So you're mad at a client who didn't pay promptly..

by 74 comments
Do you do what Frank Jonen did?

I think lots of people like this idea, but then back off because of the potential ramifications. Personally I'd never resort to something like this.

What do you think?
#main internet marketing discussion forum #client #mad #pay #promptly
  • Profile picture of the author Diice
    I think this is a childish move.

    The agency were stupid enough to do the work without receiving the payment first. Some people are just stupid. Do the work they have paid you for, not the work they 'might' pay you for.

    The agency is simply bitter for a mistake which it has made, both parties are in the wrong.
  • Profile picture of the author Diice
    I'm not saying he should get away with not paying, im saying that the agency was foolish enough to operate on a basis that they did the work before getting paid.

    In my opinion it is one of the most stupid and overused practices, even with a down payment, you have absolutely no idea if you are going to get your money for the work you have done.

    If you are going to work like this then at least draw up some form of legal contract stating clearly the rules and price of the agreement.
  • Profile picture of the author onSubie
    I'm wondering if the design company could get in trouble since they do not legally own the domain they "hacked".

    Whatever the justification for hacking it.

    If I hired a painter to paint my business, do they have the right to come back and vandalize my business and prevent paying customers from entering because I was late on paying my bill?

    Mahlon
  • Profile picture of the author Farish
    Usually when I do work like this I use a contract with 3 payments.

    First payment is the down payment. I start the proof and design phase.

    Second payment occurs when a concept and proof is agreed upon.

    Third payment occurs and then the website is delivered to their servers.

    It is not that hard folks.
  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Web hosting companies do the same thing all the time.
    Except that their replacement websites may have a kinder
    message.

    -Ray Edwards
  • Profile picture of the author FirstSocialApps
    I have taken websites and apps down completely for non payment. This seems very fair, you dont pay me I will take my work back. But replacing a website with a 'letter' seems to be to much. There is no need to make a conflict between you and your customer public like that. It shows a lack of professionalism and I would not work with a company that would be so unprofessional.

    So a recap: A) take the site down completely --> OK (nothing wrong with taking work back that wasnt paid for) B) jack your customers domain and put up what shouldnt be public information for everyone to see --> super uncool and childish.
  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    I asked to be paid in full before I start.

    Otherwise I wont take on the work.

    Not interested.
  • Profile picture of the author SeoDemon
    what a nasty thing to do! I'm not sure if anyone could hire him again.
  • Profile picture of the author Farish
    There are a lot of potential clients out there that will not pay for the whole job up front but more than comfortable with a down payment (30 to 50 percent) and they a payment when finishing up the job.

    I think by stating if I do not get money upfront is hurting your potential market especially if you are focusing on the web design business. Also you are hurting yourself by locking yourself into a final price. It is better for your business if the client ends up up selling themselves and adding more money to the project that you getting the whole fee upfront and then asking for more because you underestimated time and costs.
  • Profile picture of the author alksense
    I get wanting to get paid and getting more and more frustrated with no replies but I think there are better ways of going about it if your goal is really to get the money that you are owed... many of which have already been mentioned here.

    By hurting their business he's only lessening his chances of getting paid...

    I checked yesterday morning and their Yelp page ranked them 4.5 stars, now it's down to 2.5 and I'm sure it will keep going down:

    Fitness SF - SoMa - San Francisco, CA
  • Profile picture of the author Moriarty
    This was part of my response to the other thread:

    Anyway, aside from the funnier side of things, let's see what we can do for the future. Because these guys are the archetypal bad client. Usually they're a lot harder to spot - so Frank Jonen has been luckier than most.

    Put another way, he won't want to see anybody like them again. Will he?

    Nope.

    So what was their character like? Actually not so far from the whingeing clients who trolled our building business in the UK. I unwittingly got rid of them through an act of kindness to those people we liked doing work for. They had said that they liked having our terms explained to them - how we did things, when we expected to return to fix things and all that sort of thing. It reassured them that we weren't fly-by-night.

    Read more here: http://www.warriorforum.com/copywrit...didnt-pay.html (comment #6 - I'm not hard to find, the girl with the trilby).
  • Profile picture of the author Karry
    I'm sure a lot of freelancers who have been burned by a nonpaying client appreciate what Frank Jonen did. As much as it might have made Mr. Jonen feel better and somewhat vindicated, who knows what something like that will cost him in future income.

    From my perspective, he made a mistake by not running his business more like a business. When you're a freelancer in Germany and doing business with a California company, why would you take their word they'd pay you? No offense to anyone in the fitness industry, but gyms are notorious for going bankrupt.
  • Profile picture of the author J Bold
    It certainly makes for press, and some say any press is good press. I don't like to go negative like that so I wouldn't do it.

    But only Frank can answer if it will hurt or help business in the end. Ask him in a year or so.
  • Profile picture of the author MartinPlatt
    Originally Posted by PerformanceMan View Post

    Do you do what Frank Jonen did?

    I think lots of people like this idea, but then back off because of the potential ramifications. Personally I'd never resort to something like this.

    What do you think?
    Not very professional, and doesn't reflect well on him as a business owner.

    No idea why he would do the work and not get progress payments though. Sounds to me like the guy doesn't know how to do business, or doesn't have much experience doing it.
  • Profile picture of the author nicholasb
    there are 2 sides to every story and they are most likely both inaccurate accounts of what really happened.
  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    It appears that there's another side to this story that hasn't been told yet. The company wasn't using all of the code that was done. Maybe they were unhappy with the work. I wouldn't have done 6 months work without pay, but if I weren't paid for a portion of the work I did, I would remove it ... but not put up that letter.
  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    Years ago I administered civil cases resolved through arbitration.

    To be on our panels, arbitrators had to have at least ten years experience
    in their field.

    We had one arbitrator, a recently retired gentleman, stop serving as arbitrator after
    just a handful of cases because he was disgusted by both sides and their attorneys
    in the cases he did hear. During all his 30 some years (construction contractor)
    he never had a dispute that could not be resolved privately.

    I suspect something similar in this matter.

    Dan
  • Profile picture of the author Sue McDonald
    There appear to be two sides to every story. The Fitness company say they paid $5000 up front and the site was supposed to be completed in 10 weeks. According to them it took many more months and they claim he gave them an unfinished site. Now he claims they never paid him.

    I cannot imaging start a 10 week job without getting some money up front. It is a little bit like "they said " and then "he said." I don't think that is a profesional approach to take.
  • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
    This case was definitely not cut and dry.

    SF Fitness' language has hardened to 'hacked' now. If they can prove he accessed the website without permission this would have to kill his reputation.
  • Profile picture of the author CyberAlien
    Originally Posted by PerformanceMan View Post

    Do you do what Frank Jonen did?

    I think lots of people like this idea, but then back off because of the potential ramifications. Personally I'd never resort to something like this.

    What do you think?
    I wouldn't resort to that, but I have been known for kicking out customers who are almost always late paying their invoices.

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