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  1. #1
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    Angry Customer Not Responding to Payment Request

    I have known and worked with a fellow designer for years-both under contract and freelance. They contacted me a few months ago because a client of theirs needed a new graphics person. Their client reached out to me, we had a conference, rates, etc. were agreed upon and things were good.

    I sent the first invoice and they responded with "Can we pay you half now and the other half with the next invoice?" Normally I would have said no but my friend has worked with them for a long time, and wouldn't have suggested them if they were shady so I agreed. A few weeks later, they were asking for more work during a meeting and said, "Send over the balance we owe on the last invoice so we can get you paid-and include this new work order when your finished." So I did the new work order, sent the invoice and that was that. Well, weeks have passed so I emailed the to see if there was a problem, if it had been returned in the mail, etc. because things do happen. No response-from people who have always responded with in the hour. A few days later, I send the email again. Still nothing.

    Clearly, I don't ever want to work with these people again and just want my money owed. Should I mention any of this to my friend? There's really nothing that my friend can do, but I also feel like it is something that they would want to know? Any advice is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    Maybe they're having an issue with their e-mail. Have you tried calling?

  3. #3
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    Yes, no answer, and when I resent the message I used both their reg and alt email addresses. It feels fishy...

  4. #4
    Serial Entrepreneur
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    It sounds like they might be going out of business. Yes, I would ask your friend about them to see if your friend has any information about how their business is going. I would not get into the long story, just say that you haven't heard from them in a while and wondered if something was wrong.
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  5. #5
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    Thank you for the advice-it is worth a try.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Evangelist Unit7285's Avatar
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    People who owe money and can't pay it are less likely to respond to emails. It's easy to ignore an email.

    So the way forward is frequent phone calls until someone picks up, and then they can't avoid the issue. No need for any drama, just be businesslike and professional and don't hang up until you've agreed some kind of timetable for specific actions that are agreeable to you.

    It's also sensible to start sending a sequence of Reminders by post so you have a paper trail that will be useful (essential in some locations) if you're forced to resort to court action/small claims further down the line.


    Paul

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the advice. I am def keeping a paper trail, still calling and emailing to no avail. My friend had spoken with them so they are still in biz and not dead, just dead beats. I am looking into how to take it to small claims and if there is a waiting period, etc. We are in separate states so I'm looking into how that would be handled. It is for under $1000 so I'm not even sure if its worth it. I would have never done the work and handed over finished files had my friend not recommended them. Going forward, I can't hand off anything with out payment regardless of who suggests them. It sucks, but so does not getting paid. I'm not sure what to do because no one has ever just not paid me before.

  8. #8
    Serial Entrepreneur
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    Deadbeats in another state.... can you get to their county courthouse to file a claim in magistrate's (small claims) court? That's where you'll need to file anything if you want to recover money. Gotta be on their home court, because that's where their assets are. If they have assets in your state (like an office), go ahead and do it in your home court.
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  9. #9
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    Maybe you can do a whois on their domain name, and get a different phone number. Also try a people search and look other phone numbers. You might luck out and get a home number, and have a better chance of reaching them. If they are having trouble, maybe you should still go for getting half of the money first rather than all of it (or find an amount they can pay right away).


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