Asked to add a line after end of project - should I charge?
Thread poster: Aisha Rishi

Aisha Rishi
Pakistan
Local time: 00:00
English to Urdu
+ ...
Oct 20, 2003

I was once sent a project by a company for DTP in Arabic, which I did for them and sent it off, they contacted me after a week or so and asked me to add one more line in the DTP which I did earlier, I gave them my rates for it, but they wanted me to do it for free, saying that this is a part of the previous file, which was missed then, by them ofcourse.

Should this be done for free? Because IMHO this is not a part of that project, as I finished that then and I was paid for it, so that project is finished, this is a new part and should be paid seperately. just want to know your opinions.

sorry about the typos

[Edited at 2003-10-20 17:16]


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ntext  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:00
German to English
+ ...
Legally you can charge, but maybe you shouldn' t Oct 20, 2003

Technically speaking, I don't think you need to do this for free (unless there was an agreement to the contrary). On the other hand, how much work is it? It sounds like a minor effort. If this takes only 10 minutes or so, I would consider doing it for free (customer service, you know?). If it takes 2 hours, no (unless the original job was very large).

Greetings, Norbert

[Edited at 2003-10-20 22:03]


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:30
English to Tamil
+ ...
Pettiness of some clients is really unbelievable Oct 20, 2003

If it is only one line and if the client is important, you can me magnanimous and do the translation. But it should be made clear to the client that you are doing him a favor. In the case you have cited, perhaps the missing was due to an oversight on the part of a minor employee and if you are rigid, that person would be in trouble.
Having said that I would also say this. If the client is rude in his demand, don't give in. As you have been already paid, the project is already over. If you have not been paid, then you can propose to send a revised bill. Whatever it is, follow your heart and head, in that order.
Regards,
N.Raghavan


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Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 15:00
German to English
If it's a good customer, do it! Oct 20, 2003

Many of us render small services at no charge to regular customers. I have a high-volume customer who from time to time sends me a short e-mail to be translated. It takes about 5 minutes of my time, about as long as it would take to make out an invoice. Over the course of a year, this client gets perhaps an hour's work free; in return the client sends me well-paying work almost every week.
Kevin


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Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:00
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
I agree with Kevin Oct 20, 2003

I end up doing one-liners quite a bit. In some cases, my willingness to help out with just a line or two has helped me gain very loyal and profitable customers.
In other cases -- and one occurred just today -- a lot of the work IS one-liners, so I keep a running total. And this is fine by the customer.
It depends on how important your customer is. If this is your first job for them, I would probably go ahead and do it. And NOT say anything like "Well, I'm doing you a REALLY big favor just this once": if you're going to be magnanimous, then truly be so.
If anything, I'd say something like, "Oh, no trouble. I'm happy to help you out".
I think you'll find that they will remember your warm and positive attitude.
Anyway, that's been my experience.


[Edited at 2003-10-20 17:53]


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xxxIanW
Local time: 21:00
German to English
+ ...
Negative goodwill Oct 20, 2003

Look at it this way: if you do it for free, you stand to earn a couple of brownie points, but if you don't do it, you'll probably lose all the goodwill you've built up so far. Negative goodwill is more potent than positive goodwill.

I don't think the customer is being "petty" here. If I may return to the much-loved bakery analogy, if I went to the bakery and bought 20 buns and one fell on the floor, it's only courtesy for the baker to hand me another one free of charge.

And if he doesn't, well, I'd probably go to the other bakery around the corner ...


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Alexandru Pojoga
Romania
Local time: 22:00
Japanese to English
+ ...
Of course Oct 21, 2003

Ian Winick wrote:

Look at it this way: if you do it for free, you stand to earn a couple of brownie points, but if you don't do it, you'll probably lose all the goodwill you've built up so far.


Common sense.


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Klaus Herrmann  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:00
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Aren't we supposed to be service-oriented? Oct 21, 2003

What about service? One additional line in a major project doesn't sound like I want charge it to my client. It's part of what I think is called service, good business style and maintaining a friendly working atmosphere. There are also emotional aspects as making things easy for the client and reassuring the client that he can rely on a translator in case of need. As any business, we need satisfied clients, and if one extra line is going to buy me that, I consider it a bargain.

BTW, it's probably more expensive to invoice them for this one line.


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Spencer Allman
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:00
Finnish to English
It's happened to me once or twice Oct 21, 2003

Do it for free - it can only pay off

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Daniel Meier  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:00
English to German
+ ...
Advice to rescue this situation Oct 21, 2003

Since you already quoted a price and your client already asked you to do it for free, here´s what I would do in your situation (of course only, if you feel comfortable with it):

Tell your client, you would do this line and, if needed, a few additional lines for free in the next few weeks, and if the number of lines makes up for a reasonable amount, you will charge them as a whole.

Actually this arrangement works perfectly with one of my clients - so sometimes I end up doing a few lines for free, sometimes the lines add up to an "invoicable" amount.


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Aisha Rishi
Pakistan
Local time: 00:00
English to Urdu
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I'll keep it in mind next time. Oct 21, 2003

AS all of you seem to agree that it is ok to do small jobs for free for good reputation, I guess I will go with it. They are a good company for sure, and very professional. THey paid me within 15 days, so thats something. Thanx you guys

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sylver  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:00
English to French
Happens all the time Oct 21, 2003

Here at least.

Sometimes, I get even 10 sentences, one by one, over a month period. What the heck? It's faster for me to answer the email with the one liner requested then to type a paragraph to tell them they have to pay + make an invoice for $1.5

The essence of our job is service to the customer. Beside, when it gets too much, my clients are the first to mention I should charge them my minimum fee for the service.


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