Well, I've had it. :P I literally, without any exaggeration whatsoever, have had the FIFTEENTH misused consultation in less than a week. I think that just accounts for the last four days. That's crazy. So, it will take me a day or so to adjust the site, but I'm making consultations cost money. I'm hoping it will keep me from dealing with too many people who just want to spend free time with me. I tried this before when I was having this problem but it cleared up and I had maybe one person per month doing something like this if that. Since December, it's been absolutely ludicrous. I fear doing a consultation because a lot of the time I'm not getting paid ever, but even then the prospective client who's not purchasing something often keeps emailing me over and over and over for weeks...only never to make a purchase. Imagine doing your job pretty much for free, and working 12-14 hours a day for very little. It kind of stinks.
I do understand not everyone will be interested in making a purchase, and that isn't what I'm talking about. Spending days sometimes keeping me in consult to suggest making a purchase at some much later date - and asking me several questions, all day daily, for days or even weeks, - that's really unfair to me if I end up not getting paid for weeks (or sometimes never.) My hope is that the consultation fees will separate the serious from people who just want to take up time.
It also effects my active cases. I need to spend time with people, and unfortunately emergencies come first, "paying" business (consults) second, and non-emergency inquiries from active cases third. If I'm spending hours every day dealing with people who have no intention of making a purchase, I could use that valuable time dealing with my active cases more thoroughly.
And I'd be compensated for lost work hours, which never hurts. :)
In other news, I'm also doing some mega money spell work on myself because a lot of non-paying inquiries tells me I'm due.
So, I'm sorry if this impacts anyone negatively - I'll try to set it up so that people who are buying something are not incurring additional fees, just that people who want a consultation with no intention of purchase are going to compensate me for my time. :)