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  1. #1
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    recovering cost of efforts for work done before losing a contract

    I have had the good fortune of losing a client who went from easy to work with to increasingly demanding and inflexible. Parting ways was on both our minds, but the client had the urgency to move on first. Always with the interest of maintaining my integrity and not wanting to leave the client high and dry when his website is on the line, I have already transfered all work to the new developer.

    With no contract drafted and 95% of the site complete (and handed over-- whether or not that site is going to be used as a starting point is not known), what is a reasonable and respectable way to invoice for work completed up to the hand-off?
    ________________________________
    design.. code.. music.. life...

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Just send them an invoice. You might want to ring them first to let them know the invoice is on the way.

    One wonders why you released the files to their new developer before getting paid though - that has little to do with integrity IMO, that's just foolish, especially when the relationship had already been terminated by your client and you have no contract. You should have just sent the invoice with a covering letter explaining that upon receipt of balancing payment you will send the files over to the new guy - and of course some **** and bull about how you sincerely regret the breakdown in the relationship and that you wish them all the best etc.

  3. #3
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowbox View Post
    One wonders why you released the files to their new developer before getting paid though - that has little to do with integrity IMO, that's just foolish, especially when the relationship had already been terminated by your client and you have no contract.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  4. #4
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    I am not used to losing clients and was so quick to please that I just didn't think about the ramifications: ultimately, I wanted to make sure the guy's website was up in time and wanted to be sure, later on, to demonstrate that I did everything I could from day one to see to it that that happened.

    Truth is, with the hard work done in the cms, he (or I) could have just hired a designer to finish where he and I couldn't see eye to eye. But I didn't let on to that-- he wanted design on the cheap and never knew how much time went in to the multiple evolutions in the first place.. I am prepared for a complete loss but still want to hear what I ought reasonably expect for a job that quite likely produced no usable output. (I suspect the new guys will be a "Imageready here we go!" buffoons and will start over from scratch.)
    ________________________________
    design.. code.. music.. life...

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCSWebStudio View Post
    I am prepared for a complete loss but still want to hear what I ought reasonably expect for a job that quite likely produced no usable output. (I suspect the new guys will be a "Imageready here we go!" buffoons and will start over from scratch.)
    You should invoice for what you think is fair. If you feel you did 95% of the work, invoice for 95% of the agreed project price. I would continue to be very pleasant to this guy, because with the files in his hands and no contract, he holds all the cards.

    This is why email communication is no match for a good contract. I doubt you have a written 'termination clause' to fall back on in court (i.e. where you both agreed that should the client terminate, they must pay for all work completed to date, etc etc), and you probably don't have any concrete proof of copyright. In theory until you specifically hand over copyright, you continue to own the work completed so far, so he has no right to use it.

    As with most of these things, unless you are talking a lot of money, move on and learn lots of valuable lessons for the future. Just try your best to recoup the money.

  6. #6
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    ok, well put. I appreciate your input on the matter.. The most I did toward recovery thus far was post tgz'd files to a user/pass private ftp server and emailed the login with this "clause" in the body:
    ..
    by you or your team pulling down any information that I've posted to this ftp site other than simply logging in to verify accessibility, you are acknowledging my efforts and agreeing to pay me a reasonable agreed-upon amount at time of invoicing. This is a good-faith agreement, Rest assured, I will be fair and will run all business by you before committing to a fair invoice for efforts to date.
    for what it's worth. Thanks again for your constructive reply.
    ________________________________
    design.. code.. music.. life...


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