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Failing JV and No Contract

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by SEOMadHatter, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. SEOMadHatter

    SEOMadHatter Junior Member

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    So I'm in a weird situation.

    Teamed up with a guy who I thought understood SEO. Deal was I rank for keywords in his niche and we split the profit 50/50. I was doing all the work but I went for it because he was paying me a salary to start with getting it setup. Long term it wasn't a great deal for me but I was working on another project semi related to him so I went for it.

    Fast forward to today I've been working on the site, the links are good the rankings are improving weekly and I'd consider the site doing pretty well and on track.

    He starts claiming I said the site would be ranking after two months. A new site in this niche I know I haven't said that. He stops paying invoices and I've now been working unpaid.

    To date he's paid me for one months work and I've spent a few hundred of his investment on the site itself. But he's fobbed me off instead of paying me and I don't work for free to give someone 50% of my commissions.

    But despite me asking early on we have no written contract in place. I know. Stupid. Honestly I didn't think I needed it. Again. Stupid.

    So looking for suggestions on what to do here. I have no intentions of continuing to work on the site and give him 50% for nothing. But the niche is looking promising and it has taken a lot of work so I don't really want to just abandon the project and write off the money if I can avoid it.

    I'm thinking of changing the logins for everything and paying him back the investment when that site turns a profit. And honestly for wasting my time I think that's pretty generous. But I suspect that route is likely to wind up in civil court.

    Anyone been in a similar situation? Any suggestions?
     
  2. antonjones

    antonjones Regular Member

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    Find out where he lives OP and pay a couple of heavies to show up.
     
  3. SEOMadHatter

    SEOMadHatter Junior Member

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    To be honest him thinking I'd just give away 50% of a site I built and ranked does piss me off. There are some things I could do to get even and it did cross my mind.

    But I'm not looking to go that route. Damage is done I just want to recoup my time wasted now.
     
  4. Angrbodr

    Angrbodr Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Yes, I had almost the same position. He owes you money for the work you did and most contracts aren't worth the paper they're written on. Have you got emails/skype records? Is there any communication that says the wages are based on results and how they would be decided.
    If you've got proof that you've been working on his site for agreed money that you haven't received, then change the passwords. I'm not saying you take his site from him but you need to come to some compromise and that stops him from ignoring you. You can then negotiate about future arrangements. If you want the site and he thinks it isn't performing and not worth much, you could offer to take ownership of the site in lieu of payment. Dont threaten him but make sure your emails all talk about coming to a mutual agreement on the outstanding wages. Make reasonable suggestions to resolve it.
    As long as you don't do anything destructive to the site, he cannot force you to hand over the details without taking it to court. If you show you tried to resolve it amicably then this will put you in afavourable light.

    Lawyers/courts aren't a big deal as long as you can demonstrate you tried to resolve it fairly and replied positively to all communications. If you keep logs of everything you did , any conversations you had and offer to hand control of the site to him as long as he pays you wages that you are owed then its not likely to even get to court and he'll come to some compromise. Once I told the idiot I dealt with that I had all this and would take it to court, he gave up and I got my money 6 months after I should.

    The only thing he can do is if the hosting or domain is in his name where he can get the isp to direct to another site or get the host to provide access. If he's able to do this, changing passwords won't do you any good and you're better off negotiating. If it's a JV from here, then you should probably go down the shitlist route.
     
  5. keadams26

    keadams26 Regular Member

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    If you have access to the site, change usernames, passwords, emails associated with that account, and cut him completely out of the loop. It he has opted to not contact you, force his hand.
     
  6. faithjhung

    faithjhung Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Looks like you're a good person. Most people would blackmail their partner. There are many cases which people get unpaid after months of work, legally speaking, you could sue him, but since you do not have any contract (exception if you have an agreement virtually) it would be hard to win. So you built the site yourself and ranked it? He just paid you monthly salary right?
     
  7. keadams26

    keadams26 Regular Member

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    Unless the OP decides to copy the entire site and put it on a new domain, then delete all content on current domain... evil, maybe, but hey scamming someone out of their hard work without paying for it is pretty evil too...
     
  8. HoneyHelper

    HoneyHelper Supreme Member

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    first tell him directly that you won't work until he pays you salary! If he says no; tell him to at least pay you the amount you invested!
    Then leave the work weather he pays you that much amount or not and start up something new!

    cheers
     
  9. SEOMadHatter

    SEOMadHatter Junior Member

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    He paid me for one month there's now two more invoices due.

    I obviously feel wronged mostly because for some reason he expects me to work and give him 50% of the site for... what then exactly.

    But he has paid for one month and put some money into the site so I feel like I should probably owe him that though since he's forced me in this situation of time invested into a new site rather than a currently profitable project I don't feel a rush to sort it.

    The only digital logs I have are invoices being sent (one out of three paid), updates about what I was doing and a discussion here and there where he claims I said the site would be ranking by now.

    It was mostly verbal face to face.

    I'm not good at having awkward conversations so I've said to him already about the missing invoices. He fobbed me off with a lame excuse and over a week later there's no more from him.

    I've changed the login for everything. The project is on my back burner now it'll improve rank by itself over the next while but I'm in no hurry with it.

    Just not looking forward to that conversation.
     
  10. SEOMadHatter

    SEOMadHatter Junior Member

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    I've invested no money to this point. He put in the cash (and it really wasn't much in the scheme of things) the work was all mine. Brand new site I own the domain, the hosting and all of the links.

    Login changed for everything so currently I own the lot including the money site.
     
  11. Angrbodr

    Angrbodr Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Copying the site and putting it somewhere with noindex is just sensible. But deleting his content makes OP look like a dick. If the other guy is likely to take it to court then you immediately lose. My mate's a solicitor and he says that if something's likely to go legal, make sure you look like the good guy. People represent themselves all the time and it can actually push it in your favour if you seem humble and honest against a slick lawyer and a guy who owes you a living wage.
     
  12. faithjhung

    faithjhung Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Wow, I want to see how this goes. Time is more valuable than money for some. If he promised to pay you monthly, then it is his obligation to.
     
  13. Angrbodr

    Angrbodr Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Don't speak to him. Email or skype but not verbally. Set calendar reminders and send him emails once a week requesting updates. Do you have control of the server?
     
  14. keadams26

    keadams26 Regular Member

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    I agree with you wholeheartedly. Don't get me wrong, the OP would look like a dick in this regard but, at the same time, you have to stand up for what's right. The other guy is dicking him over on paying him. However, since the OP says he owns the domain and hosting....a simple changing of passwords and maybe emails (if the other guys email can reset the PWs) is good enough.