CLIENTS FROM HELL
Exclusively for net: The latest in a series of anonymous accounts of nightmare clients
The latest in our series of nightmare clients
I was building a complex website for a client who disappeared half way through. I sent many emails in vain, and didn’t get any response. Once my due diligence was more than exhausted, I just held on to the deposit and decided the ball was in her court.
A half year later, she came back with a completely new website idea. Against my better judgement, I agreed to build this new site for the money she’d already paid me. Surprise, surprise, during development she started adding features that she wanted free of charge. Against my better judgment again, I agreed as a favour. I completed the site, she approved it, and it launched. If only that were the end of the story.
Client: Hey, I was thinking there were a few more things I’d like to add to the site…
Me: I’m happy to do that, but we are WELL outside the scope of the contract. If you want further revisions I’m going to have to charge.
She threw what I can only describe as a hissy fit but, begrudgingly, agreed to pay me. Except the first few requests become another round of requests… and another, and when I told her I’ll need to charge her again, she blew up.
Client: This is ridiculous. You promised me a site, and it isn’t even close. This is UNUSABLE. By this time, the site had been working fine for weeks. All the changes she’d requested were minor or some extraneous features that were for some reason urgent.
Me: I’ve been working on this site for weeks, and by estimates you’ve gotten dozens of hours of unpaid labour from me. I’m not going to do more free work. I’ll continue to host the site for a year for no additional cost – in that time I suggest you find another host and developer.
For a month she sent me a berating email every few days; she demanded free support and threatened to sue. Finally I wrote back.
Me: We have a contract, and what you’re asking for is outside its scope. If you sue, I’ll file a countersuit. Please do not contact me ever again, or I will consider harassment. Her response?
Client: Eat me.