I was contacted by a business that wanted to leave their current situation (a SEOÂ / hosting / website management / web design environment) quickly and cleanly. That should be simple, right? The trick was, he didn’t want his current consultant to know until it was complete.
Everything was done in under four hours, and we were all ready to change the DNS Name Servers, when I asked if it was inappropriate for him to use this previous design. In other words, did he owe this company money? Was the design completely his to use?
Well, he ended up dragging his feet a bit, and then left things sit for a week, and the old designer found the site, because his Google analytics code was still in it.
Yes, dumb me, we moved it exactly as it was, and we were busted by the old designer, who called the client to ask about it. One day my phone rang, and it was my client telling me we’d been caught, and wanting me to deny any contact with him. He asked me to lie to the other designer in case he called.
The next minute, while still on the phone with my client, my other line rang, and it was the first designer asking me why I had stolen his clients site. Aaaaggghhh!
Placing him on hold, I returned to my client call where he instructed me not to spill the beans, and even gave me a semi-plausible lie to use. Returning to the designer, I spouted my lie halfheartedly, and hung up knowing damn well that he didn’t believe me.
Returning to the client, I told him to please wrap this up soon, because I valued my reputation for integrity, and this put me in a very precarious spot. The other designer claimed to be well known, and I did not want him believing I had lied of my own volition.
Jumping ahead two weeks, and I’ve not heard from my client in over a week now, and my emails go unanswered. I’m not sure if I’m looking for advice, consolation, or redemption by writing this here, but I’ll never let it happen again, that’s for sure!