How Can I Increase My Retainer?

I currently have a client on a 6 month retainer who has been getting a slight discount for offering me work security for a set number of months. I charge my regular fee for any hours that are worked in addition to the pre-defined days per month. I also allow the client to increase the number of retained days at any given time, but if they do so it must stay increased for the duration of the retainer contract.

My issue: The client apparently misunderstood or did not read the contract and is saying that they wanted to increase the number of retained days at any time for any individual month and only for that individual month. I think this just gives them a way to pay me less money by simply assessing what their needs will be at the start of every month. I’m confused, am I missing something or is this client trying to take advantage of me?


Jay’s Answer: Why not give the client a single opportunity to ratchet your retainer hours once during the initial 6-month period? Let them drive the # of hours up (or down) but then they have to live with this number for the rest of the period. That allows them to customize the situation and also to avoid having a monthly ratchet.

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