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View Poll Results: How Quick Should I Expect Payment?

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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Question How Quick Should I Expect Payment?

    Hi Guys,

    I'd like your thoughts on the following: how long is reasonable when waiting for payment? I'm talking about payment of an invoice for a service already provided (say the end of a design job).

    I would think 2 weeks is about max. You?

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
    Non-Member Egor's Avatar
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    Well, eodge, it really depends. The latest I've even been payed is two weeks after finishing the job, and that was because of a misunderstanding. Usually, I get payed 1 - 3 days after finishing a project. But, of course, that's the way I work.

    Two weeks tops after sending out an invoice seems reasonable to me.

  3. #3
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Don't you set a due date on your invoices, people?
    Mattias Johansson
    Short, Swedish, Web Developer

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  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    I expect all my invoices to be paid within 7 days of receipt - 'Payment due strictly upon receipt'. e.g. you receive the invoice, you go straight for your chequebook and post me the money back. 50% of my clients respect this and I respect them in return by performing my work for them with the same speed and efficiency.

    For the other 50%: after 7 days I send them a 'did you send out the cheque?' email. If I don't receive it after another 7 days, I send them a red reminder. This usually does the trick.

    I have one client who is a persistant non-payer (unfortunately he's my second biggest client). I found out recently that it's his company policy to hold onto invoices for 6 weeks to collect as much interest as possible. I'm currently waiting on a mid-project payment of around 2000. It's 3 weeks late, even though apparently 2 weeks ago it was 'on his desk ready to be posted'. I've sent my red reminder - now I will ring up and remind him that after 30 days, I add a 5% late payment penalty.

    When it comes to balancing payment on a project, I usually get paid quite quickly, simply because I refuse to release work/put site live until I do get paid. This tends to encourage rather quick cheque writing.

    With mid project payments, I simply stop working for the client until it's due. Even when they pay me, I'll usually not re-start work straight away - they go to the back of the queue as they missed their 'window'.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowbox
    I found out recently that it's his company policy to hold onto invoices for 6 weeks to collect as much interest as possible.
    Ba5tards!

    Quote Originally Posted by shadowbox
    With mid project payments, I simply stop working for the client until it's due. Even when they pay me, I'll usually not re-start work straight away - they go to the back of the queue as they missed their 'window'.
    I like the sound of that. That's where I'm stuck at the moment. I think most of the problems come down to the priorities of the client. If they don't see a need to rush, they won't!

    Thanks a mil for your advice.

  6. #6
    Not now, I'm kinda busy. pdxi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M. Johansson
    Don't you set a due date on your invoices, people?
    Yes, and I also set a due date in my contracts.
    Jeffrey Hunt, freelance PHP & MySQL developer
    Resume: http://www.jeffreyhunt.org/resume/

  7. #7
    Webwellwisher Robert Warren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M. Johansson
    Don't you set a due date on your invoices, people?
    I do. I thought it was a fairly standard practice. "Reasonable" is whatever you write into the contract; in my case, I bill at the end of the month on a term 30 day basis. If the client cancels the contract midway, they get invoiced immediately and the bill is due within 15 days.

    If the client blows the 30-day marker, I'll send a past due and a request to contact me. If I hear nothing within 15 days (or if the client's been pissing me off in some other way), I'll set a "no pay" killswitch flag in my database that replaces all their copy test boards with a "Discontinued for lack of payment" message. (That actually can have an effect.. I did that to a recent client who never bothered to download any of his copy, and so the only source available was his test boards. He was an hour away from a meeting with his SEO people, checked the board, saw the message, freaked out, and tried to sweet talk me into turning it back on. I insisted on full payment, he made it, I turned him back on and then immediately sent him a contract discontinuance letter.)

    If I still hear nothing, I'll send a warning letter. If that doesn't do anything, I'll send the bill to a collector.

    To the OP - seriously, though, payment term should be in the contract. The "reasonable amount of time" question should be asked by the client, not by you.

  8. #8
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    I explain payment completely in my proposal (which also serves as my contract) and "Payment due upon receipt" is at the bottom of each invoice. If I don't hear from the client by the end of the week, I contact them, ask them if they received the invoice, and ask them if there's a problem. I've never had a client go over two weeks without paying.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown


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