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How long to be a hater?

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4201222 posted 4:37 pm on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

A decade ago I had a client that I registered a couple of domains for with the intention of setting up a website. At the time, I registered them in my name (just the way the registrar worked at the time, I know that's bad practice).

The client then spent 6 months making me work nights and weekends setting up and making changes to their site. They never paid me a dime, and I'm pretty sure they never intended to. (this was at the very beginning of my self employment and I was trusting everyone and going way above and beyond). I eventually took the sites offline and refused to transfer the domains until I got paid. I am still angry at the amount of time this person took from my family life, with no intention of paying me.

I never gave them the domains, and I've kept them registered for 10 years. the domains are worthless otherwise.

At what point would you stop renewing? Bear in mind that I'm still very angry at my treatment even now - and I don't normally remember this stuff past about 2 days. The only thing that could make this worse is if I dropped the domains and they picked them up.



WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4201222 posted 4:57 pm on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

One thought (I don't know if I would do it personally, but I might)- put up some very spammy content, link to very bad neighborhood sites, and basically do whatever you can to give the sites a bad reputation in Google.

Then stop wasting money to spite your former "client" and allow the domains to expire. Then, if for some reason they do scoop up the domains, they'll have to deal with fixing all the issues before they ever get any Google love. Think of it as a "scorched earth" policy for domains.

Hmm, "scorched domain" policy? Remember- you heard it here first! :)


WebmasterWorld Senior Member topr8 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4201222 posted 5:05 pm on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

i had a very similar situation one time and i just slapped adsense ads on the site, i've earned over £15K from it since then.

(i sent them invoices, hosting invoices etc, that were unpaid and finally sent them a letter saying due to the unpaid invoices i considered the site my property - no idea if this would stand up in court but they never challenged it - i'd even paid for the domain name myself - and they'd never paid for it.)


WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4201222 posted 5:20 pm on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Wisdom from a Chinese fortune cookie: Anger is an acid that corrodes the container it is stored in. The longer it is stored, the more it corrodes.

Even when anger is fully justified, there comes a time to let it go and focus your energy on more positive things.

It's a safe bet that the person who treated you this way will have done similar things to others. Karma is certain to bite him, whether you're actively helping or not.

Even if the jerk did pick up the domains, he's lost ten years of growth and he'd be starting from scratch. That's a lot harder now than it was ten years ago, so you've already gotten pretty significant revenge.

My suggestion: quietly let the domains go, and use the renewal fees you'll save to do something nice for your wife.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4201222 posted 5:52 pm on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's a safe bet that the person who treated you this way will have done similar things to others.

About a year later I got a call from a lawyer. The conversation initially was a lot of 'who's calling, who's asking, and why' until it came out that the lawyer was owed some money as well and was doing some digging.

I don't save my anger, I forget it. I simply don't have the capacity to remember being wronged past about a 48 hour timespan - I don't retain anger. This one time though it bit me deep because I spent many days one summer, inside, working while my kids played outside. This person and one other client made me shift my thinking entirely about work/life balance, thus the reason I remember it so distinctly. (the other client, I took a day off for the first time in 2 years, and went away with my family. The client called at 9am to let me know that they had finished some stuff I'd been waiting on themfor, for like 3 months. Despite having a day off, I returned their call at about 4pm the same day. Client proceeded to rip on me wildly about service levels and response delays and so on. They got canned when I got back to the office).


WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4201222 posted 6:13 pm on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

What you are looking for is justice. This is because you are human. Stop being human, and you'll stop seeking justice. (That's not a recommendation, just an observation.)

So, life is unfair. Good things happen to bad people. Bad things happen to good people. Blah, blah, blah...

It's tough to improve on Buckworks' point that you want to hurt the ones deserving justice, not yourself and not others who do not deserve it, even if that is not your intent.

You obviously know all of this. Still, the call of justice is strong and appealing. Whatever you do, it will probably be the right/wrong thing. You can't win, just try not to lose more.

It's easy to see the appeal many faiths have in offering justice in the afterlife. Shee, one thinks, OK. I can use that. And at least some place, some how, some time--justice! But, really, probably not and many faiths admit this in the fine print. We're all forgiven. And you need forgive and forget. And, at the same time, not be a doormat and strive for justice.

See, isn't that clear? As mud.

I agree with buckworth, except to say do something nice for yourself instead.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4201222 posted 9:47 pm on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

It seems to me that you are still angry but not so much at the former "client" but more at yourself for having him let you take for a ride for so long and at such expense.

This is not a bad thing, for I'm sure it keeps you on your toes vis-a-vis new clients but enough time has passed now that you can take the edge of your anger and only remember the experience.

PS : just let the domains slip, he might not even be interested in them anymore anyway.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4201222 posted 11:32 pm on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Okay, this is a couple of domains we're talking about - does that mean 2?

This is what I would do...

I wouldn't spend any more of my precious time on those domains unless it was for constructive purposes. If youíve held them for more than 4 years, the original client has probably moved on.

If the names are desirable names, I'd either try to develop them so I could make money, or I'd try to sell them.

I wouldn't bother registering the names any longer unless the names were good and Iíd eventually do something with them.

Since youíre asking for opinions, it looks like youíre starting to let this anger go. Thatís a good thing. See if you can turn a profit and / or cut your losses. Even if the client does get the names somehow, youíve probably cost them a lot of money already.

I've got a horror story like yours too. It happens - even to good guys (and gals).


WebmasterWorld Senior Member rocknbil us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4201222 posted 5:32 pm on Sep 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Ten years! Ask yourself, who's carrying this weight, who's suffering over it? You can bet he hasn't given you a second thought.

Drop it like a bad habit, don't look back. IMO the greatest justice would be that the day you drop it he scoops it up, gets it back online. Whaaat, you say? Let him "win?" What that would tell you is that he has been chewing this bone for ten years too and has stooped as low as he can go.

There are greater things in life than money and justice, the longer you hang on to your ghosts the worse they will haunt you.


WebmasterWorld Administrator lawman us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4201222 posted 10:39 am on Sep 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Psychic benefit counts for something. If it makes you feel good to keep the domains, keep 'em.


Msg#: 4201222 posted 8:54 pm on Sep 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

I would vent the anger in a constructive manner. I would find out details about where he lives and ensure that the hassle he has caused me would be re-directed to him and his family. One way or another he would pay.

Don't get angry and if you do get even. This is the only way to teach people who initiate "bad" a lesson. This way it may stop them doing it to someone else.

Thats what the law is for isn't it and if the law won't help it your responsibility.

If they are intelligent and better at IT and ruin your domains or don't pay bills you can't compete in this area.

But you can compete in other areas. Find them and their family and do "bad" things in your area to their family in another way instead of them.

There are many ways to skin a cat as they say !

Surely justice in principle is about the people who initiate "bad" things receive punishment for it. This is what stops them doing it again and hopefully stops them doing it to someone else.

Just an idea if you can't let it go.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4201222 posted 9:10 pm on Sep 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

My reaction is limited to prevention (not letting them build on the domain name) not direct action. I'm certainly not about to initiate anything against them.


Msg#: 4201222 posted 9:20 pm on Sep 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Fair enough wheel,

It was only an idea if you were finding it hard to get rid of the anger. I respect prevention but it's not how the law works.

The law = Do an injustice you get appropriately punished and that's for a reason. If there not punished they have no motivation not to do it to someone else.

But it depends on the person I suppose, I respect prevention but it doesn't help the next poor sole.

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