The freelance world can be a bit difficult from time to time. You spend hours seeking out jobs and writing the perfect articles, but what happens if you don’t get paid? It can be stomach turning for the end of the payday to arrive and not have received payment. While you may get angry, or sit there in complete shock, there are a few ways to deal with late paying clients.
Give Them the Benefit of the Doubt
It may look fishy to not receive payment, but things happen. Your client may have internet problems, been in an accident or simply forgot. Regardless, the best way to handle the situation is to contact the client. In most cases it was a simple error or the payment was just delayed. By approaching the situation professionally, you can prevent losing your client by going off the handle.
If you’ve tried emailing the client and haven’t gotten a response, it may be time to escalate the issue. A quick phone call can give you a better idea of what’s going on. You can usually find the contact information of a client that has paid you through PayPal in payment details. If the client seems to be avoiding the issue, or won’t take your calls, you may have a serious problem.
Know Your Rights
If you are selling the client the rights to your work, remember that he only has those rights once you’ve been paid. If your client doesn’t pay up, publish the content elsewhere, if possible. If the client uses the content, send them a cease and desist notice explaining that he does not have the rights to the content because he did not pay for it.
Get a Lawyer Involved
If a client owes you a large sum of money, and refuses to pay up, it might be time to get your lawyer involved. In most cases, simply mentioning that you will take the issue to your lawyer will get the client to fork over the funds, but if not a lawyer can help you take the client to court. Remember, this tactic is only worth while if the client owes a large sum. Otherwise, you’ll pay more for the lawyer than you’ll get from the client.
No one likes to deal with late paying clients, but it sometimes happens. The key is to first understand that things happen and sometimes they are beyond the client’s control. Second, call the client in order to get a better answer. You should also know your rights and where you stand on the content that you’ve not been paid for. Last, but not least, only get a lawyer involved if the client owes a large sum.
Guest poster Diedre Fleisner is a professional writer who knows how much it can sting to not get paid for her hard work. She enjoys writing about bankruptcy and loan issues and enjoys researching sites.