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Posted 30 October 2003 - 05:15 PM
Posted 30 October 2003 - 06:33 PM
I have to say however that in 90% + of cases i get the money without fail and on time, most of it is down to making it clear at the beginning when I expect to get paid.
Yes OWG, in my experience, you are absolutely right.
The only exception is the crooks who intend to defraud you from the outset. Two of my experiences with this type of defaulter are as follows:
1. After telling a defaulter that I was coming over to his offices today to collect my overdue payment, I have literally sat in their reception and told each and every visitor exactly why I was there. Word soon got to the MD - and the cheque was in my hand within 10 minutes.
2. I had a solicitor (yes, you read that right!) default on us for £3K+. That really got me riled! This was the only time we went to court over a payment default, and I'm really chuffed to say that we won!
Business crooks come in all shapes and sizes and, alas, it's not always possible to sniff them out at the outset of a project.
Posted 31 October 2003 - 12:54 AM
I like half payment up front for big jobs and I simply put all their work aside until the payment arrives.
For many of my current services it's full payment in advance.
I have never had a problem with non-payment since once of my very first client's stiffed me. (A guy from a church no less!) Learned a valuable lesson from that stinker. Get the payment first. Do the job second.
Posted 31 October 2003 - 08:14 AM
Posted 31 October 2003 - 10:10 AM
On web development - 50% down, 50% on completion or on very large high dollar projects - 50% down, 25% at halfway mark and final 25% at completion.
Posted 31 October 2003 - 12:19 PM
1. If you're not getting payment in full up front, take a quick credit application. Check their payment habits on other open accounts and verify basic bank info. This is really easily done with a few quick faxes. It's important to check BOTH trade references and bank references. Trade references can be good even when not deserved, because a lot of companies give their best affiliates for these, but the banks will never lie (although if a bank refuses simple information, like NSF activity, that's a big red flag).
2. Always ask for a personal guarantee. Some people will refuse to give one, but many will go ahead and sign. If you have a personal guarantee, and the company defaults on the bill, you then have the additional resource of pursuing the guarantor for payment. Make sure the guarantee is well-written and very comprehensive (for example, the guarantee I use even stipulates that, no matter where the transaction was done, any and all litigation will be in our county, at our option).
3. Implement a series of calls or emails for late-payers. Be really nice the first time, say something like 'you may not have received our bill'...
4. Use collection services before it gets nasty if you're not getting results. There are a lot of collection agencies (email me if you want some names) who will send a demand letter for free, in hopes of getting your business if it goes farther. There are even more who will send a series of letters for a minimal fee (about $15). These may be exactly the same as the letters you'd send yourself, but being from a collection agency has a lot more sway. Dun & Bradstreet is my favorite one, if the company is listed. They'll send a three-letter series for I think about $20, but there's an added benefit. D&B will immediately change a company's rating when any collection service is ordered against them.
I could probably come up with a lot more, but these are the basic important things. Good luck!
Posted 31 October 2003 - 05:19 PM
Posted 31 October 2003 - 09:00 PM
I give them the total price first, then how much they require to deposit to get them "x" far. Once that is reached, deposit again, etc. I go out of my way to ensure that progressive results are given to clients, this in turn instills confidence and trust in their purchase; as such the rest of the money comes easily.
Posted 01 November 2003 - 12:36 PM
For ongoing fees under $1k we typically require a CC from the client.
The only issues we've ever had is with very large companies with policies of paying 30-45 days out. In those few cases we simply invoice early and it works just fine.
Posted 02 November 2003 - 02:00 PM
It gets a bit stickier if I've never met the person in person, since I work via the Internet many times, and have clients all over. I have only been seriously stiffed twice. After emailed invoices, phone calls, etc. I then notified the FBI fraud department, since this person had contracted via the Internet for my services, the product was delivered, and I never received payment.
I had proof, etc. including our emails, the original documentation. I had emailed this person the previous day letting them know I would do this. They can shut a web site down for you in cases like this.
They must have contacted this person, because the next day I got my payment!
Again, this is an extreme measure, and I used it only after trying every other reasonable method of being paid.
Posted 02 November 2003 - 05:13 PM
That said, we ask for 50% to start, 25% after the design layout is approved, and 25% when the site is finished and approved but prior to launch. At any rate, this has worked well for us.
I think we may switch to second-50% due when design is approved because from that point to site completion (adding content, tweaking everything, optimization) is a lot of work and I'd rather take additional up-the-road "hassles" (like the one last payment) out of the way.
Posted 01 December 2003 - 10:24 AM
So, first-zone webpage don't have a telephone number, mail address, only a feedback with no answer.
Has any one the same experience with this people?
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