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How to deal with a "Zilla"

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  #1  
Old 04-16-2011, 03:42 PM
Candidapple Candidapple is offline
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Thumbs up How to deal with a "Zilla"

Hello all,

I am a newbie to this site and enjoying it so far. I have a question for anyone willing to give some advice/answers.

I have a client who recently disputed my price for a full page black & white ad for a program book. (8.5 x 11). I charged $150.00 after many hours of revisions and editing. She wound up with 6 usable ads, but was still not happy. She stated that the cost of placing the ad in the program book was $400 and she wanted the ad to be jamming. Finally, she asked me to just make the ad a full page picture with the logos and would I do it for $100 because she thought my price was too high. I told her that I could not discount the hours already put into the other ads, but for an additional $25, I would make it from scratch in PS if she would search the net for something comparable to what she was expecting. She replied, "You have lost your mind!" I spent 2 hours consulting in person (not including driving time & gas) and 6-8 hours on editing and revisions. Am I being unreasonable? I am not certain how to respond. It's as though she wants me to discount the hours that I have already put into the other ads prior to her settling for a one picture ad page. I personally feel she received 3 "jamming" ads out of the 7 to choose from.
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Old 04-16-2011, 05:44 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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Re: How to deal with a "Zilla"

Not sure if it will help this time but:

You spent 10 hours or better for $150? Thats a whole $15/hour. In my experience the customers who get cheap work are a bigger pain than those who pay a more reasonable rate or in other words you are too cheap.

From your post I fail to see any mention of a written contract with a down payment before the work started. Problems like this usually result from that absence.

I do not know all of the circumstances, but I would consider telling the customer you no longer are interested, delete the files and bid her goodbye. Some problems are not worth the effort it takes to solve them.
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Old 04-16-2011, 06:22 PM
Candidapple Candidapple is offline
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Re: How to deal with a "Zilla"

Thanks Mike, you have been a tremendous help. Yes, I made the mistake of not getting the contract signed because I had done work for her in the past. But, I guess that just goes to show you that it may not always matter. I didn't note all of the details of the circumstances as I didn't want to be a bore. This was my first incidence and I was questioning myself. I am relieved and reassured by your words. The work that I delivered to her was not cheap by any means, despite her disapproval. For what she wanted, she would have paid much-much more... contracts from now on, no matter what the circumstances.
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Old 04-16-2011, 07:01 PM
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plugsnpixels plugsnpixels is offline
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Re: How to deal with a "Zilla"

Words of wisdom to consider as you navigate this situation:

1) The less a customer pays, the more they demand

2) Be thankful you're not shooting weddings

3) Be thankful you're not doing a free college internship (I know someone who is, doing web design, who has a boss that sounds like your client)

4) Most importantly, sometimes you have to "fire the client". You may have reached that point. It would be nice if you could wrap this job up in such a way that they have useable ads (it sounds like they do, whether they think so or not) and you get paid fairly for the work you've already done.

No point trying to please this person beyond that.

Next time, you'll have contracts in order and a deposit, and off you go.
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:28 PM
Candidapple Candidapple is offline
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Re: How to deal with a "Zilla"

Thanks Plugsnpixels! You made me laugh and gave me indispensable info all at the same time. I believe I need tougher skin and stiff prices. I am going to take this info, close the deal, and "fire this client." I do have much more to be thankful for and many more clients that appreciate what I do.
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:50 PM
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plugsnpixels plugsnpixels is offline
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Re: How to deal with a "Zilla"

Glad to have helped!
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