Pacting is an interesting and difficult subject to speak on without dredging up a strong response from both naysayers and folks who are all for it. Unfortunately, it is my experience that very few people on either side of the aisle actually have any idea what they are talking about, as they haven't been through it themselves. As a result, they end up spouting off at the mouth, using hearsay and paraphrases from some friend of a friend or some author that may or may not have actually been in the trenches. It keeps the mystery of the subject alive, but it doesn't actually cut through the minutia and get to the heart of the matter. I will, in this post, attempt to provide a bit more insight on that front.
Those who are drawn to pacts are often the disillusioned, dejected, and desperate; they feel as though its a quick fix for their world weary minds and hearts that'll suddenly alleviate their fears and concerns. They're willing to gamble everything when they feel that they have nothing. This devil-may-care attitude, while often understandable given the individual circumstances, is the worst position one can be in when working out an agreement.
Just as the advice of "don't shop when you're hungry and don't date when you're horny" is appropriate, so too is the idea that one should not make deals when desperate. Its incredibly tempting, and it seems like the quick fix, but its also a surefire way to get the short end of the stick and the raw end of the deal. This is just as true in the mundane world as it is in the spirit world.
Instead, I would recommend pacting when in a position of relative balance and power. Do it with a clear head, and do it when you know what you can and cannot count on so that you can forge an agreement that won't be quite so likely to come around and bite you in the ass later. If you don't follow this methodology, you're, in my experience, merely deferring the pain and discomfort to a later date.
Cowardice is its own punishment and you can't avoid taking your lumps. It is far better to rip the bandage off quickly rather than set yourself up for another unexpected failure later on down the road. Learn your lesson and then fix your situation through less grandiose means so that you can get a better deal later on down the road.
I have, in my life, made a lot of pacts. I've evoked a fair few spirits, both for myself and for clients, and I've spent a lot of time in the trenches with things that'd make a "normal" person's blood curdle. I've, as a result, had plenty of results that were exactly what I asked for but not at all what I wanted, and when that's been the case, its because I acted out of desperation.
My advice to you, as a result, is to fix the situation with frequent offerings and small microenchantments that lead you towards the fix you seek. Don't try to pull out the big guns with forces you don't know well. Even when I am the intermediary for folks who want pacts, the spirits know exactly what the client wants and what the client is willing to give - that makes it very difficult to work out a deal that isn't one-sided.
I hope this post has been helpful and illuminating, and I wish you the best of luck in these troubled, uncertain times.