[thelist] Contract Advice

Norman Bunn norman.bunn at mindspring.com
Thu Jan 11 18:17:32 CST 2001

I would write out your estimation of your hours and the agreed upon amount
in a letter asking for your compensation within a set period of time and
send it via certified mail.  If you do not receive the check in the time
allotted, I would send another certified letter explaining that since he has
not paid for the services rendered you have no alternative but to consult
legal counsel.  Though I think a lawyer is too pricey for the amount in
question, you can take him to Small Claims Court (usually limited to claims
<$2500).  If you have your documentation together, you will probably win
(assuming he lets it go this far; he may decide to settle out of court after
the second letter).  Be committed to carry it all the way just in case he
gets stubborn.

My 2 cents,


Get it in writing!

----- Original Message -----
From: aphelan (Andrea Phelan) <aphelan at confederationc.on.ca>
To: <thelist at lists.evolt.org>
Sent: Thursday, January 11, 2001 3:40 PM
Subject: [thelist] Contract Advice

> 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
> 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
> 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
> 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
> totalling 48 hours. However I have no paper proof of this. When I resigned
> explained this and he told me it would not be a problem, simply estimate
> 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
> I replied explaining the situation, reminding him of our agreement, and
> proposing that we sit down and work out something that is acceptable to
> parties. The cost of two websites summing for him $1400 is not
> in my estimation, I regularily charge more than twice that for just one
> project.
> 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
> 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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