Implicit discount



Last week, Project Manager X contacted me to check if I was available for a specific large project. It was not the first time I have talked to X in my life – in fact, I have worked with this company (“with”, not “for”) for a couple of years. So, she tells me she has 20 k words with a bit tight deadline – 1 week. I check my schedule and realize I can fit it if I work a couple of hours more during the week, not a problem. I confirm the project and she asks why can’t she find my “discount rate” in the database. I reply she can’t find it because it doesn’t exist. So I offer her the possibility of not adding exact matches and repetitions to the word count, but I will not check them. She agrees. When the PO comes, only new matches are being paid. Ok, something is wrong here…


In her defense, this project was already agreed with the final client with a discount, since this is just a project update, with most of the project having matches (yes, fuzzy matches). I denied the discount and she assigned the project to someone else.


First of all, we agreed on a discount for exact matches, and I only noticed that fuzzy matches were not being paid because I checked the PO. If she was to tell me before sending the PO that that was not enough, we could discuss it further and maybe come to a different agreement. Secondly, after analyzing the amount in the PO and the amount I calculated (based on the word count provided and not taking into account exact matches or repetitions), the discount she was requesting was half of the total. Yes, half. And remember this is not a one- or two-day project, this is a medium size project, so half is quite significant. Thinking about it, half is always significant, no matter how small the amount seems.


This is a very dear and old client, so I don’t believe this was a deceitful behavior. Maybe X was expecting me not to check the PO? Or maybe she was just busy and forgot to discuss this with me before assigning the project?

Would you have done things differently? Let me know your thoughts on this.

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