Client: Can you provide some kind of guaranteed timeline that you're going to be able to move our website to our new servers with the optimizations implemented? I know you said it should take a week, but we have 3 weeks to get this moved over and we cannot afford to be double billed. I'm waiting to fire up the new server until you can confirm.

Me: As I said, it SHOULD take about a week, but that's factoring in ONLY the modifications being made for optimization and a QA call to review the website. This does not account for your hosting provider needing to spin up a new server.

We also never offered to move your website over to said new server. I sent detailed instructions for your provider to move a copy of the entire website over and have it configured and ready to point your domain over to, in order to save time and money since your provider won't give us the access necessary to perform a server-to-server transfer. If you are implying that I need to move the website over myself, you will be billed for that migration, however long it takes.

Client: So you're telling me that we paid $950 for 10 hours of work and that DOESN'T include making the changes live?

Me: Why would you think that the 10 hours that we're logged for the process of optimizing your website include additional time that has not been measured? When you build out a custom product for a customer, do you eat the shipping charges to deliver it? That is a rhetorical question of course, because I know you charge for shipping as well. My point is that we charge for delivery just as you do, because it requires our time and manpower.

All of this could have been avoided, but you are the one that enforced the strict requirement that we cannot take the website down for even 1 hour during off-peak times to incorporate the changes we made on our testbed, so we're having to go through this circus in order to deliver the work we performed.

I'm not going to give you a guarantee of any kind because there are too many factors that are not within our control, and we're not going to trap ourselves so you have a scapegoat to throw under the bus if your boss looks to you for accountability. I will reiterate that we estimate it would take about a week to implement, test and run through a full QA together, as we have other clients within our queue and our time must be appropriately blocked out each day. However, the longer you take to pull the trigger on this new server, the longer it will take on my end to get the work scheduled within the queue.

Client: If we get double billed, we're taking that out of what we have remaining to pay you.

Me: On the subject of paying us, you signed a contract acknowledging that you would pay us the remaining 50% after you approved the changes, which you did last week, in order for us to deliver the project. Thank you for the reminder that your remaining balance has not yet been paid. I'll have our CFO resend the invoice for you to remit payment before we proceed any further.


I love it when clients give me shit. I just give it right back.

  • 17
    Enjoyed this well written rant!
  • 54

    Client: We're gonna hold off until the next billing cycle to cancel the server so we're not taking the risk of you not delivering in time. We'll get double billed, but if you can't guarantee a time, we're just gonna eat the cost and be safe about it. Please move the website over to the new server when it is live in the next 2-3 days.

    Me: Apparently I haven't communicated myself clearly enough. Let me break this down so we're both on the same page. I have included [owner of the company and his boss] on this email so he is on the same page as well.

    1.) Your only potential "risk" is that of a server-related issue from a provider that is supposed to specialize in "fast Magento hosting", but failed to deliver anything faster than a snail, hence why you called us in to fix the speed issues.

    Applying these patches takes less than an hour for me to accomplish. Because you asserted that [owner] insists the website cannot be taken down for such a short time, we're having to do it this way. I'd appreciate it if you'd drop the attitude and stop trying to use us/me as your personal scapegoat.

    2.) To reiterate again, your provider is responsible for copying the website over. You will be billed by us for any time spent moving the website files over.

    3.) How soon any work is done to apply the patches is solely dependent on how soon the remaining balance is paid.

    [Owner], please let me know how you would like to proceed.

    Owner email to me without developer included: My apologies for the disrespectful emails. [Developer] is no longer with the company. Please direct all future communications to me. He told us the separate server was insisted by your company. I have no problem taking the website down late night to apply the fix. We've already put the work order in and paid though, so let's proceed as planned. Please send the invoice and we will settle it ASAP. Please keep a log of any and all additional hours and we'll be happy to pay for it.
  • 6
    @JMoodyFWD wow son got rekt
  • 8
    You handled that masterfully. What a rude client! Well, he's fired now so I hope he has more common sense when he's handing me my cheeseburger and fries at the drive-thru. 👍
  • 1
    "impressive" is a word that comes to mind reading this.
    Beautifully done 👌
  • 1
    Joy and happiness! Someone got fired! Hooray!
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