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Got my first contract and the client has unrealistic expectations

I am an upcoming developer breaking into this sphere and two days back I got my first contract. The client wanted me to fix a script for him, but after I was hired I learned that there was significant misdirection in the offer. The error did not exactly exist in the client's script as much as in their hardware.


The client also asked to add more features(which were not part of original proposal). Since this was my first job and I wanted to go up and above, I complied. I tested the script I wrote for multiple test cases and it passed for me but however the client only allowed very limited access to his system so I couldn't test all the cases on their system.


Eventually, I was able to fix the original error that the client wanted fixed however fixing it was causing another slight error which was due to the client's hardware. The printer was cutting off the printed files on the right, and when I asked the client to fix the printer's setting he refused.


After approx. 12 hours of work, the client said I did not solve his problem, and paused the contract and is now asking for a full refund. However the script I have written works totally correctly on my system and the only problem is the client's faulty hardware. Now it's impossible for me to fix a problem in the hardware setting's of the client if they refuse to change them.


I'm new here and I don't really know what my recourse should be, so I just wanted some advice. I'm open to anything honestly, I don't really care about refunding, I just don't want this to affect my JSS(which hasn't been given yet) negatively.


I'd appreciate any advice. Thank you.


Faisal, not sure I understood your situation, so I'm just asking. Did you solve the business problem your client had?

If yes, you should get paid according to what you quoted for. If the scope was increased during the project, you should have adjusted the price in agreement with the client.

If you didn't solve the business problem, probably the client is disappointed and wants the money back.

If you are unsure what happened, you might want to improve your communication skills. Expectation management is the key to success.

Make money for your client and they tend to be happy.

I don't fully understand the sequence of events.


Did you communicate with the client that it was not a script problem but a hardware one? It sounds like you should have backed out of the job when you realized you might not be able to solve the problem. Then, the client could have spent their money on someone else. 

When you are working on a freelance platform, it is far better to underpromise and overdeliver. Clients seldom care why something failed, only that it did. 

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