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Developers not delievered on service and now asking for full payment to continue!

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Hi, I hired a web development ltd company to create an ecommerce website.

All started really well, the 2 guys seemed nice etc. Note that it was a referral from another person i know in the design field. Estimated 4.5 total, done on the 'cheap'. as they called it. To start required 50%. Fine done & paid via business account. to what i Think the directors personal account or so he later claims is a business account.

We in turn received a VAT invoice for the amount. One month was allotted to the project, first month went by, some light work on the design was done, not functioning very well.

Month 2 I then sent a detailed plan of what was needed schematic if you like of the intended system. To keep them going they requested the request of the money, (50/50) optional, the stage was literally the design, no backend or anything. I said no, i havent seen enough to be satisfied to do that, they then said other projects will take over to help their cash flow, i said fine ok as long as its done in reasonable time for Christmas. There after they vanished from my skype/emails for about 2 months.

 

I knew they are active because they have a website, and my designer is good friends with their client, word got back recently, sent me an apology letter. Before this recent letter he has cited personal fatigue issues and spent a month out of work (highly doubt), and the partner about to take leave. They were excepting far too much work in my opinion.

 

Its now December i did get revised deadline of 3rd today, emails have exchanged. I decided i want my money back, he flat out declined and said if i wanted to continue the project i would now have cough up in full.

 

It is their first year of trading and im definitely sure they have assets, but he did say to me in a recent email its not doing too well and may go into other areas..

 

I feel very cheated, i trusted these guys and the only thing i can think of is to go small claims. I only have NDA official agreement with them. i need advice on how to fight these guys, his responses when i became legal were very prompt, but he was very arrogant, stating he would win. I genuinely am from a poor background, i run a company which i built up with my uncle from the ground up, and we still dont make a great deal of money for the 75+ hours i work every week and That is a lot to me. Its these sorts of people that hinder the growth of this country.

 

Thanks.

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