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I have a new local client who simply won't stop calling me during my office hours.

I do attend to calls of all my clients. But he calls me and discusses everything about the project over phone only, which adds to confusion and I also tend to forget some of them after a few hours because I am working on multiple projects at the moment and not just his project.

He spends 2 to 3 hours only discussing, arguing, ignoring the technical suggestions from my end and only explaining his business model. I clearly and politely told him that due to my workload it is not possible to attend such lengthy phone calls. I also told him that we can use other better ways to communicate and discuss details, such as IMs, WhatsApp, email and anything else which I can refer to and properly work on it or give him suggestions and estimates.

However, he is only seeing his side and keeps calling me and spends most of my time and as a result, I can't attend other important phone calls or give time to my work.

He is also not paying much. I have offered him the price based on his budget but he is simply bargaining and asking to add more and more features to add within the budget.

When I am telling him to consider my points and increase budget because of new requirements, he is threatening me with my calls, which he always records, although I have never said or promised to do anything which is outside the scope or agreement of my project, even through calls. I have all agreements ready for it also.

How do I deal with him? I am thinking of getting a little blunt with him. Will that be a good thing to do at this stage? It's harming my other projects and I am having to give just too much time attending his calls, and also listening to his threats and bargaining, demands.

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Bill him for the hours you spend on the phone. Those are consulting hours. No further work will proceed until the account is brought current. All future phone conversations will also be billed. I went from disliking these type of clients to loving them. we could spend 12 hours on the phone for all I care. I have a Bluetooth so I can multitask and they get to tell me about there good old days. It's an expensive form of therapy but hey I'm here for my clients :-)

You need to take control of this and nip it in the bud. If they refuse to pay and they continue to call after you have laid down the law most smartphones these days come with some sort of blocking feature built-in. It will restore your sanity.

  • Haha... This is a great response. I did block him during off hours, but he still continues to call through WhatsApp. Now I am unable to block him there. But yeah, I decided to put my phone in silent mode for his contact. :) – Nil Sep 3 at 4:21
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If it were me, considering everything that you've told us, I would tell the client that I can no longer perform work for him and I would terminate the relationship.

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"I'm sorry to cut this short, but I need to attend to other things. We'll speak again later. Thanks."

If you let someone run over you, they will continue to do so. Take control of your own business.

  • I have said this multiple times to him but he still calls like that and doesn't care. I can be direct with him, but I am worried that he may leave bad reviews on many websites once I finish the project. He is just not professional and can harm any business if things don't go his way. – Nil Aug 31 at 18:13
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    I'm sorry. You come across as merely whining. Deal with it or let it continue. Those are your options. – Scott Aug 31 at 18:16
  • I don't think I am whining... I am just transparently saying what it is. Anyway... – Nil Aug 31 at 18:20
  • Just a note- kindly watch your word usage my friend. Maybe whining is a normal word there but in my country, it is too strong a word. So better use a proper word instead of appearing uncompromisingly offensive. I said or did nothing that should appear even close to whining as we use here... I simply asked how to deal with it. You told me to deal with it. I simply asked again how, and about the problems which I might face if I try to be direct. Which is a realistic thing happening here. It's so simple.... – Nil Aug 31 at 18:39
  • I was not intentionally trying to be offensive. But yes.. it all read like whining to me. I know the words I chose. ----- "If I do X he COULD MAYBE Do Y.. so I'm scared to do X... just in case he does do Y" ..... That's all whining to me. If that offends you... well.. I don't know what to tell you, this is business. I don't know you at all and was not trying to be offensive. I was referencing business operations not "personality". – Scott Oct 6 at 22:10
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Remember, client is always right and you can't make any argument. Just simply share that

it's not possible for you to remember all things what he/she share over the phone. If he/she share it with you over email then you can check them easily and for any help you will poke him/her.

Hopefully, it will work for you in your future.

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    This is probably the most inexperienced and outdated answer I have ever seen here. With all due respect, no they are not always right. At least not abrasive and abusive clients who would continue to take advantage of your offerings and assume you are liable to respond to them anytime. For them, I think being direct is the straight answer. And blunt rejection. That's what I did today and my client has not even made a single disturbance till now. He is politely replying using just WhatsApp and I am now at peace of mind and able to focus in other projects. – Nil Sep 1 at 12:41

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