During my last job, on my first project, my boss showed some feedback from a client on a mockup. One of the things the client pointed out was that one of the feedback messages on the mockup had a pretty serious spelling mistake (for those that know their Dutch conjugation: a DT-error).

However, this mistake was not actually a spelling mistake. There was some confusion about the tense I used on the verb in the Dutch message: I used the present perfect, but the client thought I used present simple. I'll post the specific error in a modified form in a comment, in Dutch. I explained this to my boss, who decided that I should just rewrite the sentence to avoid further confusion.

Seeing the recent question about What to do when a new employee makes basic spelling and grammar mistakes? reminded me of this situation, and it got me wondering how this similar situation should be handled. In this case, there isn't actually a mistake, but the client thinks there's one.

What is the appropriate action in this case?

  • The error was "Producten zijn voordeliger indien ze in meervouden van 3 worden besteld" (correct version) versus "Producten zijn voordeliger indien ze in meervouden van 3 worden bestelt" (wrong version). The client thought I was using the "onvoltooid tegenwoordige tijd" (present simple tense) of "bestellen", which is written "bestelt", but I was actually using the "voltooid deelword" (present perfect tense) of "bestellen", which is written "besteld". – Nzall Jan 21 '16 at 21:00
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    Point out to the client that there isn't a mistake. Actually turning something into a mistake, just to appease the client, won't help anyone, and could actually make you look bad down the road. Provide proof without sounding condescending. – New-To-IT Jan 21 '16 at 21:04
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    Even if the clients corrections aren't correct, the fact that the client thought there was a mistake should cause you to think about how you could prevent future confusion. For every one person that reports an "error" there are a bunch that see it and say nothing. – ColleenV Jan 21 '16 at 21:06

If your client got confused and thought it was a mistake, then other people will make that same assumption, and you don't want something like that to be published. Best to rephrase the whole thing to eliminate any possible ambiguity.

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