Client: Hi. I need some changes made to my website I was referred to you by my last designer who I won’t work with anymore.
Me: Uh, OK. Would you mind explaining why you won’t work with the other designer anymore?
Client: She was disrespectful. She did great work when she started but eventually I found her to be rude, dishonest, and non-communicative.
Me: Um… OK…
Of course, I knew the designer. In my experience she was really nice and a joy to work with. Despite this red flag I still took the job and finished the website for her.
Once I was done:
Client: Can you update my site? It’s saying it needs to be updated.
Me: I offered you my maintenance plan, but you said no. That said, I’ll do it this once
I checked the site. One plugin needed updating, which took all of thirty seconds. I didn’t bother invoicing for this update, but did send her the invoice for the rest of the work. I got paid, and hoped I would never hear from her again.
One week later:
Client: HELP! My website is broken!
Me: I had a look at your site and everything looks fine.
Client: Oh, you’re right. Never mind.
Later that day:
Me: I looked again, everything looks fine.
Client: Oh, it is. My website seems to keep working and not working intermittently.
Me: It’s probably something to do with your server. Wait for a little bit and see if the issue resolves itself. These things usually do.
Client: No, it’s my website. See?
At this point she sent me the URL for her website (which I already knew). There was a 503 “service unavailable” error.
Me: Yeah, this is definitely a server error. I can’t fix this – you need to contact your web hosting service.
Client: Can you even code?
Client: The screen is now coming up with other errors. Can you fix plugin and theme issues?
Me: I’m not sure if the issue is a plugin or theme issue. Plugin and theme issues don’t usually happen out of the blue and the error that I’m getting suggests a server issue. And yes, I can fix plugin and theme issues. I can look into those now but I’d have to open a new invoice.
Client: Forget it! I’ve found someone else to help with my website, plugin and theme issues.
Thank goodness. Optimistically, I figured this would be the last I heard from her.
One week later:
Client: I’ve been talking to my new website person and they say when you updated my site you did not check out the plugins which I am told is a regular necessity. I also do not know if you made a copy of the child themes as needed before updating. When I emailed you these errors you acted like you didn’t know why they were happening whereas they are a sign of a plugin issue. I would like a refund for the amount paid for the update via email transfer. I am now paying a company to do the updates properly! I trust you are honourable and will do the right thing.
Me: I never invoiced you for any updates. You’re asking for a refund for something you weren’t charged for. Also, here is a link explaining what a child theme and its use actually is.
Client: Whatever! Look, all I know is you updated my site and then all the problems started. This is your fault! I demand a full refund.
I didn’t respond.
It’s been a couple days now and her website is still very broken. I’m still not certain what the problem is as I wasn’t given the opportunity to fix it and my access to the site was blocked.
Oh, did I mention this client is a psychic? Because she was.