I’m a freelancer doing a website for this couple. I did the wife’s website first three years ago when she asked me to help her because her website was down, the thing is she just forgot to pay her server, charged her really low because we’re good friends. Everything was good, I gave her all her log-in details, told her to change her password, etc.
Two years ago the husband asked me to do three websites for him. The husband choose a host server that I had never heard of before, and he did it without consulting or asking advice. It was a confusing server to work with and required a lot of customization to get what he wanted. I managed to finish the websites. I remind him if there are changes required to the website then let me know first. All is good, and I am paid. Again, I charge less because we’re good friends.
For the third website, he asks me to make an “NGO” website. I make a demo on my own server to show him if he likes it. He doesn’t make any payment and I don’t hear from him for a couple of months. All of a sudden he emails me to meet because he moved his domain to another server that I never heard off, again without notifying me, so I didn’t have time to make an updated backup. There’s an error on the first website and I can’t work with the confusing host server so I tell him to find somebody else, and I will give him all the content and the old backup that I have.
He agrees and emails me to send the backup to the new web developer, which I do. He emails again asking for the demo website. I politely tell him that I did the demo and it’s there’s very little left to do, so if he wants it he has to pay: half of the full price, because who would just give something they did for countless hours for free so their new web developer can just upload it to their server and get paid?
He finds my rate too high apparently, so he starts asking “didn’t I get paid already per hour?”. Just to be clear, the first two websites were paid for the whole website. I politely tell him that he was not paying me for the hour but he’s insisting on how much should I charge per hour. I again reply that I don’t charge per hour but charge for the whole website.
Then, he asks me if I’m paying taxes. I don’t reply because I have no obligation to tell people – even clients – regarding my personal finances, etc. He emails me again insisting to answer him so can I come up with what he considers a “lump sum” of money but only if he knows who is paying taxes. I still do not reply.
Then here comes the threat: If I don’t want to answer him, I will answer one way or another because he will report me for tax fraud; seems like extortion to get my demo for free. I block him and his wife on social media, and all of a sudden the wife’s website is down. Instead of emailing me her issue, she goes on Facebook and accuses me and my boyfriend of blocking her website. Like I’m really gonna waste my time anymore on their websites?
And BTW, if you’re website is down why don’t you contact your host provider first, maybe you forgot to pay again…