I was getting a freelancer job to do some backend work for a company in India that is working for a huge company in Saudi Arabia.

The customer in india was my primary contact, I wasn't allowed to talk to the guys in Saudi Arabia. My contact, we'll call him Aman, asks if i can do frontend too. I decline. Now what follows were 4 weeks of backend work during which Aman called me 10-15 times per day via skype to ask me how I was progressing, and if "insert spec here" was already done. He even called me in the middle of the night, well aware of the different time zones.

But in the end all the work is done, Aman is happy. I request payment.

Aman: We can't pay you yet, you didn't do the frontend!
Me: I'm not doing frontend.
Aman: It's just a few simple changes and then we're done.
Me: Gnnn, fuck it, what do you need?
Aman: Our customer would like the frontend to look better.
Me: Ok, so what exactly should look better?
Aman: All of it.
Me: Do you have any specs?
Aman: No just make it look more modern.
Me: So you want me to rework the whole frontend? That's not just a few simple changes...
Aman: How long would you need?
Me: I actually don't do that kind of work.
Aman: We pay you double your hourly rate if you do this and finish it fast.

(This is were I should have just said no... but the greed...)

Me: Ok, but it will take me about 3 weeks to do that.
Aman: OK.
Me: Do you have any preferences as to how it should look?
Aman: No, just surprise us.

(After this sentence I really should have gotten the hell out of Dodge)

After working 3 weeks changing over 20.000 lines of CSS and most of the HTML I present Aman with the changes.

Aman: No our customer doesn't like the changes. Can you make a different version?
Me: What doesn't he like, any specifics, coloring, styling of lists or the buttons?
Aman: He doesn't like the whole thing. Please make us another version.
Me: Ok, you are the customer, but it would really help if you give me some pointers as to how it should look like.
Aman: Just do your best.
Me: ..., ok, that's helpful.

2 weeks later...

Aman: No our customer liked the version before better. But could you make it look more modern.
Me: *Bangs head against wall repeatedly*
Me: What do you mean by modern?
Aman: It should look more modern, as a whole.
Me: Ok, I get that, but could you give me an example?
Aman: Sends me a screenshot of the overview screen with all the elements encircled and modern written beside them.

1 week later...

Aman: The customer has decided, he likes the original version best. Can you undo all the changes?
Me: Sure but that'll take like 1 hour.
Aman: Oh by the way we were asked by accounting why the price for this project was so high?
Me: *hugh* *gnn* what?
Aman: Well at the beginning, you estimated the backend and frontend work to be done in 4 weeks.
Me: The frontend was never part of the original estimate.
Aman: Can you do anything concerning your hourly rate, so that we can get back to the original pricing.
Me: *make a mental note to never work with an intermediary company in india again and cancels the job requesting the due payment*

Luckily I got paid the full amount but not before having another 10 Skype call with Aman...

  • 17
    In these types of situation you should never deliver the code, host it yourself and only hand it over after the full amount has been paid.

    But yes, as you said, you should have backed out way sooner and kept the code hostage.
  • 6
    Yeah, definitely. That was my second job as a freelancer and I didn't know any better.

    By now, I ask my customers to pay in steps if a certain amount of specs have been completed.
  • 3
    @irene so true 😂
  • 2
    Well that's great you got your full payment and
    Welcome to devRant :)
  • 2
    You can be very happy that you got the money in the end bro. I know stories of different outcome.
  • 0
    Atleast got paid. Hell lot of greed you got there
  • 1
    @norman70688 I would definetly do that now, if i were doing frontend work. But I was just starting out as a developer then and was happy to get a high paying freelance job.
  • 0
    @zotigapo It was also a bit of: uhh real first freelance job, better do what the customer asks for, so i don't get a bad review.
  • 0
    @lewi yeah you're right
    Well best of luck with that
    Just out of curiosity you do freelancing at which site?
  • 2
    @Ganofins Upwork, although I have to say the rates are rather competitive. But I'm only doing freelance work to finance tech stuff I wanna buy. =)
  • 0
  • 0
    @lewi btw you can create your avatar now ;)
  • 1
    @Ganofins bwahaha, really cool
  • 1
    @Ganofins bwahaha, really cool
  • 0
    Yeah having milestones and associated payment is totally common, and also demanding some payment up-front.
  • 1
    @Codex404 wow thanks for that idea, might come handy in future :)
  • 0
    @lewi since this rant crossed 30 ++
    You can now request free stickers from devRant.
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