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Disgruntled Developer Hijacks Company Web Site

Posted by Michael Bloch in web development (Monday February 18, 2013 )

Do drastic circumstance call for drastic measures? Perhaps.

The Denver Egotist reports a web designer who claims the company he performed work for wasn’t fully paid for took control of the site and aired his grievances. Quite a PR pickle.

I think most of us who have been in the online game for any period of time have experienced something similar at some stage of our careers; usually early on in the piece when we’re hungry for work.

I’m not condemning or condoning the drastic action as I really don’t know all the circumstances; but it was a very risky move.

What I do when payment becomes a problem is far less dramatic – I simply stop work before the debt becomes too much. The last time I did that, the other party paid within 24 hours and I had no further problems.

Sure, they could have dropped me like a hot potato; but better to be dropped for $Xk than $XXk or wondering each period when and if I would be paid. Irregular payments can pay havoc with budgeting and stress levels.

If you have wording such as “Terms – 7 Days” on your invoices; ensure you enforce them. The more of us that do so, the less this sort of thing will happen.

It’s interesting that the bigger the company, the more likely they are to mess around with payments – and much of that has to do with them historically getting away with ignoring terms of their suppliers and partners. It’s a part of how they grow and how they stay afloat during troubled times.

It’s one thing to have a client approach you and *ask* if payment can be deferred, quite another for them to *dictate* it when terms have already been agreed upon. The more power you give away, the more they will try to take – it’s just unfortunately the way the world often works.


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