Getting ripped off by clients

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by shrempff, Aug 29, 2012.

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  1. shrempff

    shrempff New Member

    I'm in a unique situation. I have a client that I've built a site for.

    The client wanted to come up with his own body copy, but never got around to it. Aside from filling in the copy, the site is finished. It's a custom theme built into Wordpress. Now his company is going out of business and he no longer will be needing the site. He doesn't want to pay for the site, or at least not full price, since he no longer needs it, but I've completed work on it and feel I deserve payment.

    I had him sign a contract and I took a deposit = to 1/4 of the total cost, as well as many emails confirming the work before his company went under. Because his business went under before the site was transferred over to his server, I can't use any of the usual conventions to get someone to pay up; IE. take the site down, kill button css, etc.

    I'm not sure if reporting his dead business to the Better Business Bureau would phase him and the amount owed to me is $600, which I would probably burn through trying to go to small claims court.

    Any suggestions on how I might be able to get paid?
  2. Phreaddee

    Phreaddee Super Moderator Staff Member

    well thats better than most. the problem is your legal costs to recover that $$$ will probably be more than its worth.

    kindly remind him of his obligations...
  3. Phreaddee

    Phreaddee Super Moderator Staff Member

    man take what you can get, if he offers you a further 200 thats probably the best you can do, call it a bad debt and move on.
  4. chrishirst

    chrishirst Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It's really not worth the effort of reporting a dead business. Sometimes you have to put things down to experience.
    It's probably worth raising a small claims case depending on the cost of serving the papers of course.
  5. websonalized

    websonalized New Member

    I agree with Phreaddee, that was just one of those jobs where you gotta say “dang!! If i only had done this or that”. I doubt you will get your money now, his excuse being my business is failing and i don’t have any money to pay you. I’m my experience I provide progress reports up until the job is done and once final payment is received then the site will go live.
  6. shrempff

    shrempff New Member

    I got em!

    I scared him with the contract and a bunch of legal jargon. I got my payment. Thanks for the replies! This experience will definitely motivate me to step up my paperwork, and maybe more thoroughly go through the contract before taking on jobs.
  7. reverseengineer

    reverseengineer New Member

    You probably aren't going to see the money. Sorry, sad truth. I always do the 1/3 rule. Third down, third at the half-way point then the final payment when I'm done. Sorry yo, live and learn I guess.
  8. Private-I

    Private-I New Member

    this happens to everyone occassionally. Unless it's $1000 it not worth the hassel of court. In the future try and get 50% upfront.

    it does hurt though, he's made you do the work for nothing. the man uses people.
  9. Edge

    Edge Member

    Quite often they will try and wheedle out of a payment (and their accountant will actively encourage them to do so) by saying the business is going bust. I make sure every time that I call their bluff by sending solicitors letter which costs nothing, telling them their credit rating will be affected etc. I even fork out £150 (court fee plus solicitors fee) to take them to small claims court. Surprise, surprise I get the payment quite often - not always, though.
  10. helloworld

    helloworld New Member

    im sure at least a few designers could benefit if you could post excerpts from the client communication leading up to you getting paid.. please remember to remove any sensitive information (you already won, no need to poke at it more).

    congrats.. it feels like a win for us all!

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