According to the Court House News the Widow of Mike Schacht, who was known as a baseball author and painter is suing Bruce Caruthers, his business partner Brooke Yoole and DreamFire Enterprises in Federal Court, alleging cyber squatting, libel, fraud, outrage, embezzlement, interference and libel.
The Court News Website reports that DreamFire agreed to design and host a website for Mr Schacht to promote his baseball paintings and writings in around 2000. Mike Schacht died in 2001.
Linda Schacht says, “Defendants, through DreamFire, continued to host the Websites. However, no invoices were ever sent to the Schachts, though monies were paid informally by Mrs. Schacht at various times and in various amounts when periodically requested by Mr. Caruthers.”
According to the report, after not hearing from DreamFire for more than 4 years, Mrs Schacht received an email out of the blue with a ‘Final Notice Invoice’ of nearly $26,382.95 for services relating to the Websites and Mike Schacht Internet Domains for the preceding 9 years.
Apparently the website www.mikeschacht.com carried the following message, “www.mikeschacht.com shut down for non-payment by Linda Schacht of $26,382.95” until today when the original site seems to have been restored.
According to the invoices Mrs. Schacht is being charged $1200 annually for hosting when the DreamFire’s website’s advertises a monthly fee for basic website hosting is only $35 per month or $420 per year.
Know you’re Web Design Costs Upfront
Although you can’t stop unscrupulous web design and hosting companies from sending you overpriced invoices you can do your own due diligence prior to doing business with a web design company.
“If you have any doubts then get all the details in writing, including their charges for next years hosting, before you hand over any money” says Phil Brassington, a Director as Rake Mark Web Design in Stafford.
Rake Mark Web Design in Stafford advertises their hosting rates on their website and those are the rates they charge their clients.
Taking down a website and replacing it with a claim of outstanding invoices is also a really big ‘no no’ at the Stafford web design firm, especially over a simple matter such as an unpaid invoice.
“Rake Mark tries to work with clients if they are facing difficulties. Rudeness is simply unprofessional” said Mr Brassington.