Getting job boxed off with slow client

I’ve been working on a job for about 10 months, which really shouldn’t have been that long at all

It was only meant to be a medium sized job but has dragged on due to:

  • an unnecessary amount of revisions due to the client changing their mind
  • slow delivery of feedback & content from the client

The project has been about 95% finished for the last 3 months, I’ve been sending them repeated emails asking for the final bits of content so that we can get it finished… and they keep saying they’ll get them to me ‘ASAP’ but that they are really busy.

I’m starting to lose faith in them sending anything over anytime soon, and am running out of patience

Do I just give them a deadline and say that I’ll be treating the job as complete by a certain date along with sending my invoice?

I invoice monthly.

Send them an invoice and say you can pick up the project at a later date once the invoice is paid. Or some like to ask for 25% or 50% etc up front before continuing etc.

Be diplomatic about it. Firm but nice. Of course depends on your relationship with them.

Deadlines, payments, partial payments, expectations etc should have been ironed out at the beginning though.

Even if no official contract, an email is enough for a small claims court if you need to go that route.

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Similar to what @Smurf2 said, have they paid you? Are you still waiting for the job to be finished before they’re billed?

Timeframes and payment schedules should be covered in the contract. If you don’t have that and are waiting around for them to make up their minds about things that you worked on months ago, you’re in a bad place and it’s partially your own fault for not having it in writing from the very beginning.

Like was said, you probably need to “diplomatic about it” without coming across as confrontational. You have other work to do and you need to wrap this up with the next XX days. If they’re still not ready to wrap it up, you need to be paid for the work already done.

A client that isn’t responding to proofs is in effect rejecting your work. The Graphic Artists Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines recommends you include provisions for cancellation fees in your contracts. Those would spell out how much you want to be compensated for the stage of work you have completed, in case they walk… or wander… away.

My contracts say that if they don’t respond within 30 days of receiving a proof, the project will be considered closed and the final invoice for work to date will be issued to them. It also says the project can be reactivated at a future date if they choose, but it may require a new quote.

The charge is €xxxx and the cancelation fee is the exact same, for me it is.

Maybe tell them you have other work to do and you will “archive” their files, for which there is a) a storage fee to keep them active and b) a charge to de-archive (and dust off) the job.
You can’t really do that without making it a change order and them signing off on it, but it might poke them. It’s no joke keeping old jobs accessible. If you want me to dig up your old print job from over 2 years ago and reprint it, I’m going to charge you a half hour system time to go look for it. Most printers would say you are SOL as most don’t keep stuff for longer than that.

Thanks for the replies, some good tips here!

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Let us know what goes down, curious as to what they do / say

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