While working as a fairly new freelance video editor without much experience at dealing with clients directly, I was commissioned by someone to do a short video for their blog. I met them, got all the info from them and we discussed my rate.
I was still in the process of getting a contract drawn up so went into it without any sort of legal backing. Big mistake.
I sent her a draft based on their requirements.
Client: This video is FAR too long.
Me: Okay! You didn’t give me a specified time. I can tighten it up for you.
I send them a reworked version based on their new guidelines.
Client: That’s too short, now.
After close to two weeks of this back and forth where they would get me to change, undo, and redo changes they’d demanded the previous day, I called a halt to it and sent them my invoice.
Me: I’ve fulfilled the product to your specifications. I will send the final product when I receive payment.
I didn’t hear from them for three days, when they asked me to clarify my rates (which were clearly laid out my invoice). I told them so, and didn’t hear back for another three days.
Client: We will only pay you AFTER we receive the finished video.
Please note they had seen everything up to that point in a lower quality watermarked render, so they knew exactly what the video looked like.
Client: …And we want a few more changes.
I resent my invoice, asking them to settle the account before I do more work for them. I haven’t heard back since.