I have a client that I'm tired dealing with.
Although we have a written contract, they often submit change requests that are not covered by the terms of the contract. When I remind about the fixed scope and placing those change requests on future phases, they argue like "oh, our attorney is not available, let's write it down later" (presumably, when the work is supposed to be done) or "don't you trust us?" and stuff like that.
Also, they have delayed payments several times so far.
I'm at the point to take a decision of firing the client. OTOH, I understand that it's hard to find good clients and I'm not willing to throw away an existing one. So my goal is to answer for myself if my reasons are really solid to fire the client (or to salvage the relationship). Also, my primary goal is to save my face and reputation.
I can't afford an attorney to struggle for this. Instead, I can afford firing the client and spend more time finding another one.
My question is, what are the key steps the freelancer should take in order to:
- Decide for myself whether I should attempt to salvage the client?
- As soon as the decision (either positive or negative) is made, how to do it smoothly?
Looking at the answers, I think I have to make an update:
- They are not bad people, generally. If I noticed they are deliberately doing something wrong, I would push them away without any questions;
- While I'm confident that the client is violating the terms, it well may be that I'm wrong by overestimating the danger; as I said, I don't feel of being cheated, I'm just tired of issues here and there;
- By asking here, my goal is to figure out a simple rule of thumb on how to behave in such situations, without taking into deeper details so that the answers would be helpful for further visitors;
- Losing trust to the client is an important issue, but being able to learn for myself and solve the problem is also critical for me.