Part of me is all "right on" but the other part thinks this guy might be referred do as "that dick who did that thing"
I can't understand why they did so much work before even attempting to prompt the client to pay. Wouldn't you split the work into a series of stages and bill for each... and if the client doesn't pay for the early stages, you simply part ways?
I've been in one situation like this before. I simply blocked access to the website backend. I didn't pull the site down, but the client couldn't update or manage the site until they paid up. That worked. I can't understand what's happened here. Why on earth would you do half a year's worth of work for a client that doesn't pay, then try to humiliate them? Neither party is in the right here. Seems like a good contract would have prevented all of this.
I totally get it but I have always felt that embrassment and CSS kill-switches are unprofessional.
And what is professional?
Positioning yourself in such a way that A. A contract protects you from these types of problems and B. the client doesn't have access to work that isn't yet paid for.
Exactly. If you've got a bulletproof contract, you shouldn't need to resort to libel to get paid. And if you don't have a bulletproof contract, you're not a professional. That's about all there is to it.
A.) I kind of assumed that they had a contract (that was not respected by client), I can't even imagine working without one, unless there is long relationship with client.
B.) That's the way I'd do it, but since the client probably had… I mean, the situation is: client didn't pay you, has the work, what now, right?
In general, you handle business problems outside of the public eye. This kind of reaction tends to do bad things for everybody. It embarrassed the client and it makes the designer look difficult to work with. Regardless of who is at fault. You have a legally binding contract in place for this and if your client is violating the agreement then a collection agency or legal approach is appropriate.
I understand where this designer/group is coming from but on the other hand this makes it harder for them to claim that they have their clients' best interests in mind when they are willing to basically ruin their business. You can say its a double standard against the company who ruined their business by failing to pay them. But, at the end of the day everyone loses and it makes both companies look bad instead of just the one.
I go to this gym... kind of embarrassing.
Yeesh. I'm sure it sucks to not get paid - but I wouldn't hire somebody that pulled something like this. Not that I'd be planning on shortchanging a designer, but rather that it shows a real lack of maturity.
I don't know much about the situation here, but that's kinda the point: neither will this designer's next potential client.
Here's the right way to handle this:
Have a contract that stipulates payment terms and penalties. One of the penalties should be that the customer must pay for all collection costs after N days overdue.
Hire a brutal collector. Not some firm that just makes phone calls, but a firm that will will send someone to show up on site and embarrass them in front of their customers. These types of firms typically want 30% of the collection amount, which is why you stipulated that the fee will be paid by the customer.
You will get paid. With a lot less drama and without getting causing tortious interference (AKA they can sue you and probably win).
Source: How I got paid while running a small boutique. Also, this is not legal advice.
Wow, ruthless. He even stuffed a few keywords in there for good measure!
Looks like the deactivated their facebook pages.
When I first saw this I really liked the designer approach, after all he's defending our name and profession, but after reading the comments here I sure understand that this might not be the best way to act. I always thought that, if I ever had a client such as this one, I'd only replace the webpage by a static page saying "Page is down due to lack of payment" and not exactly a moral letter. I'm not against it, at all, but it might be a tricky attitude from the designer. Of course, they should have a contract, and the contract should be enought to defend the company from lack of payment, but sometimes people use the law and its faults to abuse others, and this is direct and quick action, so I can't really blame him. And with the gym having such an unprofessional attitude, their clients deserve to know this, and their business must be affected accordingly.
More juicy details and updates. the designer is giving more details in this comment section.
They have a location in SOMA where their clientele is mostly tech. Not the best crowd to piss off…