To whom it may concern,
My name is Conan Breitmeier, I have been a freelance graphic designer for the past 8+ years. The following letter and presentation are in regards to a dispute that was opened against my PayPal account from a client of mine, Dana Kim. She claims that I did not deliver the agreed upon work in a timely matter. Below I will present my case and hopefully show enough proof that I not only fulfill the work that we agreed to, but also clearly communicated with her during the entire process.
To start, I want to address some of the claims that she wrote in the letter to PayPal:
She claimed that I took 2 weeks to send you a redesign of the website. As you will see detailed below (with documentation to back up) from the time she paid to the time that I sent her the redesign was just at a week, from the time that she gave me any information (partial and incomplete information), I delivered within 2 days
Claims that I took a pre-existing website and just replaced her info. As an artist, I do have a style, with my logos and web design I try to organize the website in a way that has been successful for me and my clients. Of course, I am always willing to make any changes to a website. But I begin with a formula that I know works.
She said that I didn’t put in elements that were important to her. As you will see below with our communication logs and the questionnaire that I sent her, she provided me with little info to go on. So I tried to create a website and brand that I felt reflected her style. Again, I am always willing to make changes, but need to start somewhere, so I try to create a brand around how our conversations go.
She states that I told her that I had a few current jobs end, so I had time to work on her project. As I do have projects starting and finishing weekly, I did have the time to devote to her website, which you will see reflected in the timeline. I worked on her website, her branding (logo, colors, brand “feel”), business cards (that would set the tone for other printed material) as well as set up a workspace that we could use to communicate through and store files and company information. I did all of this while communicating and in the first week of the project.
She thinks that I accepted the offer of just taking $50 for the work that I did and returning the other $700 she paid as a deposit. As you will see in my Paypal history I never accepted that and tried to communicate with her that the $750 she paid as a 50% deposit was to protect me for the work that I do and is non-refundable (as stated in the paid invoice). I only take the second 50% when we have completed the project and I send her all the work we have done.
You will also see a text message (on a Saturday, one day after I received the requested information) if she can see the website. We agree that I will present to her the following day (Sunday) the first draft of the website. On Sunday I delivered the website redesigned with all the information she had given me at that point, as well as new branding, logo and business cards. She ignored my calls, texts, and emails the entire day until 6 pm when she requested that I refund her money. I informed her that the website and everything was done, we just need to go through it and fill in the information that she hadn’t compiled yet. If she got me the info I needed we could have the website done and launched within a day or two. She ignored me once again, only requesting money back. at the time that she put in the request, she had not opened my emails with the website address nor had she visited the website via the text messages I sent. So her claim that I didn’t deliver the work as promised when she hadn’t even looked at the work I had done is questionable at the least.
I have since informed her that I can’t refund her money as I had done the work (and more) that I had promised and that is what the 50% down covered. I also informed her that I would love to finish the website and our project and we could work out something for the rest of the 50% when we finished the website.
Below is the projects that I completed as well as a timeline and documentation to back it all up. Let me know if you would like any more details or information regarding any of the items I am presenting.
website redesign before and after
WORK completed as per our agreement
Work on website begins
Client workspace created
Schedule Time to show
Website ready for review
March 15th+16th // INVOICE/PAYMENT
After a few emails, we connect on the phone and the client decides that they want to use my services to build out their travel website. We agree that she will pay 50% down, and 50% when the project is done (as I do with all my clients). She sends the non-refundable payment and I send her invoice showing that it was received (with my terms on the invoice as well).
March 16th // INITIAL INFO SENT
As discussed on the phone, she sends me a schedule of upcoming events she has. This will be on the website (she just has dates, but no other info about the trips)
March 18th // WORKSPACE CREATED FOR CLIENT
! create an account for my client on Clinked (the software I use for all my clients) and send her login info. I upload all the info she has sent to me so far so she can review. I create tasks on what I will be working on so she can keep tabs on the project and see progress as we go.
March 19th // WEBSITE QUESTIONNAIRE
I sent over the client a questionnaire. This is 20 questions that I send to all of my clients to help me get started. I ask them to try to fill out with as much details as possible. The questions are about basic info for the site as well as inpsiration or designs they might like.
March 20th - 21st // BUILDING THE BRAND
Since I am still awaiting for the questionnaire back to start with the main design of the site I start working on the backend. That involves setting up the booking system of the website. I also gather photos and pics of the areas that she will have available for travel. Because all the images I use are liscensed, I pay for them individualy. So I use branded stock photos to make sure that we use ones she likes before purchase. I also begin to work on building her a brand. She doesn't have a logo or any type of brand created yet, so I begin with creating a logo and some business cards.
March 22nd // RECEIVE QUESTIONNAIRE BACK
After 2-3 days, the client sends the questionnaire back partially filled out but I believe enough to work with. I like to start the website when I have all the info, but want to get ahead of the project so start building out the rest of the website. At this point, we have not talked about a day to present the website, but I usually like to have about 5 days to build a website out from the time I receive the information from the client (normally takes me less time). I always stress that the quickness of the project relies on how quickly they can give me the information I need.
March 23rd // DISCUSS A DAY TO PRESENT WEBSITE
As I am working on the website, I receive a text asking if she can see the website. Since I only received the info for the website the day before and would like the rest of the day to work on it, we agree that I will present it to her the following day (Sunday, March 24th) I spend the rest of the day and night (until 3am) working on the website and her brand to present to her. We had set no specific time to chat, so I tentatively plan on presenting at noon (being Sunday and all, find this is the best time to chat).
March 24th // WEBSITE COMPLETED
After less than a week of work, I have finished the website as well as her brand. Because there is still much information the client needs to provide, such as company bio, complete info for trips, FAQ's and more, I know there will be changes and tweaks we need to do.
AFTER THE 24TH
Over the next few days I try to make contact with her, letting her know that the website is done and ready for us to go over and make changes. She ignores my messages and only texts that I need to refund her money. I state the deposit is non-refundable as it covers the work that I have put in.
As you can see from above, I have tried my best to communicate with Dana Kim during the entire process, but have come to feel that maybe the project was doomed from the start. My hope is that I have compiled enough evidence to protect me and the work that I have completed and delivered. If there is any other information you need from me, just let me know!
I am also sorry for the length of the letter, I tried to be as concise and to the point as possible, but often when someone is making a claim not just against me as a designer, but also me as a person, it is hard to condense everything and trying to veer from mixing emotions with the facts. I appreciate you taking the time to review this.