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| p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Client wants to add something to contract - Need a little suggesion here |
Sticking to your contract when it comes to something as grounding as what the OP brings up isn't a bad thing to do by any means. My contractual fine print changes with some client experiences *after the fact* to enhance both my future clients and myself. These types of changes are good things and I consider that part of the contract (the fine print) to be a living breathing entity. Changing the fine print of your contract to book a client by what the OP is asking is simply not a good idea, of course changing your contract deliverables is a normal negotiation but on my contract, the fine print and deliverables are two completely different parts of the contract so when I say fine print doesn't change, that means the legal mumbo jumbo like blanket copyright, liability, etc. Changing basic legal terms like the OP brings up (or as stated the fine print, or page 2 of my contract) is something I'd personally never change nor would I recommend it.
Here's an example of something I have changed. I started having a client or two who would absolutely refuse to contact me via email. They would only text and they would do it at very odd hours to the point that it became disruptive to my family life. I had to change a line item in my contract to state what my operating hours were and which forms of communication I would accept (Facebook and texting are specifically stated in my contract as unacceptable forms of communication).
Here's another example of something I added to the fine print after the fact and will not remove it if requested: A wedding client had a guest show up who "wanted to take a few photos" but in actuality they are an aspiring photographer who, by evident of their actions, are desperate to create an entire website and sample album with this one wedding (and it's probably their first ever). As an experienced wedding photographer, these people stick out like a sore thumb and are a huge distraction. At this particular wedding which was a highly religious wedding in a location where you had to wear a suit, this person caused a major distraction and in response I had guest after guest come up to me and blame me for this other photographer's (the guy who just showed up) actions. So I added a line item that I am the only official photographer and all others will only do so at my discretion. If someone causes a disturbance, (and this is stated in my fine print) I will put my cameras away until the person causing the disturbance leaves. Have I ever used this against anyone? No. Have I been asked by clients why that's in there? Heck yes. I have seen an increase in a bride telling an uncle bob to put their camera away and enjoy themselves without me having to say a word since I put that in there. Will I take it out to book a client? Nope. It's my contract, my terms, my services. And the respect I get for standing my ground is a wonderful thing.
But basic things like what the OP is specifically talking about is not a good idea to change for numerous reasons.
I also find that when a client has an issue or question with my fine print, and I simply say "that's the way I structure my contract," those people tend to respect what you do more than if you cave and change a very basic function of what a contract does which is to protect both entities fairly. And yes, personal experience of mine states that when a prospective client wants me to change the very foundation of what my contract is, they end up being a problem later on. But again, this is all just my opinion.
Ian Ivey wrote:
, a simple change of terms in the contract is not changing who you are. This is what businesspeople call "negotiation." Most of us are one- or two-person studios who can reasonably be expected to negotiate terms directly, not major corporations that have to involve a team of lawyers to modify a boilerplate agreement.
A client who reads and responds to the terms of your agreement is not a "red flag" client, folks.
Edited on Nov 19, 2013 at 04:26 AM · View previous versions