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To not do work that I would charge a client a lot of money for free for a friend

(57 Posts)
CambridgeBlue Mon 29-Apr-13 13:16:09

Someone I know (let's call him Alan) has asked me to do some work for him for which I would normally charge several hundred pounds. I could do it quickly and easily as a favour but I don't see why I should especially as another person in our circle (Dave) is in the same business as me and Alan often puts work his way.

I am happy to do the odd favour for friends and sometimes it has led to paid work, other times I've just been happy to help. But helping Alan definitely won't gain me anything as he refers any work he gets in this line to Dave. I think he just wants a freebie and possibly thinks I'll be flattered to have been asked - I'm not!

AIBU to think he's taking the piss and if I'm not, how do I politely tell him where to go without making things awkward in our group of mates?

Llareggub Mon 29-Apr-13 13:18:11

Just say you are too busy.

ChasingSquirrels Mon 29-Apr-13 13:18:13

Has he actually asked you to for it for freeo are you assuming?

I would say of course I can do it, my fee would be £x and would he like to proceed?

nenevomito Mon 29-Apr-13 13:18:44

No I don't think YABU at all. If its your business and your livelihood then they should pay for your services - even if its mates rates. If he threw work your way regularly then it may be different.

Ask him if he'd do his job for free!

GladbagsGold Mon 29-Apr-13 13:19:43

I'd say he could have it at mates rates. And charge whatever you feel like!

raspberryroop Mon 29-Apr-13 13:21:36

Tell him what you going rate !

ImperialBlether Mon 29-Apr-13 13:22:46

I'd be upfront and say, "I'm surprised you're asking me when you normally give your work to Dave." He's got a nerve if he's expecting you to do it for free when his friend would charge him.

WilsonFrickett Mon 29-Apr-13 13:23:31

You just have to say no - or as others have said, assume it's a paid job and quote him a mate's rate. If it makes things awkward, then unfortunately it makes things awkward. It'll be more awkward if you do it for nothing, don't get any further work out of it, then he asks again in a couple of months and you say no then, won't it?

ParsingFancy Mon 29-Apr-13 13:26:33


So Alan understands this is work he would usually have to pay for. And has a regular man who does it.

But rather than either a) pay or b) ask regular man for freebie, he's asked you for freebie?

That's very, very odd. It suggests he values you a great deal less as a person and as a professional than regular man.

Don't want to leap to a conclusion here, but is it possible regular man is a clue?

SarahAndFuck Mon 29-Apr-13 13:29:37

Is there any chance that Dave is too busy to accept it as paid work so Alan has decided to chance his arm asking you to do it for free?

YANBU. Either tell him you are too busy or tell him you will put a quote together for your fee.

I have to agree with ParsingFancy about the regular 'man' being a clue to why he's done this.

LessMissAbs Mon 29-Apr-13 13:29:48

He's trying it on and is a condescending twat, counting on you being embarrassed enough to do it for free. Tell him you'll only do it if he is a paying client, otherwise you're not interested

StuntGirl Mon 29-Apr-13 13:30:26

Has he explicitly said he expects it for free? I agree with those above, say "Lovely, my fee is X per hour. Would you like me to send you the contract to sign?"

Mintyy Mon 29-Apr-13 13:35:46

Can you just clarify that he definitely expects it to be done for free?

MummytoKatie Mon 29-Apr-13 13:41:59

"That's fine. For friends I charge £xxx for this type of work. Does that work for you or would you rather get Dave to do it?"

Thumbwitch Mon 29-Apr-13 13:44:18

Of course YANBU! He is chancing his arm, if he's said he wants it as a favour rather than paying for it.

Say you'd be happy to do it for him and this is the price. If he baulks at the price (and tbh I'd want to get paid up front under the circs) then say you're very sorry but you don't have the time to give away for free; times are tight for everyone and you have to make a living same as everyone else. Hopefully that will make HIM realise how rude he's being.

Lazyjaney Mon 29-Apr-13 13:45:56

Tell him you will do it at the same rate Dave does it If he is asking for it for free and won't pay for it he's not really a friend.

CandidaDoyle Mon 29-Apr-13 13:48:01


My BIL is a highly skilled tradesman. He gets pissed off by mating asking him to provide his services for free. He's self employed, so if he's doing a freebie he's losing income. He just tells them he'll consider it if they're prepared to take annual leave from work and come and work on his house for free.

Snazzynewyear Mon 29-Apr-13 13:51:29

Yes, he's trying to get it for nothing. I bet Dave is currently busy. Say 'this is my quote for the work' and see what happens then. My bet is that you won't hear anymore.

LastMangoInParis Mon 29-Apr-13 13:52:50

YABU for even entertaining the thought that YWBU to expect him to pay or piss off. Of course he's taking the piss. YANBU to be very annoyed. So, you tell him what the work will cost him. Simple as that.

BTW, Lazyjaney, I don't get the bit where you advise OP to say she'll do job at Dave's rates? Why Dave's rates instead of OP's usual rate?confused

quoteunquote Mon 29-Apr-13 13:56:59

What does he do for a job, could you arrange an exchange?

We run a construction and service company, I'm constantly amazed at how many people think we want to work for free, but I often do exchanges, works well for everyone.

just say I can do it, but I have to do all my paid work first, then if he asks again say well I can put you to the top of the pile but it will have to be paid.

Justforlaughs Mon 29-Apr-13 14:00:33

I'd offer a quote, I don't think you should do it for nothing

cuillereasoupe Mon 29-Apr-13 14:01:24

YANBU. A woman I work with once in a blue moon asked me last week if I could do do a bit of work for her daughter for free. I put her off saying I was too busy, so she passed my email on to her daughter so she could plead her case. Bloody cheek.

WeAreEternal Mon 29-Apr-13 14:04:34

IIWM I would say "yes of course I can help you out, and of course as a friend I will do it for 'mates rates'"
Then I'd knock a bit of money off and tell him that's how much it will cost.

That's fair and you are still doing him a favour without giving up your time for free.

facedontfit Mon 29-Apr-13 14:05:27

Thought it was just my OH who works for people who are far far better off than us for free.

elfycat Mon 29-Apr-13 14:06:03

Is Dave fed up with this freeloader? Is that why you've been asked?

Say you can do it at mates rate and then charge 10% more than your regular fee.

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