Re: Getting a Client to Pay

Subject: Re: Getting a Client to Pay
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2001 22:00:50 -0700 (PDT)

> Can anyone on the list suggest any other tactics or resources? What I'm
owed isn't
> very large, and I could walk away from it, but, in the last few years,
I've come to
> dislike backing down from this sort of person; it only encourges them to
> someone else.

Spoofed newsgroup postings from the CEO to
It won't get your money back, but it will be satisfying. Just think of all
the nasty spam filling up his email box. Hee hee.

Just kidding. Here is what I have done in the past...sounds like you've
already done some of this.

1. Cost/Benefit analysis. Is it worth it? Do you really want to drag this
bum into court and possibly fight and get distracted for a long time over
a minimal amount of money. Or - just forget it and move along. Sometimes
it is more effective to just forget it, and then send the guy 40
subscriptions to Penthouse or something.

2. Gather the info. Collect every last scrap of information related to the
project. Sounds like you've already done this.

3. If you have ANYTHING of theirs, like equipment. Hang on to it. Use it
as a bargaining chip.

4. Threaten. Set a deadline. Tell him if the debt isn't settled by such
and such date, you hand it over to legal counsel and confiscate their

5. Make sure ALL correspondence with this guy is via CERTIFIED mail.

6. Harass. Call the guy everyday. Ask him when he will pay. Tell him
you're going to call him every single day until this matter is resolved.
Hey, it works for collection agencies.

7. Charge interest. Hopefully your contract allows you to pay interest on
late debts.

8. If he doesn't pay on the deadline, get a lawyer to write a letter. This
can usually be done for under US$500.00. Have the lawyer set a deadline.
Make sure the lawyer threatens to sue for many times what the original
debt was. Dream up any expense you can that you incurred in while
collecting on this debt. For example, all time you have spent trying to
get this bum to pay is time you weren't billing to another client. That's
lost income, make 'em pay for that. Court costs, legal fees, interest, need to get that debt really high.

9. If they still won't pay. Sue the bastards.

I have never had to sue anybody, yet. But, if that day ever came, I would
do it. If you have a good lawyer, he/she can usually get many times what
the original debt was. Presuming you have a good contract.

Good luck.

Andrew Plato

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