Hello fellow freelancers,
I have a situation I haven’t yet encountered in my 17 years of experience. Therefore, I’m asking for any suggestion, comment or opinion. It is very simple actually. It would be funny if it wasn’t serious.
Client wanted particular website to be done. He didn’t provide any details whatsoever. All he said was make it simple. We agreed over price. The rest was on me. I had freedom to do what I wanted. I delivered the project. He paid the agreed amount. All was fine for about a week. Few days back he gets back to me angry and furious that I scammed him and that he overpaid.
One of the main reasons for his anger is that he feels such website isn’t worth amount we agreed. How could I possibly knew how he would feel about anything if he didn't provide details? In his opinion it could have been done much faster and cheaper. Of course, I know how much time and energy I invested. And I have my prices like everyone else does. Some freelancers are cheaper, and some are more expensive.
Client isn’t being reasonable. I asked him how we can resolve this situation, but that doesn’t help. He is just feeling scammed and like he overpaid. Last thing I told him was to send TODO document with all the changes he wanted. That didn’t help either.
It goes without saying he is threatening to open the case. I have no problem with that. I just don’t understand what is his reasoning. He didn’t define any single requirement, we agreed over price and I delivered the project. Website is up and running on his server.
What would you do in my position? How to handle this situation? What was my mistake? What could I have done better? Opinions are welcomed. Thank you.
Tell the client that you want him to be treated fairly.
Tell him that if he comes to this thread and explains his side of the story, that you will abide by the consensus decision made by the participants of this thread.
I am glad that you did not resort to name calling. I believe that we should ALWAYS be polite and professional. We don't gain anything if we are rude or call people names.
Life is too short for spending much time with the odd fools we all come across now and then.
If the client didn't have hard requirements and you did what needed to be done according to the client's original requirements (regardless how poorly he defined them) at the price you agreed, there isn't much worth arguing over.
Move on to greener pastures. You will not be able to placate this guy.
In my own little piece of heaven here in Upwork land I have learned to clearly define to the client the elements of each project before I even accept their offer. Even so, the very rare client now and then doesn't really understand the work they are asking me to do for them, but they have strong opinions about how I should do it and I have fired one or two of them over the years. It was always a relief.
If the client doesn't correct my expectations pre-contract, it's pretty much speak now or forever hold your peace. But I also only do hourly projects, so if a client adds new requirements (s)he is on shaky ground if they think they will get extra work from me without increasing their budget.