What to do if I managed an e-commerce website for a client who is refusing to pay me for my services?

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What to do if I managed an e-commerce website for a client who is refusing to pay me for my services?

They pay for the hosting. As per our verbal (non -written) agreement, I would set up the e-commerce site for a specific amount. I would also make commission for all online sales. We had a falling out while traveling for business (which is another issue) – at the time of the falling out he said I could take the website down and sue him for what he owes me and I was fired. So I took the website down and invoiced him for what I felt was owed to me by standard going rates. He told me what I did was illegal and he was going to have me thrown in jail. Then we negotiated payment and I put the website back up. He backed out; I put the site in maintenance mode.

Asked on September 2, 2012 under Business Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If someone violates an agreement (whether written or oral/verbal) to pay you for services your rendered, the correct way to seek payment is by a lawsuit: you sue to enforce the terms of the agreement. You'll have to prove, whether with testimony or otherwise (e.g. receipts, invoices, emails, text messages, etc.) the terms of the agreement and also that you performed the work. If you can do that, you should get a judgement for the money. For larger amounts, you should hired an attorney; for small amounts, you may wish to represent yourself in small claims court.


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