An exercise in frustration: When contractors go bad – Chris Kyalo

As a growing company, inevitably we have to reach out to contractors from time to time to deal with surges in demand for our services.  As I come up on my second year of ownership here at Netvantage, I’ve learned a couple of hard lessons, and right now I’m learning that dealing with unreliable contractors is downright infuriating.  Enter my experience with writer Chris Kyalo.  I initially contacted Chris in 2009 to develop some articles for a client of ours and despite being a little behind schedule, he did a bang up job delivering exactly as he had promised.  More recently, I reached out to him for a larger project, and it’s been a painful experience.  Since this man has my money and hasn’t found it fit to return it, I suppose I will publish our correspondence as a lesson learned for other possible SEOs who run into this situation.

When Contractors Go Bad

Below details the string of communication that lead up to this post (with 4 very slight semantic edits to protect the identity of my clients).

— On Mon, 1/4/10, Adam H wrote:

From: Adam H
Subject: Re: Fw: Articles
To: “Chris Kyalo” <[email protected]>
Date: Monday, January 4, 2010, 7:55 AM

Hi Chris,

Sorry for the delay, but I just sent the money over from our new corporate paypal account.  Please let me know when you’ve received it.

Thanks,

Adama

— On Wed, 1/6/10, Chris Kyalo <[email protected]> wrote:

From: Chris Kyalo <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: Fw: Articles
To: “Adam H”
Date: Wednesday, January 6, 2010, 7:24 AM

Hi Adam,

Thanks. I received the Paypal funds.

I will keep you posted

warmly,
Christopher Kyalo.

— On Thu, 1/21/10, Adam H wrote:

From: Adam H
Subject: Re: Fw: Articles
To: “Chris Kyalo” <[email protected]>
Date: Thursday, January 21, 2010, 9:07 AM

Hi Chris,

Just wanted to get in touch and see how things were progressing.  Thanks.

— On Fri, 1/22/10, Chris Kyalo <[email protected]> wrote:

From: Chris Kyalo <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: Fw: Articles
To: “Adam H”
Date: Friday, January 22, 2010, 5:49 AM

Hello Adam,

You should start looking at some articles before end of next week.

warmly,
Chris.

— On Tue, 2/2/10, Adam H wrote:

From: Adam H
Subject: Re: Fw: Articles
To: “Chris Kyalo” <[email protected]>
Date: Tuesday, February 2, 2010, 2:58 PM

Hi Chris,

Any update on our articles?

Thanks,
Adam

— On Thu, 2/4/10, Chris Kyalo <[email protected]> wrote:

From: Chris Kyalo <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: Fw: Articles
To: “Adam H”
Date: Thursday, February 4, 2010, 9:47 PM

Hello Adam,

Articles coming up. Some technical issues that had slowed everything considerably have just been resolved a few hours ago.

warmly,
Chris.

— On Mon, 2/8/10, Adam H wrote:

From: Adam H
Subject: Re: Fw: Articles
To: “Chris Kyalo” <[email protected]>
Date: Monday, February 8, 2010, 4:09 PM

Thanks Chris, any further ideas on the timeline for these?

Thanks.

— On Fri, 2/12/10, Chris Kyalo <[email protected]> wrote:

From: Chris Kyalo <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: Fw: Articles
To: “Adam H”
Date: Friday, February 12, 2010, 12:52 PM

Hello Adam,

Really sorry for the delay. I have to confess that underestimated the backlog of articles I had to clear.

Still I am working on your articles and will be able to give you an accurate timeline as soon as I send you the first batch in a few days time. Please don’t worry, the entire lot will be done pretty quickly without compromising the quality in any way.

warmly
Christopher Kyalo.

— On Sun, 2/21/10, Adam H wrote:

From: Adam H
Subject: Re: Fw: Articles
To: “Chris Kyalo” <[email protected]>
Date: Sunday, February 21, 2010, 12:23 PM

Chris,

To say I’m a bit concerned as to whether I will see these articles is an understatement at this point.  I sent payment more than a month and a half ago and have nothing to show for it.  I would like to resolve this one way or another this week – either with a completed project, a partially completed project with a refund, or a refund.  Please let me know how you would like to proceed.

Thanks,
Adam

— On Fri, 2/23/10, Chris Kyalo <[email protected]> wrote:

From: Chris Kyalo <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: Fw: Articles
To: “Adam H”
Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2010 12:49 AM

The project will be completed by the end of this week. I underestimated the backlog I accumulated and the truth is that I really wanted to give your articles my best rather than just complete them for the sake of completing them.

Still I am really sorry for what has happened. It should NOT have happened.

Chris.

— On Sun, 2/28/10, Chris Kyalo <[email protected]> wrote:

From: Chris Kyalo <[email protected]>
Subject: Articles
To: Adam H
Date: Sunday, February 28, 2010, 2:21 AM

Hello Adam,

Thank you so much for your patience during my crisis.

Below find the initial articles I have done. I am eager to know what your honest verdict is on this articles. Let me know as soon as you can. I will send more articles later.

warmly,
Chris.

I*Edited out the completed articles – 2.5% of the total contracted work – which was quality work, I won’t deny that*

— On Tue, 3/9/10, Adam H wrote:

From: Adam H
Subject: Re: Articles
To: “Chris Kyalo” <[email protected]>
Date: Tuesday, March 9, 2010, 7:20 AM

Chris.

I understand you’ve had some troubles on your end, but from my perspective, I have been promised a product multiple times that has not been delivered.  If I don’t have my articles by the end of the week I want my money back.  I’m servicing clients and if I can’t produce the articles then I’m to blame.  I can better use that money elsewhere.

If I don’t receive payment, I will be forced to disclose how this played out publicly.

-Adam

— On Sun, 3/9/10, Chris Kyalo <[email protected]> wrote:

From: Chris Kyalo <[email protected]>
Subject: Articles
To: Adam H
Date: Tuesday, March 9, 2010 8:49 PM

I have been trying to pace myself as acurately as possible because I did not want to give you a date that won’t work out this time. By Wednesday next week all your articles should be done without fail. I will start sending the complete batches within the next 2 days.

— On Thu, 4/8/10, Adam H wrote:

From: Adam H
Subject: Re: more articles
To: “Chris Kyalo” <[email protected]>
Date: Thursday, April 8, 2010, 10:37 PM

Chris we are now at nearly three months for less than 20 percent of our required work.  Some of the articles I had previously requested aren’t even in line with our needs at this point.  Do you have any timeline for all of the work to be complete or are you just going to continue to string this along into 2011?  I simply don’t have forever for this.  I have tried to give you deadlines, but I keep getting a slow trickle of work.  Previously you finished your work in a very timely fashion, so I know you’re capable of this, yet somehow this just isn’t happening.  Give me a timeline you can stick to that’s within the next 30 days or give me the rest of my balance back.  This is very disappointing.

— On Sun, 4/11/10, Chris Kyalo wrote:
Sunday, April 11, 2010 11:07 AM
From:
To:”Adam H”

Within the next 20 days (10 days earlier than what you suggest) all your articles will be complete.  You are justified in your frustration and I am really sorry about this.

Chris

*End transmissions*

I understand that you can’t make every client happy.  As a business owner myself, I have worked hard to maintain the stellar reputation we have thus far been able to achieve.  However, while sometimes expectations might not be properly communicated or met, when you deliver an end product there’s really no excuse for taking someone’s money and providing them 20% of what you promised.  Needless to say, this is what it is to get ripped off.  When dealing with contractors such Chris Kyalo, just remember to proceed with caution.

Adam Henige

Adam Henige is Managing Partner of Netvantage Marketing. Adam heads the SEO and link building efforts for Netvantage and has been a contributing blogger for industry publications like Search Engine Journal and Moz.

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