How to politely tell client that services are no longer free?

I am a web designer that designed a web site for a client of mine a few months ago. She was very nice to work with, and in the end the design and transaction went very smoothly. At the beginning, before I began the project, I had her sign an agreement that contained the terms for the design process, but I did not include parameters for continued maintenance on the web site as I did not want to pressure or obligate her in any way to continue to use my services if she chose not to. I was very appreciative of her business, so at the final meeting where I gave her the web site and collected payment, I offered her one month of maintenance for free.

Her intention in creating the web site was to attract sponsors and advertisers to help pay for the cost of building the web site. In designing the web site, I provided her a very efficient means in which to solicit advertisers; however, unfortunately, she has not been able to attract any. The month of free maintenance that I offered her has expired, yet she continues to send me updates with the assumption that they will be for free.

I am a college student, and this project was one of my first experiences working with a client. This woman is a friend of my mother's, and though I understand her situation, I am beginning to feel like I'm being taken advantage of. I've been kind enough to input a few of her updates past her expiration date, but I know I should be paid for my services.

What is a polite way of telling her this without coming across as greedy or ungrateful?
That is exactly what I will do, thank you for taking the time to answer.

I appreciate your input; however, being that you have no clue as to competency of my skill-set, nor the logistics associated with the web site, I find it incredibly rude on your part to insinuate that I deliberately wasted my client's time. I informed her at the beginning of the possibility that the site would not meet her expectations of revenue, but that did not influence her decision to have a custom web site built for her business. I'm not going to walk away from a willing client on the flimsy principle that the web site may or may not be successful in meeting a goal of revenue -- especially in this economy. I have very little control over that aspect once it's finished, as its not my job to run her business.

So long as I live up to my client's expectations (in this case I exceeded them), it's not my responsibility to seek out advertisers for her. You also assume the w

1 year ago - 2 answers

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I would formally write to her to ask if she still requires your maintenance service for the site now that the first 31 day free service has expired. Explain to her that you offer a three month/ six month or yearly maintenance service at XXX amount. Making the 12 month service contract the most attractive and pointing out that you are giving her a reduced rate due to her having a fledgling business.
We all know that we cannot expect anything for nothing and you did give her the start she needed, if her idea is not working it's not your fault.
You have to explain that you are doing this to support yourself at college.

1 year ago

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At least you have learned that a cheap website, on its own, is a waste of money fro the client. For business purposes a website has to be well designed, well coded, continually SEO'd and marketed (which costs a fair bit of money and which most clients won't pay). So they end up with a worthless website with no visitors and no chance of attacting any business.
I suggest you explain just how much work goes into a website and the continuing maintenence. If you are happy that she got got value for what you sold her then just tell her that any further work will have to be reimbursed. The only problem is do you tell her the site is useless as it stands and that you should have told her that in the beginning.

by Raysor - 1 year ago