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- Client & Contract Issue
Re: Client & Contract Issue
A contract is a contract, but I have also let 2 people out over the past
6 years just to keep my reputation intact. I charged for time spent at
$50/hour, handed over my work and returned the rest of the deposit.
It's just not worth the battle to enforce the contract.
Re: Client & Contract Issue
| @excite.com says...
| > Wonder if I can get some advice.
| > I have a client who signed a contract with me for a website and gave
| > me a check. I deposited the check that same day.
| > The next day, the client calls and says he wants to cancel the
| > contract and get his money back for two reasons:
| > 1) He found someone cheaper to do the site.
| > 2) The cheaper person already did his logo, and has other relevant
| > files for the business. The person is now refusing to hand over the
| > files because he is mad about not getting the contract. One of the
| > reasons the client went with me is that this person was not returning
| > his calls and the client wanted to move forward.
| > Off hand, I don't want to release the client from the contract. I
| > don't believe there is much way of salvaging the situation either way
| > it goes, though. There is nothing in the contract.
| > Even though I had an attorney look over my contract before and approve
| > it, it is a copy from a general one I found on the web. Part of which
| > states:
| > "This Agreement shall commence on the date stated above, and shall
| > remain in effect until all obligations under this Agreement have been
| > properly completed. Either party to this Agreement may terminate this
| > Agreement with or without cause by providing at least seven days
| > written notice to the other party."
| > Does that say to anyone that a refund must be given? I know I
| > probably need to consult a lawyer on that.
| > Aside from that, any advice or past experiences?
| > Thanks,
| > GA
| A contract is a contract, but I have also let 2 people out over the past
| 6 years just to keep my reputation intact. I charged for time spent at
| $50/hour, handed over my work and returned the rest of the deposit.
| It's just not worth the battle to enforce the contract.
I would add that it's not just the time you have (or have not) invested in
the work product itself but the time you have invested in setting up the
deal. I run several graphic arts studios and we have what is referred to as
Kill Fees. With few exceptions if no work has actually started the kill fee
is 50% with progressions greater depending on the level of work completed.
(it's in our contracts BTW)
One of the express reasons for the 50% fee is that we have a lot of time
invested in the job from the get go even before the work starts.
In our case we have a sales staff. Want to guess how long they would still
be on staff if we stiffed them their commission?
While this is a bit off your services I direct you to www.gag.org and their
handbook ($35 at most bookstores). The sections on contracts and best
business practices is a gold mine.
An aside: another good site is www.no-spec.com again a bit off your
services but an education none the less.
That said: I'm not a web person and lurk for what I can learn and for that
I thank all who post here.
Re: Client & Contract Issue
I think you received some good advice in this thread.
In this case you are probably better off just letting the client go and
giving him a full refund. A few thoughts come to mind on this:
1) If this is what the guy pulls on "Day 1" of the job this is probably a
good indicator of what a pain in the ass he'll probably be down the road.
2) This guy was satisfied with your rate and now he wants to cancel because
he has a cheaper rate. Sounds like he is going to be one of those guys who
is a headache to get money out of and going to nickle and dime you along the
3) If you match the other designers price the client might even be the type
who'll keep looking for cheaper and cheaper designers to get you to keep
dropping your price.
4) He wants out and you probably didn't do much work yet for him. If he
wants out and you force him to continue he could make your life miserable by
acting like a jerk about the whole process and continually yank your chain
with a multitude of minor fixes, etc.
For the above part of your email I quoted (part of the contract), I was
going say that you might want to add something like:
"The client shall be responsible for any costs incurred by and/or fees for
work by the developer to the point that notice is received. If any monies
have been received by the developer that are greater than the current
balance owing by the client for costs and/or work they shall be returned
less any costs and/or fees. If the balance owing for any incurred costs
and/or fees is greater than monies received at the point of termination, the
client shall pay the balance owing to the developer for release from this
Without something like that in your contract (stating that they owe anything
up to the date of termination of the contract) the client could try arguing
that by cancelling the contract they are due a full refund of any payment(s)
That doesn't mean they would win if they took that argument to court... but
they could waste a lot of your time and money by trying to take it to court.
You might even want to put something in future contracts about a deposit if
you want to stop this from happening... something whereby if the client
cancels within a certain time (IE: 24hrs) you give a full refund, but the
longer they wait the less of the deposit you return to a point where you
return none of their deposit.
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