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Subject:Re: Client won't pay From:Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET> Date:Tue, 22 Oct 1996 08:13:00 EST
At 04:31 PM 10/21/96 -0700, you wrote:
>I need advice from other freelancers on the list--
>What do you do when a client won't pay an invoice?
>I took on a client a few weeks ago. After two weeks, he said that the
>company was having financial problems and to halt all work. Now he won't
>pay the invoices for work completed and accepted.
>What would you do in this situation?
Write it off and move on. You'll probably hurt more than he will from this
resolution, but there's little you can do to force him to pay that won't
cost as much as the payment you'll get. And as a contractor you can't afford
the time to pursue a deadbeat with no money. It's one of those dirty little
problems that employees dreaming of being contractors don't realize until it
happens. That's why you're always low-level marketing, networking, lining up
prospects, so when the trap door falls under one of 'em, even after you've
started the job, there's something else lined up. It's tricky but essential
and it's the only way to recover from an unrecoverable debt. On the plus
side, of course, you can write it all off on your taxes, and tax time is nigh.
Next time, you might consider looking at a client's credit rating before you
start. If he's publicly traded he'll certainly be listed. Conversely, if
he's a two-person shop he probably won't be. But it only takes a moment or
two to check and if he's a high risk, bring it up and insist on more money
to compensate for that risk. Or get a big deposit up-front. (You did get at
least a third up front, didn't you?)
Vice President, Simply Written, Inc.
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