We haven’t really heard what was actually in the contract (or if there was even a proposal) and also how much they paid for this website. Both of these factors I think play the biggest role.
If we’re talking about a professional design company that charges professional rates and they included these items in the proposal/contract – then it’s a pretty open and shut case of being screwed over.
But if we’re talking about some guy the OPs friend hired who didn’t have a contract and charged like $300 for a website they put up in a week, then it’s a whole different story. Now you’re just in the “get what you pay for” realm.
I use to be the guy that would do this to customers. For me it stemmed from a lack of education in what I was doing. The person who did the work probably had the same problem, namely: they didn’t know what they were doing. Not to plug CSS-Tricks to heavily here but between this forum and TeamTreehouse.com, I’ve learned be a much better designer. It’s good to have role models and teachers.
It’s a bummer this happened to your friend but unfortunately, situations like these are the result of a combination of:
A. people not knowing the difference between good and bad design and how it will effect their success
B. people not knowing where to look for designers (other than good old Craigslist, of course)
C. Too many half-cocked and un-educated, but completely willing, designers throwing themselves out there for mega-cheap … or in this case, not so cheap … promising the world and delivering nothing.
Like I said, it’s a bummer. Simple h tags, alt tags, and title tags should be included in a good design. It’s semantics and it’s important. A designer should be delivering a finished product, not an incomplete mess.