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Quick questions. I commissioned a project to build a website…

Customer Question
Hi. quick questions. I...

Hi. quick questions. I commissioned a project to build a website developer last year August. Discussed scope of work in written, signed the contract with agreement to pay over 3 stages. The website developer at that time didn't have much work as he told me later he spent 10k on the google advertisement but I was one of 2 contacted him. He seemed to be very committed, professional and attentive. Initially he proposed me to pay at the end once the final product was delivered but I felt bad about it so proposed to pay in stage - which he was happy to take.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

I made this deal in Cape town Now I am in Gauteng and he is still in Cape town.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

Pearl did you read the story above... can i finish my story then answer your question I am the victim and want to understand what I can do legally

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Long story short, i paused the project half way through due to my personal issue and he agreed to do so. When i pick it up, things changed. some technical error found in his work from the web building tool he choose to work with. he tried to solve but couldnt. after paying till stage 2 (80% of the total project cost) he dropped it.

Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: South Africa Law
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I commissioned a project to build a website developer last year August. Discussed scope of work in written, signed the contract with agreement to pay over 3 stages. The website developer at that time didn't seem to have much work as he told me later he spent 10k on the google advertisement but I was one of 2 contacted him. He seemed to be very committed, professional and attentive. Initially he proposed me to pay at the end once the final product was delivered but I felt bad about it so proposed to pay in stage - which he was happy to take. The contract was made in Cape Town. He quickly completed up to stage 2 by September then It was stage 3 where I needed to give him writing up, photos and video so he can load them onto the website and test.Then due to my personal circumstance (e.g. moving back to joburg and then move again, hubby got sick), I asked for a pause in September and ask to pick up later later and he agreed to do so. When I pick it up again in January this year, things changed. 1) There were some major technical mis-alignment found between the website platform (Wordpress... platform he proposed and I agreed) and website themes that i chosen with his advice. So the website didnt save the change under new upgraded environment. We tried 1 theme and it crashed in front of my eye. He told me he will work on the another one. 2) He got way more busier with his full time job and website project, 3) he didn't have appetite for my project anymoreHe advised me to move to another website platform (Shopify) saying that platform suits better for my requirements. which is true but my requirement hasnt changed from the time i had initial meeting with him.I contacted him 2 weeks later to see where things are. He told me 1) there isnt much he can do to save his previous work, attempt to recoup would require exactly same time invested from his side so its not fair to him so he would like to stop at stage 2, 2) he advised me to work on Shopify platform due to better compatibility and friendliness, 3) however he is not a shopify expert so he cant be involved.That was 2 weeks ago. I thought about this from his angle and my angle (I am running a cooking class for full time and this is a very important business tool for me). There is 2 things I cant resolve.1) After paying R 8000 (labour for stage 1+2 + cost of 2 theme), how come I end up with getting nothing? I didn't buy his time but a tangible product called website. My website made zero progress and why should i only be the one paying for this misfortune? He complained that he wasted his time more than what he planned... but hang on, I also wasted my time.2) I commissioned the work due to his professional capacity that I didnt have (website building and understanding of technical things). He chosen the working tool, website platform and offer me criteria for theme selection which I adhered to. If issues happened between Wordpress and the Theme, this is something he should resolve directly with his service providers - which i see little hint of. This shouldnt be the reason of stopping the project. I spent fair bit of time and concluded that both Shopify and Wordpress have pros and cons - and whichever way, makes no difference to me for serving my purpose of running my business.To my website developer, he blames the pause for loosing his momentum. Even we finished the project on time, the very issue I face now, would have been my issue to face (e.g. product delivered with issues to be raised in the future but there is no warranty). So the pause was minor thing, not the core of the problem.I am thinking about asking him to refund my money if not full, then partial amount. Please advise.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
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Answered in 8 hours by:
3/11/2018
Lawyer: Christiaan K,
 replied 1 month ago
Christiaan K
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 206
Experience: Attorney & Director at Lombard Kotze Incorporated
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Good day

My name is ***** ***** I will assist you in answering your question today so please feel free to ask as many follow-up questions as you like until you are satisfied that I have answered your question.

Without going to deeply into the specifics, I think it can be summed up as you paid for a professional to develop a product for you which did not work and he did not finish.

This is classic breach of contract that happens to thousands of people daily. Whatever the reason was for his breach does not really matter (unless your actions caused it - which was not the case).

He cannot simply walk away now without properly performing. His actions in refusing to complete and rectify can be seen as redupiation and if you accept his redupiaion, you should be entitled to restitution (refund) and possibly even damages.

The problem with all of this is that he will most likely not simply agree to refund you your money so in order to get it, you will have to sue him. For that you will need an attorney, unless the claim amount is less than R15k in which case you can sue from the small claims court in the area he is residing or employed.

I trust that this answered your question.

Please be so kind as to rate my service by clicking on the relevant stars or smiley faces. If you do not rate my service, I do not get paid by the website so I would really appreciate it if you would be so kind as to rate my service positively.

Kind regards

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Hi thank you for the answer. "which case you can sue from the small claims court in the area he is residing or employed" -> meaning if i want to submit this case, I should do that in Cape Town?
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