I sometimes forget how much advice is tucked away in comments on old posts, like this (edited slightly, below) on how UK-based designer David Roberts recovered what he was owed from a client who had no intention of paying.
Art by Alec Monopoly.
“I had (past tense, unfortunately) a client for almost two years who provided me with a regular flow of work. However, the frequency of the work began to slow and payments got later and later.
“Then came the excuses and unanswered calls and emails. I was owed quite a large amount that was more than four months overdue. Finally, I sent the client an email stating that if they were experiencing financial difficulty to contact me about a payment plan. This seemed to shame the client into responding, but after another excuse the responses dried up.
“I came across the UK Government’s Money Claim Online service which, for a small fee (£70 in my case), they’ll take the client to the small claims court. I did this and within three weeks the client was forced to pay the full amount, plus interest, and my £70 fee.
“I was fortunate — the client had moved premises and obviously had no intention of paying.
“So I would urge freelancers to watch for the signs and don’t wait forever as the longer you leave it the harder it can be to get your money.”