I completed a website project for a client. My contact was a marketing company who I’d worked with before. Although I can see the end client is CCed into all my communications and should be up to speed on what I’m doing, they don’t offer any input. I get on quickly and finish the site. Two weeks pass after I’ve completed and submitted an invoice, I phone my marketing contact:
Me: Hey, I haven’t been paid for that website.
Client: Are you really surprised?
Me: Well, they didn’t seem that eager, but still – the job is done. I don’t have time to chase them, so I might have to pass it onto my lawyer. I hope that won’t spoil your relationship with them.
Client: Oh well they had trouble paying for electricity and such when I was there. One day the phones cut out because they were too late paying, so that was their attitude to money. You can try but I doubt you’ll get anything.
Me: Wait. They were having trouble paying to keep the lights on?
Client: Yeah! I know I couldn’t believe it!
Me: And at what point exactly did you decide to introduce me and this project to them?
Client: Well, it was still a good idea. They paid your deposit didn’t they? Just take down their website – it wasn’t that much after all.
Me: Generally, I don’t like to bankrupt clients with my services. They don’t have admin access to the site until they’ve fully paid. I could ruin their reputation. I could steal all their clients’ info. I could take any money made through orders. Do you not think it might have been easier not to suggest the project to them if they couldn’t afford it?
Client: Yeah, well I was just happy to get paid, but those all seem like good ideas to recoup your loss.