I am in urgent advice from someone who can help.
I engaged a developer for a website and things have turned nasty. This developer is holding the source code, under delivered and asking for full payment to proceed with development or handing over the source code. Not being happy with months in delay I asked for a severance payment to go else where to finish the code. This developer has asked for full advance payment to release the code with weeks of functional design yet to be done. This is completely unacceptable on my part.
He's threatened to remove the source code off his development server until such a large payment is made without fully coding to agreed expectations. His review on Freelancer is poor from other customers. He's also deleted another customers website over a $250 dispute. This resulted in a bad review from that customer who was able to recover his website from the host company. This developer ignored a lot of the customers review in response and simply stated he got what he deserved. A 49% completion rate tells me he's the problem not the customers.
My feelings are he would do the same with my development without a reasonable fee to get the source code. He's also ignored some milestone deliverable's including providing the source code on a timely basis. His arrogance is overwhelming.
My questions is as I am not a developer - can the source code be obtained from the dev server at the moment or is it more complicated than that? I have access to the front end and back end of the development as a URL to the dev server.
Can i take the source code in anyway?
Please trust me when i say, this person is devious and all I want is to secure months of work and what I paid for so far.
I have no means of legal action and he's holding the whole matter to ransom on his own terms and that is full payment ahead of delivery. I've had enough of delays which is now 8 months for a website which is not that complex.
Can anyone please advice me if it's possible to retrieve the source code and tell him to stick his threats after that? I doubt anyone in their right mind would have engaged this person if they knew what they were in for from the start. My restricted budget was the reason i went with him and he's a good salesperson. But as soon as I paid for 80% of the site development, his persona changed and so did the quality of the work and correspondence. Now the project is held to ransom.
Please someone help with my question. Please don't criticize me for getting involved in the first place but the amount of money is substantial to me and I want to get out of this with no more bruises.