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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot maadmac's Avatar
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    Client did not pay balance - his site came down

    Hi All,

    I came across my first client, after 4 years, who will not pay his balance. We do collect 1/2 in advavnce and the remainder upon completion. This client keeps saying he'll pay but it's been 4 months now. Money's not an issue as it's a Remax dealer who's raking in the cash.

    His site went down as of today. My question is should I shame him into paying by putting a splash page up on his site saying the site is down due to non payment by this client?

    I thought about really making him mad by putting "This Remax site is down due to non-payment. Please check out Century 21 at http://..." I know that is probably over the edge but I'd love to do it. ;-)

    Any thoughts on this? Anyone do something similar?

    Thanks,
    Tony
    Regards,
    Tony Chester,
    http://www.onwired.com
    "You can't have everything. Where would you put it?!?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Evangelist bronze trophy Derek Sheppard's Avatar
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    You should not. And depending on your state's law it may even be illegal to do so. Even the default 'Please contact the billing department.' is iffy.

    The best thing to do is just turn it off and sue in small claims court. I know you feel angry, but this is business. Don't make it personal.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot maadmac's Avatar
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    Thanks. Good to know about being illegal! I'll just leave it as is and see him in court then.

    Tony
    Regards,
    Tony Chester,
    http://www.onwired.com
    "You can't have everything. Where would you put it?!?

  4. #4
    Non-Member demosfen's Avatar
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    I think it's good to make an effort to collect it, that you would be able to prove in court. Like send him an invoice if you haven't already (return receipt requested) with a reasonable deadline when payment has to be received

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    If after phone calls and registered letters you are getting nowhere, start disabling services. If the site has an administration system (e.g. ecommerce site to process orders etc), disable this first - i.e. they can't process any orders etc. You could also disable email, that would wind them up no end. As a last resort, disable the entire site.

    It would help if all this is covered in your contract though. But do try to resolve this without resorting to this kind of thing - I've never had to disable any services for clients, as a stern but polite phone call with a specific deadline for payment has usually done the trick.

    Just make sure you have a 'paper trail' proving you tried your best to collect the money, should you ever need to go to court.

  6. #6
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    I hope you will let is know how the customer responds.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Zealot maadmac's Avatar
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    Well the first time we took it down he was not happy and swore he'd have payment out within 2 weeks. That was back in June. He said he thought it was premature of us to take it down.

    We'll see how it goes this time around.
    Regards,
    Tony Chester,
    http://www.onwired.com
    "You can't have everything. Where would you put it?!?

  8. #8
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    If he does pay up then I would insist on 3 months payment in advance from this point on to avoid having to go through this every month.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy linkin99's Avatar
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    How is that premature if the payment is late? Keep cool through this, though, and you could turn this iffy situation into something that can still be of longer-lasting value to you both. I agree with tke71709 in that you should instill some sort of payment structure that forcec him to pay of front, but do it professionally.


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