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Arguing with clients.

battershall-ramo
Community Guru
Ramon B Member Since: Jan 11, 2015
1 of 17

I had a client recently who wasn't dishonest or rude as such, just massively condescending and demanding, and seemed to expect the Earth for $20. I responded that he was treating me like a servant, and he said I should be grateful as he was paying well above the market rate (he wasn't). 

After some back and forth, he eventually gave me a career-destroying review, leading to more arguing, me refunding his money, and him blocking me.

My question is, what constitutes a freelancer's reasonable statement of their value, and what will constitute grounds for suspension/permanent suspension? Some clients seem to take pleasure in making freelancers feel worthless, and it does not seem unreasonable for freelancers to pick them up on this. 

Some clarification please. 

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
2 of 17

You had it removed. Don't let it bother you too much. 🙂 I kinda feel like it's pouring salt in their wounds and it's a big fuuuuuu when all is said and done. I did it and it felt gud, mang,

 

I kinda keep my "arguing" to sarcasm. lol I

battershall-ramo
Community Guru
Ramon B Member Since: Jan 11, 2015
3 of 17

It's not the arguing that concerns me, I am, after all, English. What concerns me is the prospect that, if he'd reported me, he could have destroyed a third of my income over a playground spat over $20 when he was pleased with the work in the first place. There doesn't appear to be any appeals process once you've violated the rather ambiguous terms and conditions. 

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
4 of 17

@Ramon B wrote:

It's not the arguing that concerns me, I am, after all, English. What concerns me is the prospect that, if he'd reported me, he could have destroyed a third of my income over a playground spat over $20 when he was pleased with the work in the first place. There doesn't appear to be any appeals process once you've violated the rather ambiguous terms and conditions. 


 Don't argue with clients. That's the bottom line.

 

Neither on a platform, nor in real life, can anything good ever come from that.

 

"Pick your battles!" is as true in Freelancing as it is everywhere else.

 

Completely leaving aside the possible consequences, how can it POSSIBLY be worth your time and energy to waste it on arguing with a $ 20 dipstick?

charles_kozierok
Community Guru
Charles K Member Since: Mar 6, 2017
5 of 17

@Petra R wrote:

 

Don't argue with clients. That's the bottom line.

 

Neither on a platform, nor in real life, can anything good ever come from that.

 

"Pick your battles!" is as true in Freelancing as it is everywhere else.

 

Completely leaving aside the possible consequences, how can it POSSIBLY be worth your time and energy to waste it on arguing with a $ 20 dipstick?


Nailed it on all counts.

 

Professionals act that way, and their behavior is not a function of the behavior of the client.

 

The professional response to someone demanding more than you believe they paid for is to explain what you believe the job entailed for the price given, providing evidence from pre-contract discussions, the job listing and/or the proposal.

 

The professional response to someone being condescending and demanding is to make a mental note never to work with them again. After all, that's one of the perqs of being here and not in a full-time job: you still have "bosses" but can (to some extent) choose them.

 

Nothing good ever comes out of arguing or using phrases like "treating me like a servant" or telling the client they should be grateful. Ever.

bruce_dodds
Community Leader
Bruce D Member Since: Oct 1, 2015
6 of 17

 Don't argue with clients. That's the bottom line.

 

I have arguments with clients pretty often over project plans, but only when there's already a good relationship. 

 

I agree with this advice about arguments about character, but I also feel Ramon's pain.  I once confronted a client who accused me of trying to cheat him.  Not sure if I gained or lost much as far as the job was concerned, but I felt stupid afterwards.

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
7 of 17

@Bruce D wrote:

 Don't argue with clients. That's the bottom line.

 

I have arguments with clients pretty often over project plans, but only when there's already a good relationship. 

 

I agree with this advice about arguments about character, but I also feel Ramon's pain.  I once confronted a client who accused me of trying to cheat him.  Not sure if I gained or lost much as far as the job was concerned, but I felt stupid afterwards.


 ha that happened to me last year. Some chick came back a year later and accused me of making things up on one of the four projects I did for her. There were editors and other writers with their hands all over her projects, so I kinda think she was trying to pin it on me since I was the only active freelancer. She messaged me a few times and I think she wanted me to say something that would give her some leverage had she gone to Upwork. 

 

So, in my snarky way, I told her no and ignored her after that.

kat303
Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
8 of 17

Ramon =  Never argue with a client. It will get you nowhere. Even in the B&M world, there's a saying. The customer is always right.

 

Even if you are in the right, you just don't gain anything by arguing . The best thing would have been to Professionally fire the client. Something nice such as "I'm sorry, it seems like we can't agreed on things, and we are not getting along with each other. I'm sorry that situation came up. I am withdrawing from the contract. I wish you the best."

 

Because this is a business, and in a business, even if you are 110% right, and you see a client getting argumentative or frustrated, at those times you just have to let it go and move on 

 

2 (as I call it) hot heads arguing never produce a favorable outcome.

afifield
Community Guru
Amanda F Member Since: Aug 8, 2015
9 of 17

My 2 cents is that it's best to just move on as you'll always get 1-2 of these types of clients every so often and it makes no sense to waste your energy on trying to convince them if they don't want to listen, especially for $20. I can usually tell that a client is going to be like that when reading their job post.

 

Tell them what your price is, if they don't like it then move on and arguing just leaves a sour taste for both parties.  There isn't anything wrong though with being assertive and telling a client that you need more for something and why you do, but I don't feel it is good to say anything about feeling like a servant as that just is a little too agressive/arguementative and will only lead to bad feedback, especially with this type of client. 

 

He wouldn't be able to take back income if you have proof to show the work you did and that he said he was happy with it anyways, and I wouldn't refund just because of bad feedback if my client said they were happy with the work, but didn't want to pay more for extra work. 

 

You've got an excellent job success, I wouldn't worry too much about it. 

ravi_iitian
Community Guru
Ravindra B Member Since: Sep 27, 2015
10 of 17

Any unpleasantness with the client (or any team member) is bound to affect the supersensitive JSS.

 

And if the client is unprofessional, it can get really messy.

 

Just let it go (easier said than done).

 

Remember, it takes six months for a baddie to fall out of the immediate window.

 

"Certa bonum certamen"
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