So I've been working for this tubby tub of lard for the past 12 months. She always paid me on time and we'd always make contracts, but 3 months ago she confided that she could pay me higher if we just skipped the paperwork because of the tax.
Skip to today, the end of the month and she basically told me to "fuck myself" because the website "doesn't work". By not working she's talking about the meta slider not showing the latest post because someone forgot to place the post in the FUCKING META SLIDER. It got fixed by the same fuckwit but now she's claiming that it used to be "all broken".
Basically she smiled and told me to fuck myself and if I want any money at all the next month I better suck it up. I quit immediately and now she's fucking with me left and right.
What are my options?
Not a lawfag OP, but I can offer legitimate advice on issues pertaining to freelance work. I've received fairly extensive legal counseling from actual lawfags, in real life, on similar issues.
Despite the claims being made here, you could *possibly* succeed in small claims as long as she's actually using the website. Written contracts aren't wholly necessary there. Small claims can also go up to $5k. But it's a long shot.
Bottom line is; the court is going to ask why contracts have existed before but don't now. If you can provide a good reason for this, then all of the contracts prior actually help you out, because they establish a going rate for your services which she has agreed to in the past. You would need to provide some sort of documentation of you two discussing what would go into the website and shit like that to make a legitimate case. Additionally, even if you can't win money from her in court, you could potentially force her to take the website down, and seek help elsewhere. That doesn't actually gain you anything, but it may feel good.
You would need to rehearse your case several times and make sure you've accounted for anything they might say which has some legitimacy to it. If they make baseless claims, and you provide enough hard evidence, you could actually win your money without an otherwise winnable case simply because judges don't like being lied to.
The case would probably be scheduled 3 months out and if this person is continuing to fuck with you, and they're as big of an idiot as you make them out to be, they'll certainly not stop after receiving the court summons. You'll need to be prepared to pay the fees associated with filing a claim and deal with the fallout between you and your ex client as a result.
Just make sure to ask yourself whether or not all of this effort is worth it. If your work is copyrighted, you could, at the very least, send them a takedown notice to fuck them over.
Good luck and merry christmas I guess OP.
Oh, and, continuing off of this message, this shit should be a cautionary tale to ANY and ALL /gd/ freelancers who want to act like fucking professionals and make any money beyond $30 logos.
IF A CLIENT EVER ASKS YOU TO WORK WITHOUT A CONTRACT, THEY ARE TRYING TO FUCKING SCAM YOU. SAY NO AND WALK AWAY WITHOUT A MOMENT'S HESITATION.
We really need to sticky that Mike Monteiro speech to try and save hapless fools from any further disgrace. Then again, I suppose learning the hard way is the most effective lesson of all.
This. You should have built in a killswitch for the websites functionality. It sounds like a screwy way to do things but they'll change their tune real quick when the website magically stops working and their sql "glitches" the fuck out.