Problem with customer for website development project. Help!

Hey guys

I have developed a website for my brother’s client. However i am having issues receiving full payment from him. Initially, I charged a deposit of £300 which I received, but he owes £810. After many requested changes requested with each change the next one got bigger. At first, I thought that the client wasn’t serious until later on in the process he seemed to appear more serious about it. I would speak to him on the phone and he said just make this change and then all done and always promised to pay. But on communicating via email it was a different story. Anyway. I started it in summer July, i wanted to get it finished and out of the way asap whilst he was in no rush at all. I would say, the site was finished in December with some major hiccups in life such as my mother being ill and events turned on it’s head bad style. The client was aware as he knew my brother, thus calling himself the family friend and i liked your mother blah blah. mentioning no rush with the project as i know your mum is ill. After a few more major changes over the phone which he seemed ok with and implied the site was all good and finished. I got a strange email which was the Last thing i received of him saying he wants to leave the site to concentrate on his exams and wants to pick the site up again in May. Talk about a U-turn and 2 statements that don’t link together and not being straight. He offered to settle £255 now and the rest later on. That is the third time he promised payment but it didn’t happen.

Anyway the question is, I was thinking of submitting a claim online to receive the rest of my funds as I have put in so much time and effort in the site just to leave me short strawed. I don’t think it fair i have to wait prolong the site pick up the same bad process and hold on to my funds. If i did pick it back up (i wouldn’t make another change until he pays some more money) or shall I settle for what i have got (£300 deposit) and call it a day because he also hasn’t got his site. Or am I totally right wanting to get the rest of my funds by taking action?!

Please advise guys!

Cheers guys

Ameen Jabbar

If someone exhibits a problem with paying you on your terms, you don’t extend them more credit, which is basically what’s happening here.

When I have a bad client that often can’t or won’t pay later, I make them pay up front or at delivery, or I don’t take the job.

My first question would be - did you make sure you had a contract with your client that outlined the payment schedule and the scope of the project so that he couldn’t keep adding more requests to the original agreement?

Don’t let the fact that the client is a family friend prevent you from treating this as a purely business deal.

This sounds like a family/friends affair and if that is the case you’re never going to see your money. Take this as a learning experience.

I didn’t set up a contract but I outlined the cause of action through communication such as emails. I requested a deposit prior to starting the project and pay the remainder at the completion of the project which i believe is the best solid foundation. A written contract still would have ended up this way i think but i would have had a foundation and evidence, I know. Many Thanks

It may not help you with this one, but I’ve always liked Andy Clarke’s ‘Contract Killer’ post. It’s way more digestible than the usual legalise technobabble.

You always need some kind of contract with all the legal stuff in it! business is business

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