It was just another day in office and nothing special. I just completed the final touches on a website that was designed for a company here in Chandigarh. The website was beautifully developed using a regular CMS platform (WordPress) and top quality graphics. The client was happy with my work and I was happy to see my client totally satisfied.
By mid afternoon I received the final payment from the client and was planning to spend that money with my kids. It was then I received a phone call from another prospective client who wanted to meet me for a new website. I invited her to my place as I was keen to take that assignment also.
She reached my place in formal attire with her business partner. They looked and conversed very professionally regarding their business. They asked me to develop a website for their company “Diamond Gl…” – a recruitment company with branches all around the globe. I assured them that I am among the best web designers and developers in Chandigarh with an experience of over 18 years. They were impressed with my past web design works.
We finalized the payment terms and they promptly gave me the full payment in advance. Wow, that was a bonus for me to enjoy with my kids!
They asked me that they would require a domain “Diamondgl…..COM” and hosting space also for their website. They immediately gave me the logo design in a JPEG format and the entire contents (including contact address etc.).
With best of my abilities I designed a very beautiful website for them. The client was happy and I was happy to see them satisfied.
After uploading their website on my server I felt relaxed as another assignment was successfully accomplished.
Just after a week when that website began to appear on the Google search results, I got the shock of my life! A Cease and Desist notice from some Canadian company with similar name.
When I browsed through their website it was very similar in contents to the website that I just developed. Not only similar in contents, even their logo was identical. I recalled all the conversation that I had with my client, to my surprise she once told me that they are the representative partner of an international firm.
Hmmm… I was in a state of bother as Cease and Desist notice was also addressed to me with an ultimatum of a legal action. It was 2:00AM and I tried calling to my client and their phones were not reachable. Now what….!
I got my act together and did the following to sort out this mess:
- Completely removed the website of my client from my website server.
- Emailed to the Canadian company an apology letter from my side and assured them that this website will not be uploaded.
- I immediately realized that I was tricked to some sort of a recruitment scams in India. So I thought about giving a call to the Director of the Canadian company. Though it cost me few rupees but that call was worth making. The director of the Canadian company was impressed with my extra effort.
- I tried calling my client the next few days and they did not even bothered to pick up my phone call.
What did I learn from this?
- Never believe in what client says and/or claim. Do your own research and verify if their contents are original and not plagiarized.
- Physically verify their documents of authenticity before reserving a domain. They might be terrorist also!
- If you receive a notice from anybody, do not panic. Immediately call your client and if they do not receive your call – remove their website from your server.
- If possible talk to the person who issued the Cease and Desist notice and listen to him very carefully. Try to resolve this issue then and there.
- As a good web ethical designer assure him that the website will not be uploaded until all the issues are resolved with your client.
- Do not refund any money to your client.
- Ask your client for extra money for the harassment.
Web designers in India have a bad reputation of designing websites for small amount of money without caring for the originality of the contents. I have seen millions of websites designed as a total/partial replica of some other website. It is not only an issue of plagiarism it also invite Google penalty.
Every good website designer and developer in Chandigarh should thoroughly check the contents provided by the client. They should recommend the appropriate changes. They should make sure that every little information that they put on the net is original and interesting for the readers.
Sometime client may or may not know but it is our duty to guide them about the importance of original contents on the net. It will not only make their website unique and search engine friendly but also improve our relations with our clients immensely.