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I have a situation which is generally opposite case in most projects.

I am working on a client project, which I estimated would complete in 2 months max. But even after 5-6 months, the project is still not complete. Client is desperate is getting things done ASAP. And from my end, I am doing my best to get it done at the earliest.

Client is very understanding for the efforts that went into this project. Therefore he is insisting me to take more money for this project.

From my end, I am not accepting this for two reasons:

  1. Once I gave a quote to the client, it not fit business ethics (as per me) if I charge more to him. Obviously, its not his fault if the work estimated turns out to be more.
  2. Also, the project is being delivered late than the agreed date. So client is already suffering because of this.

Is it right to accept more money from client (I did not demand, client is offering)?

Obviously I am making a loss in this project as the work turned out more. But I do not want to put that responsibility on the client.

What would you do if you were in my position?

  • 1
    Accept half of the supplement and explain why you don't accept the whole. – Harry Cover Dec 7 '15 at 14:27
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    A wise man once said to me "if somebody offers you money, take it". A good thing you have going for yourself is that they like you and your work. I would address the elephant in the room which is you made an error in estimating the time it would take. If it's inexperience, they'll understand and still be happy because they like you. If you want to be by the book, try estimating milestones for them as you go and you'll get better at it! – user1269942 Dec 28 '15 at 22:03
  • better you divide your work with another trustworthy developer ... skype me ( id - amar08609) ... and in my opinion dont accept money – Yo Yo Jan 19 '16 at 9:21
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Accept the money and keep this client.

The client may recognize that at the beginning, he asked for 10 requirements, but over time he realized that he was really asking for 100. Accordingly, he's trying to pay you what you're worth.

YOU, on the other hand, seem to be very inexperienced. Not so much in your technical expertise but in your limited understanding that your client can't pay you money for a Volkswagen, and expect you to deliver a Rolls Royce. You are not acknowledging your own worth.

Take that money, and thank the client for understanding and teaching you something.

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    You are presuming this is scope creep, what if OP just didn't realize how hard the work was going to be and messed up the estimate. There is a point at which it is the contractor's responsibility to live up to his estimate. – cdkMoose Dec 9 '15 at 20:25
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If I were you, I would NOT accept it in case I charged him my regular hourly rate.

There are multiple reasons for this:

  • If I take more money, the client will expect better output. If I am doing my best already, a client will not be happy to pay more, but gets the same.

  • If I am already charging my regular rate, it means that I am earning as planned so no need to extra charge the client.

  • I had not planned this project properly and we are late (regardless of whose fault is it) so I would not feel comfortable to get more money since the part of blame is on me as well

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Is it right to accept more money from client (I did not demand, client is offering)? What would you do if you were in my position?

Since you are seeking personal views for the answer. Let me share my opinions on this:

Yes, indeed that is a sign of an understanding client, who respects you as a person and your work more than the deadline or money. There is a higher chance that he will come back for your services even though you delayed as he has already got a good understanding of your work. He may also promote you to his friends, relatives etc. I would do whatever I can from my side to please and retain this client. So in this case, I would just put all my effort to finish the work and not accept the money.

In fact, if the mistake was from my(developer) side for accepting the project without prior experience in that domain, I would refund some part of the amount.

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While I can easily understand your position, it is also clear for me why the customer wants to pay you more.

It's not because (or not only because) he is so kind. He is in need of you to finish the project. And therefore he does not want you to be in need of money and take other projects, so becoming less focused on his project. Don't think of those money as of 'extra'. Think of those as of payment for making his project higher priority.

But if you still feel uncomfortable taking those money now, you can suggest the customer to pay that amount as bonus once the project will be completed.

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If your client is offering more money because your project is late and he/she wants it finished as soon as possible, that client is simply begging you to hire people to help you or put priority on his/her project.

That's usually why a client will offer you an extra in this situation.

Instead of making a big moral dilemma out of this, see if that extra money could help you push aside other projects for a while or hire some people to help you. Or pay for some tools to make you increase your productivity. Some freelancers and entrepreneurs are hesitant in investing in the right tools or adding expenses that would actually make them save a lot of time because they only see the "money out" and not the time they waste that could be used somewhere else. This is a big mistake, maybe it's not something that applies to your workflow though. A good example is when designers or web developer spend hours drawing each icons for their website instead of buying a vector set of icons at $25.

If you are already 100% focused on this single project and do not want to hire people to work with you or you do not want to work overnight/weekends on this, then yes, simply refuse the money and mention the reasons why to your client. That client will probably find this response very unprofessional and also might feel trapped with you, especially if he/she has the means to pay for a faster service.

Your ethical decision has to benefit your client as much as you and in this case, it might be totally ethical to accept more money and get the client what he/she asked for... ASAP!

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