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Funny customer @ architecture – no condition to pay for service? (2014-04-02)

Occasionally people contact me without being interested in full architecture service, they are happy with a sketch which I can design in 20 minutes for FREE (if I don’t have one designed already).

BUT… look at the this guy, after doing the first sketch, he asked to do the fully-detailed drawings including 3D design, these would take more than 10 hours of work, so would have been a $250 project, but… the deal ended FUNNY!

Chat started on Wednesday, April 02, 2014 1:59:35 PM
Country: India
Page URL: http://www.teoalida.com/design/houseplans/

(chat too long)

(2:38:34 PM) Visitor: how much time you will take for all these ?
(2:40:11 PM) Teoalida: Hard to say how much time takes, maybe 10 hours if I am sure what to do, but some customers are unhappy and requested modifications until the project stretched on 3 weeks.
(2:44:03 PM) Teoalida: 3D design necessary?
(2:51:18 PM) Visitor: yes
(2:51:32 PM) Visitor: send it also
(2:51:47 PM) Teoalida: How much would you pay for all these?
(2:52:33 PM) Visitor: you can edit stairs in that layout behind the parking area
(2:52:36 PM) Visitor: ok
(2:53:05 PM) Visitor: so what is your fee for 3D
(2:53:46 PM) Teoalida: First tell me how many 2D drawings are necessary
(2:54:18 PM) Visitor: two layout is enough
(2:54:24 PM) Visitor: for this layout
(2:54:37 PM) Visitor: in different view
(2:54:55 PM) Teoalida: what do you mean?
(2:55:10 PM) Teoalida: Normally I provide floor plan, elevation and section
(2:55:28 PM) Teoalida: to represent every detail such as doors, windows, stair and wall decorations
(2:56:54 PM) Visitor: so what i am talking about
(2:57:04 PM) Teoalida: 3D can be crappy like http://www.teoalida.com/design/Semi-Detached-2-bedroom.png or expensive like http://www.teoalida.com/design/Freestyle-Linear-1024-low.png what do you prefer?
(2:57:06 PM) Visitor: i am just telling you
(2:57:16 PM) Visitor: about stairs.
(2:58:29 PM) Teoalida: I am confused
(2:58:36 PM) Teoalida: so how many rooms you want on both floors?
(2:59:35 PM) Visitor: why you so confused si
(2:59:37 PM) Visitor: sir
(3:00:20 PM) Teoalida: because majority of customers don’t have in plan to extend the house once it is built
(3:01:45 PM) Visitor: there is enough space to draw for stairs
(3:02:16 PM) Visitor: that is why i am saying to send soft copy
(3:02:18 PM) Teoalida: yes, but where the stairs will lead?
(3:02:18 PM) Visitor: to me
(3:02:25 PM) Teoalida: what are you building on second floor?
(3:02:57 PM) Teoalida: I can send you .DWG if you pay for it, but first I need to do a proper layout
(3:03:15 PM) Visitor: just make it sure that in future we have to make 2nd floor
(3:03:49 PM) Visitor: i can make as it is just u made
(3:04:02 PM) Visitor: additional stairs in that layout
(3:04:30 PM) Teoalida: so you are not yet decided what to build on second floor?
(chat too long)

(3:18:19 PM) Teoalida: I think that I got a better idea layout
(3:18:48 PM) Visitor: no you are just brilliant
(3:18:53 PM) Visitor: sir
(3:20:16 PM) Teoalida: Do you have Paypal?
(3:25:28 PM) Visitor: means
(3:25:45 PM) Teoalida: Most used online payment processor
(3:25:56 PM) Visitor: not
(3:26:06 PM) Teoalida: so how you can pay me?
(3:26:26 PM) Visitor: for what
(3:26:33 PM) Visitor: 2D
(3:26:40 PM) Teoalida: For anything
(3:27:03 PM) Visitor: there is no condition for paying anythng
(3:27:13 PM) Teoalida: What do you mean?
(3:27:23 PM) Visitor: you should tell me before
(3:27:43 PM) Visitor: that what i will ask to you that is chargable

(3:28:23 PM) Teoalida: LOL… this is written on website, first rows in House Design page
(3:28:33 PM) Visitor: i dont know
(3:28:39 PM) Teoalida: But first, have you seen anyone else offering such service for FREE?
(3:29:19 PM) Visitor: i am just using first time it
(3:29:47 PM) Visitor: where are you from?
(3:30:18 PM) Teoalida: Time is money, my computer and software used is also money, plus I have an experience that not everyone have
(3:30:34 PM) Teoalida: Have you seen this row?
(3:30:36 PM) Teoalida:
Price for detailed construction drawings: $50 × number of rooms. Consultation and sketches that can be done in 30 minutes are FREE!
Paying customers get PDF, DWG, or whatever format you want. Non-paying customers get screenshots.

(3:31:03 PM) Visitor: not yet
(3:31:21 PM) Visitor: where is written?
(3:31:35 PM) Teoalida: http://www.teoalida.com/design/houseplans/ first rows
(3:32:10 PM) Visitor: just i see
(3:32:34 PM) Visitor: tell me your contary
(3:33:16 PM) Visitor: hello
(3:33:58 PM) *** Visitor has left ***
(3:34:02 PM) Teoalida: So this is why I am contacted by many people asking for sketches without intending to pay for the full project? Because they don’t see my prices? Do you have any suggestion how to write prices and conditions?
(3:34:02 PM) * You are not in a chat *

I did not got money, he did not got .DWG (soft copy). We just both wasted time.
A real scammer would have lied that will pay me. He, by leaving immediately gave me impression that he was feeling ashamed and left the chat as excuse for wasting my time. BUT I would like to know if he was able to find someone offering such big service FREE OF CHARGE as he wanted.

He is not the only one, I get contacted by such people all around the world, especially from India where about 90% of people are looking for free stuff or invent excuses to not pay, but the above customer is really FUNNY!

After this event, I redesigned the House Plans page by making prices in BIG RED FONT… hope people will understand that only consultation and a small sketch is free and if you want more you should PAY.

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