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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?

expatinscotland Tue 30-Apr-13 08:45:44

It's cheeky to ask someone that, though. Just glad you didn't let him steamroll you into it. Time is money. Friends understand that.

Areyoumadorisitme Tue 30-Apr-13 07:37:13

That worked well then. Glad it ended without you looking like the bad guy, him knowing that he was being cheeky you not being expected to do the work. Result all round.

CambridgeBlue Tue 30-Apr-13 07:12:37

So I saw Alan last night and I may have misjudged him (he is a nice bloke, just cheeky). He sidled up to me when nobody else was around and said in a really worried way 'did I piss you off this morning?' meaning when he had texted me. My snarky replies obviously had the desired effect! I just brushed it off, said he'd caught me at a busy moment, but I don't think he'll be pestering for freebies again - it was funny seeing him trying to talk to me without his wife noticing - he obviously hadn't told her he'd texted, probably because she would have told him to back off!

LessMissAbs Mon 29-Apr-13 21:34:50

This free half hour with a lawyer seems to be a fiction perpetrated on the internet (on here it seems to have miraculously extended to an hour). If offered, its more of an introductory assessment so a potential client can be advised whether its worth the firm's taking on the case or not, and so the client can decide whether they want to pay for advice or legal work. Its not actually advice itself...that would require a terms of business letter to be issued, creating a contract.

LastMangoInParis Mon 29-Apr-13 20:36:41

What are your clerks up to, babybarrister? hmm

babybarrister Mon 29-Apr-13 20:33:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LastMangoInParis Mon 29-Apr-13 20:04:15

'I'm sorry'. For what? For his being a twat?
Exactly, expat! grin
Funny how everyone thinks it's perfectly normal and their right to have a free hour with a lawyer
Could this be because most solicitors firms offer free first consultations, babybarrister? Also, you know you could tell those vexatious would-be litigants that your expert advice is worth nothing (in a legal sense) when proffered in a social setting, right?

Flibbertyjibbet Mon 29-Apr-13 20:02:09

But the free half hour with the lawyer is not to have all the work done free. Its for the lawyer to ask some questions and decide if they want to take the client/work on, and for the client to find out if there's a legal route for their problem. Just like I go to see potential clients who get in touch via my website. Thats a free half hour for the client who wants to know if I can help them. Its not work its part of the marketing.
Op if daves wife is going to be there then ask in s loud voice if alan has fallen out with him. Put him on the spot and ask him straight out why on earth he thinks you work for free.

babybarrister Mon 29-Apr-13 19:42:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ParsingFancy Mon 29-Apr-13 18:55:27

Nooo! Don't say "I'm too busy." That suggests you would if you could.

Go with what Thumbwitch says: "I thought you were joking. If you really want me to do the work, I can quote you."

CruCru Mon 29-Apr-13 18:24:02

Not sure what you do but I wouldn't be allowed to do free work as I wouldn't have professional indemnity insurance.

Say you have too much paid work on. Or give a quote at your usual rate.

expatinscotland Mon 29-Apr-13 18:11:17

And do not apologise. No 'I'm sorry'. For what? For his being a twat?

neunundneunzigluftballons Mon 29-Apr-13 17:16:27

This happens to my dh all the time. He pretends he misundertood what they were asking emails them a quote on company headed paper and waits to hear back. Funnily enough more often than not he gets the job smile and he has never fallen out with a friend over it although I would guess his ears have been buuuuurrrrrning on occasions while the friends bemoaned him. He doesn't care though.

kitbit Mon 29-Apr-13 17:16:11

'No' is what you should say.
And if pushed, say 'because I don't want to'.

That's very hard to push someone on without looking like an arse.

You might want to frill it up a bit though <grumpy today>

ElsieOops Mon 29-Apr-13 17:15:21

I once just asked a friend about her dh doing some work for us (weren't looking for mates rates, just someone who I knew was good) and she immediately replied "He never works for friends or family". Seemed a bit sharp but I respected that as a reply - I can see that people would either want discounts or might go into a strop if anything went wrong.

pickledginger Mon 29-Apr-13 17:11:34

'I'm terribly sorry but that won't be possible.'

Or 'How were you planning to pay? Cash or card?'

thermalsinapril Mon 29-Apr-13 17:10:37

Ask him when he needs the quote by. Then when he says he thought you would do it for free, just laugh and say you don't think so - would he work for free?

expatinscotland Mon 29-Apr-13 17:10:01

Or that response, 'I cannot take on unpaid work at the moment.' And be firm. He's taking the piss and expecting you to cave into him because he's doing it in public and you're female - he knows damn well what he's doing because he's a twunt.

PiratePanda Mon 29-Apr-13 17:07:44

Give him your usual quote with a 10% mates rates discount - he'll never take the piss again smile


ouryve Mon 29-Apr-13 17:02:51

YANBU. Mates rates are fair enough, but expecting the work to be done for free is taking the piss.

expatinscotland Mon 29-Apr-13 17:01:33

YANBU. Tell him, 'No. That doesn't work for me.'

Areyoumadorisitme Mon 29-Apr-13 16:59:31

I think you said the right thing. I was going to suggest a comment along the lines of 'oh I thought you always dealt with Dave for plumbing/accounts etc'.

Let us know what he says later.

weeblueberry Mon 29-Apr-13 16:31:56


DP is a photographer and people are constantly asking him to 'just come over and do some quick snaps' for free.

Cheeky buggers.

Pilgit Mon 29-Apr-13 16:28:00

I have a rule - I don't pay mates rates. If I need work doing and use a friend I make it clear that I expect to be charged their usual rate (if they then choose to discount I don't complain but that is their choice). It isn't fair to them and takes money out of their pocket. The value of the friendship means they should be treated as professionals and is more important than getting something on the cheap.

elfycat Mon 29-Apr-13 15:23:30

I figure mate-rates are more effort than they're worth at times, and therefore the price should reflect the effort!

says someone who does a generous mates rates on my complementary therapy

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