16 July 2007

Why I sometimes hate my clients

1. Client no. 1 hires me to write a press release to promote their fledgling retail business. I spend 90 minutes trawling the business's website for info, calling a professional organisation that could be a useful link-cum-promoter for my client, then creating a draft. I email said draft to the client only for them to mail it back to me with "suggested changes". These changes include shifting around sentences that I had put into careful order, adding totally irrelevant information and basically mucking around with the punctuation. Now I have the unenviable job of explaining diplomatically to the client why their "suggested changes" are completely unworkable and that my original carefully honed press release was the reason why they were employing me in the first place. And they are not paying me enough to be that nice to them, to be honest.

2. Client no. 2 has been elusive for several weeks. I have a regular gig writing for client no. 2's publication every month. The money, though not oodles, is a useful monthly sum in my bank account and the job itself is fairly straightforward. However, I am always, and I mean always, paid late by client no. 2 and I'm fed up with it. I know the other freelance hack who is writing for this client and he is in the same position as me, ie very unhappy. I have already politely pointed out to client no. 2 that terms of 15 days mean that I expect the money in my account within 15 days, not that any time in the next two weeks after my terms are up is ok to start the payment process. Today I got yet another excuse as to why I have not yet been paid.

On top of all this, client no. 2 has been using a third party to send me cryptic messages by email, along the lines of "I understand X has already spoken to you regarding rates and your contributions". I mailed back to point out that client no. 2 had not been in touch at all regarding such matters and asked for clarification. It was 2 weeks before client no. 2 finally rang today, after I'd been left on tenterhooks all that time wondering what on earth was going on.

I vowed last month that if I was paid late again I would seriously reconsider this job. I'm at that stage now. I've today had my word count cut and client no. 2 also tried to persuade me to take a rate cut, which I steadfastly refused. Is it all worth it? For the amount I'm being paid, I think not. Time to make a decision very soon. But I'll wait until last month's money is in my bank account first.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hear you. I'm still awake in the middle of the night and found you because I felt the need to google the words I hate my client. My business is real estate and my hated client thinks she knows and understands my job better than I, even though she was unsuccesful at selling her home on her own before listing with me. I hope your client troubles improve. Thanks for the "I'm not alone" feeling.

wordsmith_for_hire said...

You are definitely not alone. Hating clients is part of being self-employed! Although no one tells you that when you take the plunge to start your own business. Like you, I loathe clients who think they know better than me, but I must confess I reserve extra-special hatred for late payers, because they cause unwanted stress as you try to get the money out of them, and it's time I could better spend on earning money from nicer clients. And I'm happy to report that I do have lots of nice clients!

Anonymous said...

I also found you because I Googled, "I hate my client". Luckily??, I'm not self-employed, which means that I can pick up and leave whenever I want... of course it also means that if I don't keep this client happy, they can try to get me fired. Yay.... I have to say, the worst kind of client is as follows: High maintainence, thinks they know more than you about a field you have been in nearly a decade, and so rich it has gone to their head and they think anyone without a Mercedes is just there for their convenience. You take care of them for months, and then there is one *small* problem, and they virtually slap you in the face. Gee, you're welcome.

Anonymous said...

I hate my client too. She is high maintenance, rude when she doesn't get 'her way' and expects red carpet service for third world prices. I am self employed but working toward more passive income - the first month the PI surpasses what I make from her each month she's history. Phew! Feels good to have said that. [P.S. also found you after I googled 'I hate my b*tchy client' ;)]

Anonymous said...

Sadly, like your other commenters, I too hate my clients, that's how I found you. I think I am looking for comfort in one of those low periods you get running your own show. When there's little money in the bank and a tonne of work waiting to get done. I'm sure six months ago I promised myself I wouldn't be in this position again.

See you in another six months...

Joanne said...

We have started firing certain clients that in our opinion not worth the money, these are clients that are not appreciative, penny pinch, call up daily for advice and consultation without any additional payment and late payers. If you spend more time on these clients than they pay it is costing you money this could be chasing payment, constant handholding or just sitting upset because they are rude. We tend to mark up our costs significantly for these clients so they are worth the money and we feel better about working with them or we just get rid.

Anonymous said...

I couldnt agree more with this. i too googled "i hate my clients'

As a wedding coordinator i'm sick to death of dealing with self obsessed, idiotic, rude bridezillas.

they are unreasonable and expect normal laws not to apply on the day of their wedding.

look chick - if u r fat in real life, no amount of complaining about the photographers pictures will change the reality that *he took what we all had to see*.

it really isnt the photographer - it's u.

The only comfort I can take is that i wont be the ones married to them!