payment issue (what to do?)

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by sk3pt1c, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. sk3pt1c macrumors 6502a


    Nov 29, 2005
    a simulacrum
    right, i am doing web design on my own, not part of a company or anything, hence not really formal, you get the picture.
    i sat down with my client and discussed options at the beggining of the whole process, and we agreed on a price of 1000 euro.
    i told him that, if he gave me all the material, it would all be done in a month.
    what actually happened was that he dragged the whole process to nearly three months, giving me some material every week or so, but not all of it.
    during this time he gave me three installments of 200 euro and then when
    i asked for some more, he said we'd agreed on 700 and not 1000,
    which was odd to me because i distinctly remembered myself saying 1000 :) .
    so, next time he gave me 100 instead of the usual 200.
    now, the website has been completed two weeks ago and he won't give me
    the remaining 300 under the pretense that it's not done and he's still got some material he wants to put in it.
    i explained that he can't expect to put more material into the website under the same price and that this is making me lose money, and he said he'd call to give me the last material and the money, which he hasn't done.
    i waited for a week and finally have removed the website from the server and replaced the index page with a "website suspended" page.
    that was last week, and he still hasn't called...
    i am truly baffled as to what i should do next to get my money in a civil and fast manner.
    any advice from you out there who have been doing this some time and have come across @sshol3s like that? :mad:
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Sorry, this is entirely your fault.
    You did not make a written contract, so you invited abuse by the customer.

    Any agreement for services should have a written contract that specifies what the deliverable items are specifically (# of pages, amount of content, # of forms, etc), who is providing what material, The timeline including when edited and approved materials must be received, the amount of time that is allocated for changes and corrections, what happens when more material is added (+$) or material is late (+deadlines), and how and when payment is to happen.

    Then get at least 1/3 down payment, and 1/3 at the halfway point. Stipulate that the customer does not own the website code until it is paid in full.
  3. ezzie macrumors 68020


    Sep 7, 2006
    Baltimore, MD
    well, first of all this should be a lesson to you....even if you're doing this for fun, always have a contract. that's rule #1. otherwise it's too easy to have the "we agreed on" argument.

    you should always have a contract, as CanadaRAM said....make sure you account for every detail and make sure the client knows that you don't deliver a finished product until you've received payment in full.

    basically...good'll need it.
  4. andy89 macrumors 6502

    May 22, 2005
    Folkestone, England
    I'm having the same problem.

    Luckly for me I have a contract.:)
  5. Butters macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2006
    You say you already have 700 of his euros? in that case this guy would be pretty stupid to ignore you now and not get his site.
    if you haven't already let him know that until you get the full amount the site stays suspended. you're not doing anything illegal (i don't think) because there's no contract.

    The guy should realize that he may aswell give you extra cash and get something in return rather than giving away 700 euro for nothing.
  6. sk3pt1c thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 29, 2005
    a simulacrum
    you guys are right, i should've drawn up some kind of contract. :(

    Butters, i hope things will turn out like you say.

    i will make sure he understands the situation and hopefully the whole
    issue will be sorted without any further problems.

    thanks everyone :eek:
  7. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    If you want to resolve this without legal proceedings (and you do, because 300 is not worth the trouble), take it easier with this guy. In large part he is dealing in good faith--he's already paid you 700! Except for the difference in what he says the price was and what you thought, he has been totally reasonable (and it sounds like he now acknowleges that he owes you more money).

    I know it took him much longer than he said to give you the content, but really, only very experienced clients can estimate that kind of thing accurately. The fact that it took him months to get everything together doesn't suprise me at all and doesn't mean indicate that he BSing you. This kind of thing is a fact of life in this business and doesn't mean your client is bad.

    So, do this:

    Unsuspend the site. Suspending it is much more likely to escalate this confilt than resolve it. If you suspended it without a specific warning about that and a reasonable grace period (one week it too short), then that makes you at least as much of an @sshole as him.

    Talk to the guy. This is probably a communication issue. The two of you need to know what the other is thinking and expects.

    Put his remaining content into the site before getting paid, but ask him first to confirm (in writing!) the $1000 price for the site.

    Also, you should expect to make reasonable minor adjustments to the site after it is "done."
  8. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Either that or cut your losses. Guys like this aren't worth your wasted time.

    You say your site is done. Either give it to him as-is, walk away and never return, or make some deal to finish up the rest of the updates he wanted for the remaing 300.

    Then walk away and never return.

    Let someone else be the victim should he decide he needs more 'little changes'.
  9. sk3pt1c thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 29, 2005
    a simulacrum
    i thought of combining what has been suggested so far like this:

    leave the site suspended, go talk to him, and if he says "why is it suspended?" i'll just say i had some problems with the hosting company and it should be up soon, thus getting the issue out of the way so i can discuss about the rest of the money.
    then i'll tell him that he has to pay me the money and give me the final remaining content.
    if the content is too much, i'll tell him that it would take up too much of my time and i just won't add it, if it's just a few pics, i'll add it and never talk to the guy again if he is a prick during this talk.

    how's that?

    ps.i forgot to say that i was calling him about this issue last week and he wasn't answering the phone to avoid me (i know this for a fact). so, there's a good chance he'll try to avoid me this time too... :(
  10. heehee macrumors 68020


    Jul 31, 2006
    Same country as Santa Claus
    Why are you still calling him? From what I understand, you got 700 euros already and he doesn't have anything in return. Let him contact you. If he doesn't call you, too bad for him.
  11. MiniMan. macrumors regular

    Jan 2, 2007
    I was in a situation like this once! infact my first web design job.

    Basically we sorted a price he gave me the money but messed me around for like 2months in the end i got all my money and he got the sites. But ill never work with him ever again.

    Ive learned my lesson about setting up a contract maybe this is your lesson to!:eek:
  12. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Hopefully he isn't smart enough to ask for the money back now that you have turned off his site.
  13. 4np macrumors 6502a


    Feb 23, 2005
    The Netherlands
    How annoying it might be I think you should learn from your mistakes. I have seen this before as well :) Before starting on a project make sure the scope of the project is perfectly clear for both you and the client. Write down what is to be delivered to the client, what you expect the client to deliver/provide you with and what your earnings will be. Any changes that are to be made that are not agreed upon after the 'contract' was signed is not in scope and hence should be regared as a new project (and seperate payments). The client can then decide if he finds the changes/additions important enough to develop as well or to let it pass and stay within the agreed scope.

    Also, what might help is to deliver the final product in one part. Not in seperate parts with seperate payments. When it's done you deliver it to your client and you get paid.

    Next time; try to formalize like above. It will make your and your clients life easier ;)

    Good luck!
  14. failsafe1 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2003
    Sorry for your trouble. I am still waiting on payment done for a small job in November of 2005. I did not have a contract and even if I did it does not make someone do the right thing. Money up front is the only way to work. I am still trying to collect. I have done all that I could think of. Calling a lot, going by his office, sending multiple bills, making sure his co-workers deliver my bills for me etc. I have decided to cut my losses and always get cash up front from now on.
  15. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Basically you're lucky you even got 700 euro. You should have a maintenance contract and a design contract.
  16. Cult Follower macrumors 6502a

    Cult Follower

    Feb 20, 2007
    North Dakota
  17. sk3pt1c thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 29, 2005
    a simulacrum
    you guys are right, lesson learned :)
    i just won't call him at all, and when he realizes the site isn't up,
    he can call and we'll see what happens.
    thanks for all the advice, i will sit down and try to draw up a contract
    as carefully as possible for my next jobs :)
  18. calculus Guest


    Dec 12, 2005
    I don't think that lying is a good way forward here...

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