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Thread: If you freelance, you must read this...

  1. #21
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    really usefull information here.. But do people really give away .fla's to their client? I don't think I would ever do that!? I mean, pro-photographers always consider their negatives as their property, and would VERY seldom give it out... If they did, they would loose all control, and people could do whatever they want to the photo ..
    Wouldn't the same thing happen to .fla's?
    I understand that the client might want to be able to make text changes,updates etc. if they know a little about flash,
    but generator and templates should take care of that..
    If you give away a .fla I mean you give away your whole work.. people could also just change logos,text and sell it to someone else!...

    Just my point of view...

    Tippa

  2. #22
    Moderator RazoRmedia's Avatar
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    I never give the fla's out and I always establish a service level agreement before I put mouse to pad. Basically this involves how much money is being talked about, the service offered, the maintenance etc. If the company asks for the fla as part of the agreement then any code or movieclip names should be renamed to numbers to make it harder to understand, this is not being obtrusive, its simply protecting your interests, you don't want someone altering your work with new graphics they're losing you money. Obviously, if they want the fla to maintain themselves then the price should be pushed up accordingly.

    The loadmovie idea is a good one and I have used it myself before. Simply put a loadmovie statement, loading into level 1, point it to a non - existant swf on your file. if they don't pay, make the swf on your server with one statement

    getURL ("www.RazoRmedia.co.uk", "_parent");
    or
    _root.getURL("www.RazoRmedia.co.uk", "_parent");

    your flash work can then not be viewed. Even better is to direct it to their competitors site. Ring them up and see how fast they pay. In this case I do not think you are doing anything wrong legally as they have not kept up their side of the agreement and so you have made your swf null and void. Its underhand tactics but it's the only way to protect yourself against sneaky clients who never had any intention of paying you.

    There are other ways too. Although I am a web developer, I am 6 foot 1, have a skinhead and regularly weightlift. When I meet clients, they no longer think I am a techy nerd like they imagined me.

    Anyway, please write out a service level agreement before you start anything and get them to sign it. Then send it to yourself in the mail and leave it unopened, this is then suitable to be used as evidence of dates and times that the agreement was set.

  3. #23
    Old man of minimal posts
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    I'm just starting out freelance after working for a large company for the last 2 years. The way I will present my work to clients, is with the *.html and *.swf files on a CD, but only providing local links between the pages. Once they hand over the pennies I can then upload the files onto a server for them. . .

    Can anyone see any major flaws in this plan?

    Also, I'm looking at charging about 1000 per website, dependent upon functionality etc. This will include consultancy, and support. Does this seem reasonable? May seem like a daft question, but I'm used to being a wage slave, working for a large company. I'll be freelancing in my spare time.

    Any comments appreciated.

  4. #24
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    I ran into the same problem with someone. I do have a full time job and do web stuff on the side. I was approached to redo a website. Since it was my first "paying" job I didn't even ask for any money up front. So I went ahead and put about 10 hours of work into and he won't call me back. He loves the site but I don't think he can afford to pay me. But every time I speak to him he gives me some excuse like he was really busy or was out of town. But oh well i guess ya win some ya lose some.

  5. #25
    DJ_SFinKz
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    I have read all these posts and have thought we should have some sort of "universal" set standard, If we could all abide to this it would be great, something like pay half before, and the other half later.

    And remember that not all clients are bad

  6. #26
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    my solution is..

    keeping the site on my server until payment has been recieved. even if they try to oprn their site as if it on theirs, i have full control over the content, so i can say. if this site is on any other server than d3k it has been stolen. and that would, ineviatbly appear on their site.

  7. #27

    Chea'in Clients beware!

    peeps,
    I'm pretty impressed with the load movie idea that points to your website.
    Just one question: I'm aware that load movie doesnt always work... as in, the movie isnt always loaded. Is this caused by size? if yes, then the one frame (with action) idea for the swf is probably okay. If no, then it's not a fail-safe method.
    But, if it is fail-safe, I've got an idea to take it a step further:
    In the movie loaded have a custom javascript that either redirects the whole website or opens up a pop-up window from your site!

  8. #28
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    I am starting to work freelance and this is going to be very useful to me and all other freelancers.

    What are you going to do about getting your money?

    Tell him to come to this thread to see what honest people think about scum like him.

  9. #29
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    Forum Deadbeat watch

    I'm right with you all on this one! I'm currently chasing http://www.designfreak.com for $2200.00. I used measures to protect myself, asking for a $4000.00 retainer, however, it was the next bill they chose to ignore.

    I think it might be good to not only keep track of these people, but look to find a collection agency that will work with us, By the looks of the posts we have enough volume to keep someone very busy!

    Ryan

  10. #30

    Re: IF YOU FREELANCE, YOU MUST READ THIS...

    Originally posted by JirSames22
    I am owed $500 US for two jobs I did for a guy named 'DARREN TESSITORE'. His website is located at http://********awebsite.to and he is calling his company 'NEW DIGITAL DIMENSIONS'.

    I am posting this message as a warning to all freelancers who are offered work by him, or anyone else for that matter. Always request a downpayment on a project before you start.

    Please feel free to post your comments.
    always insist on the following

    1. supplying a written quote for the job
    2. a written response from the client to agree with the contract and proposed schedule
    3. written instruction from the client to begin the work as agreed in the contract
    4. even work for "friends" - do not proceed informally
    5. never work for free - this is especially common where designers carry out work for friends or colleagues - always demand something in return, whether it be payment in cash or services or goods

    clients will try all sorts of things - i was recently approached by a client who knew nothing about websites and so asked for a meeting to discuss their proposed site
    -after 90 minutes discussion, she went away and we awaited orders to start their work- however this didnt happen as she used the information she got from us to go and approach another company so that she looked as if she knew what she was talking about - and all i got out of it was a wasted day from travelling in to the city centre and a 10 rail ticket to log as travel expenses - it would be nice to present an invoice for my "consultancy time" to the company concerned but with hindsight it is probably best to try and avoid unscrupulous clients like this and pre-empt them - as they are cynical and know that smaller companies probably wont waste their time chasing fees which will most likely never be paid (even with recourse to legal action)

  11. #31

    Re: Chea'in Clients beware!

    Originally posted by tagbo
    peeps,
    I'm pretty impressed with the load movie idea that points to your website.
    Just one question: I'm aware that load movie doesnt always work... as in, the movie isnt always loaded. Is this caused by size? if yes, then the one frame (with action) idea for the swf is probably okay. If no, then it's not a fail-safe method.
    But, if it is fail-safe, I've got an idea to take it a step further:
    In the movie loaded have a custom javascript that either redirects the whole website or opens up a pop-up window from your site!
    if you are producing a flash site one thing i will do is place a watermarked banner across the front page something like
    "work in progress - BigBlueBalloon - Copyright2001"
    the watermark copyright note only gets removed when the client is paying and the site is ready for posting on their own domain

  12. #32
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    A written agreement

    As Flashkit has helped me many times, I will share with all. I use a simple written agreement (contract) that I had an internet lawyer draw up especially for a flash user (me)its just about iron clad...I'll be happy to share this agreement with anyone who doesn't have a legal document they feel confident with (wording is crucial) or doesn't have one at all. Email me, and I will send you a copy a soon as I can, If I get too many emails I will just post it somewhere but I'm too tired to even type now. You will have to change the bottom of the agreement where it reads New York (where I live) to whatever state you are in.

    P.S. as I see this thread has basically been about staying away from the wrong kind of client, I would suggest to stay far away from Victory Records. They are thieves, who steal work and don't pay up. Sorry had to vent. Goodnight All.

  13. #33
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    my email addy is faction718@aol.com...sorry I forgot.

  14. #34
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    I was burnt as well on a site for an airport. I invested well over 20 hrs. and my colleague at the time, who was the main contact, never paid my share and practically disappeared afterward. He claimed he was never paid but the designs we were working on just magically appeared in production? I don't think so. =/

    dstewart

  15. #35
    FK Robot Wrangler

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    my advice

    if the client is allowing you to FTP to his/her host, change the password immediately. this will give you exclusive access. chances are very good that he/she will never know you did it. it seems underhanded, and such tactics are generally not good, but it's better to do it if you sense that you're dealing with someone who's not on the up-and-up. i hope it's not against the law, cuz then i'd have to go to jail .

    if you are doing CD ROM work or not FTP-ing your work to the Web, add a 5 second scene to the beginning of your work that dislpays your logo, name, time spent on the project and the nature of your skills. remove it only when you get paid.

    this is all a judgement call. you don't want to come off as 'playing defense' if your client really has honest intentions.

  16. #36
    FK Photoshop Slut rugbystud's Avatar
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    Gr8 thread - I myself am dying to get some freelance flash work up for money - I feel freelance thing should get its own separate room on the new look Fk! And I feel quite strongly about this...

  17. #37

    contracts

    Always always always have your client sign a complete contract. And ask for at least half of the amount as a downpayment.
    Here is a wonderful site that sells (very affordable) proposal kits - specifically tailored to web developers.
    All you need to do is fill in the blanks (ie your name , the client name and the amount) . Every kit contains several different pricing structures (ie, per hour or per job etc)
    Definitely worth checking out!!
    http://www.proposalkit.com/

    Apples

  18. #38

    one more thing

    oh yes, another thing you should mention to client who try to dog you:
    IF YOU WANT IT FOR FREE, DON'T COME TO ME!!!!!
    hehe
    Apples

  19. #39
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    It's all really simple....

    I see all of my relationships with my clients as long term. I tell all my clients that I can't generate revenue for them if I just put up a site and leave it. It's a process; not an event. If your client is able to see how your flash work can generate money for them, they'd be stupid to pull the $plug. If you've got a genuine interest in contributing to the success of your client, they should be able to see that. If not, why would you be doing business?

  20. #40
    Senior Member Knoj's Avatar
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    In Mine, I place a Load variable, and it loads a variable from a text file on my server, containing what ever I want it to eg: "ok", and once I get the money, I send them the .swf with out the Load variable. If they don't pay, I remove the text file from my server!

    I had a problem with coppyright, and this cleared that up real quick!


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