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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50209
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Brief Overlay. I want to know if I can claim money back from

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Brief Overlay. I want to know if I can claim money back from a web designer, I have three websites that he built for me and I paid him a lot of money, now he has gone away and I am left with only two websites that do not work. Thank you

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

How long ago did you instruct him to do the work? Also, when should he have had the work completed by?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The original website was built in 2011, then I had two more built after this, I would need to look through paperwork invoices to see dates. He held them on a server paid by himself, but I paid money every month for SEO and hosting back in 2014 it stopped, he wasnt asking for the money, when I confronted him he said I had paid enough and it wasnt taking too much space. He became harder and harder to get hold of then in 2015 I went ot his house to find he had moved, so tracked him down and asked if we could get my websites over to me, (onto a server I could pay for and control) he said it was fine where it was, I rang the server company they could not help as account was not in my name. Then I demanded that he send over my websites, he did in files which then I have paid another amount of money to someone else to help put them onto another server, two are there one has not been downloaded properly, so file is corrupt, the other two are not working and incomplete. He has since moved down the country again, what I want to know is should I cut my loses, or persue this. I lost the sale of the business in 2014 due to having problems with him and website. Thanks Julia

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you

No problem at all. I will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience. whether you can claim something back will very much depend on what your original agreement was. If you had agreed for him to host the sites as well and this was an ongoing arrangement, then his failure to do this could amount to a breach of contract. That would entitle you to potentially pursue him for any losses or damages incurred as a result. In the circumstances it is likely that you can go after some compensation for what has happened.

The issue is that by making a claim you are not guaranteed to get anything out of this. Even if you have rights to claim and do so, there are slippery characters out there who know how to play the system so even if you win and get a CCJ against him, he can still try and avoid any liability, It does mean that you will then have to look at various ways of enforcing the judgment and that will inevitably cost you more.

So you do have the right to go further with tis and you do have the right to seek some compensation, but there will always be a risk attached in case he does not comply and ties to make things complex, which means you may have to spend more to pursue your rights.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow should you decide to take the matter further, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Hello, my response should be visible on this page. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail? In the meantime please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.

Ben Jones and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi thank you Ben, yes I wanted to know if I could or if it would cost me more, basically I would like to deal with this and move on, so to speak, I will have a look at the contracts between myself and web designer, as I have numurous emails from him, where the sites were never completely working correctly either, however he has moved again down the country, which I am sure we can locate him if needs be, his wife has left her Facebook open so its shows where they are, and then electoral roll will show them up too. I will come back to you about this. Thank you for your help.

Thank you. if you wanted to take this further and cannot reach a resolution with the developer, your only option is the county court (in particular the small claim court if the total value id below £10k). It will cost you to issue the claim but I you win you can claim that money back. You also do not need to use a lawyer as this is a venue designed for smaller disputes where the parties are unrepresented. Also if you lost you would not be responsible for the other side’s legal fees.

Whenever a dispute arises over compensation owed by one party to another, the party at fault can be pursued through the civil courts. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps:

1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the party at fault to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the party at fault must be sent a formal letter asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue the compensation due. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.

3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the other side and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this.

Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.