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Client causing massive delay in project

Thread title: Client causing massive delay in project
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04-04-2012, 08:13 AM
#1
CreativeDesigns is offline CreativeDesigns
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  Old  Client causing massive delay in project

Hey guys,
really need some advice in dealing with this small issue I have.

I started on a web re-design for a client of mine in late November. This project should have taken at the most (with the end of year holidays etc) until maybe mid january.
We are now in April, and they are still sending thru wording changes, still haven't provided me with the copy for some of the pages etc.
Anyhow, I have pointed out to them that the project should have been completed months ago. They have even admitted that it's been their fault because they haven't been reverting back to me quickly enough etc etc.

Cut a long story short - there have been "projects within the project".. For example flash banners, additional coding work that was out of scope, bla bla bla.

So, I want to invoice them for these additionals NOW, to basically say to them that enough dragging of your feet, get this sh*t paid now!

I'm kind of at a loss for how to let them know about this..

I mean, with all my heart I want to say to them that they have been dragging their feet and they need to pay this money to me now, but I need a NICE way of saying it.. I have a lot of other work that will commence as soon as this project is completed.. I will be sure to enforce those payment procedures then..

But in the meantime, any thoughts on how I can word this?

So far, my wording is as follows:


Hi Ladies,

Attached, please find the invoice for the additional projects completed, within the main project.
- Diagram drawings
- Website Coding
- Flash Banner
- Additional Form Creation

Normally, we would include this with the final invoice, however, this project has been substantially delayed
That's all i've got..
PLEASE HELP

04-04-2012, 11:22 AM
#2
creativejen is offline creativejen
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  Old

Hey there,

What i would normally do is this;

Lets say the total project is $1500. 50% paid upfront, 50% at the end (but not even there yet).

10 other tasks were added to the project whilst adding content etc, new work... out of scope. This work should be either quoted for or set to an hourly rate, so you just charge for the extra time spent.

What I would do is send an invoice for the full remaining amount. Then include 'addition fees' to the invoice as per extra work - out of scope time spent on the project.

The email to them however, could be worded something like this...


Hello 'client name',

Please find attached, the invoice for the final half of the project and additional work that was requested and completed.

Due to the prolonged delay in getting this project completed on the estimated date, (I or We) are requesting for the final half to be paid in order to continue our work and finalise this project for you.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reply via email or give us a call on 'number'.

Kind regards,
Name here
Hope that helps. Peace!

04-04-2012, 12:30 PM
#3
Lowengard is offline Lowengard
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  Old

Creative Designs

A lot of your leeway may depend on your contract. . .you did get one, didn't you?

If your agreement describes anticipated start and end dates and outlines the tasks you agreed to do and the amount you would be paid, then you can simply lean on that information.

But, if your contract isn't clear about such things, or it doesn't exist, you may be at the mercy of your clients.

That said, it's not unreasonable to submit an invoice. I would create one that breaks out all the tasks you've accomplished in the order completed, with a price attached. Mark with an asterisk or something the "extras" you've provided that are off-schedule, and note this at the bottom with something like "*provided, but not part of the original agreement."

List payment as due on receipt of bill, with some reasonable but modest increment for delay, as this may encourage your clients to deal with the problem rather than put it aside. (I sometimes offer a slight discount for payment within 4 business days, usually when dealing with large corporations)

Then write a cover letter that says pretty much what CreativeJen suggests-- tell the client that you're sending the invoice because of the delays and that they should contact you with any questions.

Do not accuse the client of bad faith. Do not complain do not threaten. In the world in which I work, addressing someone as "Lady" or "Ladies," like calling a stranger "sweetheart" or "girlie," is considered insulting.

04-04-2012, 07:21 PM
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Village Genius is offline Village Genius
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  Old

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04-04-2012, 11:10 PM
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derek lapp is offline derek lapp
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  Old

i gotta agree, contracts are your best friend here. even some type of arrangement, an email, im / txt, anything. anything that reasonably outlines scope and you've got some ground to stand on.

outside initial business wheelings and dealings, what i normally do it send follow-up emails to whoever i'm working with just to re-stablish scope. for instance, i got a phone call last night about designing a landing page for an event. we talked technicalities, price, turnaround, all that jazz. what i'm going to do today is send a follow-up just reiterating what i agree to: i agree to do this work, for this much, by this date, so unless they see a discrepancy i will move forward as planned and anything further will be treated as a separate situation.

i'm with lowengard, ongoing billing is common. you get billed month-to-month for your TV, your phone, whatever other accounts you have, you don't get nailed with a 10k bill at the end of 4 years when you move. imo it's acceptable.

it depends on your relationship with your client, but reading your post, my first instinct was invoice for the initial scope, invoice for the out of scope work, refuse deliverables on anything outside of scope until all bills are settled. don't be an ******* about it and flat up hold things ransom like that, but this is where the phrase give an inch, take a mile comes from. they need to know scope has been broken and things outside of scope have to be dealt with separately, as such.

04-05-2012, 03:26 AM
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chaka42 is offline chaka42
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  Old


10 other tasks were added to the project whilst adding content etc, new work... out of scope. This work should be either quoted for or set to an hourly rate, so you just charge for the extra time spent.

What I would do is send an invoice for the full remaining amount. Then include 'addition fees' to the invoice as per extra work - out of scope time spent on the project.
Tread lightly here. Sure, they added tasks that were outside of the original project scope, but you should have, at the time of request, made it clear that these would incur additional fees. If you didn't state this or detail in your agreement, you might be out that amount. You may not have issues getting them to pay for these extra tasks, so I'd keep it outside of the invoices pertaining to the original agreement. Next time, DON'T do any work outside of scope without getting the okay from the client on the additional fees. And, have it in writing.

As derek lapp suggested, do not hand over any deliverables until payments for both invoices are paid.

And, regardless of delays on the clients' part, you cannot request payment until the work you agreed to do has been completed. Especially if it's merely for convenience on your part. Something you may try to do is to update the agreement with new timelines, clear wording on what's expected from the client (with dates), and the addition of the additional tasks performed along with fees. It's something I'd mention to them and then work on after they agree. This is something that will be beneficial to both of you.

Hope things work out and that you've learned something from this experience.

04-17-2012, 06:37 AM
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CreativeDesigns is offline CreativeDesigns
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  Old

Thanks for all your input guys.
firstly, there is a contract in place, stating that stuff out of scope is billable. Unfortunately, at no point did we put a timeline to it, as they didn't know when they would be ready to launch.

Also, fortunately, at each interval where a new set of whatever was requested, I sent them a quotation which was signed off. So in that respect, they definitely know that they are incurring extra costs

I will not be handing any deliverables over until the payment is settled in full.
I have sent them an invoice for the additionals that were completed. Until now, they have not made the payment. So I presume that they will be paying the whole lot at once. But I reiterate - their site will not go live until such a time that all monies have been paid in full.

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