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customer not paying the remaining money

making execuses for not paying the money

9:11 am on Sep 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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i did an agreement with a client recently to make him a PHP-AJAX-MySQL application who contacted me from a forum.

i have made exactly what he wanted and our main agreement was to make him a front end. the admin panel decided at the time of agreement was just to make him a mechanism with which he can add/edit/delete contents..

i made the perfect front-end and admin panel too but he started to talk against the admin panel and asked me to change its structure. well, i did change the admin panel according to his needs. but now he has thought of a new idea and asking me make the complete admin panel in a hitech ajax form too which i will never do coz it was never the part of our project agreement for the decided price. now when i am asking him to pay me the remaining amount of the project cost he is making admin panel issue and asking me to either make it ajax based or refund his money. duhhhhh!

i am just frustrated with this customer.. can any webmaster help me please how to deal with this situation and if anyone has dealt with such customer before?

he lives in USA and is there any way to file some claim against him legally to make him to pay my remaining money. because i made him what we agreed upon and then on his request i changed the admin panel structure too but now he is asking to change it again and make it ajax based or refund his money...

now you guys guide me is he doing fair? coz i have done all the hardwork to make this product and it is custom project i cant sell it on anyone else.. so i have spent my time on it and i cant reverse it and on the other hand he is holding my remaining money as well as threatning me to refund his money...

i have used paypal to get payment from him and i have been paid 50% advance and am waiting to get my rest of the 50%..

any help is greatly appreciated...


11:30 am on Sept 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If you don't want to work with him in future (so don't care about preserving the relationship), one process to follow is:

1) Write him a formal letter saying that you have done the work as specified, and saying that unless you receive payment within 28 days you intend to make a court claim against him. You'll need to be specific about this - in the UK you'd say something like 'intend to make a money claim in the county court'. Make sure this letter is delivered by registered post (i.e. trackable delivery) so you can prove he received it.

2) When the time has elapsed, if you haven't received the money then make the court claim. Here in the UK this would go down the 'small claims' route, which is pretty inexpensive (you don't have to hire a lawyer, and costs can't be awarded afair). He'll receive notification that you've made the claim, and at that point either he'll pay up or it'll go to court. If the court decides against him then there's a number of ways you will be able to get the money off him.

This is all based on the UK system, maybe someone here could clarify how it would be different in the US?

hth, a.

7:06 pm on Sept 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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First of all, I would never do a job for someone met on a forum, whatever the forum might be.

Now, if I were in your shoes, I would just tell the guy that I accept to make the additional changes under the condition that he payes the remaining 50% before.

Once I get my money, I simply put the guy on my "ignore list".

If, as ou said, you had a real agreement in the first place, you're not at fault, you risk nothing.

I know it's dirty, but the one who played dirty first was the client.

2:20 am on Sept 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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What I've done in the past during development projects is embed a 1px.gif somewhere on the page that is actually on my server. Once I'm paid in full I remove that from their code.. and if they don't pay I wait about 1 month then swap that image on my sever to something really big and large stating what they had done.

Needless to say I usually get my payment to fix the problem.

I've only gotten screwed once on a job after that.. I learned my lesson.

4:01 am on Sept 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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this kind of situation reminds me of my first time. I was creating a website for a certain US man who visit our place here in cebu, philippines. he knows our place and he would wanted me to create a tourist guide website design. i usually get my payment thru western union or my bank account because we are in philippines. he pays me 50% of the price and he will send me the next 50% if i go top in yahoo and google and im no SEO guy. i ask him if i could get the last 50% if i could get in google or yahoo. he said he i can manage to make it on the top. duhhh. the last thing i knew he never goes online and i think it was "good bye"
7:45 pm on Sept 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>>>>> any help is greatly appreciated..

You're a Businessman now; you should learn all about running a business before taking on your next client.

Especially about securing payment for your labor.

3:17 am on Sept 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Rarely this happens, but if it does, I simply remove my work from the server until I get paid the remaining balance. If I don't get it, my work remains mine. I might have lost some money, but I know that the other guy is upset (and out of something) as well. No money, no site!
3:24 pm on Sept 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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We have the similar problem; I posted this issue even in another thread. The fellow (Can't call him a customer anymore) is hiding now, and through another customer we found him, that he is planning to file bankruptcy. Unfortunately we learnt that in USA people can simply (Yes, Simply - I believe this, when some other people from US say),file bankruptcy and no one can touch him - even lawyers.

One thing developers must understand is, its equally important that you need to get paid when you get work from other countries.

So NEVER work without an upfront, NEVER deliver a single file without the final payments. If this is something not possible - Never take the work - Starving is far better!

Make terms that you should get paid the next 25% during the end of the work and final 25% before you deliver the files. Keep all demos in your server until then.

If the customer fails to pay, you loose a 25%, but the customer loses 75%. We can only minimize the risk, can't completely avoid it. Finally you own the work, and keep that open in your portfolio as any agreement is void when the payments were not done.

For claiming, I do not thing there is a simple and cost effective way to sue your client, unless you have a presence in the USA.

Finally, Do not trust people come from Forum, Chat or if come through ananymous Email ids. These are cheaper ways to find business and will end up in troubles.


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