What do you do when client site is blocked or hacked and he asks you to repair it for free


ok, here is the story. Client was super greedy and asked to created him a Wordpress portfolio website and logo and visit cards for 650$. I created a mini - tutorial to explain how to use it and update it.

He received his website, logo and visit cards and was very satisfied, he payed.

Now, it’s 6 month later he comes back because his website is down and he accused me of doing it and asked me very aggressively that I ‘must’ repair it and ‘immediately’.

If he asked nicely ‘hello, how are you, sorry bothering now but my site is down, could you please take a look, it’s really kind of you, thank you’, no problem, I’d take a look, clean it if it was hacked, update it to the latest version with no charge.

But here he was super aggressive, and I dont like people who accuse and insult other people.

We didnt have any contract, neither sort of warranty, and his site is hosted by independent hosting company.

What would you do in my place?

Thank you for your thoughts and experience.

I’d reply, “Sorry you’re having problems with your site. I’d be happy to take a look at it since I’m not sure what’s changed since I’ve been on there. My new consulting rate is $100/hr, and there is a three hour minimum for support since there’s no maintenance contract in place.”

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Personally, I’d reply back and give him a chance to rephrase his request (probably hint that there is no support contract in place so he better ask nicely).

If it really will just take 10 minutes or something to fix, I’d do that (assuming you believe he deserves it).

I’m sure he was probably just stressed at it being down and you were just receiving the frustration.

If he’s still an ass, I’d follow Daves approach.

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Sounds like an opportunity to offer a Support contract if you’re into doing that.

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People are normally agressive, autocratic or overasertive because they want you to feel responsible - which is probably not the case. In short - its bullying… If you have no legal or other responsibility/obligation you should engage this as a separate peiece of work. Do not allow this person to bully you into fixing something. If you do, you’re setting a president and an expectation that you will fix the problem, regardless of how long it takes or the personal cost to you… This I beleive is his angle. You need to stand firm, be assertive and set the expectation right from the satart. Give him a number of options to chose from ( none of which are - doing it for free) T&M (time and materials type approach) usually sorts rude boys out and puts you in the driving seat.


The only other thing I’d add to what’s been said is that, in future, make sure to lay out scenarios for a client from the beginning. For example, point out that a WP site does need regular maintenance, updating etc. to avoid it getting hacked etc. Point out that, without an ongoing contract, you can’t be responsible for whatever happens to the site down the track. Most clients have no idea about all this stuff, so it’s good for them to be “in the picture”, so to speak, to minimize surprises.


When a site has been running properly for 6 months time without issues and breaks that is on the client not the service provider who built the site originally. Without a maintenance plan you should not be expected to fix the site without compensation, that is absurd.

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