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We Had A Deal But Once I Did The Work He Disappeared

at imageWork is essentially an exchange of some sort in return for something of value to each party to the agreement.

Lawyers call the agreement between parties a ‘contract’ and the thing of value is known as ‘consideration.’

So a simple contract would be something like this:

“In consideration of you paying me the sum of $20 I will walk your dog and wash your car.”

However you don’t really need a law degree to know that business deals only really work when both sides receive something of value from the process.

Last week I was reminded of this when I was clearing out my office and I had come across some work I had done for an acquaintance of mine who ran an online business.

We had agreed that I would do some writing for his website in return for him doing some design work on mine.

We were both to get something of value from the deal so, even though no money was to change hands, we were both satisfied with the deal we had struck.

In due course I sat down, did the work and submitted it for approval. I heard nothing back.

I followed up to check that the work had been received and eventually got a quick reply saying something like:

“Yeah I have got the stuff you have written. It is great. It is already up on my site. Thanks a lot.”

And that was the last I heard from this guy.

From that point onwards emails, phone calls and Skype messages went unanswered and he never did do the work on my site.

Whether he ever intended to do the work he had promised I will never know but isn’t it terribly sad that there are so many people who find this kind of behavior totally acceptable?

11 Responses to We Had A Deal But Once I Did The Work He Disappeared

  1. Kent Faver
    February 20, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    I agree totally Patrick, and it is a mystery. I submitted an invoice to a large banking institution recently and was assured it would be paid quickly, which in my world typically means under 30 days. After 22 days, I sent an e-mail asking for an update to my contact person who then forwarded the e-mail on to the accounts payable dept. Over the next week the AR person never responded to that e-mail, 2 follow-up e-mails and a voicemail. Thankfully, the check did arrive, but e-mails were never replied to. As if no communication whatsover was a good thing.

    The reality is we all receive too many e-mails, but they still must be attended to, particularly e-mails or communication such as your agreement with this person. One of my biggest pet peeves is “I’m too busy to respond to emails because I get so many”. Funny that this person was not too busy to collect a payment from me.
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  2. marlene moore February 20, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    i agree 100% with you Patrick, verbal agreements hold the same value as a written contract. Its terrible when someone makes a deal with you and then they dont hold up their end of the deal. I myself went through this same thing last year with a someone well known in the TE industry. I held up my end of the deal and only recieved partial payment for my services. I made them some good money for the few days I worked for him. In the end I only recieved about 2/3 of the money I was offered to do the job. His reply I should be happy with what I got. Bad thing is my gut kept telling me not to do it that I would get the bad end of the deal and it was right. A snake may shed its skin but underneath it is still a snake.

  3. Sergio Felix
    February 20, 2012 at 9:16 pm #

    Hey Patrick,

    So sad you had to go through this experience. The only positive outcome of this is that you won’t be doing any other business with him nor recommending his services either.


    PS. Let me know if you need any help with the service I recommended to you (the automated links thing).
    Sergio Felix thinks you may like this post too..Basic Video Marketing ProductionMy Profile

    • Patrick Griffin
      February 21, 2012 at 12:36 am #

      That is very true Sergio.
      These days I only ever recommend people that are personally known to me and who I trust.

  4. Efrain Sanchez UNITED STATES February 20, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

    Hey Patrick

    Thanks for Your Post

    wow I don’t know what to say, I’m the type of person that my Words is Worth more than anything else If I make an Agreement I will do my BEST to Keep the other party REALLY Satisfy I will not rest until I’m HAPPY that I had accomplish the Task. It’s Sad that we ALL are not alike

    • Patrick Griffin
      February 21, 2012 at 12:40 am #

      Hi Efrain.

      It is great that you think like that and thank you for taking the time to leave this comment.

      Also thanks for reposting my original post on your own blog.

      P.S. I have made the link to your name active so people can click on your name to link directly to your blog.

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  5. Lee Chapman UNITED KINGDOM February 21, 2012 at 7:11 am #

    [Note: This comment was written by Lee Champman but posted by me on her behalf. P.]

    Hello Patrick!

    I just want to say that I’m loving your blog! :)

    What an a***hole the guy that did that to you though! It saddens me too the number of people out there who have no principles or ethics!

    I’ve been struck by them again & again over the last decade, eventually causing me to hit rock bottom! :(

    However I’ve finally found some worthwhile moneymaking venues here on the Internet and I’m starting to rise again! Slowly but SURELY! :)

    I do believe in Karma and like to think that these people will pay for their actions sooner or later! Little consolation I know, but at least we are stronger for having dealt with them!

    Keep up the great blogging! Lee :)
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  6. Andrew Stark
    February 21, 2012 at 9:21 am #

    Hi Patrick

    The fact you don’t name the person here shows that you are the bigger person.

    I tend to shout my mouth off and would have shamed the person, so congratulations in the way you have put this post together, negativity just breeds negativity.

    Depending on how much work is involved in these deals it may be worth considering getting a written contract in the future, as it would be awful to do a week’s worth of work and not get paid. Getting ripped off for a few articles is a learning curve but not a total disaster.

    Andrew Stark thinks you may like this post too..Kermit The Frog’s Top Tip For Online Entrepreneur’sMy Profile

  7. Nick James UNITED KINGDOM February 21, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    Hey Patrick,

    I knew someone that I was working on with a JV and he simply lost interest :-)

    Great to read your Blog. I’m enjoying seeing your flourish.

    You still owe me a beer by the way.