TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Collecting Receivables From:"Cheverie, Paul [Cont]" <paul -dot- cheverie -at- GPO -dot- CANADA -dot- CDEV -dot- COM> Date:Fri, 1 Dec 1995 18:14:00 EST
John Leer wrote:
>I was wondering how other independent contractors might handle this type of
This sounds like the client knew just enough about the publications business
to be truely dangerous. My reaction to this situation would be dependant
upon the following factors:
- Who was responsible for the unexpected problems that required a
change-over from a MAC platform to PC.
- The client's reasons for not promptly paying his bills.
- My faith in repeat business coming from this client.
- My faith that the client will actually pay the bill I present him (if
I gotta take him to court to get my money, I'll want to bill as much as I
can justify under the contract).
- Whether or not I like the client. (I know, this isn't a very
objective way to look at this, but if I like the client it is generally
because I consider him/her to be an honorable person.)
If everything you said about your client is true, then I would bill the
max billable under the contract. I don't like this client very much, and
with the history of payment pretty much already established, the chances of
this client trying to delay or ignore the final bill are fairly high. You
may have to go to court over it (which is expensive and time consuming), so
bill for as much as you are entitled too and charge interest on the unpaid
balance of the previous billings.
However, if your assessment of your client is different that mine
(highly probable considering I don't have all the facts - I wasn't there),
and you feel you can have a profitable long term relationship with this
client, then by all means give him a break on the final cost, but not 33
percent. Give him a break for 15 percent (but start your negotiations at 5).
One thing I would like to point out here is that your client is trying
to use your own insecurity against you by telling you that future business
is dependant upon your caving in to his demand for a price break.
Personally, I think if this client were mine I would be very tempted to tell
him to take his future business elsewhere and to start paying his #$%$# -at- #
bills on time.
Best of Luck
paul -dot- cheverie -at- gpo -dot- canada -dot- cdev -dot- com