I work as a freelance video editor. I was working on two projects for a client. For the first project they had asked me to keep track of my hours and charge them accordingly, and for the second we had an agreed project rate.
When I finished the first project they asked me how long it took me. I had been using a timing app and so let them know very accurately how long I had spent on it. I received some rude messages back claiming that I was being ridiculous and overcharging them by adding extra time on and that it definitely shouldn’t have taken that long. I asked a fellow freelance friend if I’d spent too much time and they said I’d done it pretty quickly in their opinion.
Consequently, the client was in a bad mood with me and made all the communication for project 2 (which we had already started) difficult. Towards the end, after a couple of weeks of silence from them, I received an email late one night:
Client: We’ve decided to finish the edit in-house, so can you send the hard drive back?
Me: Oh, ok. Yes, that’s fine, I’ll send it back and then send you the invoice for the agreed rate.
Client: You’ve already invoiced us for it.
Me: I’m pretty sure I haven’t actually sent the invoice yet as I only invoice once I’ve finished a project. I’m actually out at the moment but I’ll check when I get home.
Client: You do that.
Me: Don’t worry, I’ve got a good system in place so I can keep track of these things.
Client: Sounds like you need a new system.
I got home, checked my spreadsheet and as I had thought, I hadn’t sent them an invoice for it yet. I created it and sent it over to them.
Me: Right, I hadn’t sent it yet. Here you go.
The client then took months to pay me. I eventually had to turn up at their office to get the check. When they gave it to me, it was for less than they owed me. I had to then show them how much it should have been for. They finally gave me a check for the right amount. I haven’t worked with them since.