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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Sacramento, CA
    Question for those who do freelance/contract web design. If a client wants you to be "on call" do you charge more for that time, or do you handle it the same? Is it even worth it?

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  2. #2
    Affiliate Miester my2cents's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    far far away....
    look at the way this is handled in the brick and mortor world...

    I charge more for "being on call" because it is a pain in the butt... I charge enough to discourage my client bothering when I what to be left along... otherwise I would be bothered everytime my client got a hangnail...

    for me it is worth it because it builds loyality

    I run my online business the same way I run my brick and mortor business.. because they are my how I pay my bills.... I treat them both like a business...

    most onliners fail to treat there on line business like a business.. if you are trying to make money...
    it is either a "job" for a "business" you decide and then treat it a such!


    And, that's the bottom line because it's my2cents!

  3. #3
    Just Lurking
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Plumbers charge more for after hours, weekends and holidays. Why wouldn't you? If they want you 'on call' there's no doubt a reason. Find out why.

    "If all the newbies are going to start writing ebooks maybe I should get started on mine!" -- Buddha

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    What is being on call? Does this mean you are available 24/7 or do they want you to drop what you are doing and update their site before your other clients? If you are a freelancer maybe they just want to be sure you will be around at all to update their site.

    Many print shops charge double for rush service.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Charge a retainer (basically one months fees in advance)

    Set a monthly fee for them. It’s easier on you and you always win in the long run.

    I had only 1 customer abuse it thank goodness I hosted him.


  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    I can't imagine why a web designer would need to be "on-call" at all. 99.9% of web problems I've experienced were server problems that the web designer (me) wouldn't be able to do a thing about. If your client needs to have someone he can call in the middle of the night because he wakes up with a new color scheme in mind, then make them pay through the nose for the privilege.

    On the CAD side of my freelance work, my builder clients sometimes will call with rush jobs that they know I'll do because our history shows they don't abuse it. (They know how fast I can work under pressure and how slow I can work when being conned.) The occasional all-nighter gets billed at the normal rate.


  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador John Kruger's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    At my computer
    If they want you to be on call, set reasonable expections. You never know what you might be in the middle of when they try to contact you.

    Make certain they are paying you a retention fee for after hours availability. Set up a reasonable fee structure for any after hours work.

    Continue to provide great customer service...


    Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.

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  8. #8
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Mansfield, TX
    It really depends whether you want to ENCOURAGE or DISCOURAGE the "on call" work.

    If you want to encourage it, set any rates at reasonable levels--somewhat higher than your current rates.

    If you want to discourage it, set the rates and terms high enough that you'll still be happy when/if they do need you.

    I did this several years ago when I left the corporate world. I knew if I didn't set some expectations, I would be hammered with lots of little calls. I wanted to dedicate as much time to my online business as possible. I let my former employer know that I was available for consulting for a maximum of 4 hours per day at a rate of $250 per hour with a one hour minimum. I think they ended up needing me for 13 hours, and at that rate I was more than happy to help.

    Michael Coley

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