I've recently acquired a client from one of the more well known freelancing websites that has an Escrow service, inside that Escrow service is currently a deposit for my time, equal to one hour of my standard rate.
I'm quite new to freelancing so i'm wondering if anyone has any advice on what to do next, when I accepted the contract and received the deposit I had given the client an estimate of time that it would take to complete the project, I work hourly so I also gave them a total of what that would cost, however once I got into the project I actually realised that due to a lot of the previous code from other developers having errors/bugs in it, it increased the time to deliver and thus my hourly rate.
At this point I stopped working on the project and took my newly calculated estimate to the client, they have told me the new estimate is out with their budget. I have then explained that I'm not willing to reduce my hourly rate or give a discount on my services, it just isn't worth it financially. After I explained all this, the client started asking me to give them another estimate, but with a different figure? I don't know if they're trying coax me into being within their budget or what they're trying to do.
Should I be suspicious that they could promise me my new estimate and not deliver all/any of it? considering they told me that it wasn't within their budget, i.e they don't have it to give.
During the first part, when I noticed that the project had bad code that I would need to fix, I spent the whole day documenting and looking into what parts I would change, I explained to the client that I wouldn't charge for those hours because I hadn't checked the code before I took on the project and thus it was my responsibility. The client then asked that I send them a detailed breakdown of everything they need to change on their site to optimise it.
- Should I charge to create the optimisation checklist?
- Should I take the deposit as pay for the optimisation checklist?
- Should I take the deposit and charge for the optimisation checklist?
- Should I give the client the deposit back and an optimisation checklist for free?