[thelist] What would you do?

Candace Maynard Candace.Maynard at popart.com
Fri Jan 5 13:51:55 CST 2001

You want your client (ex-client, whatever) to make good decisions.  They
can only do that with good information.  Even if they don't come back to
you, at least give them the option to see this company's actions as soon
as possible.   

So give them all the info they need to put the pieces together.  Write
something up and explain the situation.

If I were you, this is what I'd do:

1.  Explain to the client that their current web company has asked you
to turn over proprietary scripts, and that your contract specifically
stated that these scripts are and were your property.  

2.  Explain that you have returned every message that has reached you,
and that you are happy to work with the new company, to the extent that
you are not providing them with your work.

3.  Explain that they should check cross-platform and cross-browser on
their new site, etc.  If you point these things out in a positive way,
and not as a "nyah-nyah" kind of thing, they will be both enlightened as
to how to detect shoddy work and pleased that you have nicely provided
them with good decision-making tools.

4.  Sit back and wait.  Either they will come back, or be impressed
enough with YOUR professionalism.

-----Original Message-----
From: Matthew Fischer [mailto:mfischer at e-fishsolutions.com]
Sent: Friday, January 05, 2001 9:36 AM
To: thelist at lists.evolt.org
Subject: [thelist] What would you do?

Hey evolters --

We recently lost a client who's site we had been doing for four years.
The site was fairly extensive and we never had any major problems with
it. The reason we lost the account was that the company they went to
also has in-house production facilities to do their TV commercials,
CD-ROM duplication, etc. that we don't have. The client swears to me
that was the difference, and that they've always been happy with our
work, yada, yada, yada.

They launched the new version of their site a couple days ago, and to
put it mildly this company it sucks. There are amateurish mistakes
throughout the site, a few "lowlights":  

1) The pages have no background color defined so they have gray
backgrounds in Netscape and white in IE, so the graphics which were
designed for a white background don't look right. 

2) Two of the links in their main navigation menu give 404 errors,
because they have capitalized the .html extensions which should be

3) They have a poll which uses a poll script downloaded from
cgiresource.com which is incorrectly configured and doesn't work. 

4) They have overused Flash for all their headers and navigation. When I
open their mainpage, which has four frames (header, left nav, right nav
and body) in IE 5.0 on a Mac, a second window opens which tries to load
the header frame. When I open it in IE 5.5 on a PC I get a dialog asking
me if I want to install Flash 5 (which is already on the machine) and if
I say no it keeps opening again and again until I say yes. When I say
yes it then tells me it's already installed.

This site was obviously only tested in one browser (if any). Clue #1 the
new company doesn't know what it's doing, quoted from their homepage:

     <meta name="GENERATOR" content="Microsoft FrontPage 4.0">

Their new company has already pissed me off. I got a phone message from
someone at that company on December 28, when I was on vacation, and
called them back from my cell phone about a half-hour later. They wanted
the username and password for the server the site we had done was on,
basically so they could steal a bunch of custom scripts we had written.
I explained to the guy that the clients contract explictly said that we
owned the scripts and that we granted them permission to use them as
long as we were doing the site. He said OK. 

Two days later I got a message from my former client asking me why I had
not returned any of the five messages this company had left me. I called
him back and told him (truthfully) that I was on vacation, I got one
message and returned it, just like I did when I got a message from him.
I think the new company was worried about missing their launch deadline
and was trying to use us as an excuse. In spite of this when they did
launch the site they had one form hard-coded to use the script on my
server. I removed the script when I saw this, but they haven't figured
that out yet, since submitting their form now gives a 404 error for my
script :^) .

So my question is (yes, I do have a question), how should I approach
this with my former client? Should I tell him about the problems? Assume
that he knows they are there? Will anything I say to him just sound like
sour grapes? I couldn't give a crap about the other company, which BTW
is much bigger then mine, but I would like to keep a good relationship
with the client because I think that might be looking for a new web
design company in the future :^) .

Any input is welcome and appreciated. Thanks.

For unsubscribe and other options, including
the Tip Harvester and archive of TheList go to:
http://lists.evolt.org Workers of the Web, evolt ! 

More information about the thelist mailing list