Only work with companies run by the Lannisters.
Not the best way to handle this situation.
What would be then? In my experience when a client didn't pay me, he stopped returning emails, messages, calls, ect. I'm sure it was one of the few options he had.
I would have yet included more details on what happened exactly to avoid speculations and justify my actions. Because if it was a "we can't pay you until next month we are very sorry" type of situation, maybe it was better to just wait.
It's a matter of tact.
You have more options than you think. Specifically, if this designer/developer (or group) had a contract, they could have gone to a lawyer to collect the fee (or make use of a service like http://www.protectmyrates.com/). Even without a contract (or resources to contact a lawyer), they could have just as well put up a blank page.
As a client who would be willing to pay, I would never want to work with this person. Mainly because their behavior begs the question, what else are they willing to do (e.g. if I make a stupid request, would they write a nasty blog post about me or my business)?
Just because you can doesn't mean you should.
Very good points — I do believe it's very unprofessional for both the designer and the client. Although for the designer, there's not much he can do because it is international and going to court may not be a viable option for what it's worth. In the end you just have to be more careful with who you decide to work for and how you get paid.
No back story, no context... makes defending this type of behavior really difficult. It might as well just say "grab your pitchforks everyone!"
As a designer in Berlin this hits me quite hard.
I tweeted @durated and told them to pay their debts. If everyone did the same we could pressure them into doing something, since they're quite small.
Not loading.... and I'm curious now... what happened ? what happened?
And I'm curious why you are littering DN with animated gifs.
This is not the way to handle these type of situations. Have a contract. Never turn over final product without some type of payment. Get a lawyer.
It looks like they just swapped out some text on the original design, so can't have taken too long.
And it's a pretty nice site, so why not name and shame?
What are we looking at here? All I see is a normal-looking website --> http://www.durated.com/
Yeah, i don't understand either. Did the designer fix it? Does anybody have a screenshot of what it was before?
Google has a cache: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://durated.co/
Google's cached version shows a version identical to their main page -- but I was able to find the "snarky" version here: https://web.archive.org/web/20140526195349/http://durated.co/
The amount of time, energy and effort spent on this campaign could probably have been spent working on another contract that would help offset the debt they're owed.
I fully understand the frustration, but it's just not worth it. No one wins in these situations. Don't get me wrong, I'm on the designer's side, but I know from experience that there is very little you can do to make someone pay once they've decided they're not going to.
Going on a public quest for revenge is also not going to help them in court, if they ever take it that far.
The healthiest thing to do is to learn from their mistakes and move on. If they really think about it, I'm sure there are some things they could have done differently to prevent this situation from happening. 50% commencement fee, hard fee milestones, etc.
I’m not saying what they did is right, but they just bought a domain and swapped some text nodes on the current Durated website with different content, so it’s not like it cost them a lot of effort to get this up. If this ends up getting them their money without jeopardizing their reputation going forward, then it was probably worth it for them.
It's not just about the technical side. I'm sure it didn't take long to put the site up there, but all the energy and time spent on coming up with what to do, being angry at what happened, continuing to spread the word, etc...it's not just launching a site and then forgetting about it.
Again, I'm on their side, the client should definitely pay. I just don't think they ever will, and in that case all this effort is pointless.
Some might call sucking in it up. And revenge is always sweet, especially if you're young and passionate and don't have a cold-blooded account director in your team for balance. So no wonder these stories are actually quite common.
This is unprofessional and makes the whole industry look like selfish children. If you didn't get paid it is because you didn't handle the business end of your job correctly and get the proper contracts in place.
I highly recommend reading this book, twice: http://www.abookapart.com/products/design-is-a-job
[EDIT, what follows was added after I originally posted]
Some people have pointed out that contracts don't guarantee payment, and that is true. What contracts can do is let the client know that they have to pay $X to start a project, $X at each stage, and then the final files are released to them after the final payment is made.
A solid way to completely cut off all ties and any chance at working with this company or any company that any of its employees make their way to.
It's a small world. This probably feels good right now, but it's a bad call.
Personally, that's not how I would handle it.
And that's all I can really say about this, since we don't know the story behind it.
Their low-res twitter cover says it all
Was this modified? i don't see any vandalism
It must have been updated and taken care of, because I see a decent site right now.
I'll admit that this is probably not the best way of dealing with this type of situation, but just because you have a contract doesn't mean that your client has to pay you. It only provides a legal advantage if you do take the complaint to court, which, depending on the budget for the project, might not be worth it.
Plus, if your client and you aren't in the same country, litigation gets even more complicated. I think this might be a valid way of gaining some of the power back as a freelancer. Maybe.
This is their actual site:
Like others said, not exactly the best way to handle this kind of situation. At least if you do it on a company's actual domain (if you control it of course) you force them to react.
In this case I feel like a blog post would've been more effective.
yeah, my first reaction was that this was inappropriate vandalism. but then i realized it's not on their actual domain... very few outside of this forum will see this.
carry on, then.
Sometimes we forget that other designers have given us advice on these kind of situations. "F*ck you, Pay me" by Mike Monteiro. http://vimeo.com/22053820
I sympathize, but if you have a good contract going into a job, it seems like the lawyer would play for itself.
They don't have small claims courts in the EU? In California, a sole proprietor can sue for up to $10,000 without a lawyer.