How do you avoid getting screwed over by a developer?

Here’s the story:

  • 1) Non-tech woman with “ambitious plans for a new custom site”

    2) LA

    3) developer chop shop



  • As a developer, I would never work with clients like this. Top tier developers will bill at 150- 250 per hour. 52k is a lot of money to you, but it’s not a lot of money. There is just too much demand for this work, and e enough good clients to avoid this stuff.

    He’s right, the name and shame strategy is going to backfire on you. I would take this down before it’s picked up by gawker or similar.

    You don’t seem to have much experience in this space. If I were you, I would consider just trying to find a junior developer who would be willing to be your co founder.

  • 52K for a bloody site?!!! He’s a dick but I don’t have much sympathy for her either because she didn’t shop around or look up glassdoor or other references until after he f**ked up. Shit, for ~50k, she coulda hired a fulltime junior employee/student/contractor at least for a few months.

  • Oh boy, where to start:

    First, did you have a signed contract? Hire a lawyer. Or small claims court might be an option.

    Second, it looks like you’re dealing with an SEO-focused firm instead of a true web development company (my opinion from their website collateral).

    Third, it looks like they specialize in template-based web sites vs custom coding.

    Fourth, the industry is on fire right now so maybe you got dropped for a larger client. Happens all the time in all industries that are “in demand”.

    Fifth, like previous commenter said, you would be better off hiring a solo developer (maybe PHP or corporate .Net dev). who can put together a prototype. Depending upon the complexity of what you’re trying to accomplish, you could even DIY with some of the same template software they use (WordPress, Shopify, etc).

    It’s sad to hear that this happens more frequently than you would think. Many web developers have a bit of an arrogant air because of the demand for their skills, but those with thin reputations and low repeat business will be the first to hit hard times when the market softens.

    But good luck to you, don’t let this keep you from progressing.

  • I understand your frustrations. Sorry about your experience. He is a douche and time is money but refusing to rectify the situation shows how little he cares about customers.

    I’d suggest taking him to claims court because you signed a contract and they failed to deliver and breach of it.

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