I’m a web developer/designer. I have a client that has never paid on time for anything in my history working with him. He’s very well off and is pretentious and arrogant during nearly every encounter.
For most clients, I’m willing to cover the domain renewal and yearly hosting on spec if they’re late because I know that the money is coming and we have a good relationship. This client burned that bridge years ago.
Six weeks before their services renew:
Me: Hello, your annual hosting and domain renewal is due 6 weeks from today. Here’s an invoice for the charge.
Five days before their services renew:
Me: Hi. Just a friendly reminder that your services are set to renew on Sunday, five days from today. I haven’t received payment for the hosting or domain yet. If the cheque’s in the mail, that’s great but if not, I can accept an EMT or PayPal to ensure that there’s no interruption to your service.
One day before cancellation of service:
Client: I’m on vacation right now. It will have to wait until I’m back in the office on Tuesday.
Me: Hi. Thanks for getting back to me. Unfortunately, everything expires tomorrow and there will be an interruption in service if nothing is settled up before then. I gave six weeks notice of this renewal and didn’t hear anything back.
Four days after the website was taken offline due to non-payment:
Client: Why is my website offline?
Me: The website is currently offline because you haven’t paid me yet for hosting or domain renewal. If you can send over an EMT I can get that deposited and get the website back up and running in about 30 minutes.
Client: I’ll send a check.
Me: I’d prefer an electronic money transfer s I’d need to wait for the cheque to arrive and then clear before renewing everything
He’d sent me checks that bounced before.
Eleven days after denial of service:
Me: Hi. I still haven’t received your cheque or EMT. Can you give me an update?
Client: I didn’t send it yet.
Me: Why not?
Client: I’ve been busy.
Me: Okay. Well, as soon as you can then.
Two weeks after denial of service, still no money.
Client: WHY IS MY WEBSITE STILL OFFLINE? THIS IS HIGHLY UNPROFESSIONAL!
Me: Hi. Did you mail the cheque yet?
Me: Well then!
Me: You’ve never once paid me on time. The very first time I paid for hosting and domain registration it took you 4 months to pay me. I’m not going to do this on spec.
Three weeks after denial of service:
Me: Your domain expiry grace period is in 7 days. After that someone else can buy it up. If you want to send over an EMT for the invoice, I can get everything taken care of for you and get you back up and running.
Client: Fuck you.
I guess that’s the end of that relationship, then.