I had posted on another post about my neighbor who owns a bakery, ignored my free advice over the past 3 years, and then paid $3000 to someone else to build a simple website for her bakery. We'll call my neighbor Jane.
So Jane emailed me a link to the preliminary demo site that this woman had finally come up with, after Jane paid her $3000 last April and apparently was being charged the "final" $800 in order to take delivery.
Turns out - this is a simple WordPress site, free theme (Weaver II), 1 column, basic 5 pages plus "portfolio" pages which were just a single column of pictures - no text with them, all content was copied and pasted from Jane's old website, all pictures of cakes, etc were provided by Jane - if there was 2 hours worth of work put into this, I'd be VERY surprised.
To add insult to grievous injury, this was a TOTALLY UGLY site! Totally plain, not even any social media buttons, no call to action, no headings or subheadings, no on-page SEO, no color except for what was in the pictures that Jane provided. Just text, a few pictures pasted between paragraphs (not even any wrap-around text), and that's it!
This kind of thing makes me angry - it's the worst of the Warrior Forum, as far as I'm concerned - the mentality that I've seen in a lot of WSOs that you can slap together a WordPress site and charge the client thousands because they don't know any different.
So this lady convinced Jane that this was a $7800 website, but just for Jane, "and don't tell anyone I've done this for you", she would knock off almost half and "just" charge $3800.
I'll stipulate that old saying that I know someone is going to come back with - "caveat emptor" - let the buyer beware. But perhaps this is one reason that it's hard to gain credibility in the offline market - when people deliver a pig in a poke and call it a custom design.
I'm meeting with this woman and Jane on Monday (Jane wants me there so that she doesn't get bamboozled again) and I thought I'd post here to try and get some concrete advice as to how I might help get the $3000 back. I've already told Jane to not, under any circumstances, give the final $800 that this lady is asking for. The website is ugly and totally unacceptable. She essentially charged $1900/hour for this ugly WordPress website that's not even SEO friendly. And I also told Jane that I really didn't think that she would get any money back.
But if any creative minds out there can spitball some ideas, I'd be grateful. Will a lawsuit do any good? What can we threaten her with? Posting negative review on Craigslist for our city? Angie's list? I'm just tossing out ideas to see if anyone can expand or add to....
Thanks in advance,
Nancy (yes, my real name)