Yesterday redditors brought Remember to always pay your developer up to the front page. In case you missed it here is the screanshoot of the now famous webpage. In a nutshell, some developer haven’t been payed for his work and he thought this is the right way to remind his customer of that.
I’ve been in these situations before and I know how it feels not to be payed for your work. But I wonder, is this the real way to deal with these kind of customers? Beside legal implications, one more thing to think about here is reputation. If it comes to notion that you are a person who do these type of things to your customers, you are in trouble.
Let’s give it a thought. What are the reasons for a customer to avoid paying you? First and obvious reason is, customer doesn’t have any money. In that case you can only wait for him to get some money so he can pay you for your work. Of-course denial of service is no option here. You should let him run his site so he can earn some money. In my opinion this type of misunderstanding should be solved at the beginning of cooperation by evaluating customer’s ability to pay you.
But what are the reasons if customer has the money? I think there are two options:
- Customer doesn’t value your work so he thinks you don’t deserve to be payed.
- Customer planned from the beginning not pay you and deceived you intentionally to work for free.
In my opinion every other case is just a variation of these two. Let’s see the first option. If customer believes your work is of no value you need a way to prove him otherwise. Maybe this developer is doing just that. He brought the website down and allowed the customer to recognize the value of developer’s work by measuring his losses.
The second option is the worse one of all three mentioned. Because customer never had any intention to pay you. His only intention was to use you. You can’t change his opinion in any way. These kind of people only submit to the hand of law. Only contract can save you here because they never going to sign one. If customer doesn’t want to sign a contract then there is something fishy going on.
For the end only advice I can give is that whatever your preference might be in dealing with nonpaying customers you should always try to put feelings to the side and think of the outcome you are trying to get.