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  • Being Invoiced For Work

    Quick backstory; I was asked to design & develop a website for a company in London; everything was going fine until it got to implementing the site; their hosting provider couldn't allow Wordpress sites. Eventually after a couple weeks, they got back to us and said that they could install Wordpress.

    Ok, great! So we asked them to send us the WP login details so we could implement the site. They respond with "can you send us the files, *Boss* would prefer it if our hosts implemented the site". I warned them that it's not as simple as uploading the Theme, but they responded that their hosts were confident they could get it done; so I obliged and sent over the files.

    I'm now being invoiced for the work that the Host has done.

    My question is this; can they ACTUALLY do that? I never agreed to cover the costs, and it was their decision to have their hosts implement the site.

  • #2
    What does your contract say?

    That's pretty cheeky to do without warning, but has precedent.

    What is the difference in sum between what they are billing you for host work and what you would have billed them for doing the interfacing. Since you didn't do that part, perhaps you do owe them back for the host's work in that regard.
    Deduct it from your final invoice (unless they've already paid you up front.)

    Or...
    Did you contract to turn over the files?
    Bill them back for turning over the working files for the amount of their host work, and then some.

    Is the amount of money worth it to them or to you to fight with lawyers over it?

    Comment


    • #3
      There's a fair bit of ambiguity in your explanation of the sequence of events...

      Originally posted by TimB View Post
      ...their hosting provider couldn't allow Wordpress sites.
      It was a mistake on your part to build in Wordpress without defining and confirming the correct format of the deliverables, but I realize that's not the crux of your question.

      Originally posted by TimB View Post
      Eventually after a couple weeks, they got back to us and said that they could install Wordpress.
      This is where the story starts to get sketchy; who are "they" and who are "us"?
      It reads as though you're referring to the hosting provider as 'they,' and 'us' are you and the client.

      Originally posted by TimB View Post
      Eventually after a couple weeks, they got back to us and said that they could install Wordpress.
      And again.

      Originally posted by TimB View Post
      So we asked them to send us the WP login details so we could implement the site.
      And still.

      Originally posted by TimB View Post
      They respond with "can you send us the files, *Boss* would prefer it if our hosts implemented the site". I warned them that it's not as simple as uploading the Theme, but they responded that their hosts were confident they could get it done; so I obliged and sent over the files.
      Now it sounds like "they" is the client.
      Was that the case all along?

      Originally posted by TimB View Post
      I'm now being invoiced for the work that the Host has done.
      Invoiced by whom; the client, or the hosting provider?

      Originally posted by TimB View Post
      My question is this; can they ACTUALLY do that?
      Generally speaking, anyone can bill anyone for anything. There's nothing illegal about that. If "they" is the client, your contract is in play.
      You did the work under contract, right?

      Originally posted by TimB View Post
      I never agreed to cover the costs, and it was their decision to have their hosts implement the site.
      Right, so your contract protects you. Send the bill back to them with a note explaining why it's not your expense to cover, and follow up with a phone call to your primary contact. Mis-billing is not an uncommon thing. It's just business. So just handle your business.
      I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.

      Comment


      • #4
        Apologies - I'm trying to make sense of this with a massive head cold.

        Ok, so;

        1. We provide 1 year of free hosting, so from that aspect, the deliverables were achievable. The proposal and contract also stated that it would be a Wordpress site.

        5. They = client, us = me (I've had no contact with the Hosting provider up until Monday)

        6. The client's host invoiced me on Monday, so I responded with "I was unaware of any such agreement for me to pay for these services". This is the first time I have spoken with them.

        7. Yes, I did the work under contract.

        Finally, the client got in touch with me this morning and said "I'm afraid we will have to forward their invoice on to you".
        Last edited by TimB; 09-22-2016, 07:22 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Ok, they must think you are covering a year of hosting. Most likely that is with the host of your choice however, if you didn't specify that then they might have a toe hold even though it seems bizarre that someone would pay for another company's hosting wherever that company they chooses.

          I would reiterate to them that your hosting offer was with your hosting provider, if they opted not to use your hosting provider thats their prerogative and you are no longer part of that equation. If you wanted to make an act of good will, you could offer to compensate them for the amount of your invoice that would account for your year's free hosting and installation of the site. Even then I'd consider talking to a lawyer to make sure your good will isn't shooting yourself in the foot should they attempt to pursue their invoice.
          Design is not decoration.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by kemingMatters View Post
            Ok, they must think you are covering a year of hosting. Most likely that is with the host of your choice however, if you didn't specify that then they might have a toe hold even though it seems bizarre that someone would pay for another company's hosting wherever that company they chooses.
            Afraid not. This invoice is literally because they opted to have their hosts implement the site on their hosting, instead of me.

            Comment


            • #7
              But did they pay you in advance for your ''implementation fee'' ?
              Were you going to use a different hosting site that did allow the use of Wordpress themes? Or did you not check the specs of their host?

              The issue at point here is;
              have you charged them, and received payment, for a service you did not render, and they are back billing you for that.

              If you do not owe them money back for a service not rendered, the only advice I can give is to seek out a lawyer.
              Last edited by PrintDriver; 09-22-2016, 09:17 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by PrintDriver View Post
                But did they pay you in advance for your ''implementation fee'' ?
                Were you going to use a different hosting site that did allow the use of Wordpress themes? Or did you not check the specs of their host?
                Technically I don't charge an "implementation fee" - that's included within this cost and isn't itemised. The plan with this (and other sites I've done and maintain) is host them on LCN for free for one year; it's something that's more aimed towards start-ups (the free 1yr of hosting), but does work effectively for mid-sized businesses - especially if I'm to maintain the sites once they're live.

                The client requested a Wordpress site (but were also happy with static); so it didn't exactly click for me to check their hosts specs. Dropped the ball on that one, but with either site type being an option, it shouldn't matter.

                Update: So the client seems upset that they had to ask their hosts to install Wordpress on their server, and that this should be a part of the "building process" they have paid me for. I have however told them that I will happily pay for the Wordpress installation, but I won't pay for the implementation, since I told them I could do it, but they opted for another company.
                Last edited by TimB; 09-22-2016, 01:18 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Curious that you went with a WP site when a static site would have sufficed. That was a disservice to them, and perhaps to yourself.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by praxis11 View Post
                    Curious that you went with a WP site when a static site would have sufficed. That was a disservice to them, and perhaps to yourself.
                    I wouldn't say so. They have a rudimental knowledge with HMTL; where as the WP sites I provide uses Advanced Custom Fields. Even though I would be maintaining their site, they wanted to be able to change certain aspects quickly with very little knowledge; and ACF with WP caters for this very well. It's much harder for the client to mess up ACF as a pose to FTP.

                    Comment


                    • calebninja
                      calebninja commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Agreed. WP is a much better option for the client if they are wanting to tweak things themselves or eventually learn how to manage the site.

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