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Service providers - Clients who walk out on jobs

Mike Creuzer

Well-known member
#1
Hey all! Hope you have time for a rant.

Never had a problem with this at XenForo.com until recently, but a few times now I've had people ask for refunds or just walk away from a project when I'm done or near finishing. And subsequently, do not receive the second payment on a finished product. Even though I will message them saying I will fix whatever issues they have with the product, they still just walk away and generally ignore all messages. So I've been thinking of ways to cover myself.

So I'm asking service providers, do you ask for full payment from first-time clients? Do you think this is acceptable?

And everyone else, would you be comfortable paying 100% upfront for the first job? Or using escrow services? Builds trust on both sides, but clearly you, the one paying for the service, would have to put up first and thus take on greater risk.

Most people do not have a problem paying 50% down, which is what I normally ask, though many ask to pay after the job is done. When I did this, people would be even more inclined to just walk away from projects because regardless of whether or not they liked the work or not they didn't want to pay. Eyes bigger than the stomach as they say perhaps. I can name three or four people here on XenForo who have done this to me. I don't intend to complain. And I stand by my work and if someone ever took issue with my work I'd be happy to fix whatever issues came up within/related to my skill sets and the job description of the project.

And to continue on, if I do a bad job generally people publicize it. Thankfully I've worked with amazing people who, if something comes up, generally understand my point of view and I always work hard to ensure that they are taken care of as best I can before parting ways. But if someone does me wrong, I look unprofessional for bringing their name up. Don't get me wrong, I would never do that, as I would agree it is unprofessional.

In summary, my reputation is all I have to go on. I'm hoping it is enough to stop some of this from happening. This is my bread and butter, and if this continues, I don't know what I'll do.

Thanks!
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
#2
And everyone else, would you be comfortable paying 100% upfront for the first job?
Normally that would never be an option.

However, knowing your reputation, work ethic and ability, I would have no such issue in your case.
 

FredC

Well-known member
#3
Paying 100% up front would buy me the right to be up your butt waiting on a completion date.. If I payed upfront I'd be expecting some seriously expedited services.. But I agree with Brogon in your case.. But that would be a rare exception..
 

Russ

Well-known member
#4
Small jobs under a hundred I require full payment just to get it over with.

Our custom styles we do 50/50, I've only had someone back out once but it was in the early stages of development so I could partially refund, partially being some work got done 25%(he backed out for personal reasons).

I don't think I'd ever do 100% myself on full styles only because I enjoy working towards something if that makes sense.
 
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Kevin

Well-known member
#6
If they walked out on you, I would just sell the style here after some minor tweaks (if necessary).
Same advice I can give. Either tweak the style so it can be sold to multiple customers and/or first offer it for sale for at a reduced price as a fully one-off custom style (perhaps the difference between what the client paid & how much is due) to see if anybody else would be interested. Back when I was dealing with vB styles I would sometimes get a great deal on a custom design because somebody had walked away from it and, with a few slight tweaks, it would suit my needs fine.
 
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Mike Creuzer

Well-known member
#7
Normally that would never be an option.

However, knowing your reputation, work ethic and ability, I would have no such issue in your case.
Appreciate that. It would work both ways though. If you had good reputation on the forum community, such as the people who have posted in this thread so far, it wouldn't be necessary. Just for the ones who come and go, who I cannot verify as active participants in the community. But then would it be singling people out and make them feel uncomfortable? Definitely an art to it.
If they walked out on you, I would just sell the style here after some minor tweaks (if necessary).
Often times this is not an option. Did a website for a football site, guy just completely backed out and gave me no opportunity to make adjustments (and made sure to let me finish the project before telling me). Im stuck with a site with gator skins on it, unique logos as node icons, specific customization that most people really wouldn't care much for as it was too specific. I used to do this in the past, but with the amount of customization I often do, it just doesn't make much sense to sell the work. I'd have to find someone in the exact same niche.
 

jmurrayhead

Well-known member
#8
Often times this is not an option. Did a website for a football site, guy just completely backed out and gave me no opportunity to make adjustments (and made sure to let me finish the project before telling me). Im stuck with a site with gator skins on it, unique logos as node icons, specific customization that most people really wouldn't care much for as it was too specific. I used to do this in the past, but with the amount of customization I often do, it just doesn't make much sense to sell the work. I'd have to find someone in the exact same niche.
So no significant part of it is salvageable? You can't replace the gator skins with bikini tops or anything? The node icons with beach balls?

I feel for ya. I'd hate to have spent a considerable amount of time and energy on something, only to get half the expected return on it.
 

Mike Creuzer

Well-known member
#10
I'm not so worried about salvaging, rather reducing or eliminating the risk of not being paid. As even if I do salvage it, I won't feel right about the product being general enough for the general public, nor will I be paid the amount of hours I put into the product.

Toss me the skin, I'll salvage it. hahahah.
Haha XD
 

Sage Knight

Well-known member
#11
Personally speaking, I now always aim for small custom request whenever possible. Big jobs require a lot of time & planning and possible Paypal disputes is another headache.

Because it's small jobs payment upfront is not a issue for me. But if I were to take those dozen hour jobs then payment upfront would definitely be considered.

As for being on the flip slide, I would not mind paying upfront if the developer has a good portfolio and is a great communicator/people person.
 

Kevin

Well-known member
#12
I'm not so worried about salvaging, rather reducing or eliminating the risk of not being paid. As even if I do salvage it, I won't feel right about the product being general enough for the general public, nor will I be paid the amount of hours I put into the product.
Which is why I mentioned about offering it for sale as-is with for the price difference of what the client owes you. Depending on the design you might get an end-customer who sees the chance for picking up custom a design for cheap, even if it does need tweaks that either they can do or pay you additional for, or even another designer out there who sees the potential in the work done so far and is willing to pay the amount to use it as the basis for an offering of their own.

There is always a market for custom designs. Maybe its different with the XF market but in the vB3 world the designers I worked with never had a problem selling custom styles when faced with the same situation.
 

Carlos

Well-known member
#13
Most people do not have a problem paying 50% down, which is what I normally ask, though many ask to pay after the job is done. When I did this, people would be even more inclined to just walk away from projects because regardless of whether or not they liked the work or not they didn't want to pay. Eyes bigger than the stomach as they say perhaps. I can name three or four people here on XenForo who have done this to me. I don't intend to complain. And I stand by my work and if someone ever took issue with my work I'd be happy to fix whatever issues came up within/related to my skill sets and the job description of the project.
I'm sorry for your unfortunate situation. :(

Those that leave the project and not paying you just doesn't understand the work that goes into skin development. You do a banged up job and it shows. Forget these "bad apples" from the tree.

Don't think that complaining is a bad thing, rant your heart's content when you're a creator. And more likely, these people will understand your stance when doing business with you on xenForo. They were warned, so if you stopped doing work for them, they have no real reason to complain to you.

If I were in your shoes, I'd resort to getting help from moderators here - especially if they have a moral compass. Actually, this falls under the same area as "not paying for resources" on xenforo.
 

Liam W

Well-known member
#14
I always ask for payment when complete, however I do that because I can't be sure I'll get it done.

I would always be wary of giving full money up front.

I'm sure people wouldn't give me anything upfront :rolleyes:
 

Carlos

Well-known member
#16
The latter half of your comment is quite frankly insulting.
How so? Not singling you out or anything, it's just a general thing. Don't read too much into it.

EDIT: For those of you just reading now: Here is what I meant.
Appreciate that. It would work both ways though. If you had good reputation on the forum community, such as the people who have posted in this thread so far, it wouldn't be necessary. Just for the ones who come and go, who I cannot verify as active participants in the community. But then would it be singling people out and make them feel uncomfortable? Definitely an art to it.
Singling people out is the wrong thing to do, good thinking, but those "come and go" and not pay... are the ones you should be wary of. So, stop what you're doing, and convert that project into a new skin so you can make your money back - you're the shop owner.
I would always be wary of giving full money up front.
I wouldn't. Mostly because: I paid for the work already. If you do a good job on that full payment, it stays like that - otherwise if you do a bad job, I dispute it.
 
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Slavik

XenForo moderator
Staff member
#18
I do my work based on the person. If they're new and not known, then I expect a 50% downpayment and a 50% on completion.

All others I do full payment when the job is done.

But yes, I would only take the advice given above, take a 50% deposit, and for anyone that backs out, just whack the style up as a 1 off for someone to buy. Even if its highly custom and unique, stick it up, someone might want it.
 

Carlos

Well-known member
#19
Your statement was clear; if we do nothing about it we don't have a moral compass.
Basically, it's the same thing as a dirty cop. Those that watch the crime happen and sit idly. All that I'm saying, is that if you're a moderator and you are shocked by what's going on between two people - and it's affecting YOUR business... (you're a moderator for a business) in a shape or form, you do something about it.

It's all about fostering your community and helping in stopping people who don't pay. The grander, bigger scheme of things leads into scamming your business with money.