Freelancing noob needs help

Hey guys,

I am in a sticky “legal” situation… and I kinda need your help…

I was asked to design a website for company, initially without any proper written agreement, (yes… i know, always make a contract, and yes, I have learnt the hard way now…) other than an invoice.

Later on, we realized that we had different expectations on the outcome of a website (they wanted me to upload ALL of their content… which could be infinite, they never specified it). So we wrote down a written agreement that said “If the designer is to update the website with all the given information and content by a specific date, the client will complete the payment of xxx by xxx date.”.

Very basic and simple. That is all it had.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t finish the work due to many technical difficulties that arised unexpectedly(their host didnt have mySQl installed and the whole CMS decides to crash with too many bugs … ) and have finished updating the website 2 weeks after the decided date. I dont expect a payment now, but do I still have a chance? because all the bugs and everything were due to their hosting company being stupid (using PHP4 instead of PHP5).

Also, now they continue to ask me to update their website. Should I ask them to come up with a new written agreement? Or should I ask them for payment and end the matter? Or can I just ignore them?

Please help. No idea what to do. I have handed them the instructions on how to use the CMS and everything, but they keep screwing up the website and expect me to fix it all up… and there is no talk of payment… and I think I have put in waaaaaaaay too many hours… I just want to stop working for them… with hopefully getting paid…

Please help :frowning:

They’ve accepted the site, you need to be paid for it. Dont do any more work until you get paid.

Give them a call to explain you want paying, tell them how much you want. Be friendly but firm. Tell them you will send them an invoice requiring payment within 30 days. Send it by registered mail. CC it by email.

Assuming they pay, any further work is billed hourly. Invoice regularly, consider taking retainers/deposits or if they mess you around too much, drop them and move on.

most clients would expect little delay.
i think you should ask for the payment. and let them know your rate for further updates.
its always better to keep things clear.

Absolutely - get paid for your work. The work they’re asking for now - is it fixes to your work, or additional changes they’ve come up with? Since you blew the deadline, be flexible, but under no circumstances ignore the customer - references are king.

If they want you to do additional work on the site, it must be a sign that their still happy to work with you (and thereby be willing to pay). The best thing you can do is just be open with them, get that work finished and then start with them from scratch on any updates (providing their not the result of your work or lack thereof) - you can conclude the first bit of work as one contract and then you can move onto this new load of work and reinforce it with a contract (as it’s a fresh set of things to deal with). If they don’t pay or aren’t willing to be flexible, then you can always give them what they paid for and leave (lesson learnt). :slight_smile:

You have to ask for payment. People don’t generally offer. It’s your job to ask. :wink: