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Ugh, I'm an idiot. Customer troubles!

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by MariaMartini, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. MariaMartini

    MariaMartini Active Member

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    May 7, 2008
    As you'all know I am new to doing this all by myself.

    I figured I would do basic design work (for signs I am producing) for free. Since I'm not very busy yet its not really keeping me from anything else, well except housework.

    I got an order today for yard signs and he asked me to design them. They are for a construction company and he wanted some sort of graphics, not just text, but had absolutely no ideas of his own. I send him the attached documents.

    He also told me before hand that he didn't know what color he wanted them to be yet, and he had to ask his business partners, so I told them I would design them in black but that they could be in any color.

    When he finally checked his email he called angry that I didn't send him more options and wants me to design more as well as resend him the old files in a variety of colors. I'm kind of pissed now but I guess it's my fault.

    Can I tell him I will charge if any more changes are required or did I just screw myself on this one?
     

    Attached Files:

    Tags:
  2. doublesky

    doublesky Member

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    Yeah, you are probably going to be SOL on this one... but in the future... don't do design work for free! I also learned this one the hard way... people will just take advantage of you.

    Does he have a logo? Is he pissed cause you didn't come up with a good enough logo... or is it the overall sign? Well, regardless... try to simplify it a bit. Do you have to use THREE FULL NAMES AND NUMBERS?! Kinda excessive...
     
  3. anotherdog

    anotherdog Very Active Member

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    Sep 6, 2008
    Tell him the basic design is free (or the first half an hour) anything more is $ per hour design time.

    Frankly though he sounds the kind of *** who will never be happy with what he gets.

    You aren't doing anything wrong, just encountering more exotic breeds of customer.

    Decent designs, way too many numbers though.
     
  4. Mike Paul

    Mike Paul Major Contributor

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    Did you get a deposit? What size? and quantity?
     
  5. MariaMartini

    MariaMartini Active Member

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    Oh!! I know about the names! He is adamant about having all three, despite my opinions other wise.

    I would love to simplify it put he apparently wants hammers and nails and whatnot in addition to the design I already made. I basically told him that would be too busy and I think he is getting the picture...

    :banghead:
     
  6. MariaMartini

    MariaMartini Active Member

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    I am getting a deposit before I produce the signs... but of course I should have done it before I spent any time on them.

    10 18x24 yard signs plus 4 pairs of 12x18 vehicle magnets.
     
  7. steve b

    steve b Active Member

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    Where is the contractors lic # ?
    Are these folks legit, or are they a mariachi band doing construction on the side....LOL J/K.
    Yes, lose the individual names off that sign!

    steveb
     
  8. MariaMartini

    MariaMartini Active Member

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    Oh and he doesn't have any logo. From what I can tell it's just 3 guys who think they can fix stuff :Big Laugh
     
  9. MariaMartini

    MariaMartini Active Member

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    :goodpost: Yeah I think you hit the nail on the head. No pun intended :ROFLMAO:
     
  10. Aardy54@54-Design

    Aardy54@54-Design Member

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    Mar 3, 2007
    If he's all angry that you didnt do MORE free design work for him - you can in polite terms tell him to go screw the pooch if he thinks he's getting more artwork without design time compensation - and for all that is illuminated and HOLY< watermark ALL future proofs for him and EVERYONE else with at the vary lest the word PROOF diagonally across the design - helps to deter customers from taking your proof and running it down the street to XYZ sign shop and getting them to do it for cheaper while you get nothing for the artwork (unless you charged ahead of time for artwork fee and proofing)
    "$**/hr artwork design time fee with 2 hr minimum for any further designs" (you fill in the per hr part) is what I hope you'll be telling him, but in a tactful way
     
  11. Alphonse43

    Alphonse43 Member

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    If you want to work for nothing, I have plenty of work I can send your way. I'd even send you, the odd "Thank You" every now and then. Don't work for nothing and not expect to get screwed. I'd tell them, "Thanks, But No Thanks" cut your losses, and learn from the experience. On the up side, I like your 2 designs.
    Aphonse43
     
  12. doublesky

    doublesky Member

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    I wouldn't lose the job because of it... just explain that you'll show him 2 more proofs (or whatever you decide) WITH WATERMARKS and after that your rate is "X" amount per hour. Try seeing if you can divide the signs up by name, like 3 signs for Raul, 3 signs for Danny, Etc.
     
  13. MariaMartini

    MariaMartini Active Member

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    Thanks! :loveya:

    I am so glad you like what I designed considering what I had to work with. When I see what you'all on the forum are capable of designing, sometimes I feel like I have no design skills what-so-ever!
     
  14. Mike Paul

    Mike Paul Major Contributor

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    If you break your free layout/design agreement your gonna **** him off and lose him as a customer.
    Could be good or bad down the road with this/these guys but I prefer to keep customers until I want to get rid of them.
    At this point I'd make a layout change because those are not working at all.

    Offering a simple design for free may work to draw in new customers when starting out
    but if you do that; never send out or e-mail it to the customer. Make them get of their butt, come to your
    shop to make any changes so they don't take advantage of you. Guaranteed they will only want to do it once.
     
  15. Ken

    Ken Major Contributor

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    You're not screwed..at this pont, now tell the client that additional design changes will be additional cost..have them forwrd you some $ now..then continue...
    If they are not agreeable..well,,,then they are FIRED as a client.Cheers!
    KenK
     
  16. Border

    Border Very Active Member

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    Golden advice to use whenever you possibly can! -And you will arrive at a final design much quicker. Plus you can collect the down payment right there and then, and send them off with a printed and signed proof.
     
  17. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

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    #1 you need a deposit before you even turn on your computer. 50% down at the very least
    #2 if you don't have them yet, get yourself some 2-part proposal sheets stating your policy (I do two sketches, after that it's $75/sketch) There should be a line on them for your signature and date, and the customer's signature. Sometimes they won't sign.
    #3 for simple layouts, I don't charge a design fee, but if I have to email the client more than twice, they will pay $75 per revision. That usually makes them choose a lot faster.
    #4 by the time I do a simple layout, such as a corosign, I have ascertained exactly what the customer wants (colors, verbiage) and they usually do not even get a sketch.
    #5 If they are going to make me do a song and dance (i.e. several emails to be viewed by several parties leading to several changes) I charge accordingly.

    I try to be matter of fact from the get-go. They know just what they are getting for their money, they are not going to get logo-looking artwork for simple signs, and I will educate them on the better value of using less words with better impact.
    Love....Jill
     
  18. MariaMartini

    MariaMartini Active Member

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    Thanks for all of the advice.

    This customer wants these signs tomorrow but still have not called or emailed me to approve or deny the last proof.

    Grr...
     
  19. Lunatic Taskbar

    Lunatic Taskbar Very Active Member

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    You have 2 choices:

    1, sit back and wait.
    2, Chase them.

    I have found that chasing them either brings up something like "Oh dam the appoval wasnt emailed". Or it was sent and you havnt recieved it (for what ever reason). either way you will get your appoval and the job can commence.

    Sitting back. Will either show them you are too busy to be bothered with them. Or you don't care.

    It all depends on what is important to you. for me customer service would make me let them know I am aware of their deadlines and see if I can help. depending on their answer it will at least let you see how you progress from there.

    Personally I would email AND call, something along the lines of:

    In your previous correspondence you indicated a deadline. As your deadline is fast approaching and as part of our customer service I just wanted to contact you to ascertain if there is anything my end holding the project up.

    that should get you your answer one way or the other.
     
  20. Cadmn

    Cadmn Very Active Member

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    Aug 19, 2005
    fired
     
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