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How to deal with a client who doesn't pay for the provided development services?

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by Sep77., May 16, 2014.

  1. Sep77.

    Sep77. Junior Member

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    Hello guys,

    last summer my development team and I were hired by a company from San Francisco. We have finished our job according to the deal with client, however - as of today, the client still hasn't paid the whole amount. It's about 10 months today.

    My patience was already couple times over, but this time definitely over. We're sort of reconciled that we'll never see the money, however, the application we have developed is still in use by the client (it's running on Amazon AWS servers).

    I am considering now what we can do. One thing is to shut the service down, the second is to put there a popup window that would show up every few seconds with the information that the client hasn't paid for that long time period (the goal here is to make the client shy).

    The question is, whether this is legal. I've read some opinions that in the moment when client hasn't fulfil our agreement, then he broke it. Which sort of makes sense. The application is running on AWS, can he contact AWS support to do something with the application or to take it down?

    Or, what would you do now?

    EDIT: We have access to Amazon AWS, Facebook and Twitter page of this application.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  2. Marsilirus

    Marsilirus Newbie

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    Warn him last time, put a pop-up and if he still refuses to communicate then close his servers, reveal his niche, do negative SEO - if he won't pay you for the legitimate work, then let him feel illegitimate and make him pay to you so you would stop.
     
  3. GoTRooT

    GoTRooT Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    switch his server off and force index on the 404.
     
  4. bluestar003

    bluestar003 Registered Member

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    add pop-up first :)
     
  5. leobar

    leobar Regular Member

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    Talk to him 1 more time.
    Maybe he is in trouble and cant afford the rest of the amount, ask him if you should make an arrangement on the payment.
    I believe that 1 more chance should be given before taking action, then you go for the pop up.
    Its up to you.

    Best wishes.
    Leobar
     
  6. techblog

    techblog Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I don't agree with the above comment of negative SEO, its stupid.

    First what you are doing is right, as long as you have an agreement and have control over the hosting and control over the script there are couple of thing you can do.

    write to client about the actions you would likely take legal or otherwise.

    Put up a page, I don't see it being illegal....just like when you don't pay your hosting dues the web hosting provider suspends the page , firstly you could deploy catchy pop-ups , then later you can say if the dues are paid within x days you will put a suspension page.

    if he still refuses to budge , make a point to get a similar clients domain or open a blog on how you were cheated for $xxxx by ABC company, the reason is , if they could cheat you, they could cheat anyone again and take undue advantage. (Its just a shitlist on the internet)

    I have done this and it has worked in the favor, you are just trying to get whats yours and this isn't shady or wrong in any sort...i believe
     
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  7. Sep77.

    Sep77. Junior Member

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    In the end of 2013, we made an agreement when the client agreed and signed that the whole amount will be paid the first week of February. Now it's three months after it.

     
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    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  8. leobar

    leobar Regular Member

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    Its Always up to you what shall you do,
    I always give a last warning before taking action.
    Its your money and you have the right to claim it and act the best way you thing that you will get it.
    Since you have the control on everything, you can easily take action whenever you think it is right, a last warning would not hurt you.
    Just forget the NEG SEO, its for kids. would you burn a bar if the owner owned you money or would you go to the law?
    No need to hurt anyone, just claim what is yours.

    Good luck.
    Leobar
     
  9. GoTRooT

    GoTRooT Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    1 in 5 clients (from companies with less than 30 staff) will try and not pay, that is the rough numbers from my experience, I used to budget for it :)

    Only 1 time did I go batshit crazy and that was when the payment owed caused me personal financial issue.
     
  10. Trepanated

    Trepanated Supreme Member

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    You should send them a letter explaining that the invoice is seriously overdue and that despite repeated attempts to get payment they have not complied.

    In the letter give them the deadline for when the invoice needs to be paid in full.

    Also explain the the letter what you will be doing in the event the invoice is not settled by that date.

    That way, they cannot claim they were not notified if you do need to resort to shutting down their service.

    If you were to get a solicitor to draft and send that letter it would have more impact.
     
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  11. luccha

    luccha Regular Member

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    pop-up is better.
     
  12. john1444

    john1444 Elite Member

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    I guess you already have the solution at hand. If I were you I would take down the service if I can. Never work for anyone without full payment, some people are dubious. The first client I ever offered to help for halve payment with ranking on .nl using private networks, he refused to pay after completion but I didn't mince words, I simply unplugged the network from his site and there goes his ranking.
     
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    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  13. jazzc

    jazzc Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    You won't lose anything trying. He 's not going to sue you half across the world, just like you don't sue him.

    Why on earth didn't you have the app running on YOUR server until payment? Why? Consider this a costly lesson for your lazy ass not taking the time and effort to protect your property.

    You really don't have nothing of that because he can lock you out at any moment. Even if you backdoor the app, the cost to hire someone to remove it is probably less than what he owes you (I assume he owes you a non-trivial amount).
     
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  14. Sep77.

    Sep77. Junior Member

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    jazzc, even if I appreciate your answer, it doesn't corresponds to the asked question. I posted the current situation and hoped to see some thoughts of other users have about it, unfortunately not "you should have done this or that".

    Again, I do have accesses to the sources I posted about.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  15. Sep77.

    Sep77. Junior Member

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    So far, I do like the most the though about popups and creating the page where I'll inform about this client other potentional developers/freelancers. His name is currently available on ".com" domain, which is good.

    Thank you guys for your messages and I'll happy for another thoughts about the topic.
     
  16. innosoft

    innosoft Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    take your service down and all access that you have in that. its good way.. but only after warning him for last time.

    Believe in karma. :)
     
  17. Sep77.

    Sep77. Junior Member

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    Or maybe the best way to deal with it would be to find a Saul Goodman.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  18. howard_hughes

    howard_hughes Elite Member

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    pop ups with a warning would be best.

    if they dont pay heed to pop ups, warn them about service suspension and later suspend it.
     
  19. atticanibal

    atticanibal Senior Member

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    Pop-ups with naked women ... that'll show them ... or ... just get more traffic .... but either way ...
     
  20. jeremonster

    jeremonster Regular Member

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    Get a lawyer, file a civil claim for the work completed. The lawyer can try to reclaim the domain name and possibly other web property as damages. Don't forget the ten moths of interest payments and service charges. Obtaining the domain through a court judgement would be the ultimate punch in the face and very realistic. You can also promote court cases and no one wants their name thrown around online like that.
     
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