I'm sure that many of you have encountered a bad client. I'm also sure you took some measures to prevent such encounters in the future. What is the most influential characteristic of a client that warns you to walk away?
Some time ago I read 6 Warning Signs of a Problem Client and found it a good 'bad client smell' list.
Have you ever had a project that turned out to cause way more stress that it was worth? Of course you have. We all have. Most of the time you’re left saying “Why didn’t I see this coming?”
Here are some early warning signs of a problem project and some tips for upgrading them from hopeless to profitable.
1. “I tried doing it myself, but…”
2. There’s No Real Deadline
3. “Somebody Told Me I Should…”
4. Multiple Points Of Contact
5. “Trust Me, This Is Going To Be Huge!”
6. Repeated Meeting Cancellations
My list would include:
- Doesn't have time to create real requirements. Trust me if they won't create the requirements anything you deliver will not be as expected and you will be expected to "fix" it for free.
- They balk at progress payments for a large project or balk at having a formal contract.
- They keep refering to how Google does things. If they aren't going to pay for Google's servers and infrastructure, you will never make them happy.
- Project details as specified and timeframe for expected delivery bear no relationship to each other. The guy who wants a complex system in a week is to be avoided at all costs.
- Everything they say makes you feel like they want this done "on the cheap". Software development ain't cheap and a client who thinks it should be will never be happy.
- The person is unpleasant to deal with and/or treats his staff poorly in your presence. If he treats them badly, he will treat you badly.