Ex­clu­sively for net: The lat­est in a se­ries of anony­mous ac­counts of night­mare clients

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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.

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