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I've Been Ripped Off Brothers! What do I do?

Discussion in 'Freelancing' started by Daniel Adetunji, Sep 2, 2014.

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  1. Hey all!

    I'm Dan, a freelance blogger and copywriter

    Recently, I wrote a kick-ass sales page for a client

    And he claimed the copy didn't make sense so I refunded his Moohla

    And now, he's using my copy!

    The stuff is converting pretty well (from a source)

    What do I do?

    I've been ripped off! Took me 1 week, 6 days to write the copy


    Your candid opinion would be appreciated!
  2. Hi Dan,

    I'm so sorry this happened to you-- it really sucks to be ripped off like that :(

    I have 2 pieces of advice for you- hope this helps!
    1. Don't beat yourself up over it. It's not your fault that there are scumbags out there. The best thing to do (depending on the amount of money!) is to let it go & move on. Unless it's a huge sum of money, it's not really worth dwelling over.
    2. Next time, don't refund the money. You deserve to be paid for the work you did. Next time, you could invoice a non-refundable percentage up-front, before you start working for them, and then invoice the final amount after they accept the final draft.
    The only time I would offer a refund is if I didn't do any work and couldn't continue with the project... like if I ended up in the hospital and didn't even begin the work or something like that.

    But if you did the work according to their specifications, as a professional, you deserve to be paid for your work.
    Raspal, John Anderson and Boris Beo like this.
  3. I really feel sorry for you and can understand how it feels. I have been through this not once but thrice! And twice I was the developer and client did not pay and once it was the reverse I was the client and the developer walked off with the money :(

    The two deals as a developer were via a leading freelancing website and the client got the project done and then said they wont pay the money. I registered a complaint with the site and they did nothing literally! They said as client has not put money in the escrow account nothing can be done. The client is still at large cheating others on the same site but the site in question says we wont do anything! Inspite of negative reviews the client has received from multiple developers.

    In the third case I burnt my fingers on a Joomla component that I had purchased from a leading component developer that is into Property / Real Estate based component. I lost over $350 in this deal. It was the initial stages of my career and at that time $350 was like the moon to me. I had purchased the component on behalf of my client. The developer in question simply stopped developing the component for the old joomla version and said if we need for the new joomla version, I need to purchased the component again. I suggested there should be some kind of concessions given to existing users. The developer simply blocked my account and said that no further communication in this regard will be entertained! I even wrote to the country's regional authorities and they said the developer is at fault after reading the terms and conditions, but they said if I need to take the matter forward, I need to take legal action and they would then take necessary action against the developer. The cost of the legal action was much more than the cost of the components, and hence I left the matter. But when such issues occur, I simply put a request forward to god almighty and sooner or later such people have to face the wrath of God in one form or another.

    Thats all because once you are cheated no one it out there to help you out.
    Daniel Adetunji likes this.
  4. Sorry to hear about this Daniel.

    Keri's right - this will happen at times. And invoicing a none-refundable amount is a great way to stop this from happening.

    Moving on and altering how you do business to stop this happening will be the easiest and less stressful course of action.

    If you want to play hard ball you could threaten them with a DMCA notice since the copy is legally yours.

    Just emailing them and asking them to remove the copy they don't have the right to use can sometimes work. Include that you'll serve their web host with a DMCA takedown notice.

    Sometimes just the mention of a DMCA notice is enough to get people to take it down. And you may not have to take it further.
  5. Thanks Adam. Your input is much appreciated!
  6. No worries, Daniel.

    That which comes to try us, makes us stronger (as the saying goes - or something like that!).
    Raspal likes this.
  7. Yikes, sorry to hear that!
  8. I agree with the above. Learn from the mistakes and move on. I got burned, not as badly as you but I was still ripped off. Now I change the way I do things so clients do not get the final product until they pay. Even if I do the work without payment upfront I keep control and ownership until the payment is through. That's a bit hard in your case though. So some method of staggered pre-payments might work. or at the very least, watermark your copy in a way that can't be easily undone by the client. Then give them the final copy upon payment.
  9. Really sorry to hear that Daniel. I can fully understand why you are so upset.

    I agree with KeriLynn on this. I feel that with things like writing or design, full refunds should not be given if the original work was completed. You could have worked out a partial refund if they were not planning on using it (granted, they would still have used the copy).

    A full refund should never have been given as you would have been unable to use it again (it's different from, say, a guest post, that could be submitted elsewhere).

    As everyone has said, you should use this as a lesson moving forward and ensure that you do not go through this again.

    Be sure to start a thread if you ever unsure about anything like this. We have many freelancers here who will be able to share their experiences with you.

    I am not suggesting revenge, per say, but is there anything you can do to the client? For example, name and shame them, or offer the copy you wrote in a free eBook or package. OK...that does sound a bit revengey....but that's what they deserve.
  10. I would like to see them named too.

    I would not like to think I could purchase something from operators like that!
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