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My first nightmare client


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#1 robbydesigns

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 12:59 PM

My first nightmare client..yikes!
I emailed a few studios asking if they needed a freelance web designer who specialises in clean web design and got the usual repsonses (held on file, no answer, a few interested for later) and a couple who are up for working with me.

One - whose name I wont mention - said he'd pay me 250 euros for a 3 page design, it's less than I'd normally charge but I had nothing else on so I went for it. I told him a 25% deposit was payable up front and is non-refundable to cover my time reading and researching the design brief and making the first 'mockup'. He paid 50 euros (though 25% would be 62.50) and then sent me the brief which was for what I would describe as a 'creative' website design (colourful, image heavy) and far more than what I had quoted him for.
He said he'd need a design in two days so I emailed him back saying the deadline was unrealistic to which he replied he was sure I could come up with something..needless to say I could not create anything lovely in 2 days so I sent him a preview of what I had made and he didn't like it..surprise surprise! Now he has filed a complaint with Paypal and wants his money back.
Nightmare.


#2 porkchops

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 05:17 PM

This sounds like it could have been handled a little better.

You really shouldn't be quoting without a brief, or knowing the final scope. You also should hammer out the details like deadlines, deliverables, etc. and put them into a written contract before proceeding with payments. Once you have that contract your position is immensely more solid.

Also, paypal disputes always seem to favor the person giving the cash, so I'd avoid using paypal for collecting design payments.

Worst case here you just refund him and chock this up as a learning experience. Never work without a contract, you can almost certainly avoid problems like this if you and the client can agree on the details of the project scope and timeline up front. Or, if you can't, you can get an idea if they will be a problem client and avoid working with them altogether.

Hope things turn out OK!


#3 evu

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 05:20 PM

Sounds fun.

Maybe try working by an hourly rate?

~evu


#4 robbydesigns

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 07:52 AM

@porkchops I know, I as silly to not get a contract signed up front but this guy seemed to always be in a rush and I stupidly let it go, never again. I'm going to wait for Paypal to take a look as I am skint.


#5 roothost

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 08:56 AM

@porkchops I know, I as silly to not get a contract signed up front but this guy seemed to always be in a rush and I stupidly let it go, never again. I'm going to wait for Paypal to take a look as I am skint.

Never ever use paypal to receive funds for design, it just isn't worth the risk (as pointed out by porkchops).

Always get a full, detailed brief and (where possible) talk to/meet the client to discuss the ins and outs of the project...in detail. Then, and only then, will you be able to offer a realistic price.

Always get a contract, do not start anything until you have a signed contract in your hands, and make sure the client understands wht he/she is signing.

In all honesty, you being desperate for the work, and the client being impatient/needing it done yesterday is just a bad combination. Although, 2 days for a mock up is more than enough time considering the total project was only 250 euros. In all honesty, the complete project should not have taken 2 days.

One thing to remember, make sure he doesnt go using your mockup in his final website. Make sure you can prove it is your design and that you haven't signed over copyright/given permission for him to use it.

Without a contract in place it is pretty hard to prove, but simply emailing the design to yourself (psd originals, jpgs etc etc) will give you something to go on as it will detail dates etc as to when said files were created. Not the best option, but it's something.


#6 MikeChipshop

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 09:32 AM

All i can do is echo what the others have said above.

It's really only when this happens that you learn how to deal with bad clients. Take it as a learning experience.


#7 MikeChipshop

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 09:33 AM

[moved to business and legal]


#8 robbydesigns

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:58 AM

Thanks everyone, looks like this topic's been moved I dunno where so I have to post here.
Anyway, I refunded him , game over. Thanks all for your advice.
Robby.


#9 MikeChipshop

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 11:20 AM

Thanks everyone, looks like this topic's been moved I dunno where so I have to post here.
Anyway, I refunded him , game over. Thanks all for your advice.
Robby.


The topics been moved right here lol.

Anyway, yeah prob best way to get them out of your hair and move on with real business.
Couple of things important now...
1) Make sure he is NOT using your design, if he is, send him an invoice for it again.
2) Get a proper good watertight contract in place.


#10 robbydesigns

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 02:43 AM

The topics been moved right here lol.

Anyway, yeah prob best way to get them out of your hair and move on with real business.
Couple of things important now...
1) Make sure he is NOT using your design, if he is, send him an invoice for it again.
2) Get a proper good watertight contract in place.


lol what a dumbo I am!
1) I only sent a JPG and if he's so tight he'd to copy it with Photoshop then so be it, I can't be bothered with this guy, I'd rather move on to my next client who'll no doubt be as nice as my others.
2) Damn straight, working on that as we speak.


#11 rallport

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 11:20 AM

@porkchops I know, I as silly to not get a contract signed up front but this guy seemed to always be in a rush and I stupidly let it go, never again. I'm going to wait for Paypal to take a look as I am skint.


You sound like you're hopeful PayPal will side with you. As said above, PayPal side heavily with the buyer in disputes. Being realistic you should expect the buyer to get their money back, leaving you with anything to show for this sorry saga. Put it down to experience and move on better prepared for the next client (I have to repeat that to myself a lot lately too) :)


#12 Gibson

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 12:37 AM

Anyway back to the orignal thread point - am I right in thinking that if we approach people rather than let them approach us, the chance of getting a nightmare client increases? Not that we shouldn't do it of course, because that's how we get a lot of work. However I think when approaching people we ought to do extra "vetting" of the client, as perhaps this leads to them thinking they have the upper hand. The silly thing being that in a proper business deal, no one should have the upper hand, but unfortunately their sure are some smug clients out there.

[Edit - comment on spam removed after spam removed.]

Edited by Wickham, 01 May 2012 - 05:38 AM.


#13 robbydesigns

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 08:44 AM

Just to let you all know PAypal found in my favour after I showed them the email where the Client agreed it was a non-refundable deposit. Maybe next time this person wont expect people to work and research for free..or just look at the portfolio before deciding he wants sthg totally different to what the Designer makes </rant>


#14 MikeChipshop

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 09:08 AM

Congrats mate.
Just goes to show that having written evidence in place in any form is a god send.


#15 Gibson

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 03:48 PM

Good one. I hate clients like that. They need to be regulated.


#16 robbydesigns

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 07:10 PM

Congrats mate.
Just goes to show that having written evidence in place in any form is a god send.


Damn straight. Nightmare over, back to the nice clients who understand design is an art.


#17 TizzyTazzy

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 07:58 AM

You should have declined the job right away when he was asking things of you that aren't realistic. Also, mention in your dispute the situation and state "THIS WAS PAYMENT FOR NON-TANGIBLE GOODS"--PayPal will end the dispute in your favor.


#18 robbydesigns

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 04:35 PM

You should have declined the job right away when he was asking things of you that aren't realistic. Also, mention in


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