Not been paid for Freelance work?
It is a regular occurrence within the Freelance industry and this article tackles the sore subject of have you ‘not been paid for Freelance work’? Why this happens can be for a variety of reasons. The client is delaying payment, or forgets to pay altogether. The worse case is where the client is not happy with the work provided however there has to be supporting evidence in this instance.
Whether you are a Freelance Graphic designer or even a Freelance journalist, you are likely to be reading this because you have not been paid for a project despite an assurance you would be. These assurances have no sailed down the river and you are now looking for a solution to remedy the situation. We totally get that and we try to provide some guidance within this article to progress the situation.
Taking positive Action
The starting point for any actions to recover what is owed is to examine the agreement you had at outset. Hopefully there was some form of contract on which you have provided your services before starting the work. Normally within any terms of service there are payment terms and those will provide the backbone of any recovery action therein.
If the terms of your invoice have now expired, go ahead and resend that invoice with a polite note with it. Following up invoices is perfectly acceptable as any Freelancer that has not been paid for Freelance work should do. Goodwill does not pay the bills!
At this point, you can include additional interest and even compensation under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Act if it has been clearly stipulated. Some choose not to do this for fear of alienating the client but it can be used as a key motivator for payment if it is included in your terms at outset.
Things do not get lost in e-mail so maybe worth getting a sent and read receipt to put on file as proof of delivery. This can come in very handy further down the line if the client claims they never received the invoice. Sounds ridiculous but believe it, this happens every day without fail.
If there is no response to this within seven days, then you are going to need to rethink your strategy. You have now re-sent the invoice, attached a polite reminder and it has still not been paid. If the instructing client is part of a Company, it can be beneficial to send your invoice straight to the accounts section. Or maybe the line manager of the person you have been dealing with. This is rarely the case but an option for some especially if you are dealing with a marketing or advertising agency.
You should highlight the completion date for the project undertaken and request prompt payment in full of what is owing. Do not shy away from asking for prompt payment, If you have not been paid for freelance work it is likely you will be late for some of your financial obligations.
If all reasonable attempts at engagement are being ignored, a more direct approach maybe necessary. A phone call can be more effective and provide some clarity on matters. If you make a few calls and are getting the old “We’ll call you back” response or the person you are trying to reach “isn’t available right now” then you know you are being fobbed off which is when you will need to revise your strategy.
Sending a special recorded delivery letter can help in this instance. You will be provided with proof of delivery and even a copy of the signature of the person who signed for it. This can be trickier if the client is overseas as most countries do not have a postal system that is as efficient as the Royal Mail. Again, a deadline needs to be set within your letter.
It is worth stating within your letter that recovery action will have to be taken if no payment is received. This is the next logical step and also lets the client know you are serious about getting your money back. Being self employed and not been paid for freelance work can be a stressful situation but remain calm, there are many solutions available to you.
Time to seek Expert Help
Your attempts at a Professional dialogue to seek a resolution have been exhausted so what are your options now? Well if the matter has been subject to a dispute then it may well be better you seek a Legal Counsel to help you. If it is simply a perplexing case of ignoring you then using a Professional Debt Collection Agency maybe the best and least expensive option depending on the one you decide to go with. As always, cheap is not cheerful and choosing a debt collection agency to work with is pretty much the same with anything. You get (or don’t get) what you pay for and doing your homework will assist greatly in determining the best course.
At Frontline Collections, less than 1% of the cases we deal with require any form of Legal Action. We provide a Low cost fixed fee service that is even used by a large number of Legal firms to recoup unpaid legal fees. Court action can be very expensive and all claims are now subject to Pre-action protocols. These must be followed or it can render the claim null and void.
We have provided Debt Collection services for Freelancers across the UK since 2005. When a Freelancer has not been paid what is owed to them, we can act. We are proud to support the UK’s Freelance communities with our Professional Debt Collection services.
If you have not been paid for Freelance work then contact our friendly New Business Team today. We will listen to your issues, identify the legitimacy of your claim and offer the possible solutions based upon the Debtor’s financial circumstances. Our Appraisals are free of charge and enable you to make the educated choice as to whether Debt Collection action is suitable for your needs.