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Client refusing to pay....

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What is the name of your state? California

Hi all,

I recently did some freelance work for a client and now that im done hes refusing to pay me after ive billed him for the work. Like an idiot i trusted the guy and took his word on him paying me when i billed him when all work was done and didnt use a contract.

All through out doing this work i asked about payment and he kept telling me that money wasnt an issue and that i was just to bill him once all work was done and he would pay me in full before i gave him all the source files and any other files i had created for him.

The work I did was creating a menu system for his site and he changed his mind 3 times so I ended up creating 3 different menu systems for him so it took longer than it should have done. Once I finally finished and he was happy with the work I sent him a bill and hes now refusing to pay saying there is no way what I did is worth what im wanting to charge him.

Ive tried to explain that although he may think the other two menus i did arent billable hours they are because it was time spent doing work for him and since he was the one that changed his mind i have a right to bill him. Ive charged him a lot less than i normally do since it was christmas a new year so i thought that there wouldnt be any problems with payment and now hes refusing to pay.

Could someone give me any ideas what my right are here ?? Can i take it to small claims and try and get what i billed him for and if so should i give him notice to see if he will settle out or court or should i put this down to experience and move on ??

I even offer to settle it with him if he made me a reasonable offer for the work i did but hes not responded to that as of yet. Any help would be appreciated here.
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Senior Member
Sure you can got to small claims, but it's your word against his.

No contract - no deal

<Quote>should i put this down to experience and move on?</Quote>
YES, and remember one definition of insanity is making the same mistakes over and over and expecting different results.


The clients in Florida.

I forgot to mention that i do have all his server details and passwords so wouldnt me having them prove that i had contact with this person ?? I am all set for just putting it behind me but if there is a chance of filling in small claims then thats the action ill take to teach the jerk a lesson before he does it to someone else. I also have paypal statements showing that he has payed me some money that was sent before i started work for him although it was online about $40 but wouldnt that still show i had contact since no one just gives u money when u have never met ??


Senior Member
You might have a case for small claims -- but you would have tobring the case in a Florida court, so it's probably not worth it.
Even without a written contract, the evidence you have may be sufficient to prevail in small claims court -- but since you would need to travel to Florida to pursue it, it's likely not worth the trouble.

In the future, as snostar alluded to, make sure you have a WRITTEN contract in place. If you also include in the contract a choice of law and forum clause -- specifying California -- and perhaps a liquidated damages clause, that would go a long way to avoiding the situation you are currently in.


Bigfoot said:
What's the possibility of you using the server details and passwords to lock out the system?

If you even think about doing this then you run the risk of him suing you for loss of business, conversion and a host of other related cyber crimes.

You were given the server access and passwords to upload your work and test it against his system. Not for any other business related reason.

What you can and should do is access the system, download your source files (JS or other language) and completely remove the files from his system. Then, write him a certified RRR letter telling him that you will be more than happy to restore the menu system upon payment of monies owed.

DO NOT write e-mails. DO NOT call or take his calls. And I sure hope everything you discussed in your original post was through e-mail or other written correspondence.


Thanks for the help.

I wasnt planning on using his server details for any wrong doing as i no that would land me in trouble.

I just received a reply to the email i sent him about making me an offer and heres what hes told me word for word.

I never thought you would charge me for that simple work $600 dollars.
It's not like I wanted you to make the entire website for me. I didn't
have time to make the interface so I just wanted someone to do it for me.
Since I thought that you would charge me around $60-$90 dollars for that
work I went for it. Now I see that you are charging me $600 dollars I had
to do it my self. It took me three hours to make something similar to what
you did for me. Also remember something, if you are trying to take this
down to court you should filled it down where xVx Corporation is in which
is in Venezuela not in the U.S. xVx Corporation will have a branch in the
U.S which will be called xVx International, but where we are located right
now in the U.S nothing has been filled with the name xVx International or
xVx. So there is no way for you to try to make xVx Corporation pay those
$600 dollars.

Now ive had no contact with him since the email i sent saying id let him make me an offer and thats the reply right there. Ive not acted upon any information ive been given here yet as ive under the weather and stuck in bed kind of thing so does that response warrant me taking this further and can i still take it to a court in florida ??

I did a whois search on his domain and its all registerd to an address in the USA in florida so can i still file ??

Any more help is appreciated.

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