Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

Business owners, step in - I need advice.

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by MTMike, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. MTMike

    MTMike 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Posts:
    2,992
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Billings, Montana
    I need some advice and personal experience would be helpful.

    I have a client whom I built a website for back in November, and has not paid the final 50%.... he's given me sob story after sob story, so I've been lenient. But it's going on 5 months now and I'm getting impatient. Especially since now he's avoiding phone calls from my numbers on his caller ID and not returning voicemails. I sent him a certified letter telling him that he needs to pay by EOM March or the site goes down, but the mailman has been unsuccessful in delivering that for a week now..... so he's being a total deadbeat.

    I have a signed contract stating the work to be performed, the amount, and that I reserve the right to remove the site if payment is not made within 7 days of site completion, and evidence that he's only payed half of what is due.

    My question is: Which is a better route to go.... a collection agency or small claims court?

    Collections are good because they can affect his credit history, but they take 33% of the collected amount, which I think is absurd.... Can I tack that amount on to the balance he owes, or does that come out of the bottom line so I only get 2/3's what I'm owed?

    Small claims is less convenient for me due to my schedule, but may be more effective due to the contract, and I can sue for balance + court costs.

    :1zhelp:
     
  2. wraenking

    wraenking 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2003
    Posts:
    1,493
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Toms River, NJ
    unless its a massive amount, i wouldnt go to collections. plain and simple, shut his site down until he's paid up. unfortunately, you will see a lot of this. people always want the work, but never want to pay

    good luck
     
  3. Shaggy

    Shaggy 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2000
    Posts:
    6,737
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Los Banos, CA
    Before dealing with collections just shut the site down. Leave him a message saying that when he pays you will put it back up. IMHO you've been far too patient as it is.
     
  4. gjk5

    gjk5 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Posts:
    5,312
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Grand Junction, CO
    I agree with both of these posts. Shut him down, if the site is bringing in business for him, he will get you paid, if not, he'll probably never pay you anyway. As far as collections go, forget it it. But if he signed the contract and guaranteed payment personally and not as a business entity, go to court and get a judgement. Sounds like he's the kinda prick that wouldn't show up, so you get a default judgement. Then take that judgement and place a lien on his personal residence and really screw with him (if he owns). I would say the same for his business real estate, but if he's this much of a deadbeat, he probably doesn't own his business location.

    Try handling it yourself before handing over 33% though, filing in civil court is a breeze, hell in some states you can download the documents and then just go drop them off at the courthouse.
     
  5. 4by4bygod

    4by4bygod 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    Posts:
    3,859
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    With My Tinfoil Hat
    I'd shut the site down until he pays up.

    When I had my own headhunting firm, I was being stiffed on a 12k fee that was owed by the company that hired the candidate I presented. I had a fee agreement in place, too.

    Long story short, the company owner wouldn't take my calls. so when the fee was 45 days overdue, I sent them a dunning letter from a collection agency that I made up, and had my sister in law ( who could talk in a professional way) follow up with a phone call, threatening legal action. I had my payment in full shortly thereafter. All the implied threat of collections, none of the fees. :)

    Tom
     
  6. gjk5

    gjk5 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Posts:
    5,312
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Grand Junction, CO
    You can get yourself burned portraying a collection company, be careful with that route. 4by4bygod, they could have reported you and had your ass in a sling, and making letterhead and phone calls in the name of a bogus collection company is by no means an implied threat, or a mere misrepresentation. Glad you got a way with it.
     
  7. readymix

    readymix 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    May 30, 2004
    Posts:
    6,706
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Murrieta, California
    1. Log onto FTP
    2. delete all files
    3. upload one file, simple HTML, that tells him what payment methods are excepted
    4. Wait for reply
     
  8. MTMike

    MTMike 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Posts:
    2,992
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Billings, Montana
    Thanks for the advice guys.

    After I posted the original topic I called the Post Office and talked to the manager and he said he personally had delivered it this afternoon and the client refused to accept it.

    I'm done w/ this sh*t. The site's already been shut down and I'm going in to file a small claims suit on Monday

    Thanks for all your input.

    -Mike
     
  9. MTMike

    MTMike 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Posts:
    2,992
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Billings, Montana
    I just flipped the switch in the master control panel in my server (I resell hosting too). I just went into his domain, clicked "Disable Domain" and now it just gives a DNS error to anyone who goes to his site. I'm trying to remain as professional about this as possible..... and it's not easy.

    The power company doesn't give you a night light when you don't pay your powerbill... they just shut you down, and thats exactly what I did to him.

    -Mike
     
  10. readymix

    readymix 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    May 30, 2004
    Posts:
    6,706
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Murrieta, California
    Glad to hear that you took action. I webmaster 2 web sites, but i could never do it as a job. Too much work. Just trying to get motivated to finish the broken trucks site is a PITA. I need to get more pics of carnage
     
  11. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2001
    Posts:
    2,563
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    1) Shut down the site. Send him a certified letter why you did so.

    2) Send a demand letter from an attorney stating you will take him to small claims if he doesn't pay up.

    3) Report him to the credit bureaus yourself

    4) Go to small claims if no payment.

    5) In some states you can get a sheriff to take stuff to satisfy the debt. In PA for example, a patient who refuses to pay doctor bills can have their personal belongings (TV, stereos, etc.) confiscated for the debt with the assistance of the Sheriff.
     
  12. Stomper

    Stomper ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    Posts:
    3,767
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Iowa
    If he does business through the site, it would be a shame if it turned in to a gay pRon site:whistle:
     

Share This Page