Need help: getting a past due client to pay up

48 replies
Unfortunately, it appears I have a deadbeat. Thankfully in my copywriting career, this is the first time this has happened to me. However, that leaves me rather unprepared for the next steps.

I've emailed and called, and presented a couple of options for payment if a lump sum wasn't feasible. I've also checked the client's website -- the sales copy is already up and being used despite the fact that we have a signed agreement stating copyright doesn't transfer until I've been paid in full.

I realize these situations are delicate. I hope no one else among you has experienced this, but for those who have - any advice?
#advice #client #due #past #pay
  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    Firstly you should have gotten a deposit before starting work but that doesn't help you now. You can advise the client that if they don't pay you, you'll use the same copy in lots of other places online and so it won't be original for starters.
    You can also arrange for it to point to porn sites or something like that so it will affect their business.
    There are lots of nasty things you can do IF they won't pay.

    I would ask them straight up.. "Why haven't you paid the bill as promised?" Give them ONE chance to answer and a deadline to pay and warn them that consequences will be taken that will affect their business.

    That's my 2 cents worth.
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    • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
      Originally Posted by laurencewins View Post

      Firstly you should have gotten a deposit before starting work but that doesn't help you now. You can advise the client that if they don't pay you, you'll use the same copy in lots of other places online and so it won't be original for starters.
      You can also arrange for it to point to porn sites or something like that so it will affect their business.
      There are lots of nasty things you can do IF they won't pay.

      I would ask them straight up.. "Why haven't you paid the bill as promised?" Give them ONE chance to answer and a deadline to pay and warn them that consequences will be taken that will affect their business.

      That's my 2 cents worth.

      You're assuming I didn't get a deposit. I did. Half, to be exact. I appreciate the advice, but nasty is not my style. Direct is, however. I may just ask why he hasn't paid.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kristabelle
    I afree with laurencewins - most people will try to organise payment with you if they are a honest person - they wont try and avoid too much. Being that the articles are your copyright until the payment is made then you can do whatever you like, eg put them all over the web making the useless, and yes point the articles to those other sites BUT NEVER warn someone what you are going to do.

    Give them a deadline, dont go back on that deadlline and then start to push the articles all over and make the links - THEN you tell them about what you have done and ALSO you must put in a part, if you are not happy with the article, please advise me in writting what are the concerns or we will take it as if the artiles are exactly as required. this will get you out of trouble later.

    Put a link at the bottom of every page of the article- advising people that you are doing this as Blah blah didnt pay their bill, whom requested this article, but refused to pay the account.

    Make the statement factual and dont write a comment about your feelings - factual is not going to get you into trouble by personal feelings will : eg They refused to pay their bill = not factual. You should write : They were advised they had till date to pay and they did not pay their bill.

    Plenty of people cant pay but then there are others that wont pay.

    I hope that this helps, had a few people not pay accounts - but then do the above and forget about it.. spend your time on the A class and get rid of the B and C's they take too much time.
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    • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
      Originally Posted by Kristabelle View Post

      Give them a deadline, dont go back on that deadlline and then start to push the articles all over and make the links - THEN you tell them about what you have done and ALSO you must put in a part, if you are not happy with the article, please advise me in writting what are the concerns or we will take it as if the artiles are exactly as required. this will get you out of trouble later.

      Put a link at the bottom of every page of the article- advising people that you are doing this as Blah blah didnt pay their bill, whom requested this article, but refused to pay the account.
      This is not an article. It's sales copy. I have contacted the client about revisions but received no response. I believe in what goes around comes around, so I'm not going to spam him across the internet or drag his name through the mud. I will take him to court if need be, though. Fortunately for me we have a contract.
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  • Profile picture of the author Flyingpig7
    Can you not contact copyscape about your original content being used without your permission on someone else's site?
    I know this is a long shot and probably difficult to do but you can obviously prove that it's yours as your work is post dated (I'm assuming you've copyrighted all your stuff before sending it out to prospective buyers). I don't know if copyscape can actually do anything?
    Perhaps I'm being a little naive that this is even possible for all web writers work.

    Just trying to help.
    Keren

    P.s I agree with Kristabelle she gives great advice about putting a copyright link on each page; and giving a final payment deadline.
    Also I believe Tiffany Dow has some good advice to give on this same topic about how far your copyright goes until you get paid, (not sure if it's on a thread in the forum though).
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
    Banned
    If you still own the copyright (and you can prove that with your signed agreement) you simply need to send a DMCA notice to your client's host. They'll remove the page. Now, that doesn't have to be the end of it, and you can kindly explain that you will allow him to use the copy when the terms of your contract have been fulfilled. You are not helpless in this situation though.

    Laurence's idea doesn't work very well (and is kind of a petty way to deal with things. This is business not high school), so I wouldn't recommend it. Posting his copy made specifically for his product all over the web? All that accomplishes is free publicity for him. Sure, you can link it to porn and other off topic offers, but that's going to lead to a backlash against you, not him. At the end of the day, they'll find the real thing too. He gets the sale, you get your own reputation and business seriously messed up.
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    • Angie,

      Getting ripped off in the wonderful world of copywriting does happen.

      And yes, you're angry (make that furious after all your effort).

      Seeing the client using your copy and getting the results just inflames the frustration even more.

      Revenge seems sweet.


      Unfortunately, if someone was intent on robbing you - they were always going to.

      By all means keep asking for your money.

      And you can spend ages using all the "other" tactics.

      But...

      It takes time, drains your energy, keeps you fuming and costs you even more. And the client can try and retaliate in nasty, bitter ways desperately trying to "justify" his/her position.


      It is of course up to you - but after a time it can be easier to take the hit (and do everything you can to prevent it happening again).


      And just move on.


      When you're working with your good clients you'll start to feel so much happier.


      Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
        Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post



        When you're working with your good clients you'll start to feel so much happier.


        Steve
        That's the thing. Granted, he was a first-time client, but we did everything the right way. Gave him my quote, sent him the contract. He signed it, we met up and he gave me the deposit - half up front, I might add. I've left out a lot of detail, but blasting this guy on the net is not my style. I just want my money. He's worked with copywriters before, according to what he said. My clients are miles apart from the clients I first started out with, back when I thought I could be successful on sites like eLance. But seeing as how this is a local client that runs in the same circles as I do, I'm leaning toward forcing his hand.
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        • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
          Banned
          Originally Posted by angiecolee View Post

          But seeing as how this is a local client that runs in the same circles as I do, I'm leaning toward forcing his hand.
          I'm a bit surprised that said client is shafting you then, if they know that you will see them at various points in the future. Perhaps a situation has come up where they don't have the money to pay, and they're too embarrassed/ignorant/childish to just come out and say that. May or may not be true, I'm just speculating. It'd be flat stupid to just try to drop off the face of someone who's in your local circle.

          I don't remember if it was on this forum or on Reddit that I heard the story, but some contractor was being shafted by a local client so she went to their brick and mortar office every day until she finally caught them. Lo and behold, they cut a check right then and there.

          Now that I think of it, it was Reddit. A /r/bestof thread from a few months back. I'll link to it if I can find it. Anyways, perhaps try going that route?
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    • Profile picture of the author shawnlebrun
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Joe Robinson View Post

      If you still own the copyright (and you can prove that with your signed agreement) you simply need to send a DMCA notice to your client's host. They'll remove the page. Now, that doesn't have to be the end of it, and you can kindly explain that you will allow him to use the copy when the terms of your contract have been fulfilled. You are not helpless in this situation though.
      The ONLY way I'd handle this is to do what Joe said... contact the web host and advise them this person is stealing from you... because they are.

      If they have not paid you fully for the copy, they do not own it and can't use it. so take swift and immediate action and contact the client first, advising them that you're going to their web host, google, payment processor, anyone involved.

      stealing is stealing and you need to protect your copyright. this is why i get 100% payment upfront for almost all jobs now... so something like this just doesn't happen.

      i do 50% deposits for clients i've worked with... but that's about it. and also, you can send over proof of the copy being done in the future, if the client hasn't paid you 100%... but i would never send finished copy to someone who hasn't paid you completely.
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  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    Start writing collection letters. There's a lot of good
    stuff on the topic in Robert Collier's book.
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    Angie,

    1. These situations are delicate. Suggesting various strategies without knowing subtle details could be like using a sledgehammer when a softer, defter touch is more appropriate.

    2. Be careful. Watch your back. When one plays hardball, be prepared for the Client to retaliate. In ways you may not expect.

    3. Above all, I agree with Steve: Stand guard at the door of your mind. These kinds of situations have a nasty habit of stealing your brain's bandwidth. The emotions you expend on this will bleed into other projects. And you don't want that.

    - Rick Duris
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    • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
      Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

      Angie,

      1. These situations are delicate. Suggesting various strategies without knowing subtle details could be like using a sledgehammer when a softer, defter touch is more appropriate.

      2. Be careful. Watch your back. When one plays hardball, be prepared for the Client to retaliate. In ways you may not expect.

      3. Above all, I agree with Steve: Stand guard at the door of your mind. These kinds of situations have a nasty habit of stealing your brain's bandwidth. The emotions you expend on this will bleed into other projects. And you don't want that.

      - Rick Duris
      Precisely. I'm not afraid of retaliation, per se. I just want to handle this in a way that simply has me pursuing someone for what is owed (half the project fee, as half was paid up front) and hopefully getting paid. I mentioned in responses to others that nasty is not my style. If this guy was intent on stealing from me, he'll get his.

      I'm just kicking myself. At one point I asked him why he was looking for a new copywriter and he said his old one moved. I said if you had one that worked well for you, was she not able to work remotely? He said I've tried that option, but can't get her on the phone.

      In retrospect, I can see that for the red flag it should have been.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
    Angie,

    You can sic the legal beagles on to him, but in my experience they aren't as effective as you'd hope...



    Seriously though, depending on how much you're owed and the type of contract you have signed, this is probably a waste of time and energy - and money.

    The DMCA notice is a great idea, but I wouldn't hold my breath on getting paid.

    What you'll likely end up having to do is basically take it as a lesson, wave goodbye to the cash, and figure out what you can do to make sure this doesn't happen again.

    For example...

    *Look back over the transaction, looking closely for any "red flags" you could have noticed...

    *Ensure in future, you get 100% of your payment up front (excluding royalties of course)

    *And make sure you have signed agreements/contracts etc to discourage people from screwing you around

    Really, that's all you can do. Part of being a freelancer, IMHO.

    -Daniel
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    • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
      Originally Posted by Daniel Scott View Post


      What you'll likely end up having to do is basically take it as a lesson, wave goodbye to the cash, and figure out what you can do to make sure this doesn't happen again.

      For example...

      *Look back over the transaction, looking closely for any "red flags" you could have noticed...

      *Ensure in future, you get 100% of your payment up front (excluding royalties of course)

      *And make sure you have signed agreements/contracts etc to discourage people from screwing you around

      Really, that's all you can do. Part of being a freelancer, IMHO.

      -Daniel
      Yeah, I mentioned in my reply to Rick that it just occurred to me this morning I had a red flag with this guy. Subtle, but there. I've made half the project fee, so I'm not completely shafted. And I admit the court route is tempting, but I know it'll be taxing on my energy. We do have a signed agreement. I like to think the courts would rule in my favor, but that doesn't mean he'll pay up.

      For the most part a 50% up-front deposit has worked for me. As I said, I haven't had any other clients do this to me in the years I've been doing it. Until now, I've never had a problem with clients having milestone payments. This isn't going to ruin me financially or anything. It's just maddening. Part of me really wants to use everything I have to go after him. Thankfully the practical side of me says pursue it until it's not worth pursuing.

      And thank you for the cute puppy Definitely made me smile!
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  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
    Joe, yeah. Thank you for that - I'm glad I'm not the only one royally confused by this guy's actions. We've met face to face, I have spoken to him and his assistant, and I have a signed agreement. Seems kinda dumb to be a jerk to a contractor over a project fee. But I have my answer. I pulled my trump card and mentioned the copy use and DMCA and he responded with, "I guess you're going to have to go the DMCA route". That pretty much tells me he never had any intention of paying me beyond the initial deposit.

    So I'll just serve him with DMCA and be done with it. But I'm making damn sure no contractor I know works with this guy. It's a shame what some people feel they have to do to make a buck.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
      Banned
      Originally Posted by angiecolee View Post

      So I'll just serve him with DMCA and be done with it. But I'm making damn sure no contractor I know works with this guy. It's a shame what some people feel they have to do to make a buck.
      Yep, sorry to hear he is being a hardass. Seems he underestimates a DMCA though, probably thinks he can just ignore it. He's in for a surprise though .
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      • Profile picture of the author OutOfThisWord
        Since he is in the same town as you, and you have a signed contract, and you send a demand email and he refused...

        ...you have everything you need to file a cause of action. And it's funny when people are served with papers, checks magically appear.

        Go ahead and take screenshots of his website, showing how long the copy has been up too.

        Don't be afraid of the court system. You can file a cause of action online and pay the court costs too.

        Fortunately, I haven't had to go to court since 2002 and that was to finalize getting paid by a deadbeat I first sued in state court, then he filed bankruptcy in federal court, and I filed there as a creditor and tied up his bankruptcy until he paid me. And he did.

        You can Google and find copies of lawsuits and simply model yours after that. The court will accept it, even in a crude form, and he will be served and he has only a certain amount of time to respond until you get a default judgement, meaning you can then get a lien against his property, even walk into his bank.

        Don't be afraid of the court systems. Jerks like this are betting that you are.

        If you are going to be self employed, you might as well learn the ropes.

        Back in the '80's I sued someone in your area all the way from here (N'Awlins) and as soon as he was served he fedexed a check.

        Your former client doesn't have a leg to stand on and court costs aren't that much. And your learning experience will be free of charge and you WILL eventually get paid.

        GOOD LUCK!
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    • Profile picture of the author MRMagMark
      Originally Posted by angiecolee View Post

      Joe, yeah. Thank you for that - I'm glad I'm not the only one royally confused by this guy's actions. We've met face to face, I have spoken to him and his assistant, and I have a signed agreement. Seems kinda dumb to be a jerk to a contractor over a project fee. But I have my answer. I pulled my trump card and mentioned the copy use and DMCA and he responded with, "I guess you're going to have to go the DMCA route". That pretty much tells me he never had any intention of paying me beyond the initial deposit.

      So I'll just serve him with DMCA and be done with it. But I'm making damn sure no contractor I know works with this guy. It's a shame what some people feel they have to do to make a buck.
      You know, I was leaning toward the advice that said "live and learn," but after that comment? Sue him. The contract was clear. He's using the copy. And he pretty much blatantly told you to sod off.

      Even if small claims ends up being more than the amount owed, it will teach this idiot a very good lesson. Don't screw your contractors. Because believe me, this d-bag will do it to someone else and most likely already has, according to your "red flag." Good luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
      Originally Posted by angiecolee View Post

      But I have my answer. I pulled my trump card and mentioned the copy use and DMCA and he responded with, "I guess you're going to have to go the DMCA route". That pretty much tells me he never had any intention of paying me beyond the initial deposit.
      Angie, I disagree. I think there's another perspective.

      Again, there is no way for me to know for sure. But have you ever been threatened? Threatened to the point of shock?

      Basically, the natural response is "Go ahead, knock yourself out."

      In other words, "You don't scare me."

      But he's intimidated, I'll bet. And I'll also bet he's:

      1. Googling wtf "DCMA takedown notice" means.

      2. Creating a shortlist of all sorts of nasty things he can do to you to retaliate. You have your Molotov cocktails? He has his.

      If this is the case, even though the cat is out of the bag in terms of your intentions, you still have options to resolve amicably and get your money, I believe.

      Again, this is all conjecture on my part. You're the one closest to the situation, so you would know best.

      - Rick Duris
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      • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
        Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

        Angie, I disagree. I think there's another perspective.

        Again, there is no way for me to know for sure. But have you ever been threatened? Threatened to the point of shock?

        Basically, the natural response is "Go ahead, knock yourself out."

        In other words, "You don't scare me."

        But he's intimidated, I'll bet. And I'll also bet he's:

        1. Googling wtf "DCMA takedown notice" means.

        2. Creating a shortlist of all sorts of nasty things he can do to you to retaliate. You have your Molotov cocktails? He has his.

        If this is the case, even though the cat is out of the bag in terms of your intentions, you still have options to resolve amicably and get your money, I believe.

        Again, this is all conjecture on my part. You're the one closest to the situation, so you would know best.

        - Rick Duris
        There's a lot I left out to preserve his privacy and to not have the story get too long. You're right that he may have perceived it as a threat, but I doubt he's googling it since he's made no effort the remove the copy (I haven't sent in the notice yet, getting together all the supporting docs). Suffice it to say that he's the kind of guy that gives off a "pushy" vibe - which should have been another warning flag for me. He's hard to reach when I need feedback, but expects me to jump, that kind of thing. Always commenting on how much it costs and asking if I can toss in free things. I definitely know which behaviors to avoid in the future.
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  • Profile picture of the author BrentDotCom
    You are going to have deadbeats no matter what kind of business you get into. In my offline business, we get paid net 30, which a giant pain in the azz. I found myself having to hire a full time person just to deals with ARs. Brutal.
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    • Profile picture of the author Harlan
      It's a lesson copywriters learn sooner or later.

      John Carlton says "only count the money you get paid up front." The rest - if you get it is gravy.

      You've been ripped off? Congratulations. Join the crew.

      Lots of the greats Halbert, Carlton, and more were taken for a ride.

      It goes with the turf.

      Do you really want to spend the money on a legal battle?

      Not worth it.

      Move on and let karma take a big bite out of his ass.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheWrightWords
    If you've met with him in person -- small claims court in your locale will help. It won't cost you much to file, and with your contract & proof he finds the copy acceptable (which he obviously does if he is using it), you should have a slam dunk --though I bet he pays up after the papers are filed...BTDT, filing works for local clients, provided you have a contract.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ross Bowring
    Angie...

    Gotta get paid in full upfront. Every single time.

    You do have to give some reassurances to people before they'll send you their money, but I've never had it be a sticking point for a client. Ever.

    --- Ross
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  • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
    You want I should send the boys round?
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    • Profile picture of the author MRMagMark
      Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post

      You want I should send the boys round?
      Yeah, like this:

      A Bronx Tale - Sonny's Bar - YouTube

      "Now you's can't leave." All hail Sonny!
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      • Profile picture of the author The Marketeer
        Originally Posted by MRMagMark View Post

        Yeah, like this:

        A Bronx Tale - Sonny's Bar - YouTube

        "Now you's can't leave." All hail Sonny!
        That was quality!

        I'm usually quite a patient person but once the line is crossed...

        And it gets physical...

        Then, I've just been given an excuse...

        To relieve some stress.
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    • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
      Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post

      You want I should send the boys round?
      LOL I briefly considered some tequila and a Molotov cocktail. Thankfully I'm typically able to repress petty, angry Angie.

      Though I will have plausible deniability (I swear) if you happen to have goons laying around, particularly the kind that are in the video MRMagMark posted above.
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      • Profile picture of the author rjweaver10
        Looks like I'm late to the party. I have also been "not paid" recently and it stinks! I've been working for the guy for about 4 months now and out of the blue he has not paid me for several small projects. He said that his PayPal has been frozen. He has always paid before so I'm not sure what to believe.

        Sorry about your circumstance. It sucks, bad, but you can pull through! There is always something better on the horizon!
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        • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
          Banned
          Originally Posted by rjweaver10 View Post

          He said that his PayPal has been frozen. He has always paid before so I'm not sure what to believe.
          PayPal isn't the only payment processor on the Internet. Don't take that as an excuse. Tell him to set up with someone else and to get you the money you are owed.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
        Originally Posted by angiecolee View Post

        LOL I briefly considered some tequila and a Molotov cocktail. Thankfully I'm typically able to repress petty, angry Angie.

        Though I will have plausible deniability (I swear) if you happen to have goons laying around, particularly the kind that are in the video MRMagMark posted above.
        No problem, shweet cheeks. Ya jus' lemme know if ya change yer mind.
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        • Profile picture of the author videolover7
          A few years ago, I had a client who refused to pay.

          I contacted a collection attorney in the city where the client lived and turned the case over to him. His fee was 33% if the client payed without court action or 50% if court action was required.

          My thinking was 67% (or 50%) was better than nothing.

          I don't like the tactics many collection agencies use, so by handing the case over to a collection attorney, the matter was handled in a professional manner.

          VL
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          • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
            Originally Posted by videolover7 View Post

            A few years ago, I had a client who refused to pay.

            I contacted a collection attorney in the city where the client lived and turned the case over to him. His fee was 33% if the client payed without court action or 50% if court action was required.

            My thinking was 67% (or 50%) was better than nothing.

            I don't like the tactics many collection agencies use, so by handing the case over to a collection attorney, the matter was handled in a professional manner.

            VL
            Thanks VL. I'm going to look into this.
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  • Profile picture of the author awundrin
    I also have been duped recently- three weeks ago. The person closed the email account they used to communicate with me. Hard lesson learned here. I lost out on about 200 bucks. Ouch. I hope you get your money angiecolee!
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  • Profile picture of the author Greg71
    Start a competing website and dominate search results for every keyword related to his business.
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    • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
      Originally Posted by Greg71 View Post

      Start a competing website and dominate search results for every keyword related to his business.
      I appreciate the advice, but 1) that's too much work and wastes too much of my time. 2) That's not my style. You may have missed it the few times I explained it above. That part about Molotov cocktails and beatings outside a bar was a joke.

      He's about to be hit by DMCA, and there are penalties for what he's done in his line of business. I can't give out more detail than that, but he will understand that this is not acceptable behavior, even if I never see a dime out of it. Then I'm done. Throwing a fit, trash talking him, all that? Unbecoming of a professional in my opinion.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
    Banned
    How long are you really going to put 110% into a niche that you only entered for revenge? I doubt long enough to make the endeavor worthwhile, especially when there are more productive things for you to do.
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  • Profile picture of the author crissie
    I'm sorry to say i don't agree with the "let's get nasty" attitude. I have had payment problems and have had to give up on certain payments due. But I never got nasty. I always felt a high level of professionalism would be dented if i was to succumb to "pointing it to porn sites". Sorry but that's nasty nasty.

    A stern letter reminding the client that using copyright material is punishable by law. A second sterner letter, if required, informing the client that he/she will be contacted by your lawyer (name a name) to deal with the issue.

    I always remember that life takes many turns. I had a client who ordered 20 articles from me a few years back. She paid me 20% on order and once i delivered the order, the line went dead. No payments. No return email. Nothing.

    I was desperate for the cash at the time. But I kept my head cool. I wrote a stern, but professional letter with a little personal touch, explaining how that lack of payment was hitting me. The client wrote back 3 days later. She apologized. Explained she was desperately trying to make something of her site and ran out of cash. She asked if i could wait until her first adsense cheque arrived. I agreed. It took another 60 days for her to pay me. She paid in full and continued to order articles from me until I stopped writing for others. At the end of the day, I must have made something like 3000 euros off her orders in the space of 2 years. She never again delayed a single payment to me, she never asked for a discount, and her site is still doing great!!
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  • Profile picture of the author FuNwiThChRiS
    Sorry to hear of your payment issues. Not getting paid is something that we all deal with. I have made it a habit to never deliver finished work until payment is settled. It's ok to send proofs and non-usable products to move things along. But you've got to stick to your guns to get paid.

    I tell clients, "If you don't pay Amazon.com upfront, they won't ship your Xmas gifts. I work the same way."

    Best of luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
    Originally Posted by Portlandrocks View Post

    First read this: What Do I Do When My Client Will Not Pay Up?

    Then, let's all go get a drink together and tell each other our worst stories about how our clients never pay. Group therapy is a beautiful thing.

    I once had a client who asked me to write 20hours a week worth of content for her for an entire month. Guess how much I ended up getting paid? 25 measly bucks...

    But seriously, sorry that you experienced this. One of the disadvantages of working online. If you were serving an offline client you could just show up at their work and stare at them until they wrote you a check.

    For those online clients that suddenly "disappear" I like to pretend that they were actually a spy or part of the witness protection program and had violated some term of their service and were whisked away to a secret military prison or something like that. Helps to swallow the pill of not getting paid...
    That ain't a link to da gadfadder!
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    After I would hire someone to rough him up (hey, I'm Sicilian!), I accept the fact that he's a wanker... and from this point forward, I will ALWAYS ask for 100% of my quote upfront.

    No exceptions.

    Ever.

    Not for anyone.

    For any reason.

    Unless I'm taking a cut of the action.

    In which case...

    Our agreement is going to be so frickin legal and binding that it'll make MY head spin!

    Mark
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    • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
      Originally Posted by Mark Pescetti View Post

      After I would hire someone to rough him up (hey, I'm Sicilian!), I accept the fact that he's a wanker... and from this point forward, I will ALWAYS ask for 100% of my quote upfront.
      Now dat's whar I'm talkin' 'bout.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
        Originally Posted by Portlandrocks View Post

        i have no idea who you are but I love you.
        Sorry, son, but I only travel down one road.
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  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
    Originally Posted by Portlandrocks View Post

    First read this: What Do I Do When My Client Will Not Pay Up?

    Then, let's all go get a drink together and tell each other our worst stories about how our clients never pay. Group therapy is a beautiful thing.

    I once had a client who asked me to write 20hours a week worth of content for her for an entire month. Guess how much I ended up getting paid? 25 measly bucks...

    But seriously, sorry that you experienced this. One of the disadvantages of working online. If you were serving an offline client you could just show up at their work and stare at them until they wrote you a check.

    For those online clients that suddenly "disappear" I like to pretend that they were actually a spy or part of the witness protection program and had violated some term of their service and were whisked away to a secret military prison or something like that. Helps to swallow the pill of not getting paid...

    I definitely appreciate the input, and I'm about to look into the link you posted. It sucks that you got shafted by that chick. You may have missed the portions of the discussion above where I mentioned this is an offline client, whom I've met with face to face. He can't really disappear, which is fortunate for me. So far I've issued a DMCA take down notice to the sites in question. We'll see what happens.
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  • Angie,

    I just finished collecting from two dead beat clients that I have worked with for a few years.

    I like to start with a reminder notice, whether it be through paypal, email or personal phone call. Then I start with my "evidence" per say. I send a certified mail letter to ensure that the recipient has to sign for it and I then get the card back with the proof of signature.

    My contract also has a clause in it that stated an added interest for late payments, i.e. 30 days after invoice 2% added, 45 days 5% etc.

    I have yet to have to contact an attorney or collection agency.

    Best of Luck!
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