I took on a freelance gig for a friend of a current client. I’d not had any issues with the current client and since this is one of her close friend I assumed this would be similar: I was wrong. It was a job involving close to 100 double sided cards, explaining a very obscure concept to children: I didn’t understand the language used on the cards, which should have been my warning sign.
Client: I want to see what all the cards look like but I only want to pay for 1 to start with.
Me: That’s not really how this works, however because you have a tight deadline, here are some rough mockups of the others for you.
Client: GREAT! I am happy with all of these so let’s proceed. I’ll send you all the content.
She then disappeared and did not respond to any emails for week. Then, when she did resurface, she ignored all my questions and pushed back, asking why I “haven’t been doing anything.” All while completely ignoring our work timeline.
I continue on with what I can do (50+ card backs of text layouts).
Me: I have a significant portion done that I’m ready to send, but I’m waiting for your deposit before I send them over. Where do we stand on that?
Client: Just so you know, I have your commencement invoice but I’m not prepared to pay that because you haven’t provided me any of the final print ready files and I want to have all of those before I pay anything.
Me: One: I have sent multiple drafts and mock-ups, so you know that I have completed a great deal of work. Two: I will not release the full print ready files until I receive some sort of payment. Three: that is really not how commencement payments work. Four: I went over my payment terms with you several times and you agreed to them.
She then sent me the longest text message chain known to man explaining why this project was a disaster. It ended with:
Client: THIS IS YOUR FAULT. I am not going to skip out on paying you but I am not paying you!
I wished her the best and informed her that I will not be working with her any further.
Then I blocked her number, just in case.