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What's The Most Unreasonable Thing You've Been Asked For In Business?

Allegrif

Allegrif

New Member
I have a few top class stories with this, but one tops the lot. I had a client who wanted a very simple website to begin with, and we agreed a fair price. I went away and created the draft, after which he told me that actually he needed a bunch of more intricate features (such as a booking system, integrated review system etc). Still easy I thought, not to worry too much.

Anyway, I finished working on his website for the day one Friday and sent him an email with the update. To be amazement, I got one back at 11pm (remember, this is also a Friday),suggesting changes which were about 3 or 4 hours worth of work, and saying 'could you please ensure this is done for tomorrow'. No actually, I couldn't!
 
St Rhenium

St Rhenium

New Member
Oh God, there are so many. I think the most inconsiderate client I've had was the guy who got angry and threatening because I refused to call him... when I was just making my way into a funeral service...
 
Allegrif

Allegrif

New Member
Oh God, there are so many. I think the most inconsiderate client I've had was the guy who got angry and threatening because I refused to call him... when I was just making my way into a funeral service...
Christ. You do get them though - the type who want it done, and want it done yesterday.
 
Bacton

Bacton

New Member
A 10 year plan. My business idea is of the nature where I can't plan 1 year ahead with accuracy and certainty - never mind 10!
 
MapleTree

MapleTree

New Member
A woman once asked me if I would watch her kids for her for 8hrs while she drove out of town for the day. I'd done business with her once before and she messaged me asking if I would watch her kids for her(for free!) because she'd forgotten about having to make this trip and left it too last minute to book a child minder. I was a bit surprised at the request, to say the least!
 
Businessman

Businessman

New Member
I have a few top class stories with this, but one tops the lot. I had a client who wanted a very simple website to begin with, and we agreed a fair price. I went away and created the draft, after which he told me that actually he needed a bunch of more intricate features (such as a booking system, integrated review system etc). Still easy I thought, not to worry too much.

Anyway, I finished working on his website for the day one Friday and sent him an email with the update. To be amazement, I got one back at 11pm (remember, this is also a Friday),suggesting changes which were about 3 or 4 hours worth of work, and saying 'could you please ensure this is done for tomorrow'. No actually, I couldn't!
What you have there is a classic example of 'scope creep' - which is a danger even where there is a well regulated project management system in place. The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) describes scope creep as “adding features and functionality (project scope) without addressing the effects on time, costs, and resources, or without customer approval” .

Big dangers include (but are definitely not limited to!)

A) Lack of clarity in the original project initiation document.

Bitter experience has taught me to be quite 'tight' on my T&Cs, pricing and discounting structure and what defines the work we're contracted to do - Basically it boils down to three corners of a triangle... Time, Money, and Quality, which in area gives you the scope of what's achievable. If the client wants to vary these things, then they need to be made focus on the point that it will cost them!

B) Customers trying to get extra work “on the cheap.” - This is something I see a lot of! Some people are wilfully dishonest, and manipulative, whilst others just cannot make up their minds! And there are some who will simply bully the small trader on the assumption they're struggling for work.

Inevitably, it backfires on them... But, it can also backfire badly on the supplier if their T&Cs are not tight enough and they don't have sufficient planing and approval controls.

C) Beginning the development of something before a thorough requirements analysis and cost-benefit analysis has been done.

I've had a few instances where I've returned clients' deposits and refused to deal with them until they calm down... As a supplier, I don't want projects to fail. And if the client is the sort of person who has had their attention drawn to the T&Cs, but still wants to 'wing it', you're better off without them! It's a hard thing to do; but if someone's determined to shoot themself in the foot, you don't want to be the registered owner of the gun!

D) Injelitant managers over-promising on targets, then trying to achieve the impossible through bullying. ...This really is a matter of (sadly all too common) incompetence and dishonesty coupled to an abusive mindset. It's VERY common with large companies and certain public sector types. And it's one of the things that strong project management protocols - which are integrated with your basis of contract - can help protect you from!

Some say it's impossible to prevent scope creep. - That's true to some degree as almost all projects are subject to change and modification; but then if properly planned and controlled, there should be a facility for contingencies within the project. It is impossible to control scope creep if you are not intimately familiar with the contractual small print or, worse still, if there is none! Anyone managing a project who does not examine and understand the contractual terms they are working under (even if they are tacit or not written down) is taking an unnecessary risk with their own business. - Likewise any customer who signs up for something they don't understand.

Reasonable people don't have an issue with reaching a reasonable agreement and sticking to it!

Setting boundaries is important too... Even if you work from home and pretty much operate on a 24/7 basis to suit your own lifestyle; set some limits. Get a second phone line, and a second mobile phone! Stick some operating hours on your website and turn the business phones OFF out of hours.

Finally... just for gits and shiggles... I guess everyone who involves themselves in the creative industries has seen this... :)

https://clientsfromhell.net/

Reality bites! :D
 
Needhelp

Needhelp

New Member
Many years ago I once worked for a customer who seemed okay at the start, buying content from me and then selling it on to their customer as a package. After a few months of on/off work, I submitted my invoice only to find that the person in charge was now on holiday. So, I emailed them asking why I had not been paid at which point he directed me to his customer and said I should contact them directly. I contacted the third party customer to explain the situation but he redirected me back to the agent with whom I had originally done the deal. This was a few hundred pounds and while I initially wrote it off as a bad experience, it was eventually paid further down the line.

Would you believe it, the agent came back to me a few weeks later asking for more work despite all the hassle and grief he had caused me. I will let you guess my answer!
 
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