Screwed Over By SEO Client

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This topic contains 30 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by   William Trimble .

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  • #4386

    Stephen Dalby
    Member

    Ever been screwed over by a client?

  • #4387

    Dairmuid Gallagher
    Member

    It happened to me yesterday, first time in 15 months in business. the client told me they weren’t happy, despite all the metrics heading upwards. It wasn’t happening fast enough.

    I’d been engaged on the project for just over 1 month…ridiculous. Told me she was terminating and wasn’t going to give the required 30 days notice.

    I have no written contracts, as I’m trying to do things differently. She’s now forced my hand for my other 19 clients…everyone will now be required to sign a contract. What an asshole.

    • #4388

      Claire Wallace
      Member

      That really suck – The problem is these clients are getting marinated with instant results love songs by other agencies with their fake screenshots of how bad we are doing when in fact it’s tactics to steal clients.

      The hell with her… keep doing what you are doing.

  • #4389

    Claire Wallace
    Member

    Yup, similar boat, just this week.

    Had to help update a WP site that hadn’t been updated in 5 years. Put it on a dev server, ran the updates and fixed the bugs.

    They wanted design changes which weren’t included in the scope.

    Completed changes then they started trying to delay their payment even though they agreed to 7 day payment terms.

    I’ve now locked them out of the staging site. Their current site still can’t process orders and has already lost quite considerable order amounts, even though they were pushing me to be quick in getting it up.

    • #4390

      Richard Flynn
      Member

      What is wrong with these people, that they think it’s appropriate to hold us to ransom? We’re the ones trying to help.

    • #4391

      James Chalmers
      Member

      The most frustrating part is when I get spoken down to as if I’m lower because I’m one person.

      Comments like “oh I used to run my own business and I had to deal with 30 day payment terms all the time”

    • #4392

      James Chalmers
      Member

      The worst part with what I call half stepping clients is regardless of the fact they get nothing since I hold all the details , we still put in the time which we can’t get back.. I’ve built assets that I’ve ended up keeping and re-purposed for other clients but overall positioning well and having commit some skin in the game early helps keep things in line.

  • #4393

    James Chalmers
    Member

    I had a client who didn’t pay after the website was finished. I just forwarded his domain name to a site that is very inappropriate to mention here… lol.

    • #4394

      James Chalmers
      Member

      I had that earlier this year, they moved it from my servers. Used DMCA to take it down several times – it’s still down atm. haha

  • #4395

    Jenny Ting
    Member

    I’m not getting into any BS or dirty tricks with them. Remember it’s also your reputation on the line. I’ve sent them an email today telling them I expect them to honour the contract and we’ll see where we go from there. It’s important to maintain the moral high ground, in case it ever ends up in court.

  • #4396

    Jenny Ting
    Member

    Nope, touch wood. Water-tight, measurable KPI’s locked into a pre-agreed, advance payment, signed contract.

  • #4397

    Jenny Ting
    Member

    For SEO work, Agreed monthly fee always paid in advance or no work. NO EXCEPTIONS.
    Trust and Value yourself.

  • #4398

    Keith Millar
    Member

    Not for SEO but yes for website development.

  • #4399

    Keith Millar
    Member

    Sorry, man.

    We’ve all been there. What I learned from similar situations is that responsibility is power. Even when a client is clearly wrong, holding them responsible is giving them all the power.

    I then go through all the things I could do differently. I take responsibility for everything so I can control the future.

    Anyway, it sounds like your making adjustments to protect yourself. Good luck to you.

    • #4400

      Keith Millar
      Member

      I take your point but everyone is responsible for your own actions. I will learn from it though.

  • #4401

    Keith Millar
    Member

    The web development company I worked for feel victim to this all the time. I learnt from their mistakes and always agree (contract signed) to be paid 70% upfront.

  • #4402

    Stella Reynolds
    Member

    I feel as though these scenarios become more and more common as SEO services, graphic design services etc become commoditised. Sites like Fiver, and agencies that farm work out overseas really exacerbate the problem. Each day we encounter more and more prospects that expect SEO and design services are turnkey with a fixed price and likewise a fixed result. It’s getting harder to navigate out there, but now more than ever its important not to undervalue your services.

  • #4403

    Stella Reynolds
    Member

    I used to but then realised I need to stop extending credit to clients. If they don’t pay on the due date, I stop everything. I still have so many “clients” that have outstanding invoices from the past.

    • #4404

      Stella Reynolds
      Member

      I walked away from this business model and yes, there many outstanding invoices not paid.

      These businesses wants to make money but hate to pay.

  • #4405

    Debra Fuller
    Member

    This is the reason I own my own properties – No pay. I handle over the leads to their competitors.

    • #4406

      Debra Fuller
      Member

      Yes but no offence, that model wouldn’t work for me. Anyone with sense knows to own your own domain. My work is on retainer. This was a three month trial.. agreed to. All the stats were up. Visitors, revenue and rankings.. she just didn’t understand something and spat the dummy.

    • #4407

      Debra Fuller
      Member

      Yea – Agree. This business model is not for everyone. It took me a while to perfect it and make it work for me.

      I still have clients on retainers and till this day….I find myself explaining this and that, showing stats, analytics and repeating myself why I charge for this or that…..

      Good luck bud. I know clients drives us up the wall and they know how to push buttons….lol

  • #4408

    Gary Griffiths
    Member

    Yes and learned from it. It happens. It’s part of any business. No one is perfect so we all get burned and so do the clients. Learning is key and contracts.

  • #4409

    Gary Griffiths
    Member

    Yes and learned from it. It happens. It’s part of any business. No one is perfect so we all get burned and so do the clients. Learning is key and contracts.

  • #4410

    Gary Griffiths
    Member

    All the time. You just have to have a rock solid contract (prepared by a lawyer in your state or area) and get payment ahead of the service time. I generally charge the client’s credit card on the 18th of the month prior to service. Build in a minimum 30 day cancellation notice clause so that they can’t just abandon you when the bill is due.

    • #4411

      Gary Griffiths
      Member

      Yeah i don’t currently have written contracts because I’ve sold the business on the basis that we don’t lock you in… what I do have is a proposal document where the terms are outlined, and it does have the 30 days notice. Anyway, it looks like one bad apple spoils the bunch… so all new clients will have to sign paperwork and be locked in for a longer time period. Shame but if people will take liberties.

    • #4412

      Kara Corr
      Member

      I get lazy and don’t follow the process and don’t have contracts all the time and it bites you in the ass. Easier to have a master template and use electronic signatures to send out.

    • #4413

      Kara Corr
      Member

      It annoys the hell out of me. I do not WANT to have contracts. It’s old school. I’m trying to chuck that formality out of the window. I just need decent human beings as clients. Which for the most part I do have.

  • #4414

    Kara Corr
    Member

    I make my own contracts (my life is a lawyer and myself have a BD in law).
    I’m covering all possibilities and always charge in advance. Also minimum 30 days cancellation notice but when I accept cheaper contracts I insist for minimum 6 months contract, without cancellation.

  • #4415

    William Trimble
    Member

    For website development we have always taken 50% down, 30% progress on design sign off and 20% final before the website is set live on the final domain name. This has worked well for us for over 15 years. If you establish this expectation in your service agreement the maximum amount you will lose if a project is stalled, before it’s finished, will be the remaining 20%.

    • #4416

      William Trimble
      Member

      I’m the same. I recently changed to 50/35/15.

      The way I word things:
      50 to start
      35 upon design approval
      15 upon initial delivery of beta preview on our demo servers

      That gets me to 100% for all the clients that slack behind. They can slack all they want and deliver all feedback on their time but within 30 days all at once with internal feedback included from their team.

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