Friend got hosed out of $1,000 - What can he do?

Fellow designer friend of mine did $1,000 worth of work for a client, which never paid him. He changed the logins to his Joomla administration, and changed his FTP logins.

Any suggestions on what can be done?


Who changed the log-ins? The client or the friend?

If there is a contract, verbal or otherwise, eating the loss or small claims court is probably the main answer.

Why won’t the client pay?

The client changed the logins so my friend could no longer access his site (to reverse the work he had done, etc)

I’ll ask him about the contract, I guess this was a previous client, but I am not sure why he won’t pay, he will not return emails or phone calls.

If they are no longer responding to communication, he should write to them by registered mail. In that letter, clearly explain his understanding of the situation, what he needs from them ($$$) and when he needs it. Include an invoice and refer to the relevant bits of the terms of the agreement (be it a contract, or email communications defining the agreement).

Then tell them they have 30 days to pay, otherwise he’ll take legal action to reclaim the fees owed, plus whatever your legal system allows to claim in addition (costs etc). For $1000, I suspect this is would come under small claims court.

Keep it short and to the point, avoid emotional language and if they don’t pay up, take it to small claims. In the mean time, forget about it and get on with running the business.

Yes, this is definitely a small claims court issue. But be aware that even if you win a case there, it can be very difficult to collect.