Tech agency need to exit relationship with problem client - looking for feedback

by wackajala. Posted on Sep 17, 2020    0    4

Hi all - wondering if you all can act as a sounding board for me on a contract issue with a customer.

I run a tech agency and have a client I want to terminate. There is a one month contract of which roughly half of the work was performed. The client paid 5k up front and delivery would result in a second and final payment of an additional 5k.

The reason for the desire to terminate is simply because I can see the client is becoming a real pain to work with, looking to wrangle the maximum amount of work out of the relationship even if it’s beyond the scope of the contract or within interpretation but clearly beyond the spirit of the contract, and finding ways to show how we are not doing the job well in an effort to manipulate us even though the work quality so far is absolutely great. classic dream client!

I would rather accept a loss and move on rather than spend what would likely turn into an additional 3-4 weeks of work listening to how we are not doing enough even though we are doing quite a bit more than the spirit of the contract already. I am aware of the legal side such as breach of contract.

My question is on the negotiation side of exiting immediately. I was thinking to state something like:

Option A: transfer of all assets immediately including extras like install documentation etc. both parties agree no further payment will be made.

Option B: return the $5k and I do not transfer the work.

I don’t see the individual being able to claim any damages as this is a startup with a first time build and they don’t have any business yet. Would not put it beyond this individual however to come up with something. Ideally would like to be stern but fair.

Thoughts? How would you handle? See any potential issues?

Thanks a lot all. Appreciate your response in advance.


Bokumanbushi 1

In my contracts I also have the option if both parties agree to transfer the job to another contractor. Your original contract stays in place until the job is done with the other person. Otherwise ya I would just cancel and give them the 2nd half of the money back if your contract allows it.

Lear_ned 4

I'd put them in their place first of all. Explain look these are the deliverables of the contract, we will execute to these standards and no more. If you aren't happy with the work we're doing then you are free to leave and find somebody else who will. However, we're willing to see the contract to it's completion but we will only be fulfilling the deliverables as per the spirit of the contract and any additional work will be billed per hour at X rate.

OldOne999 3

I'm not a lawyer, but from a layman's perspective:

1 - If your contract allows you to give back the money and exit, then you could choose to do so.

2 - However, if not, I see the potential for a lawsuit if you exiting the contract (even after giving back the money) results in substantial losses to the client. This could happen if this contract represents critical work for the client, without which they could not sell a product or service.

  wackajala 2

Thank you. I will check with a lawyer on number two.