. My argument would be that (depending on the site's focus, of course) that while thousands of Chinese visitors are nice, if they aren't the target audience and 99% won't buy the product or use the service, that kind of traffic does nothing for her business. But I imagine you have told her similar things already.

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Your client sounds like a psycho, stay as far away from her as you can. Block her emails and phone calls, she'll just make you miserable.

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Your client sounds like a psycho, stay as far away from her as you can. Block her emails and phone calls, she'll just make you miserable.

 

Yep . . . that is just what I did. Thank you all for the great advice. It was very helpful. :)

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Has anyone ever had a client how believed that their "time" was more valuable then "Yours"? That is how it was with mine. She used to always tell me this. Quite a morale booster.

 

Daniel

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