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    My Web developer has me by the short hairs!


    Hello,

    Without getting into ALL the details of my tale of woe.
    I have a contract with a web developer, now going on six months, 4 months overdue.
    He has every excuse for no communication, lack of performance, not meeting deadlines/meetings from he's out of phone range to car
    trouble and many in between. My site is a famous little rental site. The new site will incorporate API's and several agencies.
    He has only got 2 codes working (partially). He says via the phone he has made great strides (there is nothing on-line as stated in the contract I am supposed to have 24/7 access to). Everytime we talk he apologizes up and down and swears all is good, and he has made further progress, the lack of communication will never happen again. Last time we met was 2 months ago, he showed me a mockup that had potential maybe 20% complete, if that. We talked about finally collaborating on design and function an getting the codes in order. Then, no contact or return of my calls. Couple weeks later, he shows me screen shots of something I would never approve of and of course no further progress on the function of the codes.

    This bad experience in business is new too me and caught me by surprise.
    This has already cost me thousands in earnings.
    I paid him half up front and when he came over with a sob story after the first month,
    I paid him another third at that time. He lives in close proximity, although I do not have his address.

    It is finally obvious to me he has been giving me the run around, what can I do
    that would cause him to take notice? If/when I fire him, how do I phrase it properly in writing.
    In case I want to pursue litigation...

    I obviously do not know this guy like I thought I did, what he is capable of for that matter.
    He has information, sensitive codes, etc, who knows what type of smear he might attempt, social media, etc.
    Do I take the 3K beating as a learning experience to avoid potential disasters?

    Can anyone please advise me from there experiences or knowledge?
    Thank you, Mike
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    You did have a contract, didn't you?

    Talk to a lawyer. It doesn't need much, but a quick letter from a good lawyer stating that he hasn't produced the required system and the contract is now null and void will be enough. As it was only $3,000 (you said) I'd take it as a lesson and move on.

    And just remember for next time... Cheap doesn't always mean good. The place I'm at would barely put together a theme on a WordPress site for that much, so trying to do API integration on multiple sources... that sounds like you got suckered in with a "too good to be true" deal. Paying 50% down is pretty standard, so that's nothing to be concerned about, but asking for another 1/3rd without showing any progress? Very standard for dodgy parties.

    If he has sensitive codes, contact each vendor and get them to change the access details for each one straight away. That way they won't have access to anything, and won't be able to use it any longer.

    If any slander starts, again, see a lawyer. I wouldn't be that concerned about that though, unless you've seen him go at past clients in a public forum.

    The overall message, just take this as a learning experience and move on. It sucks, but it's happened and the best thing that you can do is move on to someone that can deliver on what you want.
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    Originally Posted by Catacaustic
    You did have a contract, didn't you?

    Talk to a lawyer. It doesn't need much, but a quick letter from a good lawyer stating that he hasn't produced the required system and the contract is now null and void will be enough. As it was only $3,000 (you said) I'd take it as a lesson and move on.

    And just remember for next time... Cheap doesn't always mean good. The place I'm at would barely put together a theme on a WordPress site for that much, so trying to do API integration on multiple sources... that sounds like you got suckered in with a "too good to be true" deal. Paying 50% down is pretty standard, so that's nothing to be concerned about, but asking for another 1/3rd without showing any progress? Very standard for dodgy parties.

    If he has sensitive codes, contact each vendor and get them to change the access details for each one straight away. That way they won't have access to anything, and won't be able to use it any longer.

    If any slander starts, again, see a lawyer. I wouldn't be that concerned about that though, unless you've seen him go at past clients in a public forum.

    The overall message, just take this as a learning experience and move on. It sucks, but it's happened and the best thing that you can do is move on to someone that can deliver on what you want.

    Thank you for the insight! I have been thinking about consulting a lawyer.
    This guys has already cost me so much I guess a little more wont kill me!

    New development, he actually picked up my call this morning.
    Says he had a very productive week made a lot of headway and wants to schedule a meeting.
    Exact words, how do I know? I have almost every call recorded, I am a videographer as well!

    What a great opportunity to memorialize a set of questions and a strategy.
    My thoughts are to see what he has produced, if its the same old thing, I have to fire him.
    Since he has not consulted with me at all during the last couple of months, how can he know what I want!
    I cant imagine I will be impressed with what I am going to see..

    Ant thoughts on a good way to get him to open up about what he is attempting?
    Perhaps questions I ask that would help my case, should it go to litigation?
    Thank you in advance...
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    Originally Posted by keepitgood
    Exact words, how do I know?
    You don't until you see it. You might like it, but you might (probably) won't. If not be firm and direct and make sure that he understand why you're not happy with the current arrangement.

    Originally Posted by keepitgood
    Ant thoughts on a good way to get him to open up about what he is attempting?
    Ask him exactly what he's done and ask him to document what progress has been made. If he can't do that, then nothing has been done. At the end of it if you are still going to go ahead with his services, get a firm date for a test system to be ready, and a firm date for development and put penalties in place for any failures to meet the agreed to timeframe.

    Originally Posted by keepitgood
    Perhaps questions I ask that would help my case, should it go to litigation?
    Ask a lawyer. Free legal advice over the internet is worth exactly what you pay for it.
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    I'm on board with all of that. Thank you..
    I have a clear direction and I will be firm with what I do not like, and because I need to get this off my chest, I need to
    ask him why the constant radio silence, why he has not made deadlines and what would he do if the shoe was on the other foot..
    If he shows tomorrow, I will keep it short and to the point.

    Can you give me an example of a reasonable penalty? (Perhaps a creative one as well) I assume its on the balance, but...
    He does have an SEO company and hosting services. (supposedly)
    The balance is $1300

    I find this very helpful. Thank you
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    Originally Posted by keepitgood
    Can you give me an example of a reasonable penalty? (Perhaps a creative one as well) I assume its on the balance, but...
    It's whatever you and him agree to. You can put in whatever penalties you want to, but if they aren't in the original contract and he doesn't agree to them they won't stand up pretty much anywhere.

    Again, this is something that seems to be coming around a lot in my arguments... This sort of thing needs to be looked at by a real lawyer. That way you'll know what you can and can't do, and what is and isn't legal.
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    Thanks for the feedback, it has helped to formulate my response to him.
    It really comes down to getting rid of this stress in my life, I think I need to
    start the interview process again and realize I made a mistake by not going
    with someone/agency that has experience with the XML/API processes.
    While I want to keep blaming him, it is partly my fault for wanting to save a few grand.
    It wound up costing me much more.. Thanks
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    hope you have made better progress with the developer... if you would like a second opinion about your development please PM me and I will see what can be arranged to get you out of your pickle.
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    I understand your situation. It's better that you should be consulting a lawyer for legal advice. After all, you and the web developer have a contract with each other. You can't trust web developers who are cheap. It's better that you should find a web developer who can give you better quality work with a reasonable price. At least a lesson learned for you. Accepting and learning mistakes is better than complaining.
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    I hope everything worked well for you in the end. I've had a similar experience recently and I wish I've seen this thread earlier. A sort of the same thing happened to me, but unfortunately, I lost my patience and I lost money. Lesson learned - pay it and own it.

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