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Customer not paying up the outstanding amount. What can I do?

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asked on May 15, 2019 at 10:50
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edited on May 28, 2019 at 23:10
 
I have delivered a web development project to the customer which he has fully paid, but in the phase 2 on extending the functions of the same web development, the customer did not pay at all. It has been 6 months now since billing and customer did not answer calls or reply to messages (email and Whatsapp) until recently.

Recently more than 1 month before his hosting expire, I emailed him an invoice for the hosting renewal and stating that it is our policy to for any payment that comes in to offset the earlier payment first. This will actually cause his website to be suspended if he doesn't pay up the earlier outstanding and the hosting invoices. Website was suspended due to non payment and finally he reacted to my message to meet up.

He accused me of threatening his business by suspending his website as he has fully pay up the phase 1 of it and he can bring me to court for that. Saying that he will pay for it and its up to me how I want to handle this. 1 week later he just banked in for the hosting renewal and the earlier outstanding is still unpaid and no mentioned about the payment. I have to renew his hosting first to avoid any legal issues and giving him 14 days for the update of the payment.

What are my rights in this issue and what can I do? Is it alright to engage debt collecting agency to do the job? 
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4 Answers

answered on May 15, 2019 at 14:29
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edited May 28, 2019 at 23:11
 
I have to renew his hosting first to avoid any legal issues and giving him 14 days for the update of the payment.
No, you don't have to renew his hosting first.
Just email a new statement showing his payment was for partially settling the older bill.

What are my rights in this issue and what can I do?
If you are able to down his hosting or down his website functionality, the payment can be collected.
No need to take the legal path.

Is it alright to engage debt collecting agency to do the job?
Debt collection agencies will take your deposit and do nothing.
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answered on May 15, 2019 at 17:03
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edited May 28, 2019 at 23:18
 
No, you don't have to renew his hosting first.
Just email a new statement showing his payment was for partially settling the older bill.

His argument is that the first phase of his website is completed and functioning and he had fully paid for it so I can't block it. The outstanding is for the phase 2 additional functions only which I can block.

If you are able to down his hosting or down his website functionality, the payment can be collected.
The hosting is registered under my company and would only be transferred to him once all payments are made. So I can control it and not handover the source code to him. I can still block the access to the website if I need to, but I won't be able to afford it if he wants to bring me to court because of this.

Current situation
They still have a few months left in their support and maintenance service with me.
I am not going to provide any services of changing stuff to the website
Phase 2 functions have been suspended few months ago till now.
I won't perform the handover even for the 1st phase as my reason is that the phase 2 source code has been build into the website as well.

What else can I do?
He has his internal legal staff which he is using to send me emails about the hosting payment and to re-activate it.
I have officially replied to that email stating that I will give up to 14 days for them to settle the balance. What else after the 14 days, I am still thinking what I can do now.
Can I convert their balance of the support amount to this outstanding and ending their support immediately in this case?
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answered on May 15, 2019 at 17:12
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FYI, I have tried offering him an installment plan for the payment but he just did not response to him. From what I gathered from the staff who is handling this project, they are waiting for some investor funds to come in and there was a delay but now is the final stage.
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answered on May 23, 2019 at 03:24
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edited May 28, 2019 at 23:24
 
1. Since you have renewed his hosting, it's not proper for you to suspend it as you have impliedly agreed his argument that you should not suspend his hosting for non-payment of phase 2 work.

2. To rectify the situation, you may write to them that you treat the payment of part payment to phase 2 and not renewal of the hosting. In the event that they don't clear your payment, you shall suspend the hosting after the expiry of 14 days. Then you may give another few notices with 7 days warning and eventually suspend the hosting.

3. Or if you are very worried that it'll back fired then you just wait for the time when they ask you to handover the source code or wait until they renew the hosting. Learn a lesson and make sure you draft a more compact agreement to protect you in any future jobs.

www.kuekong.com
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