“Clients From Hell” are well documented. There’s even a website devoted to them. I am compelled to declare equal time for one from the Other Camp.
I met him last week through a friend’s recommendation and yes, he is an agency guy.
It was a quick turnaround VO, statewide use. I quoted what I thought was a decent rate and was gratified to be given the nod.
Even with the tight deadline, the guy warned me his end-client was known for changing things a couple of times and this would be covered in fees. He was also honest enough to tell me the piece would be used online and told me to figure that in as well.
True to form, the script went through two more last-second re-writes, each (of course) was an “emergency.” I delivered to my new patron’s complete satisfaction and … in effect … made him look good to his client.
Then he sent me a link to the finished spot. It’s a TV spot – and I had quoted him a Radio rate!
After a few choice words to myself, I communicated my mistake (ONLY to avoid having him think any future work would be priced so low, and that I WANTED to work with him again).
A quick check of emails showed it was completely my own goof, and I said I would honor the quoted price now that the work was done.
To my surprise, there was an immediate response – asking me to submit a new invoice. I replied I didn’t think it would be ethical for me to do that, especially after the spot was done and sent out to stations for air.
This new client of mine … who had assured me the voice work I did was just what everyone wanted (and that I didn’t get the gig just because my price was so low) … replied that while he appreciated my attitude, he himself did not feel it was ethical to let things stay at the original price.
Being completely flummoxed at this point, I used a friend’s fall-back line:
“Well, what would you think I could charge and still have you feel you got a good deal?”
He came back with an itemization that totaled a whole lot more than I would have asked, saying it was in line with what his agency is accustomed to paying for this type of project.
Oh, and he assures me that we WILL be working together again in the future. You can believe next time I’ll be paying more attention.
Even without a “Client From Hell”, the Devil truly is in the details!
— over and out —