Is legal action possible?
Hello, I am new to these forums but found them while searching for a place with answers to my problems. Here is my current situation, and I appreciate all feedback regarding:
I am a web developer and took on a client at the beginning of this year who wanted an E-Commerce website built for his new fashion line company that he was starting. As it was a small-business and had not gotten off its feet yet, as well as the fact that I was still a junior developer taking on one of my first clients (but knew what I was doing from a development standpoint), I did not have him sign any contract ... big mistake I know. He was a friend of a friend and I had worked for close acquaintances of his in the past. Anyways, throughout development he always took days or sometimes even a week to respond to emails, usually ones where I asked him specifics of what he needed for certain areas of a site, or logins for his various hosting or social media accounts that were needed. In the end, this development project extended many months longer than expected, mostly by lag on his end.
I have been finished with his website for quite some time now, and over the past 2-3 months in awaiting his OK to begin the launch process, he constantly stalled things, citing things like "I will get you the new server logins soon" or "we're working on getting the new content ready". Now it is December and after telling me about new investors and the server switching to a new one, I can see he has a very similar looking (he provided the .psd design) website now loaded onto his domain name, and has not responded to my emails about "needing to talk". Is there anything I can do ...
I realize this is my own fault by not making him sign a contract in the beginning, but I have exchanged over a hundred emails with him throughout this process regarding development. Web design firms quoted me on similar projects regarding E-Commerce functionality at anywhere from 10k+ - 25k, and I had plans to cut him a very good deal since this was solo-developed and he is a new business. Now I'm only left with one question ... is there any type of action that I can take to recoup on the hundreds of hours I spent building this website? Please help me, and again I appreciate all feedback.