What To Do When A Web Design Client Wants A Refund

The nightmare web design client — I have personally been fascinated by this rare but very real phenomenon.

Since being in the website maintenance and development space since 2006, you better believe I have had the wonderful opportunity to enjoy the priority shipped stress and anxiety that these clients seem to have hard-coded into their DNA.

How To Deal With A Nightmare Web Design Client

First, let me say that this of course does not happened often, in fact the nightmare web design client is a rare breed. However, when I do get the pleasure of working with these gracious saints, I have identified that it is usually a trait of a specific personality type.

In other words, it’s not my problem.

Handling A Refund When Your Work Is Complete

When your web design client demands a refund. Always keep calm, (your emotions have no place here) and issue a response that carefully outlines the work performed/completed as well as the amount of extra time spent on XYZ out of “courtesy” for them as the customer.

This allows you to leverage the situation further to your advantage.

Rightfully so.

Do not feel bad about tallying up your extra time, as a web designer/developer there is always extra time allotted for projects that go un-billed — think about communication, support, planning, etc.

If the nightmare client comes back with guns blazing, state in a firm but short e-mail that, you have allocated XYZ hours for overages that will be invoiced and/or charged if a refund and or/chargeback is issued — then elaborate and gently stoke their ego about your excitement in working with them.

In my experience this typically calms the client down, leveling the playing field and even in some cases establishes grounds for new development work. You can continue your dialog from there, however, if you have provided your service in full, do not under any circumstance entertain a refund.

This is a case that you want to take the high-ground on and if a chargeback happens, it happens, it is not the end of the world. It is a part of doing business.

It’s always an uncomfortable and odd experience. More often than not, these situations lead to a better client relationship once the dispute is resolved — it’s like becoming buddies with someone after a bad argument.

It’s my opinion that this type of situation tends to be a trust issue when all of the dust settles.

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Mike Danna

Mike Danna is the owner of Vessio.com — a Texas based website maintenance and development company since 2006.