Yikes, sorry to hear of your bad luck!! I think that you probably could have received a refund through your payment processor though if you hadn't waited a year (??)
As far as making payment upfront, this is kind of standard. Unfortunately it's just as easy for the customer to scam the provider if this policy isn't enforced. Typically a 50/50 kind of deal is put into place which appeals to both parties.
Again, so sorry to hear about your bad experience. They're not all bad though, keep searching for the right partner in your venture!
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Thanks for your sympathy guys. Well, this has been a sad lesson for me. I understand the position of a vendor who is affraid of delivering a product and never getting paid for it in the end. Hence - having faith in other people - I was not hesitant to pay upfront. I did even pay more than originally agreed uppon as I thought this helped to establish a good business relation.
However I can nowadays only advice people to file PayPal claims / disputes within time and not to accept a never ending line of appologies and delays.
I "only" lost about USD 300.00 but what really scares me is the idea of my site being hosted with them. Just imagine your site is down and your host ignores you for months!
There are really great programers and hosts out there. DEVPH.com is sure not one of them and while my money and time is lost maybe it helps others not to fall into the same pit.
Nowadays I carefully do research my business partnes and WHT helped me to find a great host. Hence I think it is important to view the good news and bad news with other customers.
u should have made 25% payment and then asked for the developed portions before paying further. But its ok now, bitter moments, but good experience for u. (btw, even i've lost some money bcoz of such people)