This is the 4th part of a series of sample correspondence between a website owner and website design and SEO company.
[Website Designers / SEO] Sorry for the delay in replying, in the last couple of weeks we have purchased a wedding photography website and have put your link on the site in a more prominent place to hopefully allow Google to reward it more appropriately as the existing link didn’t seem to get the rankings reward it deserves. This maybe due to the fact that we now believe the site has been handicapped by incorrect NAP information (see below) that still needs updating.
In reference to your dis-satisfaction and to the lack of changes in your key search terms in the SERPS we have spent a considerable amount of time re-reviewing all updates / changes / recommendations of your project with one of my colleagues as well as getting the opinion of another SEO that I know and trust. Between us we confirm everything that has been done and was recommended is correct and appropriate. The only thing we all agree on that is outstanding is for you to update your Google+ / Google Places listing to your correct address as its still set to ‘Upminister, Essex’. This we think could be the missing cog in your SEO picture and could be the reason why huge ranking increases haven’t been seen, we believe you were recommended to do this previously and believe this incorrect ‘NAP’ (Name / Address Phone number) situation needs addressing immediately. Additionally I am willing to update the other website with your phone numbers, as soon as you confirm that this is ok for you I will get it done. Additionally I have forwarded you an Analytics report showing you an upturn in your website visitor numbers. How much do you charge for the Google Photography service for shops? There is one in Leigh on sea that I have for a client that is interested in cost.
[Website Owner] I have received the emails, although I can’t see the link to the Analytics, but that may just be me missing it.
For Google Business View, the price depends on the size of the area to be covered, as a ballpark figure idea of price, a “small” – “average” size shop (ie, one that isn’t a large showroom or large restaurant) would normally be priced £250 – £550 as a one off payment (I usually visit the location first for an accurate price) This includes the tour and a small set of professional photos to accompany. Which business is it that is interested?
[Website Designers / SEO] I want to move forward with your project and get the SEO invoice settled and move on with other improvements for your site.
As mentioned previously I am willing to add your phone number to another essex photography site as well as forwarding you the email enquiries they get (they have real enquiries in their inbox)
The improvements needed on your site remain the same and as important as ever, namely:
1, Website needs to be redesigned to be responsive (mobile friendly)
2, More content / sections / services added as part of the redesign
3, The domain registration period could / should be lengthened to negate the relatively young age and history of the domain. The updates to the site would be easy if the site was on a content management system as we are proposing but currently the site updates will need to be done by us
[Website Owner] I have been busy recently setting up and working on another secondary Co. (sort of as a “filler” but also to go along side maybe, and it’s doing pretty Ok at the moment, which is cool), due to the lack of business coming in through my wedding photography, and also, even if it does pick up, I have the free time to put more work in in this area as it currently stands.
Currently regarding my photography business, I’m starting to explore more ways to promote, to see if that is a beneficial way to go, as website focus and ranking seems illusive, difficult and more expensive than I can currently justify, considering the investment I have made thus far (between two separate website professionals) compared to the business generated.
I do need to change a small bit on the “price” page (as I’m gonna up the price as recommended by one or two fellow photographers or change it to “inquire for prices” for the main package and simply list the “add-ons” without a price tag). Is there a way that I can change these little bits myself? Seem to remember mentioning a way I could do so for convenience and all that and for updating the galleries and that too.
I will be in touch in future regarding website progress when it’s got to that stage.
[Website Designers / SEO] We have updated your website’s framework (CMS Update) and all the plugins and the theme.
The Domain Registration / Website Hosting / Email management for the next 2 years invoice is attached and now due, please pay at your earliest convenience
Noticed that you haven’t used the news section for nearly a year as you know to make the website more popular / search engine friendly you need to start using your news section,
Happy and ready to discuss any updates / improvements (redesign to make it responsive) when you are ready for this
[Website Owner] I knew the renewal for this would be coming around soon, however, I was possibly expecting a notice for renewal, rather than it being done without my being informed.
Could you please break down this quote into the domain, email and hosting for me please, as I’m a little surprised at the cost.
[Website Designers / SEO] It’s our standard documented cost every 2 years for the domain and that includes hosting / email / domain renewal and database management / updates, haven’t ever broken it down further.
[Website Owner] To completely level with you on my plans and thoughts, and also, further to advice, I was actually waiting for the first two years hosting with you was up to then move my site away.
I would have expected a notification / request for confirmation, with regards to renewal, prior to you going ahead without such notice and receiving a sudden invoice. As such, I’d like this to be cancelled as I didn’t accept the renewal.
I’m requesting all the info, data, coding and anything else I may need from yourself to move my site to another server / host, etc and manage it myself. Please let me know exactly when it will be cancelled and the site is to go offline, and obviously, I’ll need the info prior or on the same day to this so I can re-host the site as soon as possible.
[Website Designers / SEO] Ok thanks for the message, the site will be cancelled and the happy for you to manage the site yourself once the outstanding invoice is settled
There is an admin charge for closing an account and exporting the database / code but this will be waived when the outstanding invoice is settled.
[Website Owner] The content and access to my site, regarding codes, data, etc, I have the right to and denying me it is illegal. If you remember, they are mine, and I gave you access to them so you could manage the site… I’m also not keen on the way in which you seem to be attempting to ransom it to me. As such; could you please send me over these details as soon as possible.
Elaborating on this, regarding the balance you say is outstanding; as previously and thoroughly discussed with yourself once via telephone call and then extensively via email, I’m very unsatisfied and disappointed with the result of the work done.It falls drastically short of the indicated success you claimed it would make.
If we go back to when we had our initial meet, I expressed my expectations of the work on the website resulting in success in the term of customers and jobs coming in. You promised that you would improve my business in these terms and treat it as your own, as my success would also benefit you. A successful business makes money, as that’s the reason people start a business’, to earn money.
Please see previous emails with regards to other issues that I have also highlighted over the past two years, as well as your responses to them, which include you suggesting I spend more money with you to further progress (after your previously suggested ventures did not yield the results you promised) and the fact that you (more recently down the line) mentioned previously the attempted SEO campaign methods (explored by the previous peoples) may have been hindering the site’s progress the whole time. You were made aware of this in our initial meeting, but claimed no knowledge of until the point you brought the issue up and I responded by stating this had been addressed in our initial meet.
I’d also like to point out that the initial invoice from yourself has been paid in full. The second invoice, has been paid partially, some of this is allocated to “extra pages / fixes and new content to website” (some of which I have and / or still have, issues with (see previous emails) and most of it is allocated to “3 month SEO program” (which has essentially been a failure). Bearing this in mind, I would say from my point of view, if anything, I’m owed £250 return from yourself from the portion of what I have paid that extends to cover some of this failed SEO program.
As it stands, I have spent large sums of money with yourself, waited two years (as repeatedly you mentioned we needed to give it time, see previous emails) and as a result have had not one customer through the website in two years. That speaks for itself.
[Website Designers / SEO] Sorry for the delay, I had to take some professional advice and have also taken on further independent advice regarding our dispute.
There is no Ransom going on here and don’t appreciate the accusations, you haven’t paid for the work / services completed so it is our right to request payment, the crux of this whole dispute is now quite clear.
We have completed the work as best as we can ‘as if it was my own site’
We have gone above and beyond what was needed to improve the site including giving you help / support / advice on how to improve the site and indeed offering to give you the use (access to emails / change of phone number / contact details) of another established photography site (after putting your website link on it) which on any scale should have been classed as a ‘fantastic opportunity’ / generous offer.
The work on the site (SEO / Website improvements / updates) have been completed to our satisfaction and your satisfaction but the improvement in ‘business’ is a very hard metric to track and that is one reason why this agreement / project couldn’t and didn’t use that as metric to mark the end of the project to release the final payment. Have explained to you previously that nothing is guaranteed and the search engines’ algorithms are constantly updated and as such all of the good work we have completed to improve your site and your SEO may not be shown for months / years. It’s possible that the ‘black hat’ SEO that was completed on your website by a previous SEO company may now harm your site for years. As such your ‘unhappiness’ although is a concern isn’t a reason to withhold payment. Please be assured that I am very unhappy that you are not happy you cannot dispute the work completed (and listed / emailed to you) and the increase in visitor number after we completed the website updates / improvement / SEO cannot be disputed.
Ironically if you agree to take on the other photography website and review what you have and renew the site you currently own (79 pages / no errors in Google Webmaster tools / healthy visitor numbers). Perhaps its time to take a step back and reconsider the situation and think about the suggestion made previously to upgrade the site to be ‘Responsive’ and to include a ‘Photography Ecommerce’ system within it. Your main site is now a static / old-fashioned HTML site that Google have deemed not in favour since they have started ranking responsive / dynamic sites higher.
I await your response and if your refusal to pay doesn’t change, we will make it clear what my next step will be, I really want to work with you and to make this a success but at the same time consider your delay in payment unreasonable / unprofessional and my company cannot afford to lose this money on the many many hours of work completed on your website / SEO project.
[Website Client’s Solicitor] We act for the above named who has passed to us the exchange of communications had with you concerning your claim for payment for monies due under your invoice.
As you are aware, our client disputes your claim for work purportedly completed on his behalf on the basis that among other things:
(a) That having been made aware of his predecessor’s bad work and use of the “black hat” SEO, you should have been aware of this when completing your original work so as to improve the website;
(b) You have indicated that there is an “actual increase” in visitor numbers but have not specified the basis upon which this assertion is made in that, rather than simply give percentages, what are the actual numbers of the visitors to the site and how is this tracked?
(c) You have also indicated that there are “many many hours” of work completed on our client’s website but you have failed to provide details as to the number of hours worked and what work was actually done in respect of the time allegedly spent.
Our client accepts that it would be in everyone’s interest to try to resolve matters but your position whereby you are simply threatening our client with proceedings, without giving any indication as to what was actually done on his behalf and how it is that having had 2 years of your service that he has had no pieces of work come through.
In light of the fact that you have recently yet again threatened proceedings against our client, he has reluctantly instructed us to deal with this matter on his behalf. We confirm that should you wish to issue proceedings, we have instructions to accept the same on his behalf.
We would hope that this matter will not progress to what should be an action of last resort and look forward to hearing from you.
[Website Designers / SEO Company] Thanks for the email / letter, I am very happy to discuss a way to progress / resolve this dispute but believe the points raised are not relevant / indicative of the work completed or should be used as a metric / milestone for project payments.
My promise of launching proceedings to claim back the monies owed was a last resort for ourselves as it appears your client is unable / unwilling to pay for the work completed, it has recently been brought to a head as the client has requested to move his website away from ourselves and has disputed the hosting fee and has made no attempt to pay any of the outstanding invoices and indeed made the ‘crazy’ claim that we owe him money. It is both unprofessional and insulting to claim this.
We are willing to enter into a dialogue with yourselves to discuss and negotiate this situation and happy to use mediation if required. This email is long as there is a huge amount of information to pass on to demonstrate our work / updates / progress / success, this has been demonstrated by giving overview updates with dates for those.
The information provided both here and to your client via email, if reviewed in an open minded / non-emotional way, will undoubtedly demonstrate we have gone above and beyond what was expected of us and with visitor number increases to back up this work it leaves your client’s claim that he hasn’t had any work from the site is quite hard to believe. Even if this claim is true and with your client’s permission I can access his email account which is now backed up securely and report the wedding photography enquiries from the website to disprove there has been no enquiries, clearly we cannot know if emails have been deleted or that phone calls have been received but it’s important to note that this is not a metric that was discussed that would be measured or specified or even would unlock the final invoice payment. The amount of business / enquiries received was never a key metric in the project and SEO experts will never guarantee results / bookings / website visitor increases and we went to lengths to tell this to the website owner.
It’s completely and utterly disingenuous to claim that we completed this work ‘without giving any indication as to what was actually done’ and this will be proven beyond reasonable doubt. If I initially told you that we have exchanged over 100 emails and will give examples of progress and work updates (see below) you will realise that these claims start to look very weak and I find it quite embarrassing to have to prove ourselves after we have clearly documented our work and published the online work on the website but will do so to demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that we have completed the work to the best of our ability / skills / knowledge / judgement. The website since we began work on it has attracted over 18200 unique visitors with an average conversion rate of between 3-5% I find it very hard to believe the business hasn’t attracted work from the website.
In general, the project was completed and the client over a protracted period decided that he wasn’t ‘happy’ with the results, this is not grounds for non-payment. The project work has been completed and we have improved the site as requested and can document every change made that has been responsible for the improvements made. Ironically the client hasn’t replied to an additional offer made by ourselves to improve his business / SEO by giving him free use of another Photography site (to attract enquiries and to link to his own site which would be an SEO enhancing factor). SEO is the term we use for Search Engine Optimisation which is the generic term for making a website more ‘attractive’ to the search engines.
As an indication I shall try to give an overview of the work completed / time spent and results achieved, when we talk about ‘many many hours’ that is a genuine statement but to then request that we provide details for the work and the time spent on each item of work is probably not constructive / relevant / useful at this stage, Indeed the project was never performance or time based but am happy and willing to talk about both aspects should this dispute not be resolved and we have to issue a claim against your client.
The core arguments of the letter seem to be
1 The prior work completed by another company:
The prior company had left the website and the onsite / offsite SEO in a terrible / potentially damaging state and due to Google’s Algorithm updates it is possible that the website was negatively affected due to the ‘Black Hat’ techniques employed by that company, we removed all ‘Black Hat’ techniques as they were discovered.
2 Visitor number increases and how it is tracked:
See updates below and attached Google Analytics reports that confirm the increases shown
3 Hours worked / Work completed in this time
See reporting states below and attached Update report
The invoice payment that is outstanding with deposit received, leaving an outstanding payment.
3 Month SEO program
Extra Pages / Fixes and New content for website
detailed in emails June 2014
The domain renewal / hosting / email invoice is now overdue and the website owner has indicated he doesn’t want to pay this, but in good faith, we haven’t removed the site from our servers / deleted the email accounts and deleted the database / code in the hope we can resolve this. The hosting payment is now also overdue – hosting period ended 4 weeks ago, we acknowledge we send this invoice a few weeks late but the refusal to pay indicated by the client would allow us to remove services immediately, we haven’t don’t this. I hope this shows we are open-minded and flexible and want a positive outcome.
To Demonstrate Project Ideas / Work
Initial Project Updates / Notes sent 24th March 2014
1, twitter link not working
2, Blog is 3rd party plugin (best to be dedicated CMS system – own content under own control on own website)
3, Map on contact page not big enough to show company details (doesn’t show exact company)
4, A ‘Good idea’ to monetise the site would be to have its own ‘ecommerce’ system to sell photographs to wedding guests.
5, Loading times affected to images not being optimised (too large)
Website Requirements (in a priority order)
1, Taking over / hosting your domain and emails
2, New blog / news section
3, Updating your site (including 5 new pages including new web copy, cleaning up the pages, correcting links, sorting out Meta Descriptions, Updating galleries etc)
web copy / text, including fixing points 1 and 5 above (initial points)
4, E-commerce system, as detailed previously
5, Promoting your website via an SEO program
To Demonstrate our ‘holistic’ / big picture concerns
Addressing some points of the project / Notes sent 2nd April 2014
Couple of points
1, the FTP details below either don’t work on some of our systems or works but shows there are no files in the directory that we have access to
2, If you have some hosting time remaining with your existing company and your hosting account allows you to have MySQL and PHP (with the latest updates) and want us to build your news section on there we can do it but we will subsequently need to do an export / import that will probably not make it cost effective for you to get us to build your news section on this platform. We use the best hosting company in the UK rated by PC Pro magazine and recommend that we transfer the hosting and build the website / news section on it. If it’s on a 3rd party server, we won’t be able to fully support it.
3, If you want us to transfer the domain we will need correct FTP details then you will need to request the domain is unlocked and the EPP code is requested (this will need to be given to us to facilitate the transfer)
4, Confirm you want us to build your news section and then integrate it into your current menu system in place of the Blog link that currently shows your blogger news feed. We will leave it to you to copy / paste your ‘best’ posts to the new news section as we discussed previously.
To Demonstrate the agreement of work required (SEO / Extra pages / fixes)
Good to and see your progress.
We made some code improvements to your news section today so you should be able to notice the categories and the left column shows recent posts and categories as well as your social links now
Here are my ideas / suggestions with new prices as you are now a valued client.
1, Promoting your website via an SEO program
This project will need more website content to be effective (reference point 2 below and can be taken as a 1 / 2 or 3-month project)
2, Updating your site (including 5 new pages including new web copy, cleaning up the pages, correcting links, sorting out Meta Descriptions, Updating galleries etc)
web copy / text
3, Ecommerce system
There are so many features in the new system we could integrate into your site.
To Demonstrate our work progress updates
March / April 2014 – discussing project planning / work stages
16 April 2014 – website transfer updates
16 April 2014 – email account setup
18 April 2014 – Transfer update (completed) scheduled news section creation
24 April 2014 – News section creation – instructions / access sent
6 May 2014 – Advice about news section use
6 May 2014 – Project Proposal update
9 May 2014 – Confirmation of work required / requested
May 2014 – New website pages and content populated on these pages / Galleries fixed and updated
June 2014 – Content put on new pages
June 2014 – Content creation for website existing and new pages, website update progress given
18th June 2014 – rankings report sent – full updated work list sent (20 points)
18th June 2014 – confirmation from client on progress includes the text ‘Excellent, cheers man, all looking good’
19th June 2014 – Our suggestion to add the qualifications to the front page is accepted
20th June 2014 – progress update (6 points with 2 suggestions)
23rd June 2014 – help / advice to client about news posts
23rd June 2014 – progress update (4 points)
29th June 2014 – SEO progress update (4 points)
3rd July 2014 – SEO progress update (2 points)
11th August 2014 – Updates concerning SEO (indexed pages / improvements in bounce rate demonstrated.
August 2014 – Rankings / Visitor number advice
26th August 2014 – progress update (7 points with 1 suggestions)
19th September – queries from client / updates completed / SEO information was given
2nd October – progress update (3 points)
3rd October – full progress update – document sent (57 points – 7 Suggestions that website owner needs to complete)
3rd October – Recommended deleting one of the client’s duplicated Google Plus entries (this advice was never taken and both entries still exist)
27th October – Visitor number updates are given (see attachment for Google Analytics ‘proof’) The small discrepancies are due to the time of day the numbers were taken
2013 – 2014 figures for last 30 days
Sessions +254.72% 188 vs 53
Users +385.29% 165 vs 34
Page views +134.36% 457 vs 195
21st November – email concerning their lack of ranking improvements shown – SEO review update year on year (last 30 days) we are up 148% website visits and 345% website individual visitors
21st November – Evaluation of website re-emphasising the fact that the site isn’t responsive (this was a primary initial recommendation), the young age of the site, the lack of consistent Name Address, phone number (NAPs) compared with the Google Entries.
22nd Nov – Progress update 3 points / 3 suggestions – visitors now up 400% compared with last year same period (see attachment)
28th Nov – Declined to renew the site in advance / Confirmed nothing was guaranteed and that a full e-commerce / responsive site would be a positive move for the site and for SEO (this was declined). Confirmed to the client that the site wasn’t ‘responsive’ as they believed that they had already purchased a responsive site.
8th Dec 2014 – Full SEO updates (63 updates / 7 suggestions)
2015 – conversations about improving the site / investing in it (Domain renewed in advance / Responsive Site / E-commerce photography function) all suggestions talked about at great length and dismissed, even though they were initially accepted and planning had commenced on a new responsive website.
Updates requested – offered to update site (no reply)
Offered to have his contact details added to another Essex wedding company website we had bought (no reply)
Gave 3 recommendations
Asked to quote for some work (replied not received in time)
2016 – Website framework updates and plugin upgrades / advised to use the news section
To prove we are willing to get a positive outcome for all parties previously we have told the website owner that there is an admin charge for closing an account and exporting the database / code but this will be waived when the outstanding invoice is settled, further to that we will waive the domain renewal / hosting invoice or host the website for free for the next year, additionally I am still willing to add the website owners’ contact details to the other photography site and give him access to the email enquiries coming from that site.
I hope this information is met with a positive and open minded solution, I am still willing to work to achieve a positive outcome for him, my advice on improving his website / SEO remains as follows:
1, Convert site to be responsive
2, Build an e-commerce photography system into the site
3, Renew the domain / hosting in advance
4, Add new content on the site / news page
5, continue to use social media
6, add new photographs / portfolios to the site
[Website Owner] With regards to domain / hosting company sending me an email accidentally as you say, this is regarding the renewal of my domain, something I need to do regardless surely? Or otherwise lose it when it expires. I’ll contact them directly to check.
With regards to your response to my solicitor’s email; I also would be happy to discuss ways to progress and resolve the matters at hand. Similarly to yourself, I enlisted the help of my solicitor as a “last resort” due to being incorrectly refused access to my domain and info that goes with it for transfer, despite my request (I would like to express that I am requesting this again now). Also, due to my feeling that my email correspondence with yourself has broken down somewhat in progress and movement toward a resolution.
I am suggesting that to try to resolve, we set up a meet at the nearest possible time, at a mutual location, possibly with an observer each as partial mitigators, to discuss the issues we have and try to bring this matter to a close.
[Website Design / SEO Company] Thanks for the email, the previous email you received was for another domain renewal (not hosting) and they made a mistake, nothing for you to worry about.
Having invested a huge amount of time re-viewing our work and giving you the previously updates I am personally even more frustrated with this situation and the fact you appear unhappy and are disputing our work.
As you may be aware, we have over 350 clients and Delicious Webdesign is now over 9 years old and have never had anyone approaching ‘not satisfied’ at the completion of any project regarding website design / SEO / graphic design as we go out of our way to ensure we do exactly what is needed to achieve the goal.
I really urge you and your solicitor to re-visit the last email I send detailing all the points raised and our work / results and cant imagine you in a professional ‘unemotional’ way stating that you are not happy with the work completed.
With your permission can I investigate the function of the contact form and the enquires received as its almost impossible to conceive you haven’t had one enquiry from the site, perhaps your email configuration (at your end) is filtering ‘real’ emails out. We use a variety of anti-spam tools and have never seen standard emails from the contact form put in a spam folder.
Your domain / website / database / code / email is currently managed by ourselves, you won’t be losing anything so nothing to worry about.
Due to the fact we have completed the work on your site I am unwilling to give you access to the database / code until we have been paid for this work. We don’t give anyone access to their own database / code by default and can give you a soft or hard copy of the data once the invoice is settled. If you eventually want to move your domain / website from ourselves I would be delighted to help you do that but the outstanding invoice will need to be paid.
You can compare this to going to a garage for work on your car and you would have to pay for the work to the car before you left with the keys. I am in no way holding your domain hostage and you own the domain and can do with it what you want but we won’t be granting access to the hosting / website (database / code) until the invoice is settled.
I was hoping the previous email detailing all work / emails / information that directly answered your concerns with lots of examples of the work completed and the results would have made you see your website project from our perspective and negated the need to discuss / meet to resolve as believe the huge volume of work / updates and indeed positive improvements documented and shown could reasonably be viewed as everything possible anyone would need to see that we have done everything possible above and beyond the scope of the project.
I am also puzzled why you seemingly have ignored the extra ‘favour’ we offered you to give you visitor enquiries from another photography site. This will only benefit you and will give you more ‘qualified leads’
I think the time and effort I have gone to demonstrate our work / updates / progress on your website in the last email demonstrates completely that email communication has not broken down it actually shows the polar opposite and its frustrating that you don’t see this but we will try to progress with this to resolve the matter but can assure you we won’t and can’t afford to simply ‘write off’ the invoice amount as this is both unprofessional / unjust and unfair on myself and my team that created all the changes on your website and your SEO.
Happy to meet but it would need to be very local to myself but surely having raised your concerns I have addressed them in great detail with great documentation of our updates and work and indeed the positive results. I would suggest that email communication is still the best way forward.
Using email communication, we can reference past work / communication / emails in reference to any point you have a concern with.
[Website Owner’s Solicitor] I refer to your last email sent to my client and that you have copied me into, whereby you have indicated that you are for all intents and purposes exercising a “lien” on the website that is owned by my client.
I think that we should make the legal position clear in that you can only exercise a lien where the specific terms of the contract allow you to do so and there are of course certain trades and professions that are allowed to exercise a lien without specific terms.
As there were no specific terms between you and my client, I would ask you to confirm the legal basis upon which you say you are entitled to prevent my client from having the return of his website as the debt that you claim is just a straightforward contract debt i.e. for work carried out and that work or the claim for such work is disputed by my client.
Therefore, in order to protect his position, I am giving you notice that he has a right to sue you for the wrongful interference of goods in the event of all or any losses suffered as a result of your wrongful detention of his website.
While such damages may not be in large amounts of money, I think that it should be made clear that you are not in the same position as a garage or customer as my client had passed on his specific website to you for improvement and the dispute lies as to whether you are justified in seeking payment for the work that you say you have completed.
I do not propose to judge as to who is right or who is wrong if the matter is to be resolved between you but having read the email that you have sent, I felt compelled to ensure that my client’s position is protected in the event that proceedings become necessary.
[Website Designers] Thanks for the legal perspective, appreciate your thoughts. There are some terms that need to be clarified and to make my position clear and to make it clear for yourself. Your client owns his own domain (this is the website name) and that is not in dispute, I cannot and will not interfere with that aspect but the work completed on his website was done as agreed / as arranged between us, this work is what we are seeking payment for.
If your client wants to regain his domain and organise his own website (database / code) I am happy for him to do that but the work we completed for him was completed by ourselves over the last 2 years and now, so it seems, forms the basis of the dispute.
I would like a swift and speedy resolution to this and once the payment is made in full we will help with any transfer. If payment is made in full for the outstanding invoice we will waive the domain transfer / database / code / email export fees and also waive the hosting fee and even allow the domain renewal / hosting / email to continue on our server for free until the end of the current hosting period (10 months).
I would like to remind you also that your client’s domain and website hosting is now officially lapsed as he hasn’t paid for the renewal and we have voluntarily paid this for him and waived the fee as a goodwill gesture as part of our offer to complete our business relationship with your client paying their very overdue final invoice.
I can give you some options with regaining the website but think its important firstly to get the website owner’s response to the fact that we are keen to resolve this dispute and move on giving him every help going forward.
If your client is insistent on refusing to pay the outstanding invoice we will consider supplying him everything we have done to him in good faith, this probably isn’t financially attractive as there are costs for this including supplying website code (provided zipped code), updating transfer tags, export of email files and the database export, these would all be supplied electronically or on a CD if required (at additional cost) then there would be the outstanding hosting fee of the last 2 months to consider which would invoke another year (normally we do it for 2 years at a time but will allow 1 year in this instance and will give a special discounted hosting cost. Therefore the cost for us to supply the website owner with our work and facilitate the transfer would be approximately very close to the monies owed to us I would suggest this isn’t a financially attractive idea for the website owner, this will also keep open our dispute for final payment of the invoice.
I appreciate you saying you are not proposing to judge who is right or wrong but I would have hoped there is some impartial advice about this dispute that you would offer, to your client, as myself have been offered clear and precise advice after a 3rd party reviewed the full project details.
Look forward to hearing your thoughts and as always I am keeping hoping we can resolve this dispute without ourselves opening a case against your client to.
[Website Owner] Thanks for your email, you have raised a couple of additional issues which I would like to discuss with you, further to those that we have already touched on of course.
It would be great to meet with you to discuss as I previously suggested. As you have expressed concern for the ease of documentation, we can record the meeting? I was hoping that we could meet somewhere roughly between us both, however, would be willing to travel further if you are unable to do so yourself. I think meeting to discuss would be a potentially beneficial idea for both parties as we have so far had quite lengthy discussions via email, yet we seem to have progressed very little towards a solution.
If you would like to let me know anywhere that you could possibly recommend to meet (as it will now assuming be quite close to where you reside and I assume you may have better knowledge of the area than myself) and also any times in the near future that would suit you.