1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How to deal with this bad customer

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by skgoa, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. skgoa

    skgoa Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    10
    One local social media management customer I have is getting more and more problematic. It's a local web startup (a website facilitating communication between local businesses and their customers) that I was hired to do social media for and when we signed the contract he added that he wanted a blog. Of course I wanted to work out some groundrules and what his expectations are but he deflected me with "It's going to be on a basis of trust, I'm convinced you will be able to do it." This was on November 29th. After asking for it several times, I got access to their FB page on December 11th. (Note: they refused to give me access to all other social media accounts...) I uploaded some like-baiting photos and went about finding avenues to get people to see the page in the first place. (It had ~400 likes at the time.) On December 14th I got an angry eMail from him saying that I only made a few posts, that his secretary could do that as well and that he would have to think about retaining me. Apparently he thought I would contact business partners and possible customers and "give new impulses on SEO", too. When I asked him to have his 'web designer' (and I can only use the term ironically, because the website is utter crap and is the true reason this company isn't going anywhere) install wordpress he answered with (paraphrased) "I thought you could do that. Had I known that we have to let the web designer do it, it would already have happened." Yeah, expect the freelancer whom you know for 2 weeks and who has said at least three times during the initial meeting that he isn't a web designer to just change some stuff on your website/server, that you depend on and that has customer data on it. What could possibly go wrong! :rolleyes: I explained it to him but now he has written me a mail basicly saying "for only a few posts you are getting less money, is that ok for you?" So I see two options here: 1) sticking in there: e.g. buying a bot and comment spam on facebook so he thinks he is getting something for his money, instead of, you know, actually growing his business for him; or 2) getting out of the contract ASAP. Now, I knew from the start that this company is going to fail. But I thought I could do my job and earn some money to invest in my own projects. And maybe have a foot in the door when approaching his customers to sell them my services. But now I'm afraid he will consume ever more of my time for comparatively little compensation. And that he will hold me accountable for how badly his company will continue to run.

    Other than fiverr scammers, I never had a business relationship that bad. Should I stick with it though? I.e. should I try to explain myself again or even just do what he wants me to do? (Even though it's retarded and not in the contract.) I really don't want to but I'm willing to be rational about it.
     
  2. GiorgioB

    GiorgioB Supreme Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Messages:
    1,288
    Likes Received:
    1,318
    Occupation:
    Making money
    Location:
    Touching the Sky
    I would try and milk it as much as possible, get as much money off him as you can, until he realises you are taking him for a ride, then tell him to piss off.
     
  3. Typlo

    Typlo Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,289
    Likes Received:
    499
    Location:
    New York
    Home Page:
    If the contract has an opt out clause, take advantage of it. Sounds like you won't be able to make him happy, he doesn't want to stick to the contract he agreed to, and in the end will just cost you more time and possible damage to your reputation than it'll be worth. I would imagine the contract has a no compete clause though? Still, grab the client contacts, so you can step in after the company fails. It isn't competition when the company ceases to exist. ;)
     
  4. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2012
    Messages:
    10,139
    Likes Received:
    28,607
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Fun Lovin' Criminal
    Location:
    London
    Home Page:
    if you don't have a proper contract detailing what was expected of you, he is going to try to screw you over no matter if you do a good job or bad one. tell him what your terms are and if he doesn't agree then I would get out asap
     
  5. bonzo90

    bonzo90 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    Messages:
    505
    Likes Received:
    270
    Location:
    EU
    Hey buddy, I get these sort of people all the time, super cautious about their social accounts and not trusting enough to let you have access to a) ftp or b) any social networks without them being sat behind you.

    Drop them like a sack of shit if you think they are going to fail and cut your losses, there is nothing more than an irritating whiny person who will just talk shit about you in your local area.

    Either that or, like I did for a client this year , bring in a big flow diagram about how shit their website is and how it could be improved, hire a guy off here to make you a nice new one for them for cheap and keep the profit ;)
     
  6. incognito876

    incognito876 Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Messages:
    313
    Likes Received:
    538
    I would get out and cut your losses. Dealing with someone like that will only emotionally drain you, even if you are only doing it for what you can get out of him. IMO it isn't worth it.
     
  7. qualcomm

    qualcomm Newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    RUN! RUN! Everyone else has hit on it. It's okay to fire customers from time to time. He's going to end up being more trouble than he's worth. Whatever money you end up making on this totally won't be worth it because it's going to cost you more with time and frustration. I had to learn this lesson the hard way myself. I've made the mistake of trying to make a deal work by lowering my price only to find that the customer had so many demands that it ended up not being profitable at all for me. Cut him loose now if you can.
     
  8. cracklings10

    cracklings10 Newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    5
    hahaha nice comments
     
  9. B. Friendly

    B. Friendly BANNED BANNED

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2012
    Messages:
    388
    Likes Received:
    480
    Have you been paid? If not, make getting paid your 1st priority. You client's willingness to pay you, or resistance to it will determine what you next step should be. Ignore the terms of the contract, and insist upon seeing some cash right now.

    If he hands over money, then put some effort into getting his head fixed. Small business owners are single-purpose tools that are extremely difficult to adapt to something that they cannot 1) See an immediate return on their investment 2) They cannot understand 3) Requires even a minimum level of trust.

    If he wants to learn, and you have something to teach, and you are getting paid, then unofficially that's what he is paying you for, no matter what the contract says.

    If no on all of the above, run like your hair was on fire. The worst thing you can do is provide for him any kind of service for free, BECAUSE:

    The minute you give him something, anything for free, you've just defined the value of that service, which would be $0.00, and he will be VERY resistant later on to pay you something for something that he used to get for free.

    I think, if you review the "tape" of your previous interactions, you will realize a few things. Either:

    A) You could have seen this coming. This guy is "wired" to be difficult and if you had either been paying attention, or had more experience, this is nothing "new" for him. The only new element in this equation is you, or;

    B) You saw this coming, could have done something about it and did not.

    By this second point, what I mean is that when I run into these situations, I push the prospect into defining themselves. They are either going to be a pain in the ass that is not worth the time it takes to earn the money or they are not, and I don't ever leave that point ambiguous. I push them right off the bat to understand that I have valuable skills, and in order to get them they have to give me MONEY. There aren't any favors here. The fact that we are "friendly" does not mean we are friends.

    I've had all sorts of terrible situations occur as a result of getting involved in business deals with people I should have avoided right from the very start. It bothers me sometimes when I read about other business people and the lengths they will go to shave 5% off this cost, or milk a situation for an extra 10%, but hardly anyone ever talks about how getting involved with the wrong asshole could cost you 200% of the job's total value, in terms of lost time, etc...

    Picking your client is the most important aspect of being in business, in my opinion. If you pick right, losing 5% here or there is a minor inconvenience. If you pick wrong, you could have a major disaster. By that I mean something serious, like the time several years ago a so-called "reputable member" of the community witheld the entire balanced due on a job because he disputed $300 of it. He was using the entire balance as leverage against me in order to get the bill reduced, and as a result I was evicted from my apartment as I could not pay any of my bills and I was too prideful and stubborn to give in and settle.

    Years later, the pain and $300 loss on that job is now called "tuition", and I make a point of increasing the value of that lesson every chance I get. That $300 has probably saved me tens of thousands of dollars over the last few years. Now I realize it was a cheap price to pay for a mistake that I made and will never make again.

    In your case, this could be a similar learning lesson. Just make certain that, no matter what you do, you do it with eyes WIDE OPEN, and remember everything that happens for possible, future, profit-making use.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  10. SkyrocketSEO

    SkyrocketSEO Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    4,351
    Likes Received:
    11,288
    Occupation:
    travəlɪŋ
    Location:
    Aibres
    Home Page:
    Sounds like UK client? Maybe I am wrong but in my case 90% of UK clients end up being some lame ass jerks. I don't have anything against UK in general, it's just my statistic. They are always like:"I expected Don Draper meets Shakespeare ." for the lowest possible rate on the Earth.
    On the other side the best clients : Australia
     
  11. Junkfood00

    Junkfood00 Elite Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    Messages:
    1,949
    Likes Received:
    1,336
    I can't read your text, it hurts the eyes, sort it out..
     
  12. browsing_hosts

    browsing_hosts Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    Messages:
    360
    Likes Received:
    341
    Occupation:
    Student at Uni + IM on side
    Location:
    London
    Aye yo mate. can you do all my site SEO for the price of a fish and chips down da road? I expect 2 million back-links daily mate. you got it?!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  13. aftershock2020

    aftershock2020 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Messages:
    981
    Likes Received:
    477
    1. PLEASE break up your sentences when posting, so that it isn't a blur.

    2. Get out of that deal as soon as possible, as this client of your's is obviously an energy leech, not looking to make money but to take advantage and abuse you...which you need to take charge of your clients, as 'you' are suppose to be the expert consultant that he hired.

    Sounds as if this guy is pushing you around and you are letting him.

    Cut it loose.

    3. Get yourself a professional Non-disclosure agreement and work to hire contract created.

    4. Put those two documents to use EVERY time you get a new client.

    * It will protect you from situations like this, as if they abuse the contract and try to get more than what you are hired for, you have the option to charge more for extra services and opt out if need be, due to an " additional services amendment clause " and an " early opt out clause ".

    A good suggestion is also an " alteration of services/features clause ", which protects you by limiting so many free alterations and add-on tasks and extra alterations for a preset fee of $$$ you put in the contract from the start.

    Food for thought.
     
  14. hateandbreak

    hateandbreak Supreme Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,393
    Likes Received:
    1,528
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Amidst the INTL Traffic
    Sometimes you really just have to ask yourself: Is it worth the amount of money, the stresses and struggles to keep ONE disgruntled customer satisfied when there are hundreds of other ready to pay you and not be an insolence?

    I would drop that mofo like a shit in the toilet, that's just me
     
  15. MicronetVServers

    MicronetVServers Newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Drop him, for what it's worth just let him hire someone else. And then possibly someone else after that. The cycle continues.
     
  16. rugbyjack2005

    rugbyjack2005 Power Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
    Messages:
    539
    Likes Received:
    50
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    How much are you charging? In my experience, the smaller the contract, the more hassle. I won't do any work unless they agree to the terms set out in the contract and I have a signed copy. You then stick to the terms and that's that. Without the contract, they think they can push you around and do what they like which to a point they can.

    If I was you, I would agree a contract or I would stop working for them and put your time into finding new clients. I wouldn't start doing a bad job because reputation is everything is this business and if you do a bad job, people will think that you're not able to do a good job...
     
  17. OfflineMaster

    OfflineMaster Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    16
    Occupation:
    Mentoring, Coaching, Training, Appointment Setting
    Location:
    USA
    Home Page:
    If you have not been paid...ask for payment immediately on what has been done. THEN tell him you should re-negotiate any further work as you don't feel that he is being realistic.

    Either he will do it your way, or he will say no thanks and you'll be off the hook.

    FYI - contracts don't do much of anything unless someone decides to take you to court (which usually costs more than owed). It's why we get paid up front, and we don't do contracts.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  18. TFGreen

    TFGreen Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Michigan USA
    2% are the Jerks & Idiots. Get out and start looking for the other 98%. Good Luck!

    Happy Holidays
     
  19. Sunday Lunch

    Sunday Lunch Junior Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    163
    This is so true and relevant to any business. People I do business with for £X,XXX expect me to take their kids to school and then at the end of the contract do not repeat, people I do business with for £XX,XXX I do not even have to call to confirm they will be recommitting for another year and everything is sorted out in 2 emails.
     
  20. JokerNikx

    JokerNikx BANNED BANNED

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2012
    Messages:
    834
    Likes Received:
    526
    Simply Escape As Soon as Posible ;)