At what point do you just say 'no'?

  • (2 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2

19 Replies - 1493 Views - Last Post: 31 March 2011 - 01:20 PM

#1 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

  • holy shitin shishkebobs
  • member icon




Reputation: 5936
  • View blog
  • Posts: 10,346
  • Joined: 28-September 07

At what point do you just say 'no'?

Posted 31 March 2011 - 08:30 AM

Many of you know that I did quite a bit of freelancing back in the day. One particular client was the daycare where I sent my children a few years back.

I designed the site, built the main page only, set up email addresses for the owner and all her employees, and waited patiently for site content or additional instructions that never arrived.

For the two years that my children attended the daycare, the concept of adding content or functionality to the site was perpetually pushed to 'the back burner'. Nearly two years ago, I took my current job and moved hours away from the daycare in question. For almost two years, I have not had so much as a single, solitary peep of communication with the owner or staff of the daycare. Their site has been a perpetual main page with nonfunctioning links and a parent/employee login form that leads to nowhere.

For a total of almost four years, I have been paying for the hosting space and domain name for this unfinished symphony with no compensation or communication from the people reaping the benefits of having a site and specialized email addresses.

45 days ago, the domain name expired. I didn't bother to renew it as I had heard absolutely nothing from these people in years. Yesterday, as I was working diligently at my cushy office job - where I actually get paid for the code I write - I received a phone call from the daycare wanting to know why their email stopped working and where their website went and demanding that I "re-purchase" the domain immediately.

Our original contract stated that I would build a full custom website - design, front end, custom CMS back-end, yadda, yadda, yadda - in exchange for $200 and a get-out-of-mandatory-parent-volunteer-hours-free card. After the first year, the daycare was agreeing to pay $35/year for the domain name and hosting space. Overall, a ridiculously cheap website. On the phone yesterday, she argued that (1) the code I wrote should be her property as it was written for her business and (2) since she never bothered to give me the content for the site, she should not be charged "full price" (ie, $200) for the work I've already done and as such, she "expects" to see a "deep discount" when I bill her for the site. In addition, she insists that $35/year is excessive for domain name registration and hosting fees.

I've never billed her for the site or the domain and hosting because the job was never finished. I allowed the domain to lapse because I had not heard anything from her in almost two years.

At what point is it acceptable to just say "No"?

Is This A Good Question/Topic? 0
  • +

Replies To: At what point do you just say 'no'?

#2 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

  • Please show what you have already tried when asking a question.
  • member icon

Reputation: 5436
  • View blog
  • Posts: 11,662
  • Joined: 02-June 10

Re: At what point do you just say 'no'?

Posted 31 March 2011 - 08:41 AM

So you knew it was going to expire and just let it happen without contacting the daycare and letting them know?

I would have expected you to send them an email letting them know they had 30 days to renew the ownership, change the point of contact, owner details and so on.

Actively making them take possession of the domain would have put the ball in their court, kept you looking like the good guy, and given you a paper trail showing where you tried to do right by them. If they never answered your email telling them to take ownership that can't be blamed on you.

Just letting it expire without so much as a friendly email reminder seems almost like a petty retaliation for the aggravation they put you through.
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#3 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

  • holy shitin shishkebobs
  • member icon




Reputation: 5936
  • View blog
  • Posts: 10,346
  • Joined: 28-September 07

Re: At what point do you just say 'no'?

Posted 31 March 2011 - 08:44 AM

Hadn't quite thought of it that way. It was more of me making an assumption that they were no longer using it since I hadn't heard anything from them for so long.

But I suppose you're right. I really made myself look like quite an ass. No, I don't look like an ass. They haven't paid me for any of this. I'm not a free service and they knew that upfront. If she wants the domain reinstated, she'll need to pay me for - at minimum - the cost of the domain and hosting for the year.

This post has been edited by BenignDesign: 31 March 2011 - 08:46 AM

Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#4 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

  • Suitor #2
  • member icon



Reputation: 8948
  • View blog
  • Posts: 33,544
  • Joined: 12-June 08

Re: At what point do you just say 'no'?

Posted 31 March 2011 - 08:44 AM

I say right there "no" is appropriate. When that tone and word choice show up there's should be no hesitation to say "no" and mentally chalk it up that it is better to euthanize this gimped project of four years than let it shuffle around in small circles to the left. Feel annoyed you let this go on, but don't beat yourself up over it. The entitlement is BS, but now you are in interesting waters where they might threaten legal issues. That seems to be the go-to hammer to try and beat one into submission and compliance.
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#5 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

  • Self-Trained Economist
  • member icon




Reputation: 10396
  • View blog
  • Posts: 38,464
  • Joined: 27-December 08

Re: At what point do you just say 'no'?

Posted 31 March 2011 - 08:45 AM

I would have said no long ago. No to paying the $35/year fee without reimbursement, especially if you're not using the day care. No to renewing the domain. Etc. Tell them to go to hell, and that the renewal of the domain is their problem.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#6 baavgai  Icon User is offline

  • Dreaming Coder
  • member icon

Reputation: 5780
  • View blog
  • Posts: 12,595
  • Joined: 16-October 07

Re: At what point do you just say 'no'?

Posted 31 March 2011 - 09:03 AM

I have a ton of in house projects floating around. Some are used daily, some maybe once a year, some might just be limping on with no one looking at them any more. Reports, in particular, are like that.

When architecture changes and pieces move around, I often classify some things as mostly dead. I don't implement them and just put them off to the side. I'll sometimes get the "where did X go" call, but usually not. I could contact the individuals I think use the pieces, but I already know the answer.

"Do you still use X that you haven't touched in three years?"

"X, let me see, X... What does it do, again? Yeah, sure, I guess we could use that... Yes, we definitely want that!" Bite me.

So, I entirely sympathize with your unwillingness to contact them. Given the current situation, I'd make them buy the name and their own host. Charge them a fee for putting what's there back to rights, have them change the password, and wish them happy trails.

This post has been edited by baavgai: 31 March 2011 - 09:04 AM

Was This Post Helpful? 2
  • +
  • -

#7 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

  • Toubabo Koomi
  • member icon

Reputation: 5189
  • View blog
  • Posts: 26,896
  • Joined: 10-May 07

Re: At what point do you just say 'no'?

Posted 31 March 2011 - 09:07 AM

Up front I make it a point that if the customer wants to manage their website in the future, they buy the domain now. Otherwise if I buy it, everything is to be done pro-actively. Meaning when it needs to be renewed they had better get with me before GoDaddy does.

This works well for me, so 'no' isn't an option.

To answer your question, how contractually obligated are you? If none, then tell them to screw off. However, can you live with that? Are they ignorant or arrogant? Maybe they just don't understand the situation...
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#8 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

  • Whorediot
  • member icon





Reputation: 2586
  • View blog
  • Posts: 15,618
  • Joined: 24-September 08

Re: At what point do you just say 'no'?

Posted 31 March 2011 - 09:09 AM

I'd tell them no. I figured you didn't tell them that their shit was expiring because you forgot. Hmmm. Just tell them to reimburse for the four years, throw in an extra $10 or something to round it off to $150, and hire a new web dev to finish it. You got your money back, a "steep discount" for making the site ($10), and it'll get them off your back. If they still refuse, just go slash their tires or something lol.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#9 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

  • I'm a cheeseburger
  • member icon


Reputation: 2531
  • View blog
  • Posts: 4,631
  • Joined: 24-September 10

Re: At what point do you just say 'no'?

Posted 31 March 2011 - 11:04 AM

I hate these kinds of retards. Key thing I recognize in your story is that you NEVER BILLED THEM.

Simple...

FUCK THEM!
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#10 Craig328  Icon User is offline

  • I make this look good
  • member icon

Reputation: 1912
  • View blog
  • Posts: 3,442
  • Joined: 13-January 08

Re: At what point do you just say 'no'?

Posted 31 March 2011 - 12:14 PM

You have 30 days from domain name lapse to reinstate it but only you as the domain owner can do that. You built them a little something but in return you didn't have to do the volunteer work so that sounds like a wash to me. I'd be oh so polite and relate that they've been enjoying the product of your efforts for 4 years and didn't get exercised enough to pay you per the agreement during that whole time. What, they miss email now? That's a shame.

Reinstating the domain after it expires but during its post expiration grace period costs an additional $200 I think. I'd tell them that despite their seriously delinquent billing status that you'd be pleased to reinstate their account for them. All they need to do is send you the $200 plus whatever you think is fair for you to charge them to transfer the account to them, advise them of the deadline for the domain grace period and tell them you'll reinstate their domain and do the transfer only after their check has cashed...so they'd best hurry.

If they don't let it die and forget them. You can always remind them that if they persist in their arrogant and abusive manner that since, technically, YOU own the site, you can decide to make whatever changes you like and that such things would be dependent upon their good behavior.

Good luck!
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#11 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

  • Suitor #2
  • member icon



Reputation: 8948
  • View blog
  • Posts: 33,544
  • Joined: 12-June 08

Re: At what point do you just say 'no'?

Posted 31 March 2011 - 12:16 PM

Can you transfer it to me? I have a great idea for a parent/baby adult fetish site.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#12 Craig328  Icon User is offline

  • I make this look good
  • member icon

Reputation: 1912
  • View blog
  • Posts: 3,442
  • Joined: 13-January 08

Re: At what point do you just say 'no'?

Posted 31 March 2011 - 12:20 PM

Again? How many of those kind of sites can your "clientele" support?
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#13 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

  • Suitor #2
  • member icon



Reputation: 8948
  • View blog
  • Posts: 33,544
  • Joined: 12-June 08

Re: At what point do you just say 'no'?

Posted 31 March 2011 - 12:27 PM

edit: Moderately off topic and will probably offend. (I should have done this first).

Spoiler

This post has been edited by modi123_1: 31 March 2011 - 12:44 PM

Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#14 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

  • I'm a cheeseburger
  • member icon


Reputation: 2531
  • View blog
  • Posts: 4,631
  • Joined: 24-September 10

Re: At what point do you just say 'no'?

Posted 31 March 2011 - 12:29 PM

You'd be surprised the money people spend. We had ONE guy pay ONE lady 2.3 million dollars over a period of 2 years just to watch her touch her boobies on a webcam.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#15 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

  • Suitor #2
  • member icon



Reputation: 8948
  • View blog
  • Posts: 33,544
  • Joined: 12-June 08

Re: At what point do you just say 'no'?

Posted 31 March 2011 - 12:30 PM

Yeah a girl was on the local radio station said she got a grand for a guy to shave her head and keep her hair. Sold!
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

  • (2 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2