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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Deal gone bad - opinions from developers?

    I agreed to build a site for friend of a friend. We came up with an agreement that paid me 1/3 up front to get started, 1/3 at launch, and 1/3 due 30 days after launch. An unusual agreement I know, but I was confident that it wouldn't be a problem.

    The issue with this deal in the end was poor communication on both sides - specifically, he took his time getting back to me with his action items and I took my time calling him with status since I got the feeling that he was in no hurry. The last call we had ended with him having to go in and update a bunch of pricing on the site after I had trained him on doing so. I let him know the site was ready to launch as soon as he was done and that I was going to test a few things while he was working on that.

    Almost two months have passed by. I know, I shouldn't have let more than a couple weeks go by. I admit, that was my fault. But when he did call me, he said that he has had a local developer start building another site for him and that we're even. I've completed the site and just need to flip the switch to launch it. I just didn't want to do so with incorrect pricing. So due to me not staying on top of him I am now out 2/3 of the price we agreed upon, yet I've done 100% of the work. His argument is the site never launched so he doesn't feel he should have to pay the remainder of the fee. And he's gone with a new developer.

    Any thoughts on the situation? The invoice I sent him had a due date of December (which I know is way off at this point, but that fault lies on both sides) and stated that the fee would be paid after launch. I could launch the site today if I wanted.
    Last edited by ludachris; May 1, 2008 at 17:49.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Well, this is tricky.

    You could flip the switch and his argument goes out the window. If the price changes are his responsibility, it is his problem. This is a rather bad way to think, but if you have a poor client, it is sometimes the only way to work. Then, send him the invoices on the schedule you agreed.

    If he doesn't pay up, just turn the site off and chock it up to a learning experience.

  3. #3
    The knight who said ni! RockyShark's Avatar
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    Yeah, I don't know if there's a real lot you can do, either. He hasn't authorised you to make the site live, so making it live on your own and just sending him the bill will probably not solve anything.

    I get the feeling you're just going to have to cut your losses and chalk it up to experience. Bummer.

  4. #4
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by ludachris View Post
    I agreed to build a site for friend of a friend.

    Any thoughts on the situation?
    Never do business with your friends...

    Either write off the $ owed or write off the friendship. Your choice.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Thanks guys, that's what I figured. You always think that you can make it work with people you know and then you get burned like this. I should have protected myself a little better I suppose. It's just a bummer when you and your family are depending on that money. Oh well.

  6. #6
    I hate Spammers mobyme's Avatar
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    Sell it to someone else in a similar line of business after obviously removing anything that pertains to your friend.
    There are three kinds of men:
    The ones that learn by reading.
    The few who learn by observation.
    The rest of us have to pee on the electric fence.


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