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Action against a web company

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granny smith View Drop Down
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Joined: 06/February/2012
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  Quote granny smith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Action against a web company
    Posted: 06/February/2012 at 14:35
opinions please

I have paid $13999 to a company to build a website. The site has now taken 15 months to go live and is plagued with problems. I have managed to receive an order and deliver goods to 1 customer. I've spoken to other customers of this company who have had exactly the same experience. Firstly nasty, free template home pages are sent with a logo thrown on, communications go backwards and forwards to get the home page to something which looks remotely like what was requested (5 months) then, the developers advise we need all your content - now. 1100 products to compile and photograph with oh yeah we should have told you about that sorry (takes 4 months). Every customer has had this same ordeal with sites ranging from $10000 to $20000. They are a local firm (Australia) with some big company names advertised on their site they've apparently done work for. I have had to throw away over $5000 in stock (expired food) due to the months of delays and have not been able to trade as this is a new and web based business. No completion date stated on the contract but emails from the company Director and staff advising site will be ready in a couple of weeks and 3 weeks respectively in May and August last year. Site went live 3 months ago and still not operational.

AsiaOilDude View Drop Down
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Joined: 17/February/2011
Location: Singapore
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  Quote AsiaOilDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/February/2012 at 15:05
That's an outrageous charge for a website! What's your question?
Not legal advice. Personal opinion only. Seek legal advice from qualified personnel only.

MickOne View Drop Down
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Joined: 29/November/2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 283
  Quote MickOne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/February/2012 at 16:17
Engage a solicitor. Recover a portion of contract price. After fees you might get 3 - 4k back in your pocket. It will come down to what was promised in quotes and contracts VS the reality of what was delivered.

IT firms make accountants and lawyers look efficient and cheap. This is a lesson for anyone planning to have a site built:

1. Pay upon completion. NEVER pay an upfront price. Take your business elsewhere if this is an issue, never give more than a minor deposit (20%).

2. If they have big clients, and you are not going to be near that scale of spend, they will care less about you. As a large client to a firm, I know how little development time the smaller fish get - not much.

It is very simple, find a local firm and work with them.

MartinO View Drop Down
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Joined: 02/March/2009
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  Quote MartinO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/February/2012 at 18:32
That is a ridiculous price for a web site, what on earth were you thinking of signing up for such a deal? Did you get quotes from other companies?

If they made promises and you can prove this, and you know who they are, see a solicitor to start an action against them for misleading practices.







Edited by MartinO - 06/February/2012 at 18:34
I am NOT a lawyer. Anything said is NOT legal advice.

Please post your legal questions in a forum rather than sending a PM. Thanks.

granny smith View Drop Down
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  Quote granny smith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/February/2012 at 11:26
Thanks for your feedback. They are a local firm and I received quotes from 5 other companies before choosing them. Quotes received were $4000, $6000, $16000, $17000 and $21000. I felt the cheaper companies couldn't deliver and that $13999 was mid range, had done work for reputable companies and came across as professional.I paid 50% deposit. I'll speak with a solicitor.

AsiaOilDude View Drop Down
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Joined: 17/February/2011
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  Quote AsiaOilDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/February/2012 at 21:40
50% down? That's not really progress payments. Something like 10,20,50 with the last 20% for warranty claims a year later or so would be more useful in terms of productivity.
Not legal advice. Personal opinion only. Seek legal advice from qualified personnel only.

ScaryMary64 View Drop Down
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  Quote ScaryMary64 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/February/2012 at 11:01
Ahh... 20/20 hindsight is a lovely thing.

My company once went through a simmilar thing paying $20K up front for an e-commerce web site with database backend - direct connected to wholesalers, shopping carts, online payments etc. It never got off the ground. In the end we wrote it off and got on with our lives.

Do you have an agreed functional specification?

In software terms this is like a construction plan. If you have one take a look through that for the deliverable functions.
Were any dates mentioned? Even if they were mentioned in an email it may carry some weight.
If there are deliverables that have not yet been fulfilled and deadlines missed use these as a starting point for negotiations.

I would give ask them what they think is a fair time for them to complete the job from hear on. Then get them to sign off on a functional specification with the deadline and stating that it will be done by that date or they will refund the money in full. Otherwise legal action will follow to recover your money and sue for lost revenue, missed business opportunity, hardship, whatever etc.

Get a lawyer to write the letter so that it carries extra weight.
Maybe even a copy of a pre-filled out lodgement form for a court hearing just waiting for you to sign the bottom line - that puts the wind up them and shows them you are ready to go. I've used that before for debt collection and it worked a charm - the customer even still does business with us, just treats out bill with a bit more respect these days.

__________
P.S. I'm no Lawyer so none of this is legal advice. I'm actually in IT.

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