We can't afford that! Do this instead!



  • I was writing a new piece of software for a client.  The software modifies the way two other programs work together.  Initially I gave the client two choices:

    1. Do it the correct way, which would be more expensive, which would take 60 hours
    2. Do this work-around which would take 20 hours, but wouldn't be ideal in terms of employee workflow

    They opted for option 1; and this was such a high priority, they didn't want to go through the usual quote or approval process, they needed this yesterday.

    When I got two thirds of the way through the project, they threw a big fit at my reported hours, said they couldn't afford it, and wanted me to do option 2.

    I go ahead, switch gears, sent the client the bill and they went ballistic and refused to pay.

    Apparently they got mad at me because they couldn't do basic math, and they expected that I wouldn't charge them for the time I wasted on option one before they told me to stop.

    They kept saying over and over "you're charging us for something we never used".

    It never occurred to them that I might like to eat sometime next week and need to be paid for my time (as per our billing agreement), or that implementing option one 2/3 of the way through and then doing option two would leave them with an inferior workflow and still cost the same as having me just finish option one.  40 + 20 = 60 seems to have been a foreign concept to them.

    For whatever reason, non-service-based companies seem to have a very difficult time understanding how the whole hourly-consultant thing works.





  • Remind them that just like their accountants, lawyers, etc, you are not selling a product. You are selling your time. If they change their mind, they're still responsible for the authorized work incurred.



  • @KrakenLover said:

    They kept saying over and over "you're charging us for something we never used".
     

    Isn't the point that you're charging them for work you've performed upon their request? Whether or not they want to use it later is their choice, but they ordered it.

    What would happen if someone placed a $10K order with them then let the delivered item stand idle in the corner? Would the customer be forced to pay then?



  • @dhromed said:

    Fuck you, pay me.
     

    I've got this tune on the brain now, you bastid.



  • @Cassidy said:

    I've got this tune on the brain now, you bastid.
     

    Great, now I need to hurt you back.



  • @KrakenLover said:

    It never occurred to them that I might like to eat sometime next week and need to be paid for my time
     

    That's how they knew you're trying to take advantage of them. The invoice is from a company, not from you. Everyone knows companies don't eat food.




  • @KrakenLover said:

    They kept saying over and over "you're charging us for something we never used".

    I wonder if they do that with other things as well. "Why are you sending us a bill for office supplies we've not used yet? Sure, the pens and paperclips and post-its are sitting in our stationary cupboard, but we'll pay for each when and if we use it."



  • @Gurth said:

    @KrakenLover said:

    They kept saying over and over "you're charging us for something we never used".

    I wonder if they do that with other things as well. "Why are you sending us a bill for office supplies we've not used yet? Sure, the pens and paperclips and post-its are sitting in our stationary cupboard, but we'll pay for each when and if we use it."

    "That'll be $3.25. Drive around to the next window."

    "I REFUSE TO PAY FOR THIS BECAUSE I HAVE NOT EATEN MY BURGER YET"


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Gurth said:

    @KrakenLover said:

    They kept saying over and over "you're charging us for something we never used".

    I wonder if they do that with other things as well. "Why are you sending us a bill for office supplies we've not used yet? Sure, the pens and paperclips and post-its are sitting in our stationary cupboard, but we'll pay for each when and if we use it."

    Look who reimplemented kanban!



  • @KrakenLover said:

    They kept saying over and over "you're charging us for something we never used".

    It never occurred to them that I might like to eat sometime next week and need to be paid for my time (as per our billing agreement), or that implementing option one 2/3 of the way through and then doing option two would leave them with an inferior workflow and still cost the same as having me just finish option one.  40 + 20 = 60 seems to have been a foreign concept to them.

    For whatever reason, non-service-based companies seem to have a very difficult time understanding how the whole hourly-consultant thing works.

     

    [quote user="http://clientsfromhell.net/post/16529975959/after-sending-two-invoices-for-payment-i-sent"]

    Client: You mean I have to actually pay you? I thought you were joking!

    Me: What on earth made you think that? 

    Client: You’re a freelancer!

    Me: And…

    Client: Well, you work for free! If you were supposed to be paid, you’d be called a paidlancer or something!

    [/quote] 


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