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Grey Singapore refused to pay me, no official invoice but signed NDA

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by Foxtrot_, Jul 11, 2017.

  1. #1
    Guys, I need some legal advice pertaining to a shit situation I got myself into. I'm a software engineer and I run a digital agency in Singapore developing websites/mobile apps/digital marketing. My main source of income is from big agencies who outsource projects to me.
    SEMrush
    Recently, I was engaged by a large advertising and marketing agency called Grey Singapore to do some software development work for their client, Nutella that is. We signed off on a NDA and I started the work for them without collecting any deposit and an official quote/invoice/contract unfortunately, out of goodwill and trust because of the friendship I had with their project manager of that agency.

    As I recently expanded my business to Thailand as you guys of my commitment with Bangkok Expat Life. Knowing that my schedule on Monday would be packed, added to the issue of limited internet access for the entire day; as I will be at an event launch with a client in some secluded island in Thailand, I took the initiative to spend all my Sunday night working on the project and troubleshoot many issues on Nutella's website. I sent an email to Sean Ching several times requesting for these issues to be fixed first as it could affect the delivery and I got an email asking me to attend a conference call meeting the following day, which I obviously can't make it due to my event with another client. I wanted to keep everything over emails as well as it would be on record.

    I just received a WhatsApp message from Sean Ching yesterday that they have already hired another software engineer to work on this project. I was furious and upset about this as I've put in 30 hours of work and did quite a lot of work. Basically, I've troubleshoot, debugged and configured, as well as improve the security of their client's site. I sent them an invoice this morning for $3,360 and their project manager immediately rang me up. He offered me $200 out of his own pocket, saying its a goodwill of gesture and friendship he has with me because even if I were to take legal action against his company, I wouldn't get a single cent back because there's no official quote/contract/invoice signed. Frankly, I feel cheated and I'm upset about this because I have put in 30 hours of work.

    I'm thinking of bringing this up to small claims but honestly, its too much hassle and would I even have a chance of winning this case? Considering there's no official contract/invoice, although I can argue there is a signed NDA so it's clear they want to engage me to do some work. Worst case scenario, I can contact their client, Nutella directly but it would be breaching the NDA as well so technically they can sue me too but by not paying me, perhaps the NDA is void? I'm so fucking pissed off now as I've put in 30 hours of work for nothing, put aside a much bigger project as well so I can prioritize their project.

    Frankly, I can do nasty shit to that agency as I'm a hacker lol and I have planted a backdoor access on their client, but obviously I won't entertain any illegal thoughts. I have downloaded their entire database and evidence/copies of my work, I also have friends in the media and I specialize in SEO and internet marketing in general for that matter. That agency already have quite a bad name in the industry as well. However, I'm still holding my horse on going to this extreme measure because in my industry, diplomacy/PR is extremely important and it's always better to make a friend than an enemy but I've been screwed over a couple of times and I have had enough from these big agencies.

    I wish there is an amicable settlement to this.

    Should I take up Sean Ching's derisory offer of $200 or should I take them to court for the full amount? Would appreciate some legal advice on this or if anyone were in this situation, how do you handle it?
     
    Foxtrot_, Jul 11, 2017 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Agent000

    Agent000 Prominent Member

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    #2
    You probably not going to see your money.
    Do that. and post a lot of negative reviews on social media as to how they shafted you as a warning to others who might want to do business to them.
    They shafted you, now it your turn to shaft them.
     
    Agent000, Jul 11, 2017 IP
    Foxtrot_ likes this.
  3. Blank ™

    Blank ™ Well-Known Member

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    #3
    I'd actually be more worried about the people/companies you have been working with recently. So you work full time, you have an agency and .. you f plant backdoors into customers websites/systems?
     
    Blank ™, Jul 11, 2017 IP
  4. Foxtrot_

    Foxtrot_ Banned

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    #4
    I did that after I've established the fact that they have screwed me over.
     
    Foxtrot_, Jul 12, 2017 IP
  5. Blank ™

    Blank ™ Well-Known Member

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    #5
    That doesn't make it less f up.

    On the topic (finally) - since you do not have a contract and/or any other kind of documents proving that you indeed was hired to do the job you did, it'll be a waste of time and money to try to prove you're right. Personally, I'd turn down your friends offer, forget about it and move on. It is more about what you do in such situations, not what someone else does.
     
    Blank ™, Jul 12, 2017 IP
  6. PoPSiCLe

    PoPSiCLe Illustrious Member

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    #6
    Perhaps you've learned that there is nothing called "good faith" in business. ALWAYS use contracts, ALWAYS get everything on paper, and NEVER do anything before everything is settled. ESPECIALLY if it's a "friend" - because those are often way harder to be hard with when they fuck up. And they will fuck up, or fuck you over.

    As for what to do... don't use that backdoor, don't breach the NDA (unless it has anything in it making it void if they don't pay - usually an NDA doesn't have anything like that, since it's about what YOU cannot do, not the other party), and, if you want any money at all, take the $200 and run. Never look back, tell them to go F themselves if they contact you again. Of course you can make their life miserable, but if you do, it will reflect badly on you. Also, I would not go around bragging about backdoors and such. If this post / thread goes public, you will have lost most, if not all clients just by that statement.
     
    PoPSiCLe, Jul 12, 2017 IP
    Arick unirow likes this.
  7. L.A. Tay

    L.A. Tay Peon

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    #7
    Probably the best advice from this thread. Always make sure that your reputation stays clean.
     
    L.A. Tay, Jul 12, 2017 IP
  8. MrKing01

    MrKing01 Active Member

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    #8
    You shouldn't do things that will destroy your reputation. You have been badly treated in this case and haven't got a full payment for all the hours you spent working on improving the website. That's sad. But you should learn something from this. In business there is no friendship. People will take advantage of you if you don't go by the book. What you did wrong was that you didn't create a contract for the project. Your so-called "friend" took advantage of this fact and later said that there was no contract, which would speak against you in case you take the matter further with legal action.

    In this case you learned that your "friend" was not a real friend after all. You also learned to always sign a contract for your projects. Maybe even take a deposit to cover you in cases where a dispute arise. In this case you were lucky that you only lost 30 hours. Sometimes projects require hundreds of hours. How would it feel in such a situation to not get paid because there was no contract?
     
    MrKing01, Jul 12, 2017 IP
  9. pmf123

    pmf123 Notable Member

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    #9
    this post is basically a confession if their site breaks.
     
    pmf123, Jul 13, 2017 IP
  10. qwikad.com

    qwikad.com Illustrious Member Affiliate Manager

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    #10
    As someone said: "Suing someone in small claims court is similar to getting a digital rectal exam..."

    First, your fees will add up (even if you win the case, you'll pay more than half back). Just take the $200 and let it go. And don't sever the ties with your friend and his agency. You may use them again, just make sure you have a contract in place next time around. You still want to be hirable. If you start getting nasty they may, in turn, make sure nobody around ever hires you.
     
    qwikad.com, Jul 14, 2017 IP
  11. pmf123

    pmf123 Notable Member

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    #11
    i just would never answer those calls again, fuck them.
     
    pmf123, Jul 14, 2017 IP