Client Creep is just as bad.
It starts off with an innocuous email “I'm looking for Access VBA coding that will automatically populate business days of the week based on a start date and entry of number of days”.
I can do that!
But then I have no idea of the client’s abilities, so I suggest a face-to-face inspection of the database, and this seems expensive for the client who responds by pointing out that they are capable of inserting my code.
We carry on this way for two or three more exchanges, and then I give up.
The whole deal is too costly in terms of the time it is taking me to extract information from the client, and as soon as we clear up one misunderstanding, the client slyly reveals yet-another-card, more data that could have been volunteered up front.
I don’t abandon the prospect of work, but I retract into my shell with a suggestion that I be emailed some procedure specifications, and that I will craft code to meet those written specifications.
The message is: If you’re good enough to specify what you want, then do so. If not, you need me to help you specify what you want.