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I finished a recent website project which took too much time for a low price. I delivered the project completed (without excluding potential minor bugs). After delivery, they informed me of something that I never knew before. It makes the main part of the project difficult to use and would need me to change it almost entirely.

As we talked about it months before, it would need someone else to continue the project if needed. They asked if the "additional" amount would be deducted from my initial price.

I refused as I delivered the project completed, the issue is coming from a missing important information; but is this something that a client can do ?


Edit: Sadly there is no contract or document describing the tasks. I worked at the client for a year when I was a student and we both thought I "knew the main issues" of the project. This is a huge mistake on my side, but I still got an information after the delivery.

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Generally, no.

Hopefully you have a contract.

Assuming...

  1. The work to be completed was clearly defined in writing
  2. You completed the work as defined in the written agreement
  3. They owe you your quoted price.

NOW...

  • There's New information which the client failed to disclose at #1.
  • This new information will require additional work.

This is a separate project, above and beyond, the initial project. This work should be quoted, contracted, and treated like all other projects and is entirely independent of the previously (now completed) work.

It is the client's responsibility to disclose limitations/requirements BEFORE work begins.


Imagine you are a caterer... you are hired to cater a wedding. You go over the menu and any food restrictions with the client and everything is agreed upon. You go out, buy supplies and cook much of the food - Chicken, fish, and Beef for 100 people. As you are storing everything for the upcoming event, you get a call that now all food must be vegan and gluten free... you have to start over.

This is a new invoice for new supplies and new work which now much be done due to the client's lack of disclosure.


Clients, and people in general, have this nasty habit of perceiving work which is "digital" as not "real" or "tangible" and that it isn't the same as work done offline. This perception is entirely incorrect.

  • Thanks for your answer. Sadly, there is no contract (I edited my question). Do you think it changes something about what you answered ? – AymDev Sep 16 at 8:38
  • Without a contract or a minimum of written details regarding work to be done.. well, your'e hosed and it's all a matter of negotiation. – Scott Sep 16 at 9:58
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As web site designer, always upload it to a web site that you own and let clients examine it as you develop it and make their suggestions. Keep several major Javascripts hidden loaded by other Java codes so that crook clients copying whole web site into their own ISP web will not work. If original agreement with clients was your expenses as a lump-sum then as soon as they utter a word that bla bla now must be modified to something new then you switch immediately to specify your rates in per hour so that clients can do as much change as they wish. But not until final payments received from client and they confirmed their satisfaction in form of recorded phone call, SMS, email, their web site only exists on your ISP web site for client's examination. When client resides in your own country you must keep all your communications so that in case of law suits you have a proper chronological record of changes and communications and payments and hours of your work.

  • As a Back-End developper, I show the dev environment but no need to hide scripts. In France I always heard that SMS have no legal value, that's why everyone should use emails. Obviously, my client did not write a single email... Thanks for your answer – AymDev Sep 17 at 7:43

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