My contact solicited me for contact internet work. Having a large project he suggested we begin on a trial basis before moving on to the larger workload. However, after completing the trial the company refused to pay the agreed amount.
I assisted this company in a small matter and was paid quickly and properly without incident. My contact suggested addition work could be sent my way. They had the need for 200 or so of what he termed "web templates". He suggested that I would work on 5 of these templates on a trail basis before I began the entire workload. I made it clear that I wasn't a professional graphic designer, but could put together HTML templates. My contacted stated that he had a graphic designer for the artwork. We agreed on a price for these 5 templates.
Admittedly, I did not secure a written statement of work, but I considered my previous dealings with the company and the trial basis of the project and took the work in good faith.
At this point I began on the templates. After turning in the first template - matching the provided specifications exactly - it became clear that the company didn't want "templates" in the recognized definition, but rather entire, fleshed-out design comps for websites. I have done that sort of work before and usually charge much more than we agreed upon for this time consuming work. However, as I had agreed to do the work I felt it my duty to finish the trial by completing the 5 templates in the style requested.
I turned in the templates and never heard back. After a number of weeks I sent an invoice for the work done and requested that they contact me with any questions or additional work. Still not hearing back from them, I sent the invoice out again the next week.
Finally, I received this email:
"Per my previous message, the layout were not acceptable and not used at all. I am bit surprised by the invoice at this point in time. As I mentioned in message, the lay did not meet the requirement and will not be used at all."
I never received the email mentioned in the note above.
The layouts more than met the specification given. It seems they were unhappy with the quality of work, not the inability to meet the specification that they provided and that we agree upon. However, considering that this was the point of having a trial period they should have assumed this risk. I can not understand why they would refuse to pay.
Yuba City, California