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lsndr
Member

Client asks for free work on a hourly contract.

Hello!

I have a hourly-contract with my client. He asked me to recode his website. I said that it can take 60-90 hours. When it was 70 hours, I realised that the project will take a bit more time, so I said it to client. He didn't like it, so when I reached 90 hours, I decided to work 20 hours for free to finish the main functions of the project.

But now the client asks me to customize some parts of his website and forbids me to turn on time-tracker. He says that if something works not as he wants it to work, then it's a bug.

I've got bored of describing him what kind of contract we have and that he asks me for additional work.

What should I do?

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prestonhunter
Member

Yeah... that's a tricky situation.


The client is sincere in his desire to not spend more money.

He's still wrong. But he is sincere.

 

He is essentially disrespecting your time and disrespecting the meaning of an hourly contract.

 

One thinks about famous software, such as Microsoft Windows or Excel... Did these systems or programs have bugs? Awkward elements? Security flaws? Things that could be improved? Yes. Did the company pay its employees to fix these things? Or ask them to fix them for free on their own time?

 

What should you do?

 

I'm going to give you advice which is very specific to your situation. This doesn't apply to anybody else. Here's what I would do:


The next time the client asks you to change anything... then ask him:

"Would you like me to log time while doing this, or not?"

 

If he says "Yes", then log time.

 

If he says "No," then tell him:

"Frank, I will be happy to make this fix without logging time. I can have it done today. If you will close the contract, then I will do the fix, and there will be no way to log time. You will still have the option to pay me using the 'Pay Bonus' tool, which works even if the contract is closed. But whether you do that or not is up to you. I'm going to make this change either way. So I'll go ahead and do the work and I'll log time if you leave the contract open, and I won't log time if you close the contract."

 

Then what happens next is up to him. It is HIS CHOICE whether or not you log time or do the work for free.

 

If he doesn't close the contract, then you log time.

 

If he closes the contract, then you do the fix, and you don't log time. And that is the last work you do for him. The contract will then be closed, and you don't owe him any more work.

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prestonhunter
Member

Yeah... that's a tricky situation.


The client is sincere in his desire to not spend more money.

He's still wrong. But he is sincere.

 

He is essentially disrespecting your time and disrespecting the meaning of an hourly contract.

 

One thinks about famous software, such as Microsoft Windows or Excel... Did these systems or programs have bugs? Awkward elements? Security flaws? Things that could be improved? Yes. Did the company pay its employees to fix these things? Or ask them to fix them for free on their own time?

 

What should you do?

 

I'm going to give you advice which is very specific to your situation. This doesn't apply to anybody else. Here's what I would do:


The next time the client asks you to change anything... then ask him:

"Would you like me to log time while doing this, or not?"

 

If he says "Yes", then log time.

 

If he says "No," then tell him:

"Frank, I will be happy to make this fix without logging time. I can have it done today. If you will close the contract, then I will do the fix, and there will be no way to log time. You will still have the option to pay me using the 'Pay Bonus' tool, which works even if the contract is closed. But whether you do that or not is up to you. I'm going to make this change either way. So I'll go ahead and do the work and I'll log time if you leave the contract open, and I won't log time if you close the contract."

 

Then what happens next is up to him. It is HIS CHOICE whether or not you log time or do the work for free.

 

If he doesn't close the contract, then you log time.

 

If he closes the contract, then you do the fix, and you don't log time. And that is the last work you do for him. The contract will then be closed, and you don't owe him any more work.

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