Theappraisalhouse Complaint - Not paid for services - what are my options?

Review by montreal canadiens on 2006-05-08
LONGWOOD, FLORIDA -- What would you do if a client refused to pay for the work performed?

Here is the situation:
Was told that a computer was "restored", but could no longer see the printer, go on the internet, norton did not work (worm virus), and could not see another network computer.

Found that they had multiple viruses (ie trojan.win32.ftp.attack).

Add to that: the main computer was on its last legs (check disk highlighted errors. fat32 instead of ntfs).
And that no updates (windows, norton etc) had ever been done.

Four hours later:

When presented with the bill, the client said "But the work has not been completed."
Right. And Rome was built in a day.

While its true, they did not get all that they WANTED,
they DID get three computers - "nearly" fixed.
Norton restored and working.
And most importantly, their main business computer, with all its data, saved from near disaster due to a corrupted file structure. (Did I mention the multiple recovery files?)

I mentioned that, if a customer refused to pay for gas, they could be arrested.
Same at a restaurant or at a supermarket.
But because they are dealing with a local guy, they feel its ok to shaft me.

And despite being paid by the hour/minute - they took 20 minutes to voice their concerns (insert: whine).
Being cramped on time, to meet my next customer - I had to leave but:

Question: What would you do?
Take them to court?
Offer to return double their moneys worth in viruses?
Or another avenue altogether?
Comments:1 Replies - Latest reply on 2006-05-08
Posted by Dirtydave on 2006-05-08:
Well returning double their moneys worth in viruses could land your butt in jail, so no matter how temping it might be that is right out. The rest depends on what type of contractual agreement you have with them. Did you agree to complete the entire project before being paid? Are they paying for your services alone by the hour? If the latter is the case, then you would have the option of taking them to court. But then how valuable is this customer to you? Are they worth the time and the loss of them as a client? I would consider going back and completing the task

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