I have a client who is constantly threatening legal action against me even though I don't think I have done much wrong. I have done EVERYTHING I possibly can to keep the client happy, but it is never enough. He blames me for late delivery even though the goal posts change all the time.
Basically, we started the project nearly 2 years ago and had a contract drew up which had a scope of work included. The key point here is that at this point the app was very simple. The contract stated that we ESTIMATED the project to take 6-8 months. It also stated that all time frames are estimates and timing is not of the essence.
Since then the scope has changed DRAMATICALLY. I mean it is pretty much a different animal now. For some parts I have charged for these changes, but I must have done 100+ hours in free work just changing things to avoid confrontation. I feel he is just taking advantage now and getting anything he can, and is using threats to do it.
The changes that have been made and because they were made half way through a project have meant the whole process is backwards. Its a complicated project now and without being able to properly plan it has caused logic issues that have appeared. There are things neither me nor the client had thought about that have come up, yet we fix anyways.
I have said a few times that we expect to have a deliverable on a certain date, and have missed this a few times by a few days or so. This has been because one of these unforeseen issues. I still persist and get it fixed.
There have been times when the client went completely missing. 1 was 2 months! Others have included 1 or 2 week blocks. During which times I have had no choice but to move on to other work as he is not there to answer important questions allowing me to continue development. I have to feed my family after all and can't do that waiting weeks for him to come back to me.
He constantly asks for changes on the application and when I say no he will argue and argue and argue until eventually I normally just give in and do it to keep things calm. Before so, he will constantly threaten legal action, saying if we are still in dispute he will get a solicitor and they will deal with it. I don't think he has any grounds but it is never nice to be in that conversation with a client. Sometimes tempers flare and I suggest he just go ahead and do it. He never does and just says he will do it at the end should we still be in dispute.
When I send builds of the application, he sends a feedbag document. When I finish fixing the items on the list he comes back with a completely new document with completely new items (a lot of the time further changes), and then later blames me for late delivery. Naturally I am stunned. I don't understand it. In my head I am thinking 'why don't you first check against the list I just said was fixed. If another bug has appeared I will then fix it.' It makes the whole process drag on and on. I do my own testing but I can't catch everything of course.
The threats are coming thick and fast, and almost every week. He is still to this day trying to get us to change things and sending items that we 'apparently' agreed months and months ago on the phone. I don't recall ever agreeing to these things and there is no written evidence. Everything I have ever charged for is all in writing and documented. Even items I have done for free are all written.
In recent months I have told him everything has to be in writing, as I was not being accused of lying after every phone call. It is the only way I can guarantee that can't happen. Simply don't talk to him on the phone.
What do people think I should do?