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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Website development and hosting question. Background: We have

Customer Question

Website development and hosting question. Background: We have a customer that we are developing a new website for and we are also hosting their old current live website. The customer despite agreeing to a new build proposal (for two sites) and our terms and conditions at the outset, are advising they will not be paying the balance invoice. They are saying that they are not happy with the new development virtually 99.9% complete and months of build time. The relationship has over the last few weeks and despite our best efforts, gone very sour. They essentially want to wash their hands of the whole new development, leaving me under our T&Cs with no other choice than to raise our final invoice which they are saying they will not pay. The question is not about this as I am confident in our right to ask and pursue in the small claims court, but its to do with their hosting for their live site which they now want to move away from us. Q: can I refuse to give them their files for their current live site because they owe us money for the new development. Their hosting for the current year is paid up until 17th March or thereabouts. Thanks Neil.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

How much is owing?

Alex Watts :

Do you have different terms for hosting and web design?

JACUSTOMER-vj158qek- :

Hello Alex, no we have one set of terms covering both. For two projects, I quoted £4000, with a ratio of £3000 for the first project, and just £1000 for the 2nd project. Under our terms I able to request the full difference that being £2000, however as a gesture I advised I would settle for just £1250.

JACUSTOMER-vj158qek- :

Sorry Alex I meant to say the customer has already paid a deposit of 50% £2000.

JACUSTOMER-vj158qek- :

Also, I am a full service company and only offer hosting to customers who we build and support for and not to anyone that just wants hosting, we're not in that space.

Alex Watts :

Is there anything in the terms that says you can refuse to release the files if they have not paid?

Alex Watts :

I assume you did not do any work on the 'old' site which is still live?

JACUSTOMER-vj158qek- :

No nothing specific

Alex Watts :

I think that is a problem for you.

JACUSTOMER-vj158qek- :

No I didn't build the original site but have done some bits on it.

Alex Watts :

On the basis you did no work to the 'old' site and the fact that your terms are silent as to release on files, I don't think you can withhold them

Alex Watts :

If your terms had said that we will not release files to you whilst there is a payment outstanding you would have been ok

Alex Watts :

But sadly you do not.

Alex Watts :

Therefore under the contract I do not think you have the power to do so

Alex Watts :

Of course you can refuse and see what they do

Alex Watts :

They might try and take it to Court in which case you can counter claim

JACUSTOMER-vj158qek- :

Ah ok, so I can attempt to withhold them but not legally, even though this means I will be financially disadvantaged as they will not pay me the money owned for the new development.

Alex Watts :

But on the basis of your terms and no work has been carried out I dont think you can.

Alex Watts :

It won't stop you bringing a claim in the small claims for the debt of course

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

JACUSTOMER-vj158qek- :

Yes sorry bear with me.

JACUSTOMER-vj158qek- :

Ok, so I understand that you are saying I cannot withhold files for their live site as I did not build and only host it.

Alex Watts :

Of course.

Alex Watts :

Indeed yes

JACUSTOMER-vj158qek- :

But I am legallay able to take them to court for the balance of the development payment aren't I

Alex Watts :

Yes of course.

Alex Watts :

Handing the files back does not stop you from doing that

JACUSTOMER-vj158qek- :

Great, just wanted to clarify. Many thanks Alex, appreciate your time. Neil

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

JACUSTOMER-vj158qek- :

No I think that's it for the time being.

JACUSTOMER-vj158qek- :

Thanks

Alex Watts :

Great. If I could ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer before you leave today.


If the system won’t let you please click reply.



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