[thelist] Contract Advice

aphelan (Andrea Phelan) aphelan at confederationc.on.ca
Thu Jan 11 14:41:34 CST 2001

>From July to September I did some contract work for what is one of the
biggest web development firm in a rather small town. Their standards were
low, so as I am used to working to a much higher expectation, they recieved
exemplary work for their money. 
I was working for the company as a favor to the owner, as he had been
requesting my assistance persistently and was really in a bind. I agreed @
$30/h on a per hour basis, not an assumption of project completion. This was
settled, and I got to work on two projects.
Unfortunately, silly, silly me did not get the contract in writing. I was
extremely busy working 4 jobs and plum forgot (no excuses of course, i was
an ass).
In any case, due to my insane schedule I was forced to pass the last project
on very close to completion.
On the same day my old computer crashed to a final death, taking my time
sheets with it.
Now here's the thing. The company had unwisely assumed that each project
would take about 10 hours work. In fact, it took more than twice that long,
totalling 48 hours. However I have no paper proof of this. When I resigned I
explained this and he told me it would not be a problem, simply estimate my
hours as accurately as i could and he would pay me accordingly.
2 months went by and I saw no money. I contacted the company again and he
told me no, sorry, in order to get paid I would have to produce timesheets.
I replied explaining the situation, reminding him of our agreement, and
proposing that we sit down and work out something that is acceptable to both
parties. The cost of two websites summing for him $1400 is not disagreeable
in my estimation, I regularily charge more than twice that for just one
He did not reply, and I sent him a pleseant 'reminder' e-mail in case my
message had gotten lost due to a hectic schedule. Still no reply. I
contacted a close friend in the company to verify that the owner was indeed
in town. He was, so I called and left a voicemail.
Still no reply. To date, he will not speak with me.
What should I do now?

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