[thelist] Rights with a non paying client...?

Joel D Canfield joel at bizba6.com
Mon Apr 7 13:43:46 CDT 2008

> Thoughts, advise... your own horror stories welcome...

don't do anything you'll regret, including giving them reason for legal
action or public humiliation. violating a fiduciary (trust-based)
relationship will screw you over so much more than losing money ever

imagine them telling everyone possible that you 'destroyed their data'
because your invoice was 'lost in their system.' doesn't matter whether
it's true, the perception would be made and anything you say afterward
would sound like a defensive whiner.

step one: accept that the real mistake was working without a signed
contract. once you're in a hole, pretending you're not won't work.
step two: figure out what's your best option knowing that you can't
control anyone but yourself. you *cannot* force them to pay, you can
only convince them to pay. the only way to  win an argument is to avoid

be aware of your worst-case scenario, and compare that to the potential
benefit of any action you take. you don't mention how much money is at
stake. if it's a large amount (however you define that) refer to step
one and boot yourself a good one. if it's small enough that step one
doesn't seem like such a big deal, cut your losses, schedule a recurring
invoice to be mailed to them once a week, and mentally at least, move


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