Yes Virginia, you should read the contract

| Horror Stories, Client, Contracts

Our web development company was recently engaged by a prominent company in the Mining Industry. During the initial consultation meeting the client began to explain the difficulties they were having in moving from their existing provider.

They had spent the last year battling to get their website to a state that matched the initial brief and design specifications. The budget had blown out from $10k to over $24k with some key functionality still missing. Obviously unhappy with the situation the management team decided to make the move to a new provider. That’s when the real nightmare began.

During the development the client had questioned the (frankly huge) developer credit in the site’s footer.

It comprised the developer’s address, three separate keyword heavy links, a company logo AND a 10 word strapline. The developer, when questioned, stated that it was an industry standard and that it would be very poor form of the client to ask for it to be removed. Not only was it included in the footer on every page but also in the email that was automatically sent to customers making an enquiry via the form on the website.

When the client asked for details on how to migrate the site to another hosting account the agency responded in saying that the site was under license and not actually owned by the client, despite the $25K spent on development to date. The web company quoted their original contract; "All code and design remains the property of XYZ Pty Ltd." It was at this stage passwords were changed and access to the server denied.

In the meeting we explained that without access to the hosting account we were unable to make any changes. The client has since returned to that web company and continued to pay additional changes.