Once upon a time, I submitted a quote for a network overhaul, including a NAS (Network Accessible Storage), routing/switching gear, mail server, and a ticketing system (OTRS). The scope of this was based on the lack of security.
The owner of the company was notorious for letting his little head make decisions, his ex had a dance studio attached to the office, and his current partner had a “brother” that was a web developer from overseas.
I knew it was trouble when I discovered they had forked over $30,000 for a WordPress site with no content and that he had purchased portable hard drives from a major retailer because they were “on sale” for use in the NAS. That’s a huge no-no.
During my time there, I encouraged them multiple times to pull their info from my company repository for their security overview, password policies, and access information for all major systems. They neglected to do this for over six months.
Once the work was complete, they decided they would make an attempt to short me on my final invoice, stating that they needed “more details”. What they meant was that they wanted me to submit a ticket for every item I had performed. That didn’t sit well with me and I made my exit without pay.
Fast forward a month. One of the systems went down and they needed the passwords… that they didn’t pull from my company repository and no longer had access to. They contacted me and I let them know that we weren’t able to provide support or file access as they were in arrears (net 15) and no longer a client. They really didn’t like that and attempted to contact other vendors to badmouth me and see if they could back-door my work. Said companies cancelled their contracts on moral grounds, giving them thirty days to migrate off of their equipment.
Ultimately, they were forced to courier a certified cheque out in exchange for the files. I also charged them for two of for my time and an overage for the USB key. The “courier” was the cleaner that was promoted to tech support the moment I left.
Long story short, if they sound like they can’t afford it, they can’t afford it. Don’t waste your time.