Complaint / review text:
I was referred to PC ER computers by one of their employees in late 2010 to design a web application for their computer repair store.initial talks were going well, I gathered the required info and began work on the site after a week or so. Everything was going great until they assigned a new manager Russ to the project.
My initial conversations with Russ were confusing. It was hard for him to tell me what the company actually wanted. He seemed to not want to take the time to break down the project into it's individual components. Being a web programmer, this is essential practice in order to avoid ambiguous functionality, and to determine the scope of the project. At one point Russ told me that the application “needed to do everything.”
I worked my butt off designing the prototype and had put in over 100 hours of programming time / database design. My initial payment was $400, which I had been given before Russ was assigned to the project. At my last meeting with Russ, I asked him to please pay me $500 for the amount of work I had already produced up until that point. The project was about 40-50% complete. He said that shouldn't be a problem and he'd be in contact with me. I was given a google account for their company and I logged in that night to post updates and docs explaining my progress on the site. That is when things started going bad.
I received an email from Russ later that week which stated that he would be giving me a check for $400. This is NOT what I asked for. I decided that I should just accept the lower pay, and get on with the project though (after receiving the check). I honestly could not invest any more time into a project that had only payed me $400! So I emailed Russ and told him that I needed to be payed. Earlier that week Russ had dropped off a handheld USB scanner which I was using to prototype the inventory part of the application. Russ tried to contact me via telephone numerous times, and there was unfortunately some misunderstanding here. I made it very clear that email was the quickest way to get in contact with me, and I had not received any emails in over a week and a half.
About a week before Christmas 2010 I stopped receiving emails from Russ. He had promised me a check for $400, and it never made it's way to my doorstep, despite many emails. I had counted on that money for the holidays, and I spent all of the Christmas Holiday broke. I could not buy anyone gifts, and was very depressed and resentful, you could say I was hurt. I knew that PC ER had paid themselves and were probably enjoying their holiday, but I was somehow not important enough.
A project as large and intense as the one PC ER requested of me should have costed them well over $4000. I was taken for a ride. They wanted to see how far I would go without being compensated for my time and energy. When it was my turn to start making requests for payment, they dumped me off and ignored my emails and calls. To add even more insult to the situation, Russ began emailing me to schedule a time for him to pickup his USB scanner, which he had given to me for prototyping. This scanner was worth $120 new, and no more than $50-60 used. I told him I would not give it back unless they paid me for my work. Russ flipped out and began threatening me, insulting me, and harassing me. He told me that he had contacted the police and had filed a report against me for theft. I was appalled.
After all the work I did for them in good faith, they still wanted to treat me like garbage. Since I am a nice guy, and wanted to avoid more conflict, I decided to go above and beyond - I gave back their usb scanner. They did not thank me or anything. PC ER has deleted all of my reviews about their company, because they are obsessed with their image. They threatened to fire and garnish the wages of the employee who referred me if I did not give back their usb scanner. This is horrible behavior! I have nothing left to say about this company other than be very careful, and demand payment before working for them.