When Freelancers Piss Off Clients

HH, a freelancer I hired to write an e-book for me, sent me the first draft of the manuscript today as an attached Word file with his e-mail.

He ends the e-mail: “P.S. I’ll send me [sic] invoice under separate email.”

My question: Why, HH?

I just got your FIRST draft a minute ago. I haven’t even opened the file, much less reviewed it. And I certainly haven’t given you my comments so you can make the necessary revisions for the next draft.

Sending an invoice along with your product is bad form — it leaves a bad taste in the client’s mouth. He feels the only thing you care about is getting paid, not whether the copy is good.

But sending an invoice with a FIRST draft — when the project is not yet completed — can really piss off the client, as it did me in this case.

BTW, our agreement calls for payment upon completion.

To me, completion is an acceptable manuscript. Most publishers and business clients feel that way.

If the term “completion” is too vague, this rule of thumb applies: any ambiguity in the agreement is the fault of the vendor, not the customer.

If HH expected a check upon submission of a first draft, he should have specified that in his agreement and has me sign it.

He did not.

So what do you think?

Did HH make a major faux pas with his client — me?

Or am I getting crabby and difficult in my old age?


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