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What to Do When You Are Not Getting Paid for a Freelance Job

  • By Nicholas H. Parker
  • February 18, 2021

you have some issues or misunderstandings with your current client? Want to get some practical pieces of advice on how to keep the relationships and get your payment? Check out these useful tips on how to do it correctly and wisely.

How to get a payment for a freelance job?

Each freelancer might face it to some extent – the client forgets, delays, or refuses to pay him or her. However, you have a few options: you might either follow up or take your client to court. Nevertheless, it would be much better to start with the least dangerous way.

Analyze the contract & resend the invoice to your client

 Referencing your contract must be your initial step. However, it supposes you had taken the time to design a contract that was signed by both you and your client before you began to cooperate. You should have stated how much you should be paid, when, and the terms. You should also address the late fees to be charged when the customer fails to pay within a certain time frame.

 Suppose you have done all of these, then you should send the invoice. Claim that you’re still waiting to be paid and resend it if you need it. When the invoices are followed up, they are ideally acceptable. You should send a polite message to make sure they received the initial letter with an invoice. Then, you should wait for a few weeks to get their response and move on further.

When you follow up, you provide your client with the advantage of the doubt not to get lost in the bunch of emails list, even if they avoid you. Finally, at the weekend, you might receive the check inside the mailbox. If not, your suspicions might be claimed to be true.

If you deal with a customer that does not have anything in writing or will not pay, you should send a specific letter to them like you might have done if you had had a contract. You might inform your customer that you agreed on the terms and amount of payment. Tell them you just write to follow up to make sure whether a check will be sent.

Writing to your business manager

The vast majority of freelancers do not deal with the ones who should pay them. In most cases, you would deal with a contact person. You should do it since this person is aware of the current state of the project. So you do not deal with a person who signs the checks and balances the books.

So you should write an email or a letter to the business manager of the company with a signed contract and your invoice copy. It should show both the client’s and your signatures. To find out the business manager, you might call the company and ask for their name. You should not go deeply into details about things you want to discuss and who you are. Just figure out their name and contact data.

In your email or letter, you should inform the business manager about the final completion date of your project. Tell them that you added the contract’s copy signed by both their company representative and you. be professional and courteous. Mention the number of days the invoice has been past due.

When you added the late charges, as long as the contact person did not respond, you should inform the business manager that you will do it if the bill is not promptly paid. You might also schedule a specific date by which the payment must be made not to let the added charges.

You might get a faster payment by this act of goodwill, even if you feature a specific right in order to collect late fees in your contract. You might also have the possibility to cooperate with this company in the future if you do it this way.

Follow up with a phone call

Sometimes it is much better to do a phone call if compared to sending several emails or letters. Contact the business manager when you are ready to call them. Getting in touch with such a person, you might ask whether they received your email or letter.

By doing this, you might ask them to discuss the situation. So they might tell you about the fact that your check is in the mail, or they might not have an idea or clue about the things you are talking about, or explain the reasons why they are not willing to pay you.

When they claim that they have no idea or a clue about the things you talk about, you should offer them to resend the data. When they say, the check is about to be sent to you, tell them about the fact you are happy to hear that and looking forward to receiving it. Check out why they do not wish to pay you if they are saying they will not.

You should try to resolve the problems in that specific conversation. If you see that you are fighting to find common ground and they still do not want to pay you, you might send a certified letter.

Sending the certified letter

To ensure your letter and invoice is received, you should send the certified letter to the specific person. You might do it also to inform them that you plan to take it to the next step to get your payment. Note that most of the certified letters are often neglected.

When you are ready to take the case to court, you should use certified letters. They might inform the customer that you want to file a lawsuit in case they do not pay you money.

Let them know that if they do not pay you till a specific date, you will take the case to court. Make sure you provide them with an adequate amount of time to give you a response. For example, do not ask them to pay by Friday if you send them a letter on Monday.

Taking your customer to the court

If they did not notice your attempts to improve the situation, and when the customer does not want to pay you, you should take the case to court, for sure, because you do not have other options. You might get a piece of advice from many lawyers by the phone on the way to how to do it correctly.

Unfortunately, being at this stage is not the best thing you would like to be at. Most freelancers do not want to deal with it. However, if you really want to be paid, it is worth applying effort, time, and paying fees to the attorney. You must decide whether to let it go or seek justice in the court.

Unfortunately, being at this stage is not the best thing you would like to be at. Most freelancers do not want to deal with it. However, if you really want to be paid, it is worth applying effort, time, and paying fees to the attorney. You must decide whether to let it go or seek justice in the court.

Finishing the relationship with the customer

Fortunately, most of the payment problems are resolved before taking the situation to court by a conversation with a business manager. So you do not have to deal with lawsuits, certified letters, or phone calls. If you followed every rule of courtesy and professionalism, you would not have any issues dealing with your customer in the future. However, you should ask yourself whether you want to proceed with cooperating with them.

If you should fight for every single penny, you earn with this customer, and you would better find another one. If you are not looking forward to dealing with similar or same problems again, it will be better to stay away from troublesome customers

How to prevent yourself from being unpaid in the future?

Check out these tips if you are not willing to deal with specific payment issues:

You should brand your communications. So your customer will pay you faster because they will recognize you. According to statistics from our users, the users that branded their communication were paid in 37% more cases if compared to those who did not apply their brand.

You should seal your deals with contracts. For example,  AND.CO cooperates with Freelancer union to generate contract templates that are dedicated to freelancers.

We feature a hilarious additional service where the user might send a letter to the customer that did not pay.

You may ask how it works. Firstly, you have to create your letter based on your due invoices or select them from AND.CO. Secondly, W&H prints your letter, sends it to your client and gives real-time alerts on its shipment and arrival. Finally, Client pays you online or via your preferred method.

Click here to find more details!

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