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  1. #1

    Angry Former Client Wants Control Panel Access, Still Owes Money

    My question involves independent contractors in the state of:New Jersey - Hello experts can someone help me with the issue. 4 years ago i built a website and someone paid me $ 2000 and there was no actual written or oral contract between me and him. The price of the project was decided $ 2000 and he was suppose to pay me in installments according the completion of work. He paid me two installments however he did not pay me the last part of the payment and this is because he kept claiming that project is not finished and kept harassing me to add new feature which would cost more and more. But he kept threatening me and asked me to work on his demands. One day i got tired and told him that his project is finished and if he needs more feature he should pay me more. But he started threatening me. Since his website was online business i explained him that since he is online seller he has to open paypal business account so that transactions can be smoother however he told me that he do not want this to happen on his social security number since he wanted the customer payments in cash upon delivery. I told him that that is not possible and i would not make something illegal with which i would get in trouble. So because of this disagreement he did not pay me last payment and i officially left his project. I did not provided him with control panel access with which he would have started his illegal business. Today after 4 years he called me and said if i could provide him with control panel access. I said i do not have any of his details. Now he is threatening me that he would file a lawsuit against me and he is harassing me on phone. Can anyone tell me what should i do to stop him from harassing me ? Can he take any legal steps against me ? I do have his emails in which he has agreed that he do not want to use his SSN. I would sincerely appreciate experts reply.

    P.S. We did not sign any contract. All i have is his emails !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Default Re: Harrassment

    You appear to be asking 3 questions. Can he refuse to pay you, because you did not complete the job per his instruction, yes. Can you blackmail him based on the info you have? No Can you stop him from calling you? Yes, how hard do you want to work at it? Block his number.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Former Client Wants Control Panel Access, Still Owes Money

    Quote Quoting smarty84handsome
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    The price of the project was decided $ 2000 and he was suppose to pay me in installments according the completion of work. He paid me two installments however he did not pay me the last part of the payment and this is because he kept claiming that project is not finished and kept harassing me to add new feature which would cost more and more.
    You later say that you breached the contract for different reasons - that whatever discussion there may have been in relation to additional work, you didn't complete the work that you don't dispute fell under the contract.
    Quote Quoting smarty84handsome
    Since his website was online business i explained him that since he is online seller he has to open paypal business account so that transactions can be smoother however he told me that he do not want this to happen on his social security number since he wanted the customer payments in cash upon delivery. I told him that that is not possible and i would not make something illegal with which i would get in trouble.
    Why do you imagine that C.O.D. sales are not legal, or that you as a programmer have the right to breach your contract without refunding what you've charged because you don't like your client's business plan?
    Quote Quoting smarty84handsome
    Today after 4 years he called me and said if i could provide him with control panel access. I said i do not have any of his details. Now he is threatening me that he would file a lawsuit against me and he is harassing me on phone. Can anyone tell me what should i do to stop him from harassing me ?
    It seems like giving him control panel access would do the trick.
    Quote Quoting smarty84handsome
    Can he take any legal steps against me ?
    Up to the expiration of the statute of limitations, he can sue you for breach of contract.
    Quote Quoting smarty84handsome
    I do have his emails in which he has agreed that he do not want to use his SSN.
    And you think that's important because.... ?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Former Client Wants Control Panel Access, Still Owes Money

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    You later say that you breached the contract for different reasons - that whatever discussion there may have been in relation to additional work, you didn't complete the work that you don't dispute fell under the contract.

    Why do you imagine that C.O.D. sales are not legal, or that you as a programmer have the right to breach your contract without refunding what you've charged because you don't like your client's business plan?

    It seems like giving him control panel access would do the trick.

    Up to the expiration of the statute of limitations, he can sue you for breach of contract.

    And you think that's important because.... ?

    Just to let u know that once the cpanel access is given the website will be under full control and he would have marketed himself without even implementing online transaction functionality. Before taking the project i was informed that there will be online transaction integration however that plan was changed because the client did not wanted to use SSN. If you ask me as a programmer i bet you there is no programmer who will leave his project without implementing payment functionality in e-commerce websites. I can also say that client has also breached the plan by changing his mind. If that was the case then i would have never accepted this project. The emails are important because it shows that client kept arguing for not using paypal integration and also email shows that he has accepted that 95 % of the project was completed and tested and that is the reason he paid me 75 % of the payment however the big fuss about payment integration ruined the entire project. As i have mentioned this happened in New Jersey 4 years ago. Does anyone know the time limit for suing on such contract ?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Former Client Wants Control Panel Access, Still Owes Money

    You don't seem to understand the way things work. If the client doesn't want transaction integration included, that is their call. You are the one working for them, you do not dictate what features they have in the product they are purchasing from you.

    Your best alternative at this point is to turn the site fully over to your client and learn from the experience. 4 years is a long time. Has the client been using the site without full access?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Former Client Wants Control Panel Access, Still Owes Money

    Quote Quoting free9man
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    You don't seem to understand the way things work. If the client doesn't want transaction integration included, that is their call. You are the one working for them, you do not dictate what features they have in the product they are purchasing from you.

    Your best alternative at this point is to turn the site fully over to your client and learn from the experience. 4 years is a long time. Has the client been using the site without full access?
    The client has been using the site without full access since 4 years but may i know before providing cpanel access am i going to get in any sort of trouble as far his way of conducting business in concerned ? Client wants his customer to buy things from his website and then once the invoice is generated he want customers to pay by phone instead of using online functionality. Please provide me the answer before i hand over the cpanel access.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Oklahoma
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    Default Re: Former Client Wants Control Panel Access, Still Owes Money

    Alright, as I understand you and the client exchanged emails whereby the client outlined the website requirements you proceeded to fulfill them. At some point you and the client disagreed over what your orignal estimated included and the client didn't want an online payment system which you felt was necessary. You ended the project because of that disagreement.

    Based on those events you are in violation of breach of warranty, meaning the product that you promised is not the same as outlined in the contract or breach of contract, meaning you were obligated to do something (the website) and didn't do it. Since the client is using the website you should be able to argue that the product is done just not how the client wanted it, which is very important. If the client is using the product, it is a breach of warranty. In NJ the statute of limitations for breach of warranty is four years from the time the client knew or should have known the product was deficient, which in your case is immediately.

    So, in order to successfully defend yourself using the SOL defense you'll need to show that more than four years has passed since you severed ties with the client and denied integrating the desired function AND that the client has used the producet despite that missing piece. If you can do that, then you should be able to defeat any action brought.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Former Client Wants Control Panel Access, Still Owes Money

    This is principally a breach of contract case, with a six year statute.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Former Client Wants Control Panel Access, Still Owes Money

    Quote Quoting antrc170
    View Post
    Alright, as I understand you and the client exchanged emails whereby the client outlined the website requirements you proceeded to fulfill them. At some point you and the client disagreed over what your orignal estimated included and the client didn't want an online payment system which you felt was necessary. You ended the project because of that disagreement.

    Based on those events you are in violation of breach of warranty, meaning the product that you promised is not the same as outlined in the contract or breach of contract, meaning you were obligated to do something (the website) and didn't do it. Since the client is using the website you should be able to argue that the product is done just not how the client wanted it, which is very important. If the client is using the product, it is a breach of warranty. In NJ the statute of limitations for breach of warranty is four years from the time the client knew or should have known the product was deficient, which in your case is immediately.

    So, in order to successfully defend yourself using the SOL defense you'll need to show that more than four years has passed since you severed ties with the client and denied integrating the desired function AND that the client has used the product despite that missing piece. If you can do that, then you should be able to defeat any action brought.

    Thank you sir for understanding the entire story very well. I appreciate your advice. I am going to hand over cpanel access to client with the condition written saying that once the cpanel is handed i am not responsible for anything and thereby ending the contract......so and so.....

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