Forgive my rant, but I just have to vent a little. A client from New York, for whom I've done work for several years without problem (and whom I'm reluctant to name in an open forum) has stopped paying me anything but lies and really stupid excuses. Apparently, I'm smart enough to do their work, get it to them on time, but I'm so stupid that I'm supposed to accept any inane excuse for not receiving my money.
All of my communications with clients are in the form of emails because, as one attorney I worked with for many years taught me, a telephone call is not worth the paper its recorded on. I first wrote this client on 11/22 and advised them that I was holding nearly $700 in delinquent invoices back to August. The client responded that a check would be going out immediately. I did get a check...for $77.25 for a search that had been done in May (and had been overlooked in the original total). I wrote back and advised that while I appreciated the check, it was nowhere near the amount past due. I got absolutely no response to my email, so I wrote the client again on 12/19 and advised that I had not gotten any response at all to my previous email, so they needed to be aware that I was suspending their orders until payment was received. I even scanned the past due invoices and emailed them with this order.
About two weeks later, I received a check for about half of the past due balance. This check contained a note that said that they would send the rest of the money owed after their new checks came in and that those checks were on rush order. Of course, the question was why didn't you just write the one check you did send me for the total amount due instead of a partial payment, but I let it go at the time.
On January 13 I received an order from this company and I immediately emailed them and told them that I was sorry, but no orders would be completed for them until their balance was paid in full. I was then told that they would have someone cut me a check and they would email me a copy of the check. Immediately, I responded and said I would hold the order until I received the check and they would not get the order until I got the payment. They claim that someone had thrown away the note that promised payment to be made as soon as the new checks came in. Once again, I sent copies of all the past due invoices.
On Friday, January 20, I received a call from this client and said that they were about to have someone cut me a check and wanted to confirm the balance...which was NOT the correct balance. I was then told that once the check was cut, they would email me a copy of the check they cut because they needed their search. I told the caller that I was very sorry, but they had already been advised that NO more orders would be going to them until I RECEIVED the check. Their January 13 order had been completed on the promise that they would be mailing me a check that day, but it was in my briefcase and I had told them that I wouldn't send it without the balance being cleared but that just as soon as I received the check, the completed order would be emailed to them in mere minutes.
The response? "Well, just cancel the order because we can't wait that long to get this order back!" They actually acted offended when I advised that if they'd cut the check seven days prior when they told me they were doing it, they would already have the completed order in hand!
The order (completed, typed, scanned, and invoiced) has gone into my file storage box and the invoice has been voided. I will eat the time and copy expenses before I send it to this client who has given me nothing but stupid excuses and bold-faced lies for months now!
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