To be angry and stressed?(30 Posts)
Really long story but basically DH is self employed, things have been really tight financially lately due to the guy he mainly subcontracts for extending payment terms because customers weren't paying on time and as a result we haven't been able to do any Christmas shopping yet. There was a big invoice due yesterday, DH was assured it would definitely be paid on time so we'd planned to go shopping today but as of this morning there's still no sign of the money in our account. Had arranged for DM to have DD (which is a story in itself as DM isn't overly willing to help) and was looking forward to getting it done so I can stop worrying we will struggle to get the things DD has put on her list and now it looks like it's not happening. It really is a long story but the only reason DH agreed to extending the invoicing period was so we can budget properly and rely on money coming in on the due date instead of two weeks late and now it looks like waiting the extra month has done us no good at all. Feel so bad for DH, he absolutely busts his balls to do a good job for this guy and it feels like he gets no respect for that when he can't even pay him on time. He's doing his best to get work elsewhere so we don't have to rely on this guy but unfortunately he is the main source of work at the moment. So worried our Christmas is going to be ruined and the worst part is we know for a fact it's not that the guy can't afford to pay DH he's just one of these people who likes to hold onto money as long as he can. Feel sick at the thought DD might wake up to nothing on Christmas morning, we won't even be able to afford food if he doesn't pay. DH left messages chasing payment yesterday and he hasn't even bothered to reply. Just feel so angry, sorry for ranting but have to let it out somehow and it's not fair to rant at DH, he already feels bad enough and is doing everything he can to sort it.
We've been where you are now, dh was self employed and invoices took ages to settle.
I think your dh should go and see this bloke and demand his money, don't be fobbed off. Your dh has done the work and wants payment.
I've badgered men for payment when they've owed dh money (I used to be his secretary).
*posted too soon.
Is there family who can lend you money if this bloke doesn't cough up in time?
Oh no. Not what you need right at Xmas. I think people don't realise that behind a business is a person whose wage their paying with the invoice. Hope it gets sorted soon for you.
oh, i feel for you. we have been in similar position and ive fronted up to big burly builders for dp in the past. he used to call me the rottweiler.
it doesn't help now but can your dh get some agency work after Christmas? the money might be less but its regular.
i hope it works out for you - get on the phone to this guy, go there if you have to . You'd be surprised how much they respond to a no nonsense woman!
That's the worst of it still the guy is miles away on a job himself so can't go round and badger him, if DH does manage to speak to him he'll say he'll ask his wife to transfer the money and then fob us off for god knows how long that she's been busy or that he can't understand why she hasn't done it when he asked her to. Meanwhile we're checking online banking every couple of hours and worrying ourselves sick, it's just a shit situation. We might be able to borrow a bit from family but it will mean doing Christmas on a shoestring instead of being able to spend what we'd like, not the end of the world I know but unfair when we had a comfortable budget worked out and should have been able to splash out a bit.
DH has seriously considered packing it in LEM and just looking for driving work or something instead but it would be a big drop in money and would mean his qualifications would be going to waste as there really isn't agency work in his trade, it's pretty much all self employed sub work unless you can afford to go completely on your own which DH can't just yet. If we can carry on building the work up for another couple of years we could afford the insurances etc he would need to set up properly on his own and things would be much easier but we're not there yet.
Can dh go and see his wife if she's in charge of invoices and payment , cut him out of the discussion?
I really feel for you, we endured God knows how many sleepless nights due to tits like this.
can you phone the guy from your phone? would he recognise the number? then if he does answer, give him a bollocking about his tardiness ruining your child's Christmas. Offer to go round to see his wife to collect the payment?
i feel really sad for you, it must be so stressful and frustrating that your DH has done work in good faith but is not able to control when he receives payment.
Would the threat of small claims court help? Does it deal with that sort of thing?
I'd be finding out and considering whether to put that in a message this morning. The one thing that might make me hesitate a bit is that this man pays a fair bit of your income (or doesn't pay, as the case may be).
That's not a bad idea actually still, hadn't thought of that. Know she works so will see what DH thinks about going round tonight if we've still heard nothing. Thanks, think I'm too frazzled to be thinking clearly now.
Good idea Gazelda will try that. And yes, that's it exactly, it's the lack of control that's so frustrating.
Yes Topsey there is a certain amount of trying not to get too aggro because, for now, DH relies on him for work, am at the stage now where I'm wondering if that matters too much if he's not going to pay him though. There is some work starting to come through from another source now so we're hoping we can phase this guy out before too much longer but have been trying not to burn any bridges up til now.
You totally have my sympathy. I'm a freelancer rather than a contractor but had a persistent late payer (they were a multi-national company). I had to threaten to instruct my solicitor every time before they coughed up - though I appreciate you're trying not to rock the boat too hard.
Is the Late Payment Directive relevant in your case? It allows you to charge interest if payments are late - see www.gov.uk/government/publications/late-payment-directive-user-guide-to-the-recast-directive. Eg you could send a polite, factual note saying that if the invoice isn't paid by X then you'll be charging Y in interest, as per the Late Payment Directive. Might alarm him enough to pay up without you having to get shirty.
This may also be useful: www.itcontracting.com/late-payment-contractors/
Absolutely nothing helpful to say - Im in the same position and utterly petrified about Christmas.
The only advice I have is to keep nagging, keep texting and calling - those who shout the loudest generally get seen to first! Spell it out for him - we need that invoice to be settled today - can you please make sure this happens. Sympathies
Definitely try and phase this guy out if you can. People who dick about with payment are the worst.
I would say though that you really can't tell if he has cashflow problems or is just being an arse. People can look outwardly well off and be playing a really complicated game of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Sounds like this might be the case. If he puts a lot of work your DH's way, there's no benefit to him pissing your DH off, so it may well be genuine cashflow issues. Which is all the more reason to try as hard as you can to get shot of him as a main client.
Going to see his wife is a good idea. I would say you talking to her might be a good idea too.
In the future NEVER extend payment terms. NEVER, for any reason. And try to put a little by each month if you can so eventually you get ahead and have a bit more of a cushion.
Very stressful, I'm sorry.
We have our own business and late payments piss me off.
Not sure f this would work for you, but I refuse to do anymore work if an invoice is late.
I also badger people. One bloke I badgered 4/5 times a day. After 3 days he paid.
We don't work for him anymore unless he pays upfront.
One customer got 14 days credit and I withdrew it, because they were always late.
I enjoy being the money chaser
DH has a clause on the bottom of his invoices stating he will charge interest after a certain time. He has done it too. The problem is VAT, it becomes due as soon as you've done the work, not when you get paid!
Thanks all, am as sure as I can be its not a cash flow problem, as I said the trade has very few overheads and he's managed 3 decent holidays in the last few months so can't be doing too badly. Getting payment out of customers is his only stumbling block but he invoices on 30 day terms and DH has waited 60 days for his cut so there's really no excuse. We had savings, not much admittedly but they've gone on bridging the gap while we wait for the first of the 60 day invoices to be paid, we can start building them up again once payments start coming through again but it's all happened at just the wrong time with Christmas coming up again.
DH has just found out about the charging interest thing and will be including a clause in future invoices, fingers crossed it makes a difference.
am as sure as I can be its not a cash flow problem, as I said the trade has very few overheads and he's managed 3 decent holidays in the last few months so can't be doing too badly. Getting payment out of customers is his only stumbling block but he invoices on 30 day terms and DH has waited 60 days for his cut so there's really no excuse.
I guess what I mean is that as you can't see his accounts you can't know whether he has the money to pay you right this moment - no money in account = cashflow problem. Just because he lives a flash lifestyle, you don't know whether it's all on credit and he's down to the wire every month paying it off.
If he's not good at getting his own invoices paid, he definitely has a cashflow problem. Revert your terms to 30 days, and insist that if this invoice is not paid within 24 hours you will be changing your terms to 14-day payment.
Still nothing, still being fobbed off DH has been ringing all day but he wouldn't answer, finally tried off my phone and he picked up (thanks Gazelda) but he did as expected and blamed his wife being busy for her not having made the payment. Said he would ring her and ask her again but hasn't filled us with confidence. DH is worried about rocking the boat and not getting anymore work but am going to keep trying to convince him to go over to their house tomorrow teatime and speak to the wife ourselves. It's starting to cause rows between us now so going from bad to worse really, so pissed off.
Phew, he's paid it have just composed an email for him to send reminding him of the terms he agreed to and informing him there will be late payment charges applied if this happens again. Don't know if it will make any difference, hope so as there's another invoice due next week which is meant to pay for the Christmas food shop. DH is going to redouble his efforts to find alternative work in the new year so hopefully we won't have to keep going through this, thanks for all the support and advice, much appreciated.
Oh so pleased for you OP! I'm freelance and know how this feels. My BIL gets very shirty if things aren't paid for his work....his wife does the chasing and she's FULL ON. If people avoid her, she goes and knocks on the door.
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