Client pays in full, delays project and then comes back 5 years later wanting website
5 years ago we sold a website project to a client who wanted to prepay for the whole project in order to minimise their company's annual tax liability. We spent about 6 months trying to get the project off the ground and in this time worked only about 20 hours (about 1/5 of the expected project value), before it became evident the client did not have time to give the project the attention it needed. In about month 8 communications dried up completely and we assumed they'd either gone broke, or decided to go elsewhere, or similar. We had many projects on the go at once and so may have been guilty of not chasing them as aggressively as we would have if a) we were less busy and b) they hadn't paid. Whatever the case, on the occasions we did try to progress the project they were unable to participate at their end
Long story short, yesterday I received a call from the guy that had signed the original proposal, keen to get moving as though nothing had happened! In those 5 years we'd gone from:
- a handful of staff in 1 office to 15+ staff in 2.
- no payroll tax to payroll tax
- developing on our proprietary CMS to developing on Open Source, ftp to git, iterative to agile (web used to be so simple!)
- charging a CMS license fee component for our own CMS to not charging for open source
To what degree would you honour the original contract? Very interested to hear what you all deem fair.
For the purpose of this exercise assume that 1/3 of the agreed cost (that was paid in full up front) was the CMS license fee component. It never got to CMS stage due to the client delays, but if it had got that far that would have been the easy money because the work had been done.
Thanks for your input ;)