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I've been talking with the proprietor of my favorite local hang out for some time about revamping his website. He was not happy with the site his hosting company designed and was having trouble getting them to make changes or updates. The only thing keeping me from getting the work is my lack of free time of late, and his budget.
Last night, I was hanging out at his shop after closing time when he announces "Hey, my new website is up. Have a look!"
So I go to the computer and type in the URL and am greeted with a completely amateur site constructed with FrontPage 3.0. My response was reflexive. I spat out "That looks like <snip>!" Not the most professional review, I know.
To make it worse, it was his wife that had done the redesign. In her spare time. As an anniversary present.
And he was on the phone with her at the time and she could hear everything I said.
Excuse me while I go crawl under a rock where I belong.
Anything like this ever happen to any of you? If so, were you able to recover gracefully and still end up getting the work, or did you have to let it go?
[edited by: stuntdubl at 6:04 pm (utc) on July 27, 2005]
[edit reason] no swear filter workarounds please [/edit]
Definately a learning experience. I will always try to remember to keep my criticism objective and professional, no matter who did the work.
the thing is you never know when you are talking to your next client
this has happened to me for sure, not quite as blurted but similar. Sometimes my honesty got me a job, sometimes it got me black balled. ;)
You could possibly make amends by commenting on how nice it was for his wife to make this gesture...and then follow up with some of your hard won experience and advice and call it good... to help to improve the site a bit...but come on FrontPage 3.0 ... "that tool works like ****"
Do a complete 180 and explain that while the site is really bad as a professional job its brilliant as a first attempt.
Tell them that you were worried that some charlatan had charged them hundreds of dollars to do it and that upset you.
Apologise, tell them you've looked at it again and pick out some elements that are good to compliment them on (the colour scheme?)
Tell her you'll obviously have to keep a tight hold of your clients because she may be snapping at your heels in years time.
Next time keep your mouth shut, except for saying, 'wow I like the colour scheme'. If you manage to find out that someone has been ripped off by a designer who claims to be a pro then break it to them gently.
Next time you see her - drinks are are on you!
An apology is in order, and I plan on delivering it in person this afternoon, with an offer to help with the site if they are still interested. But really, the website is far less important to me than maintaining the good relationship I have with the owner.
you really cant guard against it I think its human nature.
If I were you id avoid the place like the plague for the next 6 months OR go down on a bended knee and explain you thought it had been produced by fee charging firm.
Either way its not good.