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  1. #1

    Unhappy Any tips on dealing with a client that doesn't want to pay?

    Hi, I have been browsing through these forums for a while and have recently stumbled upon something I need a bit of help with.

    I am a webdesigner that recently started out and I currently have a problem with a client that owes me a bit over JMD 30,000 (approx USD 300). The thing is that I also provided his hosting through a reseller account I have with another member of this forum. Having been new to freelancing at the time I had naively went into an agreement with him without having an actual contract. It all fell apart about a month after I started working where he was constantly requesting that new features be added to the website and was refusing to stick to the payment schedule we had agreed upon.

    After working for a total of approximately 3 months, while trying to recover the monies owed to me I decided to just write it off as a loss and shut down his website (not really sure if this was the smart thing to do). After a few months of hearing nothing from the client I was recently contacted by him and informed that he is going to take legal action against me for scamming him out of the money he paid for his hosting (USD 100 for a period of 12 months).

    I would like to know the following:

    1. Do you think it is possible for him to actually win such a lawsuit?

    2. What do you think I should do at this point?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Quote Originally Posted by Berthfield View Post
    1. Do you think it is possible for him to actually win such a lawsuit?
    That depends on the laws in your country, there's no set answer to this question unfortunately. If you did shut him off of his hosting, and he paid for the hosting, then that would open you up to possible damages. The amount, if any, depends on what your terms of service said. And again, there are countries and locations where what you write doesn't matter, there are still laws that say what you must do.

    2. What do you think I should do at this point?
    Refund the money for the hosting, or wait for him to sue. If he's talking about hiring a lawyer, he's just lying, but depending on where you live a small civil lawsuit might be possible. Even though he's wrong about not paying for the other services (and you for not getting in writing), the law isn't based on common sense. Good luck in any case!
    If you have to operate your company behind the scenes or under a fake name, maybe it's time to leave the industry and start something fresh.

  3. #3
    As mentioned by Mike in previous reply, it all depends on your country law,s. But he still owes you some money, so i dont think he will file a case against you for scamming. And other thing is, i am not quite sure if he is going to hire a lawyer for 100 to 300 $ Hosting/Design?
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Worst case (or possibly best case) you are taken to a small claims court. If you have emails or something stating he was to pay x amount of dollars on schedule, you can/should counter-sue. Courts will accept emails as evidence. A actual contract is not needed as most people doing business won't know how to write one or be able to get a lawyer to work one up. That would cost more than the work. So if there's a agreement in email, you're good.

    I say welcome it as long as this is acceptable where you are from. Talk to a paralegal.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Tulsa, OK
    Get a contract and have all new clients sign it. It sucks but there are not many folks these days that will deal with a handshake and it matter. I grew up where your word is your bond. Plain and simple.

    Good luck with your business going forward. I concur with all previous posts.
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    Hosting, Connectivity, Professional Services

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    You should have a terms and condition page, where they need to agree before project starts..

    Anyway, just give back the hosting to him, maybe remove the site you have created :p.

  7. #7
    Well first things first, you should have did the project by milestones. You do some work, the client pay you some. Never ever finish the job without getting anything from a client. We are in the "web" so if your client just stopped getting in touch with you then you can't do anything.

    As for filing a lawsuit on this concern, I don't think it's wise to bring this up to court, your $300 and his $100 are nothing if you two hired a lawyer. I suggest that you bring his website up for what he paid then just remove what you did the he didn't pay.

  8. #8
    Firstly I would like to express thanks to everyone who took the time out to help me out.

    After reading all the replies to my question I have come to the conclusion that I was wrong for suspending his hosting account, considering that he had in fact paid for the full year. I am now in the process of re-activating his account and will offer him an additional 6 months to make up for the 3 month period in which it was suspended.

    Before actually handing back over the hosting account, however, I will remove from it the website which I created because he still has money outstanding on that and as such is not entitled to it.

    Does anyone see anything wrong with these actions?

    Thanks again
    A. Berthfield

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    He is just trying to scare you.
    CFG Web Hosting Company, Haryana, India
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Chennai , India
    He is just scaring you, don't worry too much over this. Even if he tries to sue you, have your part where he has not paid your money for web design.

  11. #11
    he havenīt paid for design, he has his hosting service paid for a year, so you have to find other way to have your money because the hosting service is already paid.
    thatīs why you always need to have TOS published in your website.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Top Secret
    Suspend the account
    Move on
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Usually non-paid invoices for any addon services are subject to suspend the customer too if he refuses to pay it.

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