osCommerce help urgent blah blah blah

By | October 26, 2009

I suppose I am one of the most well known “helpers” in the osCommerce forum, so I get lots of PMs and emails asking for help. Sometimes I get interesting questions, but most of the time it’s questions that would have taken the asker 5 minutes to Google. Sometimes I answer, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I give a quote, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I do the work on the basis that the asker will actually make payment after agreeing the work!

And then, what happens? The asker disappears just as soon as the work is completed. No big deal really, as I only accept payment after the work is done for very tiny jobs, eg less than $100 or so, but it’s still incredibly annoying – a simple email saying “thanks, but I decided your price is too high” or “thanks, but I found something else that I got working”, is much better than simply disappearing!

A typical example (URLs removed);

I stumbled upon your site via google. I have been stuck on a problem regarding dropdown menu’s for product attributes. My friends dad wants to have them on the new products box:

I have a script that puts the drop down on the shopping_carts.php file. I tried that but it does not work and I tried the dropdown that appears on the product_info.php page.

The customer can change attributes for products in the cart overview. After an update, the new attributes are set. The customer doesn’t have to remove a product to update some attributes.

So, basically, the shopping_cart.php page has the ability to change attributes (I suppose it’s handy if the buyer selects the wrong attributes). What this person now wants is the ability to select attributes from within the New Products Module (New Products for month box).

Well, that’s too much work to just do for free, so I quoted about £60 ($100 or so). They agreed the price but thought it a bit steep…fair enough, but they agreed the price anyway.

I did the work. Then sent them a video of it in action, so they can see it’s done and ready to be uploaded to their site. They viewed the video and then sent some other emails about other things (eg, how much would I charge for a site makeover).

And then…nothing. Thanks for disappearing, “Ansa”.

So, the moral of the story is, make sure to get payment, however small, before doing any work. I won’t change my working practice about payments as it works well to collect payments after work is completed, there’s only a few people like this who are complete waste of time. OR…don’t give the code until you get payment – make a video of it “in action” instead, that way, if the waster doesn’t pay, they also haven’t got the code.

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