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late payments
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ohbigdaddio · 15/03/2017 13:26

Hello freelancers!

What do you do when a client doesn't pay on time?

I have a regular client, great to work for, but the accounts dept is terrible!

They have only paid me on time once and the rest of the time (10 invoices!) they just don't pay me. I let it go a week past the due date and then I email them, sometimes have to email 3 times and once even had to copy in the person I was working for to get them to pay me! It's beyond frustrating especially as I'm fairly quiet at the moment and really need the money on time!

I have asked time and time again if their payment terms are different to my 30 days and told them it is extremely frustrating chasing up each invoice until I'm paid. They often pay me 2,3,4, or even 5 weeks past my due date and with no apology. Eventually they send me a cheque or say "will pay this week" and they never answer my questions about their payment terms. Tearing my hair out with it! I'm starting to think they're doing it on purpose just to p* me off even more paranoid freelancer thoughts!

Thanks in advance for any thoughts/help Smile

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semanwen · 15/03/2017 14:12

What does the contract say?

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ohbigdaddio · 15/03/2017 15:15

Hi semanwen I don't have a contract. I'm a freelance designer/illustrator and we don't usually have contracts.

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ohbigdaddio · 15/03/2017 15:15

I'll add that in my industry payment on or before 30 days is standard.

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pixiebaby23 · 15/03/2017 17:22

You need to draw up a contract with your payment terms and ask them to agree to it.

It can be as an email, but in it refer to the info in payontime.co.uk - if they breach that, you claim interest.

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ohbigdaddio · 15/03/2017 17:26

Thanks pixiebaby23 I'll have a look at that website.

Does anyone issue a late payment charge?

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TheCakes · 15/03/2017 17:28

There is a late payment clause you can put on your invoice, which charges a set % fee. I can't remember the wording but Google will know.

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merrymouse · 15/03/2017 17:30

I agree it's difficult. Some large organisations routinely pay months late. You phone up and ask if there is a problem and get told the invoice has been approved, but they can't give a payment date.

At least if they were honest, you could plan and take late payment into account when deciding how much to charge.

If they are just disorganised, chasing works because the squeaky wheel gets the oil. However if they are deliberately paying late your only option is to threaten court action - not always easy if you also want more work.

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merrymouse · 15/03/2017 17:31

OP, maybe you could offer an early payment discount?

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purpleleotard · 15/03/2017 17:36

As a self employed trader, I would not work for anyone who did not pay. Upset me once and that was it.
When employed I had a problem of a client company refusing to speak to me until our account was paid.
So either accept that some companies play the late payment game or don't work for them until the last bill has been settled

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pixiebaby23 · 15/03/2017 18:20

This is why the payontime legislation is there - I add a footer to my emails pointing it out - so far haven't had a problem with late payments.

Have a good read of the website OP.

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ohbigdaddio · 15/03/2017 19:04

Thanks all.

The thing is they do always pay me, just weeks late. I'd accept it once or twice but it's every time and I've done over 10 commissions for them!

The chasing up is frustrating and I feel powerless. I don't know if they're really doing it on purpose – I have a feeling they're just very slack.

Interestingly on the remittance advice slip included with my last cheque the 'due date' they had put on there exactly 30 days after my invoice date so I do get the feeling they're just crap!

Early payment discount not a bad idea but I don't earn loads so I'm not sure.

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