What to do when the client screws you around…..

by Brendon on April 12, 2005

We won a nice job on Tuesday for a $6,000 web site. The new client wanted it completed as soon as possible, so we quickly registered the domain name, set up the hosting and briefed our designer and programmer on the requirements.
That took a couple of hours of our time on Tuesday afternoon.
On Wednesday at 10.30 am the client rang to say he had changed his mind and wasn’t proceeding. And despite our efforts, they couldn’t be convinced to continue.
The next day at lunchtime we had a call from another designer who wanted the domain details and passwords because he had just won the job and wanted to make a start!
Mmmmmmm……..so the client lied to us, wasted our time and cost me money.
What should I do?
The answer, and as I write this I’m not too sure this is the right thing, is nothing. I can’t afford to let the negativity of an incident like this stop us giving the best for our other clients. I gave the details to the designer after checking his credentials with the ex-client and moved on.
On reflection (as I write this) I probably should have let the client know I was aware of his lie and let him know my dissapointment with his business ethics. After all, we did this:
* completed the extensive proposal (took us 8 hours),
* had a couple of meetings to ensure the best solution for them, and
* paid for the domain name and hosting in good faith prior to receiving the deposit cheque.
And then he’s probably taken our detailed proposal to the nearest designer and received a lower quote.
Business is all about ethics and integrity. Lose those and you’ve lost.

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