This exchange that we found between a website design company and one of its freelance developers demonstrates many things including how its important to set clear guidelines about payments and expectations but it also demonstrates that its important to ensure that freelance designers cant hold the webstie design company ‘to ransom’ over the code they produce that is approved by the client.
[Website Designers] Client replied to your draft design please read it below, looks like your heading is ok with client, please proceed with the rest of the design
[Freelance Designer] Good stuff, no money on this one until its done?
[Website Designers] No, as we said before, ideally want to wait until the project is approved and put live before payments are made for your work. That being said if you are in need financially I can pay you some in advance.
[Freelance Designer] It would help me out – I’m aiming to get this site finished by Sunday evening for client approval, and take on another project
[Website Designers] Ok once completed I will have the full payment for you, like agreed, how is that?
[Freelance Designer] I really should be asking for 50% for each project first off. Yeah that would be cool if i was not so skint. I need a little money
[Website Designers] Dont want ongoing worries about money and you are not going to get a 50% advance on every project you take on. I think we are fair, flexible and open when it comes to payments and integrity. The more time and effort I spent talking about your payments (this has got to be the 5th email now) the less time I can spend acquiring new business for you. Which really is the most important thing 🙂 You will always get paid for your work please have some trust 🙂
[Freelance Designer] oh no its not that so much its just that im skint and could you pay me some of the money as im skint. it would help me out
“The more time and effort I spent talking about your payments” wtf so its ok for you to pursue money and take 50% from the client whilst I make the site and hold out for money for 2 weeks , then I am bad because I’m pursuing payments? How much ‘effort’ is it to write an email ?
the [website I am working on] site has been removed , i have it on my machine, as i do not work with ‘carrots and stick’
Considering on your site you say you charge a specific price for such a site i don’t think you paying me 50% is such a big deal.
I think i will get my own clients for now as this is not worth my time.
[Website Designers] Not sure you understand the full process of running a business but without going into it too much can you tell me what you mean in your email – are you saying you don’t want anymore projects ? I suggest you answer the phone
[Freelance Designer] if that’s how you read it then fine – I’m just saying that I’m finding it hard to do this without regular money or at least money fortnightly. I could get a job 9-5 and be and a time rota which i think will suit me better. I need to design , which is thought, and to be honest it’s a bit of drain on my time and resources to be payed what you are paying me a month for the projects. I understand where you are coming from but for me it’s not comfortable right now. I will finish the current site if you really need it done but do want some money today. After it’s completed i don’t think i want more projects. The work that I’ve done i cannot say is mine also that annoys me, i understand the deal, but it really annoys me none the less.
[Website Designers] You get regular money when you ask for it – I have paid you in advance and before we get paid, you have no idea how much work goes into the full project and how much time and effort it takes but happy for you to decide what you want to do but think your being very harsh with myself here.
This Essex Website Design company has been happily paying you very fairly for your work and will be happy to continue this arrangement as think you are a good guy and good designer
I’ve gone from being mad at your attitude and actions to now mellowing a bit and can see it from your point of view but I think you get paid fairly and regularly for your work but are you honestly saying you work every day? It seems you work when you want and as such we can only pay you for the projects you complete. I think if you worked more you could achieve twice / three times the projects.
[Freelance Designer] i really dont think i want to make websites anymore for anyone else unless its my own client, and i doubt i will bother with that
[Website Designers] It;s a shame really as you are good at it – think you should sleep on this as its seems strange to go from everything to nothing in 1 hour. Please put the website you look offline back (please never do this again to this website or any other) before the clients sees it – then sleep on it and make your decisions tomorrow as we have tonnes of work and payment after its done is normal but if you ‘insist’ on a halfway payment and final payment then I’m happy to play that game
[Freelance Designer] Iit would make me feel better on this one, after its completed i think i will go job hunting. I’m NOT going to play with other sites I’ve done, as that’s all done. I’m uploading the current website now, sites re uploaded.
[Website Designers] The server now has closed itself down as it thinks you are doing a DOS attack ! Server now up again – can you confirm you are going to do the last update to your previous website then put it live
[Freelance Designer] Yes and will i get some money today?
[Website Designers] mmm do I have a choice now ? how about get the pending work website live (make sure you redirect old to new pages with .htaccess file) then I will pay you half the final project agreed price – sound ok?
[Freelance Designer] Lets do both together you pay the agreed price and i will work on the .htaccess and put live
The website I have been paid for and needs putting live is now live, the old site is in folder /old . When you pay me i can crack on with the fiddly stuff, contact form, htaccess etc and blog operating ok and the bgallery also
[Website Designers] bgallery? Can you run the link checker and fix the broken links ?
[Freelance Designer] yeah its a spelling mistake you know i mean the gallery… yeah so i spelled gallery ‘bgallery’ wrong with an extra ‘b’ you pay me i will continue on if not im done, done the broken links on blog looking at static site now
[Website Designers] Funny enough I thought you meant bgallery as we have a new client called bgallery. Whats happened with you ? you have totally changed today
[Freelance Designer] well i apologise for my bad attitude on that, well people are getting on my nerves everything is doing my nut in. prs was on my case i posted on fb about it
[Website Designers] Well you dont need to take it out on me – you never burn your bridges in business
[Freelance Designer] People are just f*****g me off mentally, I aint taking nothing out on you I’m just seeing where i need to fight my corner, plus I’m skint. i have not personally said anything to you, its business you are a cool man , but I am under it.
[Website Designers] Well you are taking it out on the person that is putting food on your table and really don’t deserve that treatment – at one stage if you do get a job – I am probably going to be asked about your work and will say your good obviously but this blackmail and attitude isn’t going to do you any favours with me
Here is an update / my thoughts / questions, this has taken myself about 4 hours to organise this evening.
Have passed the support work from these to another new developer , I have passed all updated FTP details to him.
Pending Website 1 – Will give this to the new developer to correct all the existing problems, .This included the htaccess file and lots of problems with the link checker and the contact form didn’t work (3 hours)
Pending Website 2 – Changed the images on the website to one not using the icons from the guide website (quarter of an hour)
The way I see this site is that you have done the main framework and the blog and the Client has initially said its ok to proceed with the rest of the site (the other 25+ pages)
So to sort out this ‘situation’ with your sites that have already been paid for and your sudden change of plans has taken me and the other guy about 6 hours
At 1245 today you said you were going to get this website completed by Sunday and take on another project to which I replied that would be good and will pay you the full amount.
The question is what happened to you since that statement?
This Website Design company is going to be a success with or without you and as I stated at the open day recently I intend taking you on as employees once the time comes so you can have a proper / better income and some reward for your loyalty so was really hoping you would be with me all the way.
The ball is in your court. You tell me ‘you are done’ but does that mean you don’t want to finish this and don’t want to do more work?
I’m hoping you come back and say you were in a bad mood and made a mistake saying what you said but happy for you either way. Im also happy for you to continue working until you find a job as long as your a bit more reasonable and honest with me. Nobody gets paid before a job is done and even though I have paid you in advance previously I want to get to the stage where you are paid immediately on completion and have multiple projects going so there is always money and work for you. Your call
[Freelance Designer] My point is this:
1 – i take on project
2 – I’m working on project
3 – i may finish the project reasonably fast. Then it could go into another day or two or three etc whilst client wants this or that tweaked. So I’m working and waiting until the client is 100% happy which can be any time they or you choose.
The Wedding singer is a site as an example. I believe that took me 3-4 weeks to get finished and I got payed the agreed rate for the website,- do you think i think that is worth my while? I don’t think it is.
I think its almost year as a web designer and obviously i haven’t even cleared anywhere neare the money I expected, which is not a lot of money My time would be better spent working in a factory or where ever as i would make more money.
I would have liked to send you an invoice for my work for legal reasons for myself and you said no. I am sure you invoice your clients.
I really don’t think I’m suitable for this business and wish you all the success you want.
I do not want more projects and am calling it a day with your website design company.
As you have a ‘new developer’ I’m sure me leaving will not make a difference. I have thought about this yesterday evening and today.
[Website Designers] Feel free to send any invoices you have not sent or want to send
[Freelance Designer] LOL – all i asked (ever) is for money to live whilst working for you ongoing. If you are now thinking you are going to threaten me by saying I am not a good Website Designer then well that’s your business. I don’t do that, i can’t see how I am you? From where I am its more the opposite. CARDS ON TABLE NOW- i really would appreciate 50% of the agreed price of the completed project now , of course i will finish of my previous website design projects as well – if not its a day and if i see the website I am working on online I’m going to be not happy
[Website Designers] and all I ever did was pay you promptly and in advance when you asked for it – I’m not going to talk to you more today as may say something I regret – upsetting you is hardly my main concern – please complete the projects you have been paid for tonight and will talk tomorrow.
[Freelance Designer] Perhaps i don’t understand this business, say something you regret? say what you like I am done.
I noticed that site I am working on (my work and time and blah blah) is still on the subdomain. Really you tricked me old son, by asking me to re upload the site then I would receive money from you. Well that didn’t happen obviously so you have now made yourself dishonest to me m8. I do not expect to site live and that includes the js / jquery as i changed the code in the scripts to fix the conflicts. Now it’s getting a bit silly but I’m pissed off that you have not removed the site as you didn’t pay for the design. So that’s theft. Which also makes me doubt everything else you said to me, which makes me doubt your integrity which would make you a liar in regards to me and you.
Now i don’t care about what you do with others, im just pissed off that the site you have not paid for is still on the sub domain which shines a new light on what you said to me. Perhaps i may be jumping the gun here and you have it in mind to remove the design that you now have in your grasp for nothing. If so good, if not (as upsetting me is not a concern of yours) upsetting you is no concern of mine matey. As i am not cool. All I am asking is that you please remove my design as you have not paid me for the design and in any one else play book that is theft as i did not agree with you to provide your clients with designs for nothing. You must know that if you do not remove the design that would be very very very wrong and will probably come back to you through the universal law of karma one way or another (bit queer i know but i looked into it there’s a valid argument for it so I’m positive about that) and really it would be a dark cloud, unless you have lots of little dark clouds that would be a storm coming then. hmm jokes aside i think it is fair not for you to take designs from me and pay me nothing. Which is the situation that has been crafted at your end from where I’m sitting.
So i suppose you will now remove me as a friend from FB which then means a shouting match on the phone (which i will most probably say something i wont regret but you won’t like) all over a £200 debt so i could get on with it. LOL
[Website Designers] I was willing and able to let you get your design completed and live (you told me it would be done by Sunday) but as we have done at least 7 hours work (via 3 people) to remedy / fix the work you have been paid for in advance and we now need to get it done ourselves then I am afraid your payment for any work will have to be considered once this project is now live and we work out how much this has cost us. The problem is that you think you are owed a living by myself / this website design company the truth is we can only pay you for what you produce and before your decision to quit the other day we were all on to complete this project by Sunday.
[Freelance Designer] Problems with the contact form? It’s a simply case of pointing the form to the right urls. taking out /new. hmm must have cost you loads. i think you think I am a bit of twat. I do not expect any money from you at all from now. I want the design removed. I think you misunderstood, I’m not asking again for money for the work. Wouldn’t it be easier and fairer all round on us both if it was redesigned by a different designer who can be paid the full amount, a clean slate. I did send you an email of a designer who will/maybe a good chance of him completing it for you; i tried to help on this by recommending him to you. Now you’re saying my work is not up to scratch? Thats what it sounds like, look i do not have a guilty complex about this, and you it seems are trying to put one on me. If it takes 3 people to change a url link i i would think again about the whole thing. But i know most probably you are dramatizing. If i remember correctly you said in email that one of the websites took 15minutes to ‘fix’ change the image in slider. So that leaves 6hr 45 minutes to you and your website designer to change some urls you are taking the mickey here I don’t believe you. Please just remove the design if I think it’s more honest and fairer all round. Next i suspect you will tell me i owe you money lol
[Website Designers] Firstly please act and talk professionally I don’t appreciate your tone and your slights on my character. You always impressed with your professionalism when working but you are starting let yourself down here.
Contact form not only didn’t work but also had a field that wasn’t passing though the correct info, there was images missing and the link checker had 15 individual problems but if you think in taking the mickey then that’s your opinion. I appreciate the recommendation thanks.
How about you rethink this situation and look at it from my perspective – I am not trying to pull a fast one on you and the fact I paid you in advance, at the top end of what I promised every project and paid promptly for all your work should make you think otherwise.
Another option is for you to complete the website design and once that’s approved we pay you proportionally for your work. I don’t suppose you will want this but to give you a positive financial outcome I thought I would mention it.
[Freelance Designer] So you will be stealing/keeping the design. Good. ” pay you proportionally for your work” am I a slave or what, your right i will not be considering that.
em starting to let myself down? Really, I am actually now through with this whole conversation it’s going round in circles. and we are not getting anywhere. I will not allow myself to be manipulated about things unrelated to the project I have started to create. Obviously my work needs fixing so really its best this happened.