Yesterday I fired a client that has been getting under my skin for a while...
You know the type - wants everything for nothing, whinges about every invoice, meddles (and messes up) in everything I do, and is generally obnoxious.
The day before yesterday I paid him a visit to do some basic Pastel work, i.e. move the system from his old server to a new server. I am not an IT specialist, so I expect the new server to be up-and-running, waiting for me to do my thing. Instead, I arrive at his premises, to be greeted by a box with a computer inside, which he purchased the day before. So I spend my time (at a rate five times more than that of an IT technician), unboxing the server, firing it up, configuring it with my limited IT knowledge, before I can start doing what I was asked to do.
I advise him that I will only transfer the Pastel setup and database across from the old server, but he will need to get an IT technician to transfer his email, Office, etc. I referred him to a local IT support company down the road, but he says he will rather get his nephew in at no charge!
After the job is done, 3.5 hours later (I had to search and download printer drivers for his slip printer and laser printer, because he couldn't find the disks), we set up another appointment in early January to do some further work.
He phones me yesterday morning after getting my invoice, and he starts whinging... Why did I charge him so much, and why the travel charge? (I had to drive from Westville to his Pietermaritzburg office and back). I stand my ground and refuse to accept his requests for a discount. I advised him that I had notified him via email (together with all my clients) about my travel charges in May 2012. He says he can't remember getting the email...he gets so many emails, how do I expect him to read them all? I respond by saying that I cannot be held responsible for his memory or organisational abilities. As an aside, I did not receive a single objection from any of my other clients about my travel charges.
He asks whether my next appointment will carry a travel charge and I reply in the affirmative. He says he wants to cancel the appointment and that he will find someone else local. I respond that it's his choice, and then tell him good bye...
Today I am happy and relieved to serve my many other satisfied clients.