Did I Just Ignore A Good Client?

21 replies
This is a long post. Kindly skip to tl;dr (too long;didn't read) if you wish to see the gist of this post.

A couple of days back, this client posted a work order at oDesk. Naturally, I placed a bid for the project. I get a personal message from the client some time later and she gave me her skype ID.

I start talking with this client. She claimed that she required a team of writers. I reply by saying that I work alone. Although initially displeased with the proposal, she agrees to pay me $4.00 for 500-word articles. She is not pleased with the fact that I work alone. She even asks me to recruit more people because she has too much of work. However, she places a condition - I must send at least ten articles (5000 words) every 24 hours, for the time being. My usual turnaround rate is 2500 words per day. She agrees to make the payment every two weeks.

Within an hour, she sends me 100 keywords. I have to send ten articles of 500 words every day. We stop that chat session, and I lie down to sleep - as a happy man.

The next day, I sit to create the first article. I ask myself - will she really send me $560 every two weeks? I usually get these sort of confusions. Some of the readers may notice two entities sitting on either side of Tom - the angel will implore with him to leave Jerry alone; while the devil would encourage him to do bad things to Jerry. The good Praveen told me to shut-up and do the job. The other part of me was feeding me with more doubts.

I contacted the client and asked her to send the payment, as soon as I submit the ten first articles. My logic was simple. If she can pay me $560 after 14 days, she will never have any difficulty to send me $40 for the first ten articles.

However, she simply scrapped the entire project. She told me that I must learn to trust people.

So here I am wondering. Did I do the right/wrong thing by doubting her?

tl;dr - Met a client who offered me $560 as bi-weekly payment. She expected me to submit 140 articles of 500 words in good faith. Finally, she scrapped the project when I asked her to pay me for the first ten articles.
#client #good #ignore
  • Profile picture of the author vk3

    To be completely honest, you'll never know for sure if it was the "right decision"..

    I know that sounds like a cop out, but it's true - if you felt like that was the right decision in the moment, yes, you made the right decision - if it turned out to be the wrong decision (based on your own feelings afterwards), all you can do now is learn from the experience.

    However, in my own opinion, I think that was smart of you and you did make the right choice - with all clients, it's always best to start the relationship with both give and take - that way, trust is built up slowly and you guys can then work on faith more and more down the road..

    Keep on keeping on!
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  • Profile picture of the author mllnsgrl
    Asking for money up front is fine. I've been scammed before with people not paying. She sounds like she'd be a huge pain and not worth it - Look for other clients who are willing to pay upfront, and are more pleasant to work with, that is if your articles are good, and you have good feedback.

    There are many scammers out there. (But, also good people)

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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    $4 for 500 words is low, and asking for 50% down / 50% at completion would be just fine.

    Sounds like you got out of a bad situation. Personality fit is really important when choosing who to work for and with.
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    • Profile picture of the author praveenpious
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      $4 for 500 words is low
      True. However, I have to face a number of constraints.

      I am a nonnative writer - It is hard to find good clients. Almost all of the clients keep 'native writers only' in the job listings. At the present time, I am working with a limited number of clients who offer me just $3.50 for 500 words.

      I can do just 2500 words every 24 hours (per client). I resumed writing for my clients because I had plenty of free time waiting for the trade setups to materialize. I actively trade on the Indian and Forex markets. But that does not prevent me from submitting 2500 words for my client every day.
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  • Profile picture of the author onSubie

    It is hard to tell.

    You agreed to conditions then tried to change the conditions after accepting the job and starting the work. She could have cancelled the job because she didn't trust you.

    You should decide what terms you want to work under before you take the job.

    Say something like: "I have been burned by a scammer before so I require 50% up front for the first job only".

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    • Profile picture of the author praveenpious
      Originally Posted by onSubie View Post


      It is hard to tell.

      You agreed to conditions then tried to change the conditions after accepting the job and starting the work. She could have cancelled the job because she didn't trust you.

      You should decide what terms you want to work under before you take the job.
      This client was different. Every client I have met since 2006 would talk in terms of payment per the number of words. She was talking about monthly salary; like 'I will pay you $1500 every month, if you can submit 375 articles of 500 words'.

      I understand that I got swayed by the talks about the big money. It was only later that the reality dawned upon me.
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      • Profile picture of the author Lance K
        Getting paid after delivery is a horrible idea.


        Crisis averted.
        "You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want."
        ~ Zig Ziglar
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    I would never do that amount of work on good faith. Been burned often enough to know it's a bad move. Why should you trust people you "meet" on the Internet and don't know from Adam? Why would she think that you should? It's business. Do work, get paid or get paid and do work, which is the way I do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheArticlePros
    I've never taken on a job with the promise of getting paid later -- if you can't pay me up-front for the work I'm going to do, you probably need to do it yourself so that you can earn the money to pay someone later.

    And yes, I look at it that way from both sides of the fence. As a client, I won't ask someone to do something for me unless I already have the money tucked away somewhere so that I can pay them once we agree on the price.

    -- j

    Posting About Life & Video Games:

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  • Profile picture of the author Carlsbadd
    This sounds like a demanding client and a cheap one at that. I always get some sort of good faith payment up front and full payment before handing over any work. I have no problems making corrections or edits after they have paid.
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  • Profile picture of the author Martin Pupke
    You made the right choice by asking for payment upfront. If a new client is serious about hiring you, one sample article is what they would require to begin with(this has been my experience anyway and I always insist that it is paid for).

    "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" - Richard Feynman

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  • Profile picture of the author anonymous99
    you did the right thing. As someone who outsources a lot of work i would understand if you wanted to be paid for the 1st 10 as you completed them; either that or move to platform like elance or freelancer with an escrow system.
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    1. It sounds like too much work for too little money.
    2. If she was dealing through Odesk, she should have made an escrow payment.
    3. If she was dealing direct and you agreed to that, you should set terms you are both agreeable to, not just that you agree to.

    I have had clients in a similar situation, where they sound like they don't want to pay, or they want to pay less for more.

    It sounds like a job with a huge headache so you may be better off without it.

    Cheers, Laurence.

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  • Profile picture of the author bloodyuber
    are you kidding me? always money up front!
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  • Profile picture of the author OPTIMUSMKTG
    Don't sweat it. This client was likely going to rip you off.
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  • Profile picture of the author janzco
    Your decision is right I already experienced that kind of client in Odesk . Also be careful of some client who is asking for trial task. They only wanted a FREE service
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    • Profile picture of the author force5
      I think you were right to ask for payment after 10 articles. Trust goes both ways and one way for her to have built up your trust would be to pay you for them in groups of 10.

      The pay you were receiving doesn't really matter in the context of the question. You decide what you are happy to work for.

      Good luck with the next project.

      Paul Forcey
      My Latest WSO >>Viral Word Search
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  • Profile picture of the author Audrey Harvey
    You did the right thing in my view. You'd be feeling worse if she scrapped the job when you asked for the $560.

    Expert content written by an experienced veterinarian and published magazine and newspaper writer.
    Feel free to contact me for details.
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  • Profile picture of the author THK
    Learn to trust people? Maybe she should take her own advice and pay you $560 upfront and wait for the work to be done, see how it feels.

    I don't think it is a trust issue, you simply don't know her. Cannot trust a person you don't know.

    Experienced people would understand your dilemma and renegotiate the deal. I made the same mistake, saying yes quickly and then had doubts in my mind. My client made a partial payment because of my concern and turned out to be a pleasant guy to work for.

    You made the right decision.

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  • Profile picture of the author acebingo2006
    you did the right thing... payment is due at time of service or atleast there should be a contract signed.

    My 30 day journey into making money online as a newbie.check it here and be fascinated =)


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  • Profile picture of the author lollobrigida
    IMHO you made the right decision.
    You just can't let someone block and consume so much of your (work) time and be in doubt if they pay you.
    Either work for a platform that has some form of security in place for both sides...
    or split the work and the payments in smaller chunks until you have built some
    trust (also on both sides).

    From you she would have 140 articles/posts...what if she goes around asking 10/20/30 peoples to write that amount up front... and then refuses to pay. She'd collect an insane amount of content without paying in 2 weeks. :O
    NO WAY...
    be happy that you are not "an idiot" on her list.
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