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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08-31-2011, 02:39 PM
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Default How to You Handle Clingy Clients?

Ugh, I hate that I can't edit my title. DO, not TO.

I have 2 clients who are currently attempting to micromanage every second of my day. They are both driving me absolutely insane.

One is for a 3 day project, so I'll let it slide. The other has been bugging me for weeks. We'll call him Dirk.

Dirk emails me all day, every day, on both of my email addresses that he has. He's a private client with a lower-paying project than what I would normally accept, and I only took it because he fed me some sob story and I felt bad (I AM A SUCKER).

When I was having Excel problems a week or two ago, I lost a bunch of work. Then I had to play catchup.

With that in mind, I didn't even want to do Dirk's project and told him I couldn't get to it anytime soon. He said that was fine, and even offered to pay upfront.

Two days after he paid me, he accused me of scamming him since he didn't have his 7 articles yet. I explained that I told him it would take me awhile to get to his project (and I seriously told him this like 5 times, since he emails all day). Then I said, "I'm sorry you feel scammed, I'll be happy to refund your money right now since we seem to have misunderstood each other".

He refused the refund and actually got really mad that I offered it. Okay, well, I was just trying to respect his time and let him know that I'm not a scammer.

With that in mind, I set a specific date and time that he would have his articles. I usually do that to begin with, but I had previously given him an approximate date (which was wayyyyy longer than 2 days, just for the record). He seemed okay with it and said that was fine...so tell me why he has emailed me at least 20 times to ask if they're done yet and when he's getting them? Keep in mind the articles are NOT due yet.

Not to sound like a jerk, but I have higher-paying clients who don't annoy the hell out of me, and they are going to get their work first.

How would you handle this? I am seriously annoyed to the point where I am about to block his emails and refund his money - without asking if that's what he wants. Does he not understand that emailing me all day long does NOT make me get the assignment done any faster? We have agreed on a due date, like I said, and I am prepared to honor it. So what's the problem?

UGHHHHHHHHH.

I won't even start on how he's changed the details of what he wants a bunch of times. Sigh.

Anyway, I've told him that I don't check my email all day long, and that it may take me up to 2 days to respond at times. That's not true, but I figured it would make him stop emailing every 5 minutes to ask if I'm done. It hasn't.

So what would you do? I hate dropping clients, but I seriously can't handle one more freaking email asking if I'm done yet. And...thanks to PayPal...he has my full legal name...which he has now started referring to me as in each email. I know that's just a little thing, but it's really pissing me off. I don't go by my first name, I go by a nickname. He knows this, seeing as how my first few emails are all addressed to my nickname.

Also, how often do you reply to clients like this? He reminds me of a clingy bf who thinks you're breaking up if you don't respond to his texts within 3 minutes.

Sorry this got so long. I have been holding this in for 2 weeks.
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:46 PM
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Wow, that is incredibly obnoxious! I would probably do one of two things:

1) Finish the work ASAP to get it over with, send it to him, and never ever accept work from him again. If he has complaints or wants it changed (which sounds possible, since you said he's changed his mind a million times already), apologize and send a refund. Be done with him.

2) Next time he wants to change something or asks if you are done yet, I'd send a polite email saying that your work schedule clearly doesn't line up with what he needs as far as a delivery schedule. I'd say here's your refund, sorry this didn't work out, etc. etc.

Either way...be done with him ASAP. Why do the whole work at home thing if you still have an obnoxious, clingy boss to answer to?
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by KateFurst View Post

Either way...be done with him ASAP. Why do the whole work at home thing if you still have an obnoxious, clingy boss to answer to?
LOL my thoughts exactly. I think he has one more email before he gets a refund and the boot. My son is teething and wakes up screaming from 1am to 3am every night. I have very little patience today.
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Old 08-31-2011, 03:03 PM
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On his next project, raise your rate to make it worth the aggravation.
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Old 08-31-2011, 03:29 PM
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Outsource it. If you are busy, get someone here to do it for you. Send it to him. If he asks for changes tell him that you have followed instructions and there is a charge for changes. Outsource it again. If he wants to hire you again, tell him that you are booked solid and are not taking any new orders.
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Old 08-31-2011, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by dmcgaw View Post
Outsource it. If you are busy, get someone here to do it for you. Send it to him. If he asks for changes tell him that you have followed instructions and there is a charge for changes. Outsource it again. If he wants to hire you again, tell him that you are booked solid and are not taking any new orders.
I like this idea, too. I might try that. Thanks.

I just hate to give up on projects, no matter how annoying the client is...but he's really driving me nuts. I haven't had any bad clients for awhile, so I guess it was just time.
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Old 08-31-2011, 03:40 PM
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It's not giving up - it is preserving your sanity!
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Old 08-31-2011, 03:47 PM
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Uggghhh. If I were you, I would send ONE LAST email stating something like:

"As discussed previously, your articles will be completed on X date.

I have noticed that you have made significant changes to the assignment since our first correspondence. Please make sure you have the assignment specifications finalized by X date so I can begin. Please also note that any MAJOR changes made after the date mentioned above will be subject to additional charges for any articles which need to be entirely rewritten as a result (standard practice).

You will hear from me when your articles are complete or if I have any questions. Please rest assured that I have not forgotten you and that your work will be handed in on time. Until then, it would be greatly appreciated if you would make any notes you feel are needed to send me on X (finalization) day so that we no longer need daily emails. This will allow me to concentration more fully on existing projects so that I can get to your work more quickly.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation."

Or you know...something like that in your own words. If he keeps it up, refund his money and send him a short "You suck, stop bothering me!" email.
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Old 08-31-2011, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErinHill226 View Post
Uggghhh. If I were you, I would send ONE LAST email stating something like:

"As discussed previously, your articles will be completed on X date.

I have noticed that you have made significant changes to the assignment since our first correspondence. Please make sure you have the assignment specifications finalized by X date so I can begin. Please also note that any MAJOR changes made after the date mentioned above will be subject to additional charges for any articles which need to be entirely rewritten as a result (standard practice).

You will hear from me when your articles are complete or if I have any questions. Please rest assured that I have not forgotten you and that your work will be handed in on time. Until then, it would be greatly appreciated if you would make any notes you feel are needed to send me on X (finalization) day so that we no longer need daily emails. This will allow me to concentration more fully on existing projects so that I can get to your work more quickly.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation."

Or you know...something like that in your own words. If he keeps it up, refund his money and send him a short "You suck, stop bothering me!" email.
This is excellent advice. And yeah, if you don't have time for it, just outsource it to someone else just to get it done with. He isn't just clingy, he sounds like a stalker. I would send him on his way asap. Not to scare you but he sounds like the type of person that's going to ask you for editing and rewrites after the project is done. I don't know what it is but it's always the low paying clients who have these overwhelming demands.
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Old 08-31-2011, 04:38 PM
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I've had clients like this, and yeah, it's usually the lower paying people who do this. When this happened to me, I finally just sent in the work, made sure I got paid, and then ignored every email after that. He would regularly call me and leave 5 minute voicemails, and then email me to let me know he just sent a voicemail. When we would finally talk (after him rescheduling the call every single day for a week), he would send 3 or 4 emails within an hour of the convo, each with a new idea he wanted to bounce off me. One day he sent an email, and when I didn;t respond in one hour (early in the morning!) he called me to let me know he had emailed me, and then emailed me again to let me know he had called. wtf? I am not at your beck and call because I am writing content for you. yeah, clients like that honestly scare me.
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