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Thread: Need to vent!!!

  1. #1
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Need to vent!!!

    Ok, this a a rant and vent thread..... following are e-mails between a client and yours truly. Names and figures are censored for the obvious reasons.


    From client.....

    " Hi Ying Kit,

    I am trying to get confirmation from the Client that they are able to keep the place open on 21st Oct evening as they might not have anyone to lock up if it finishes too late. Can you give me a starting and likely ending time for this session? Thanks.

    I have attached the email trail between us for your reference. I have a request - I would not bargain with you on the fee you quoted me ($xxx.xx + $xxx.xx)but I do request that you give me a greater numbers of photographs instead since this is the first time we are working together. Hope you can agree.

    Thanks in advance and look forward to your formal quotation. Thanks."



    My response.....

    "Hi Mr xxx,

    1) I received this e-mail moments after I sent out my reply to your previous e-mail.

    2) I am not agreeable to your request and will not be taking up the assignments. Thanks."



    Client's response.....

    "Hi Ying Kit,

    I am quite taken aback by your abrupt reply. Can I clarify that you have decided not to take up the assignment because I am asking for more shots of each of the project? If this is so, than I find it rather disappointing with the inflexibility. Nonetheless, thank you for your time anyway."



    My response.....

    "Hi Mr xxx,

    1) Would like to clarify the following:

    Pricing and deliverables
    I have prepared my quotation to you in accordance to a per photograph basis. If you were to divide $xxxx ($xxx + $xxx) equally among a set of xx photographs for both assignments, it will work out to $xxx per photograph. I would like to point out that my usual charges for assignments on a smaller scale like yours is about $xxx to $xxx per photograph so rest assure that you are enjoying very favourable rates as a first-time client. While I regret for not explaining the rationale of the quotation to you earlier, I trust that you appreciate that taking photographs is not merely an act of clicking the camera. The production of a finished photograph involves pain-staking prior planning and post editing as well. Since you did not raise any objection to the quotation submitted previously, I am merely standing by what was promised to you and am ready to deliver that promise.

    Timing
    As I have not heard from you for a long time since we last conversed, I think it is reasonable for me to assume that you have decided not to engage my services for the assignments. I have since taken up other assignments and had my schedule filled up to November 2010. Your e-mail came as a surprise(pleasant) and due to your tight schedule, I have to re-adjust shooting schedule for other assignments to accommodate yours.

    Accusation of being inflexible
    I am quite taken aback too by this accusation. As mentioned in previous paragraphs, I am merely standing by my promise to you which you did not object in the first place. I have re-arranged my schedule to accommodate your assignments. Hence, I maintain that I have not been inflexible. Thank you."


    Have not heard from him since. What you guys think?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Need to vent!!!

    Maybe the client realized that he doesn't have a good comeback, so he decided not to reply but i'm curious as to what is your reply to his previous email, maybe there's a misunderstanding?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Need to vent!!!

    he probably just went on to look for another photographer... I think.

    honestly, your first response to his long absence email does seems pretty abrupt. However, with your clarification, it doesn't and pretty clear why it is so.

    just a note: sometimes these electronic means of communication take out the tone and the feel of the conversation (maybe even the body language) and it is difficult to "read" the other side what he is thinking. This is especially so when there is no prior engagement and hence no mutual understanding between the two of you make communicating clearly and well more critical.

    I would just look at this as a communication breakdown and move on.
    Coolthought - 冷静思考 - クールだ http://xaa.xanga.com/0aba0666d143253.../t35917343.gif

  4. #4
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need to vent!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by spree86 View Post
    Maybe the client realized that he doesn't have a good comeback, so he decided not to reply but i'm curious as to what is your reply to his previous email, maybe there's a misunderstanding?
    Quote Originally Posted by coolthought View Post
    he probably just went on to look for another photographer... I think.

    honestly, your first response to his long absence email does seems pretty abrupt. However, with your clarification, it doesn't and pretty clear why it is so.

    just a note: sometimes these electronic means of communication take out the tone and the feel of the conversation (maybe even the body language) and it is difficult to "read" the other side what he is thinking. This is especially so when there is no prior engagement and hence no mutual understanding between the two of you make communicating clearly and well more critical.

    I would just look at this as a communication breakdown and move on.
    He did called me prior to sending that e-mail to "re-activate" the assignments. Did not mention anything about extra photos in his calls.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Need to vent!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kit View Post
    He did called me prior to sending that e-mail to "re-activate" the assignments. Did not mention anything about extra photos in his calls.
    The client was trying to bargain down at the last min, good thing you stood your ground, shows your professionalism.

  6. #6
    Senior Member sinned79's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need to vent!!!

    I think this is common to Singaporeans... they like to pay for something then ask for extras.

    but putting myself in your client shoe, after what i read in your reply to your client, frankly speaking i do feel offended as he do especially in your second reply which sounds defensive (although you can re-phrase the second reply in a nicer tone or dun even need to reply at all anymore).

    but putting myself in your shoe, i can understand how you feel when you already give good rates and now the client last min want to ask for extra (typical Singaporean).

    so what i can say here is this is typical Singaporean consumer behavior!
    Last edited by sinned79; 20th October 2010 at 03:27 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Need to vent!!!

    i guess yr client was expecting you to agree or at least to negotiate to the request for more photos. I believe your 1st reply message will sound softer to yr client if you add in the reasons or explaination like yr 2nd reply.

    Afterall in business, we want to be able to walk away from this deal but leave the door open for other deals.
    :)

  8. #8

    Default Re: Need to vent!!!

    Bro, understand your frustration and I did encounter once like this before. Everything was confirmed/settled over the phone with the MUM, explained the deliverables as quoted via PDF and email..... priced at $xxxx, timing is standard 7.30-1.30 and 7pm -11pm, full edit of pix etc. I will assist them with whatever additional needs as well like searching for VG, wine cellars etc. She said I am a good person.

    Awaiting deposit transfer, but daughter decided to call to find out the details herself as well. Suddenly came up with a ROM at 6.15-6.30pm. So I said I need to arrive at 6pm (obviously need to buffer), but I will charge an extra hour at $xxx. She said "Oh...ok". 3 minutes later the mum called and scolded me upside down for a good 5 mins. Its supposed to be a big day, everything packaged together with flexibility and obviously we already agreed on a particular price.
    Very disappointed with me.....etc. She would not want to work with such a person like me. Slammed down the phone.
    Last edited by 2100; 20th October 2010 at 04:07 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member sinned79's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need to vent!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by bedrock View Post
    Afterall in business, we want to be able to walk away from this deal but leave the door open for other deals.
    i concur.

    cos u never know when you will meet this same client along the way also.

    regardless whether the deal went thru or not... it is always good to eat the humble pie. unless if the client is very demanding and atrociously unreasonable.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need to vent!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by sinned79 View Post
    I think this is common to Singaporeans... they like to pay for something then ask for extras.

    but putting myself in your client shoe, after what i read in your reply to your client, frankly speaking i do feel offended as he do especially in your second reply which sounds defensive (although you can re-phrase the second reply in a nicer tone or dun even need to reply at all anymore).

    but putting myself in your shoe, i can understand how you feel when you already give good rates and now the client last min want to ask for extra (typical Singaporean).

    so what i can say here is this is typical Singaporean consumer behavior!
    Quote Originally Posted by bedrock View Post
    i guess yr client was expecting you to agree or at least to negotiate to the request for more photos. I believe your 1st reply message will sound softer to yr client if you add in the reasons or explaination like yr 2nd reply.

    Afterall in business, we want to be able to walk away from this deal but leave the door open for other deals.
    Quote Originally Posted by sinned79 View Post
    i concur.

    cos u never know when you will meet this same client along the way also.

    regardless whether the deal went thru or not... it is always good to eat the humble pie. unless if the client is very demanding and atrociously unreasonable.
    Folks! Thanks for offering your perspectives on this issue. I think its probably due to my personality but I absolutely despise those "trying my luck" kind of attempts because its such a waste of time and effort to go through the whole process of re-negotiating the deal. I'm more than happy to throw in the towel with these people and in a way, am happy to know that the prospect of having to deal with them again in future is almost nil

  11. #11
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need to vent!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by 2100 View Post
    Bro, understand your frustration and I did encounter once like this before. Everything was confirmed/settled over the phone with the MUM, explained the deliverables as quoted via PDF and email..... priced at $xxxx, timing is standard 7.30-1.30 and 7pm -11pm, full edit of pix etc. I will assist them with whatever additional needs as well like searching for VG, wine cellars etc. She said I am a good person.

    Awaiting deposit transfer, but daughter decided to call to find out the details herself as well. Suddenly came up with a ROM at 6.15-6.30pm. So I said I need to arrive at 6pm (obviously need to buffer), but I will charge an extra hour at $xxx. She said "Oh...ok". 3 minutes later the mum called and scolded me upside down for a good 5 mins. Its supposed to be a big day, everything packaged together with flexibility and obviously we already agreed on a particular price.
    Very disappointed with me.....etc. She would not want to work with such a person like me. Slammed down the phone.
    Ok, I feel better now At least I didn't get a earful from him. So did you show up in the end?

  12. #12

    Default Re: Need to vent!!!

    just move on....

    it is singapore. and outside of singapore got such things also.


  13. #13
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need to vent!!!

    I think I need to include this in my quotation next time.....

    My flexibility will cost you!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Need to vent!!!

    Hi Kit,

    As a business operator, it is best not to offend anyone even if they are not favorable clients.

    I can understand your frustration as a photographer though, however, it is better to word it properly.

    I have mentioned this in my business course, and here is a few things that business operator has to understand:
    1. Clients who may buy your service may not have any experience whatsoever with professional photography hence, it is up to us as the professional to "educate" then with our costing and why we charge so. So they understand.

    2. Do not assume that the client can understand something that you don't mentioned to them. They don't and they are not going to ask as they might not even know what is the right questions to ask.

    3. Even if you have to decline a job, please do so nicely. I just find your email is rather abrupt and seriously showing too much of hurting feeling.

    4. Remember one last thing, clients are who put food on our table. We don't do them a favor to serve them well. They are doing us a favor to use our service.

    Sure, sticking to your principle shows you respect your work and you have my respect, but a little softer tone and careful use of word do go a long way.

    If clients ask for flexibility, you don't always have to agree but it will be nice to just tell them, happy to shoot more but if they decide with more pictures, then, it is up to them if they want to pay for it. In the way, you have not given anything for free and theybare not being thrown a cold towel instead.

    I did exactly the same thing before and I regret it till today... And it was a good lesson to learn and grow from.

    Take it easy... Have a wine and relax.

    Life is too short.

    Regards,

    Hart
    Last edited by Agetan; 20th October 2010 at 05:18 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Need to vent!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by sinned79 View Post
    I think this is common to Singaporeans... they like to pay for something then ask for extras.
    Yup .. from experience as a seller ,buyer , service provider and service user , be it photography related or just reselling of games , there's always lowballing

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Need to vent!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan View Post
    Hi Kit,

    As a business operator, it is best not to offend anyone even if they are not favorable clients.

    I can understand your frustration as a photographer though, however, it is better to word it properly.

    I have mentioned this in my business course, and here is a few things that business operator has to understand:
    1. Clients who may buy your service may not have any experience whatsoever with professional photography hence, it is up to us as the professional to "educate" then with our costing and why we charge so. So they understand.

    2. Do not assume that the client can understand something that you don't mentioned to them. They don't and they are not going to ask as they might not even know what is the right questions to ask.

    3. Even if you have to decline a job, please do so nicely. I just find your email is rather abrupt and seriously showing too much of hurting feeling.

    4. Remember one last thing, clients are who put food on our table. We don't do them a favor to serve them well. They are doing us a favor to use our service.

    Sure, sticking to your principle shows you respect your work and you have my respect, but a little softer tone and careful use of word do go a long way.

    If clients ask for flexibility, you don't always have to agree but it will be nice to just tell them, happy to shoot more but if they decide with more pictures, then, it is up to them if they want to pay for it. In the way, you have not given anything for free and theybare not being thrown a cold towel instead.

    I did exactly the same thing before and I regret it till today... And it was a good lesson to learn and grow from.

    Take it easy... Have a wine and relax.

    Life is too short.

    Regards,

    Hart
    wise words
    I get paid more shooting part time ...... damn, I should find more time to shoot part time

  17. #17

    Default Re: Need to vent!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kit View Post
    Ok, I feel better now At least I didn't get a earful from him. So did you show up in the end?
    Ahh...bro, the thing is this. I got scolded by her for a couple of minutes, really its scolding type and not talking in a harsh tone, and this happened even before she even signed up.
    In the end she didn't think it is right to work with me anymore and will be searching for another photographer.
    Seriously I did not put the extra 1hr charge across in an offensive tone, just "Oh... I see. For arrival at 6pm it would be 1 additional hour, as per stated in the PDF which does state its applicable for church service, tea-ceremonies, ROMs, photoshoots outside the standard hours".

    But like Hart said, it is not wise to offend any potential customers as word does get around.
    So I just listened to the scoldings and did not rebut.... but this is my worst single experience that I have come across. I wouldn't have minded as much if they have signed up already and blew their top after that (probably I would just give in and charge 50% or something).

  18. #18
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need to vent!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan View Post
    Hi Kit,

    As a business operator, it is best not to offend anyone even if they are not favorable clients.

    I can understand your frustration as a photographer though, however, it is better to word it properly.

    I have mentioned this in my business course, and here is a few things that business operator has to understand:
    1. Clients who may buy your service may not have any experience whatsoever with professional photography hence, it is up to us as the professional to "educate" then with our costing and why we charge so. So they understand.

    2. Do not assume that the client can understand something that you don't mentioned to them. They don't and they are not going to ask as they might not even know what is the right questions to ask.

    3. Even if you have to decline a job, please do so nicely. I just find your email is rather abrupt and seriously showing too much of hurting feeling.

    4. Remember one last thing, clients are who put food on our table. We don't do them a favor to serve them well. They are doing us a favor to use our service.

    Sure, sticking to your principle shows you respect your work and you have my respect, but a little softer tone and careful use of word do go a long way.

    If clients ask for flexibility, you don't always have to agree but it will be nice to just tell them, happy to shoot more but if they decide with more pictures, then, it is up to them if they want to pay for it. In the way, you have not given anything for free and theybare not being thrown a cold towel instead.

    I did exactly the same thing before and I regret it till today... And it was a good lesson to learn and grow from.

    Take it easy... Have a wine and relax.

    Life is too short.

    Regards,

    Hart
    Hi Hart, thanks for voicing out your views. Appreciate it.

    It didn't occur to me that I have sounded offensive. Firm and worded strongly perhaps. I did try to keep cool about the responses. That's why I reaponded to his e-mail the next day when I could have done it almost immediately. Will I regret this decision? Maybe but definitely not in the near future.

    I do have my reasons for being firm about providing more photographs without additional costs. In my work, I can anywhere between 10mins to 1 hour just to set up and take a shot. Many times, I have to bow down to adverse weather and less than ideal lighting condition. So an additional photograph could actually mean going back to the location another time or worse, several times just to get that shot. This is usually not communicated to the client but in this instance, the amount of work had been spelt out in the work plan submitted before the quotation since he took interest in finding out what goes into producing the photographs. Being an architect (I am one too) who should be attentive to details and such, I trust that he will appreciate the amount of work required to produce a good photograph.

    Given that, I feel he was just trying out his luck and I don't appreciate that. Hence the firm response. I wish him all the best with another photographer.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need to vent!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by 2100 View Post
    Ahh...bro, the thing is this. I got scolded by her for a couple of minutes, really its scolding type and not talking in a harsh tone, and this happened even before she even signed up.
    In the end she didn't think it is right to work with me anymore and will be searching for another photographer.
    Seriously I did not put the extra 1hr charge across in an offensive tone, just "Oh... I see. For arrival at 6pm it would be 1 additional hour, as per stated in the PDF which does state its applicable for church service, tea-ceremonies, ROMs, photoshoots outside the standard hours".

    But like Hart said, it is not wise to offend any potential customers as word does get around.
    So I just listened to the scoldings and did not rebut.... but this is my worst single experience that I have come across. I wouldn't have minded as much if they have signed up already and blew their top after that (probably I would just give in and charge 50% or something).
    I would have hung up

  20. #20
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need to vent!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by 2100 View Post
    I wouldn't have minded as much if they have signed up already and blew their top after that (probably I would just give in and charge 50% or something).
    On the contrary, I think it was a good thing you didn't end up with the work. Who knows what will happen next?

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