I wasn't really sure where my question belongs here or on SO, but I decided to go for it on The Workplace; excuse me if I chose the wrong place, also, excuse me for my english.

Here's the situation:
About a year ago I was working as a web-developer and my colleague introduced me his friend who was seeking for help with his website. That friend (let's call him D) has a small business in entertainment and asked for a "free" simple website that would track bookings. He promised two free tickets for the website. I had a free time and thought why not? I took me like a couple evenings to make a simple website. Eventually I got my tickets and D got his website.

Time passed and D's business has grown up, and of course my simple, somewhat buggy website went crazy. Month ago I started getting endless messages from D telling about multiple bugs. The tone of messages implied that I have to fix those bugs.

I managed to reach an agreement with him about some bugs and he paid me some money for fixing them. But he still texting me in a really childish manner with angry emojis, uppercase-written messages, showing no professionalism and respect. He always apeal to the fact that I made buggy website and don't want to fix the bugs, thus I am the bad guy, not him.

I got a new job since the time I developed the website and I just have no time and no desire to maintain D's website. And I don't know how to respond him.

From one hand, he asked for a working website in the first place. But from the other hand, I made the website basically for free, with no guarantees.

So how should I respond to him? Should I explain him that the good website costs money and I don't want to do that for free? And what if he'll continue to text me?

UPD I'm about to go with the following response, what do you think?

Hi, here's what I think. I made your simple website a while ago, basically for free. Since that time your business has grown up, people interact with the website more, it got more load, thus, more bugs started showing up. You have to understand that if you need reliable, stable, full-functioning website you should find a company or developer who will develop website that fits your needs. Right now I have no time for maintenance of your website because of my job. I think that I made a lot more than I had to do, no offence. If you want to, I can give you contacts of a developer I know who could make a good website for you, but be ready to pay for it.

  • 5
    Why do you want to continue a business relationshiip with this person? You have another job; focus on that. Inform him he got what he paid for.
    – user8365
    Jun 11, 2016 at 14:27

3 Answers 3


I think there is too much to the message you proposed in your answer
It opens you up to debate
Just close it out politely and concisely

It is great that your business and the web site are getting more volume. It started as a simple site I did for two tickets and came with no warranty. I later fixed some bugs for a fee. At this point I have a full time job and don't have the time nor desire to work on your web site.

If you tell him you know a good developer then he will come back and place blame on you when he decides he/she it not a good developer. At best say say I know some contact that may be interested in providing a quote for services.

  • 1
    VERY good point. What you should offer, and only if you feel like it, is to write the ad to find a developer. This sounds like a perfect fit for CraigsList's "Computer Gigs" category. Jun 11, 2016 at 20:25
  • 2
    No. Don't offer to write the ad (even if you do feel like it). That's not your job. If you write the ad, then he will ask you to screen the developer. This is never going to end. And even after sending this good letter, expect him to pester you again. Just be sure to stand your ground when those repeated requests come in. Repeat yourself if you have to. Keep it short. And don't worry if he attempts to manipulate you by saying you're a bad developer. At that point, just don't defend yourself and don't try to justify yourself anymore. Don't engage him. If you try to defend yourself, he has you. Jun 12, 2016 at 12:29

Be honest, you designed a simple website for simple needs, and those needs were met. If he wishes to have a better website now that his business has taken off he needs to address it in a professional matter, and expect to pay for it, more than likely get a completely new site built up from the ground.

Tell him that due to your current job you cannot longer assist him in the maintenance or creation of a site, (and go in detail if you wish to do so) but that you can refer them to someone that can help out(do the job for a fair pay that is, due to the nature of the situation, since it won't be just a favor anymore) and has your trust(assuming you can hook up one of your developer friends)

If this person keeps bothering you, you can always just block their number to ignore any incoming notifications. It might seem rude, but by then you should've already done what I mention in the second paragraph.

  • 1
    Hey, thanks for answer. I made a draft of message I'm about to send to him, what do you thing about it? (I updated the answer)
    – Timofey
    Jun 11, 2016 at 14:53
  • 1
    If its a really urgent matter, go for it. Otherwise I'd wait a bit for more input there are a lot of users who can provide you with far more better responses than mine.
    – Just Do It
    Jun 11, 2016 at 14:57

I put up with a lot of things for the money. But it makes little sense to put up with rudeness for nothing. So if people are rude to me, I tend to get rude right back, if they don't like it, hard luck.

So in your circumstance I'd be pretty blunt.

"I'm not interested in supporting your site for free, you already got more than your tickets were worth. Mostly I'm not impressed with these endless stupid texts you're sending me and the tone in which you're sending them, go bug someone else. Great your business is doing well, but don't involve me, because I couldn't care less. Regards. Me."

Or something similar depending on my mood.

  • 3
    Eh... I'm not sure about a response like this, you're just putting yourself at their level.
    – Just Do It
    Jun 11, 2016 at 14:42
  • So what? If someone takes a swing at me I swing right back... worked for me so far in life, I'm not in a beauty pageant. Business owners get swelled heads sometimes (I deal with plenty), best to pop their bubble then you can have a decent negotiation, give them a position of strength and you're asking to be shafted.
    – Kilisi
    Jun 11, 2016 at 14:48
  • Well, I'm "glad?" that it has worked for you, but what you suggest is not being blunt, your being plain offensive and disrespectful, even if annoyed you should get a hold of your emotions and be the professional one. Prove the "annoyance" you are at a higher ethical and professional level and you expect them to be at that level.
    – Just Do It
    Jun 11, 2016 at 14:51
  • 1
    That's exactly how I feel, but I decided to go with a slightly more polite manner. Anyway, thanks for taking time answering my question.
    – Timofey
    Jun 11, 2016 at 14:52
  • The chap is using a typical overbearing strategy with the OP, as long as it works it's saving him money at the OP's expense. He knows he's doing it and he knows what affect it's having, it not accidental. but suit yourself. I just hit back and then the whole tone of the relationship changes shortly afterwards.
    – Kilisi
    Jun 11, 2016 at 14:57

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