Web Developer Issues

Hi everyone

this is my first post as I have come across this site whilst trying to find a way forward with my problem. Hope someone can help me, or point me in the right direction.

I have had a web design company, based in the States to design 2 new websites. Our initial contact was through Craigslist and I gave them the go ahead last March 09. I was given a full estimate and I have a whole load of emails that state exactly what we would be getting for our money. We paid 50% upfront and the balance when it was asked. The websites were meant to be live end of August 09.

The initial cost has now risen to over 400% of the original cost and we are refusing to keep paying (on a monthly basis) for 2 websites that are still not functioning and do not still do what we wanted them to do in the first place.

Is there a place where these disputes can be sorted out. We obviously do not have the code to our sites and are now stuck in a row with this company.

I would appreciate any guidance you may be able to give me, we are a small Essex based company, and have already spent over $30,000.00 for something that we are still being charged money for every month. I am reluctant to just walk away (can’t afford to do that honestly!) I feel we are being cheated.

Appreciate any help at all…

Welcome to Sitepoint and I’m sorry to hear of the troubles your having.

Unfortunately dealing w/someone in another country complicates matters here, and I think your best bet is to contact a local lawyer for advice. I don’t know if they could file suit directly or if you’d need to connect with a lawyer in the states, but they could certainly provide you with some guidance on this matter.

Of course you could start by making the web design company aware of your intent to pursue this in court and just the talk of that might bring them to their senses, but from the sounds of things so far, it looks like you might have a legal battle on your hands.


thanks for replying Steve, I will look into trying to source a lawyer in the US. Can you recommend anyone?


Get a local lawyer first!
I’m sure you’re better off explaining your case face2face.
Your lawyer should then be able to get the right contacts which can be hard if you try it yourself.

Hi Adele,

I haven’t much experience with these folks and have not ever needed their services, but I know http://mikeyounglaw.com/ from a copywriting forum I used to frequent Deena from http://www.ebusinesslawgroup.com/ used to post here quite a bit.

As suggested though, I’d probably start with someone local to you before contacting anyone else regarding this.



Everybody’s saying you should lawyer up… I’m not sure I would agree at this point (yet).

When you contact them are you getting any response? Have you made them aware of how unhappy you really are?

When the price went up (400%) was it because of you asking for more features not included in the original quote?

You say you paid 50% upfront… then you say you paid the balance? You should have withheld quite a bit of the cost until the final product was delivered.

I’d give them a call, or an email and communicate EXACTLY how you feel, and what you want to do about it. I’d probably record the conversation for future reference.

Just my $.02. If you go the lawyer route you’re going to push your relationship with the dev firm over the edge. Try once more to salvage the relationship, and for gods sake quit sending them money.

And for future reference, Craigslist is not the best place to find a web developer… sigh.