1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Non paying customer - should I turn off his website?

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by ttmschine, Dec 8, 2015.

  1. ttmschine

    ttmschine Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    Messages:
    418
    Likes Received:
    188
    I hate non paying customers, they seem to be getting more frequent, maybe it's the economy or something.

    Anyway, did a website for a funeral directors, ended up having to chop and change and chop and change to satisfy his crazy requirements, spent my money on domains, hosting, WP theme, etc.

    All told have spent 3 months on and off building it for him to his liking - and 1 month after I sent their invoice it hasn't been paid.

    They ignore my emails and claim they haven't had them, even though I can see they have since obviously I have access to their mail, claim they haven't had the invoice, so I've posted a hard copy of the invoice through the door - still nothing.

    I am now mightily pissed off, so should I just switch off their website and email until they pay up? - or redirect it to a porn site - lol.

    I'm worried they're in financial difficulties and I'm not going to end up being paid.

    What can I do??????
     
  2. Sherbert Hoover

    Sherbert Hoover Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,296
    Likes Received:
    10,825
    Been there. In the future make sure you receive at least some of the payment upfront. I'd honestly suggest 100% upfront payment or monthly retainers.

    If they didn't pay for anything, take screenshots of the site for portfolio use, get what you can from it, download the site, then turn it off. Send them a formal letter explaining everything with a hard copy of the invoice. Send it certified with receipt request.

    If they still don't pay, keep the site down. And remember this problem for next time you close a deal. Cash is king.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 4
  3. LeanLow

    LeanLow Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Messages:
    926
    Likes Received:
    306
    What ? Making a website without upfront ? Make sure you get 100% upfront for website design, SEO any anything related...
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. ttmschine

    ttmschine Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    Messages:
    418
    Likes Received:
    188
    I have to say I think you're both right - payment up front will now be required.

    At least i host the site, own the domains, etc, so have them over a barrel really, wouldn't have done it this way otherwise - but I could seriously do without the hassle and would rather like the money considering the time and effort I put into it.

    It would feel like quite a hollow victory to just switch it off and still not get paid.
     
  5. drake_designer

    drake_designer Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    81
    Gender:
    Male
    Take it down until invoice is paid. Redirect the domain to your portfolio site...
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  6. indianfreak

    indianfreak Power Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Messages:
    716
    Likes Received:
    457
    Post your invoice somewhere online and redirect your client's domain to it.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  7. Society Girl

    Society Girl Marketplace Mod Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2014
    Messages:
    657
    Likes Received:
    556
    Occupation:
    Customer Support
    Location:
    London
    I would cut it off after trying to contact. Don't redirect to P0rn or something, looks unprofessional. Maybe just have a landing page explaining why the site is offline or something. They can't claim they haven't seen that and they won't like the thought of customers seeing that they haven't paid for something.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  8. Dokezar

    Dokezar Regular Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Messages:
    336
    Likes Received:
    209
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    India
    Yep,take upfront payments for jobs like these the next time. If not 100% then at least 50%.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  9. HoneyHelper

    HoneyHelper Supreme Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2015
    Messages:
    1,476
    Likes Received:
    388
    you should definitely take it down until you get paid !
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  10. dietsbest

    dietsbest Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2015
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    9
    Take down the website and put up a page which says website will stay down until its paid for the hard work done on it or make up something more creative..
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  11. ja1myn

    ja1myn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    Messages:
    817
    Likes Received:
    306
    Take the website down but don't be unprofessional about it. Don't put up some stupid message aimed at ruining their reputation.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  12. FutureProofSeo

    FutureProofSeo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Messages:
    934
    Likes Received:
    460
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Google Warrior
    Location:
    UK
    DO NOT redirect his website or remove it.

    This is your chance to prove yourself and gain respect in the process.

    Say this:

    "I presume by your unwillingness to pay the invoice, you are either unhappy with the work provided, or you are in serious financial difficulty and are struggling to make ends meet. I feel for you, I have also been in that situation, and it's really difficult to keep your head straight when people are demanding money from all sides. Rest assured that you will not lose your website over this, and I am happy to edit the date of the invoice to a time when you are in a better situation."

    You WILL get a favorable reply, and he will be far more likely to choose to pay you in the future.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  13. archon10

    archon10 BANNED BANNED

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,181
    Likes Received:
    8,223
    I think everyone goes through this at first. You get burned once and then you realize that money upfront is necessary. I do upfront or escrow. No exceptions, and yeah, I got burned back in the day.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 5
  14. sentino2009

    sentino2009 Newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2014
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    5
    lol dude get it down!!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  15. auuuu

    auuuu Elite Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,586
    Likes Received:
    364
    Occupation:
    Social Influencer
    Location:
    England
    That looks professional.

    I never get upfront payment, I always present myself as a "friend", I want to create a win-win situation (horizontal) not vertical where I've the "keys" to shut down the website.

    You know what? Try to shut down the website, try to redirect. They'll talk around and no one will trust you. If you have 100 positive reviews, 1 negative have a lot of weight.

    Send them a formal letter (that must be signed when received) and tell them that you are going to help if they need, but you need transparency. Maybe suggest them a trick that you can use to find more customers, but "let's finish the story of the website first".
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  16. ttmschine

    ttmschine Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    Messages:
    418
    Likes Received:
    188
    Thanks to all of you for taking the time to reply and for your suggestions.

    I have spoken to them today and they have claimed "the check is in the post" - so will see what happens.

    Thanks again!
     
  17. nanexo

    nanexo BANNED BANNED

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Messages:
    873
    Likes Received:
    188
    Send it to a collection agency as I do these days with any shitty non payers or disputers and so should you if you handle your biz professionally
    This will hurt their credit rating if they dont pay up and they will beg to pay you after a good debt collections agency gets to work on them
     
  18. jazzc

    jazzc Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,642
    Likes Received:
    11,356
    Occupation:
    Pusillanimous Knitter
    Location:
    Buenos Aires
    First of all, good job on keeping eveything under your control until full payment has been received.

    Bring the site down with a message like: "Hosting has expired, please renew your subscription"

    Then he'll contact you and you'll just say "hosting has expired - btw here's my invoice, I'll pay the renewal fee from that".
     
  19. Sherbert Hoover

    Sherbert Hoover Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,296
    Likes Received:
    10,825
    This is an incredibly good and professional idea.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  20. NicheFox

    NicheFox Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2015
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    122
    Occupation:
    Niche Website Builder/Web Developer
    Location:
    US
    Home Page:
    If you can try to get full payment up front, if not that then at least 50%. I find when people go full up front then you get more space to do your thing, and creativity flows better. When it's half down then you make a lot more room for the nitpicking and can really mess up the flow of how you normally do things best.