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Thread: what should i do ??

  1. #1
    Really this is me..... mentaleruptions's Avatar
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    what should i do ??

    Needing some advice on something.

    9 weeks ago i started redesigning a site for an artist in SF here in the USA.
    We had a verbal agreemant that she would pay half the fee upfront and that all work would be done within a two weeks period and if it took longer because of me i would not charge anymore and she was fine with this. I also stated that if she wasnt able to pay i would allow a two week grace period before i would drop everything and she was fine with this also.
    She pointed out a few sites to me she liked and asked could i take x, y and z ideas from a few sites and work it into something for her so thats what i did.
    A week into the project everything was going great and she was loving the new design that was going to be her site.
    Now all the content was comming from her for me to add since i was adding galleries of her work and bio and resume.
    Getting close to the end of the second week and i find out she had a deaht in the family so i was not going to force the issue for a few days as i didnt want to bother her at a bad family time.
    Into the 3rd week i ask for the content so i can get this rapped up and all payed for so i can pay bills and stuff like we all need to.
    I get a few files.
    Basicly 7 weeks into it i got almost everything and i didnt want to drop it because i liked it and wanted to help her out and she said everything was perfect and she would pay me the rest of the $ end of 7th week.
    Now today 9th week she now tells me she has spoken to some counselor and she wants the entire site changed around and redesigned and yet no payment and i now have bills that are late and stuff.

    Now since this was a verbal contract and we agreed it would take no longer than two weeks before full payment was made and the two week grace period is way over due can i tell her to goto hell for now wanting the entire site redone and not wanting to pay me anymore $ ??

    Im just wondering from a legal point where i stand in all this.

    Any help would be great.

    M

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  2. #2
    Señor member
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    The short and unpolished answer is that a verbal agreement is your word against hers so neither of you can prove what was in the agreement. NEVER work without a written agreement/contract, this sort of thing happens a lot and sadly for most people, the only way you can learn is the hard way.

    There's nothing to stop your client claiming that part of your agreement was unlimited, uncharged revisions to the site and there's not much you can do to prove otherwise.

    I guess it depends on how you want to play it, I would personally not redo the site and remind her (politely) of the scope of your original deal and offer to complete the site as agreed and if she then wants revisions, they would be subject to a new (written) agreement.

    Take this as a harsh lesson, use a contract every time, no matter how friendly or reliable the client seems, it will save you a lot of heartache in the future. It's also worth considering using design acceptance forms which can be signed off be the client at various stages of the project so you both know where you stand at any point in the project.

    Here are a couple of docs for you to use:

    Generic contract (word 2000 format)
    Design acceptance form (word 2000 format)

    (the design acceptance form is just a tidied up version of one I downloaded from sitepoint.com)

    Hope they're useful
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  3. #3
    Under the influence bvgroote's Avatar
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    thanks so much for those James, will save me alot of time in the future

  4. #4
    Really this is me..... mentaleruptions's Avatar
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    Hey thanks jamble.
    I was stupid not to get a contract signed and i guess i put this of to one of those mistakes in life.
    Im just gonna get her to sign a contract now stating that after these new changes anything else will cost more $ and if she doesnt sign then as u said its her word against mine and ill just give her the files and tell her to go else where nicely .
    Thanks for the contracts too im gonna download them now .

    M

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  5. #5
    Filmmaker J-Luv's Avatar
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    awww man.....thats bad.

    mental, even the most wealthiest people can be tight on the dollar when it comes payday....before you enter your next keyframe, JAM a contract in their face so you can get your bills paid.

    Never take life too seriously. Nobody makes it out alive anyways. Film Portfolio


  6. #6
    Senior Member webcorps's Avatar
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    yea, you will have to live and learn with this one so if I were you I would take whats coming on this one to fruition. We've all had this experience and personally it is one of the better unpleasant ones to have. Now it will be ingrained in your psyche and will serve you in furthering your growth. So take Jambles advice and download those puppies as they will come in very handy.

  7. #7
    An Inconvenient Serving Size hurricaneone's Avatar
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    I was under the impression that verbal contracts actually do have some limited value in the US?

    Maybe small claims court is not an option, especially if you want a clean break, but don't think that you're completely out of the game until you hear from someone of the lawyering type - again, if you go that far. To me, your (almost) completion of the project, contacting in a timely fashion, etc. goes to show good faith on your part and a willingness to do the work that was asked of you. That would leave your customer with the need to prove some sort of negligence on your part, in the execution of the site, which is where that 'consultant' would obviously come in. Depending on the reliability of said consultant, you could decide how credible their advice was and go from there.

    I'm not going to say that you should use a contract next time...

    but I guess I already did.



    Oh also, if she's only put up 50% of the cash, why don't you consider putting up 50% of the files.
    Last edited by hurricaneone; 09-17-2003 at 07:17 PM.
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  8. #8
    Really this is me..... mentaleruptions's Avatar
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    Well she actualy does have all the files completed as they where meant to be.
    Only files she doesnt have are the fla's and unless she pays extra $ for them she isnt getting them.
    This counsilor she seen was some kind of bizz counsilor and the changes that are to be made would make the site look like a 5 year old had just opend flash for the first time.
    Screwing the color scheme having multiple fonts that just dont fit and a bunch of other crap.
    I actualy did go ahead and total redo all the galleries and then after that i got all these other damn changes emailed to me not even over the phone in a damn email from not even her and then just a short email from her saying hope u get the email from blah.
    Think im gonna get some advice from a lawyer and see what my rights are.
    Experience is a pain in the ass but we all have to learn from mistakes right ??

    M

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