“Here’s my story, sad but true” – Dion
“Come all ye friends I’ll sit you down, and sing an doleful ditty…” – Great Big Sea
Last year I set up a website for a recent acquaintence. I moved her site over to host on my server, set up her site in wordpress, made a custom theme, met with her on several occasions to go over her requirements and teach her wordpress. I even made the site ‘responsive’ since, after the fact, she mentioned that mobile compatibility was important to her. I probably put at least 20 hours of work into this but since she was a local acquaintence and we hadn’t agreed on a price in advance (yes I realized, big mistake on my part) I was only going to charge for about 5 hours of work. (yes I know, I should have had a contract, we’ll get to that in another post). So be clear, 20 hours of work at my normal rate = $1500. I was only going to ask her for $375. That’s 75% off for someoene I had just met.
When I sent her a note saying ‘I think that’s it, I’d like to meet with you to go over the final details and answer any questions‘ she didn’t respond for a while, and then wrote back saying she was upset about the fact that the background photo credit in the bottom right of the photo wasn’t visible in all different size views (I had explained why this wasn’t possible without some additional work) and that her calendar display wasn’t to her liking (Something I had suggested we work on earlier but she specifically said she wanted it that way).
I offered to remedy those problems. But no, apparently these were urforgiveable offenses and she insisted she was going to find another designer to finish the site. But here’s the Coup de grâce, she offered me $100 “for my time”.
I refused to take it. I told her my reason was I didn’t want to accept money for work for something someone wasn’t happy with, which was true, but really it was since it was insulting to imply all the work I had done was only worth $100. I didn’t want to dignify her offer with the respect of accepting it.
<sarcasm>Yeah I sure showed her, she got her whole site for free, that’s showing them Matt! They wont cross paths with you again!</sarcasm>
The only redeeming piece of all this is I know I took the high road, even after being given every reason not to. (I even waited a whole year to post this rant and left her name and business out of this post.)
She’s since moved her site to another host and it’s still the same design. (and yes, for all you designers out there, even after all this I let her keep the site I had designed, and hosted it for months for free while she found a new host/desigenr. I know, I know if I was cold-hearted ruthless business expert, or perhaps just wise, I would have shut her site off the moment she refused to pay. I took the high road til it hurt. Oh well, “Next time”)
All I know is, if karma exists, she’s got something coming her way.
This post is related to another one I’m working on called ‘I hate asking for money’, it was just enough of a tangent that I thought I’d post it separately and then I can just link ro it from the other post for people who really want tor read ‘below the fold’