Friday, September 21, 2007

Look Back In Anger

Yet more shenanigans with Mr Chauffeur Man today. The deadline for payment has passed and he’s still not paid me for the web site I designed and built for him. Bear in mind the site has now been live for nearly 3 months and he’s been impressed with it enough to pay for a big, fat, juicy ad in the local paper this week advertising it to all and sundry.

So I girded my young and tender loins and rang him. I’ve had enough of ignored emails and the like.

The man is the most insulting, patronizing, arrogant git I’ve ever met.

He now doesn’t think the web site is worth the £510 bill. He wants to pay me somewhere between £400 and £450.

Oh really!

This despite the fact the hourly rate was agreed at the beginning and I have two emails from him agreeing to pay my £510 invoice. This despite the fact that as a goodwill gesture I did a little extra work on the site for him a couple of weeks ago and didn’t add it to the invoice. Am I a mug or what?

I stood my ground and though I was fuming I’m glad to say I resisted the temptation to get personal. I pointed out that he agreed to the hourly rate and that I’ve kept every email from him regarding payment. I also pointed out rather tartly that his £500 web site would have cost him well over £2000 on the High Street.

I must have sounded pretty riled as he did appear to back down. He said he’d speak to his business partner and then ring me this afternoon before 5pm to “tell me their decision”; and he would bring a cheque round this evening which I could pay straight into the bank – “happy days,” so he said.

However, whether it’ll be for the full amount remains to be seen.


I’ve already decided not to accept anything but full payment. Unless I receive the full amount today I’ll be taking him to the Small Claims Court and will be advising him of that fact.

Of course my other option is to just pull the site and though it is tempting it’s (a) bad for business and (b) runs the likelihood that he’ll merely go elsewhere and I’ll still be out of pocket for 34 miserable hours of sweat, toil and more trouble than it was ever worth.

It’s rare I use the C word about anybody. But Mr CM is undeniably the biggest C I’ve ever come across.

Regardless of the final outcome; we will NOT be doing business again.

13 comments:

-eve- said...

You're right, pulling the site won't gain you anything. Better, as you say, to win the legal way (and yes, you should stick to the 510 he agreed to pay)... Here's hoping he decides to settle!

MOTHER OF MANY said...

I know what you mean about the C word.It is banned in our house under any circumstances but sometimes(not often)the word pops into your head before you can stop it when somebody has been a total shit.
My children have compiled a list of how to get your own back on MCM
1.Wipe his website
2.Tell his mother(my favorite!)
3.Slash all his tyres
4.Stick signs on his wind sreen with super glue saying I AM A SHIT
5.Sue him
6.Picket his office
7.Change certain things on his website and then block him out
i.e change his phone number to that of a local escort agency
8.Install some pretty pop-ups
9.Tell MCM that your brother is a wrestler
10.Put a hit out on him
I am sure you have plenty of your own ideas!

TimeWarden said...

I agree with you both that if MCM doesn't pay up it's better to settle the legal way and, as you say, take him to the small claims court.

If you pull the plug on the site you created, you run the risk of him trying to counter-sue you and then it starts getting complicated... more so than it is already!

"Happy Days"?!! Sounds like he's a cheeky little so-and-so to add to his other misdemeanours! Good luck, Steve, and I hope you get the sum he owes!!

Janete Cabral said...

I can only imagine how you must be feeling...I would have felt the same way about closing the site...hold it in ransom. But then you would probably never your well deserved, hard working money. Particularly if you take him to court.

he agreed on the price so good for you for not backing down...he is probably trying to wear you down.

good luck my friend!

Steve said...

Eve, Ally, TimeWarden, Janete, thank you for your support.

Unfortunately Mr C failed to both ring me yesterday and failed to bring a cheque around for any amount of money whatsoever. I'll no doubt post an update about it later... though I'd much rather be concentrating on other things than Mr C at the moment I must say!

Thanks for all the suggestions Ally, some of them really made me laugh - I must admit I have fantasized about slashing his tyres and also changing the text on his web site so that his customers can read about what an utter shit he is. Or even filling in his on-line booking form with spurious hire requests. However, TimeWarden, is right - I need to play it by the book, especially as in a court of law I have him by his short and curlies. I have an email from him in response to my invoice (still attached) agreeing to sort out payment for me. I'm pretty sure the small claims court will see that as a binding contract and make him pay.

He's more than "cheeky", TimeWarden, he's deeply patronizing and had the gall to spout a load of religious hogwash to me about "life being about challenges" and I will "learn from this experience"! Well, I'll going to do my damndest to see that he learns something from all this too!

MOTHER OF MANY said...

Years ago I was involved in a dispute with a landlord who was a total shit and it ended up in the county court. The situation was really not intimidating at all as I had feared and in the end I received all the money that I was owed and more. It is just like being in a room and having a bit of a chat(I swear).The judge(he may not even have been a judge my memory is so bad), who didn't look like a judge was really friendly and even ended up telling the landlord off.It was a bit like Judge Judy but set in an interview room, though times may have changed.
However, I did do business law in Uni and one thing I did find out is that after you pay your fee and submit all your information, it is quite likely that MCM will pay up when it comes right down to the wire.Many of them pay up right at the last moment.It is like they always intended to pay but wanted to hang onto the money as long as possible, in a way an interest free loan AND you end up out of pocket on the county court fee.
My children are still convinced you should just TELL HIS MOTHER!

Steve said...

Ally, I'm not entirely sure that he has one...!

;-)

Steve said...

Found this quote which seems rather apt:-

"The way to stop financial joy-riding is to arrest the chauffeur, not the automobile."
- Woodrow T. Wilson

The Sagittarian said...

Its obviously time to get Dinsdales Boys round to break his legs and nail his pelvis to the floor!

Steve said...

Yeah - Old Dinsy'll sort 'im aht!

Rol Hirst said...

We get this sort of attitude from time to time in my job. "I'm not paying that - I'll pay this instead, that's all it's worth."

The thing is, you can guarantee that if you were to avail yourself of their services and then do the same... I'm sorry, I don't think that chauffeur journey was worth £200. I'll pay you £120... they'd be screaming blue murder.

The other thing is, should you try suggesting this to them, they'll invariably deny that to be the case. "No, if you didn't feel the service I provide was worth it, I wouldn't expect you to pay up."

Yeah.

Right.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

If the final demand invoice has not worked, you can
a. Threaten to pursue him through small claims court.
b. Threaten to pull site if it is not paid in full - as agreed - within 14 days.

I think either of these are perfectly valid on the professionalism front as long as someone has had ample warning that this is what will happen if final bill is not paid within agreed time limit. You could also add that this is that last thing you *want* to do but that the client is leaving you with little option if they are not intending to honour the original agreement.

It is certainly unreasonable for either client or business to change financial terms after they have been agreed and product is received unless product is defective and a discount would constitute a goodwill gesture. That does not sound to be the case in this case.

Sadly we all have to toughen up in this life Steve and take no nonsense from people. It's hard at first I know, but you will be all the stronger for it and better able to handle each succeeding awkward customer. With a bit of luck you will gauge better and better how to spot and avoid them in future, so use this as a valuable experience to learn from is my advice.

Steve said...

Hi all - many thanks as always for the good advice and support. Things have moved on a bit since this post but for some reason Blogger is not letting me publish any new posts at the moment. According to the forums on Blogger it is a common issue at the moment with other people too so I'm trying not to take it too personally! Once Blogger is working properly again (hopefully sometime soon) I will post the latest developments...!

Thank you all again. Steve.