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Annoying Clients

Discussion in 'General Business Forum:' started by ARRIVALS, Dec 15, 2011.


    ARRIVALS Well-Known Member

    Hi guys, need a bit of advice here.

    I'm having problems with a client. I've worked with him over 10 different times on various projects, but right now it appears he's disappeared, and he owes me £750. I've emailed, called with no luck, and just yesterday, let him know I'd be taking legal advice.

    Luckily I've never had issues with clients and payments before, and I don't have T&C's set out, although I do state how long invoices must be paid etc.. on quotes and invoices sent to clients.

    With this particular client, I do have various emails that contain what we have agreed payment wise, prices for work and a lot of emails from him giving me dates of when I will receive payment. Obviously none of these have materialised now.

    I have read that if I can prove I've done everything asked of me, and I have these emails that contain the agreed prices etc.. then I do have a case, even without a signed contract. I presume I can prove I've done everything asked, as he's come back to me 10+ times.

    Do I have a case, if so what steps do I need to take. I've sent numerous invoices, followed up by emails regarding the matter. Right now, a couple of them are nearly 3 months overdue.

    Any help would be great. :icon_Wall:
  2. Moominbaby

    Moominbaby Member

    It would seem from what you have said, you would win your case.
    (I have been in this situation, it was a pain in the arse!)

    If it was me, the first thing I would do is try again to contact them via phone or in person. Then I would send out a letter stating you have sought legal action blah blah…pay me money (something like this ☺)… blah.
    Then send a letter from your solicitor.

    Hopefully these steps will scare them and they’ll pay you, this is what happened to me. I very luckily, have a good friend who is a partner in a large law firm, so the letter was free for me and he spoke to them directly on my behalf.

    But he did say if they don’t pay, it will be a real pain and I may consider whether it is ultimately worth all the time and legal costs of taking them to court. As at the end of it even if you win the case, lots of people simply don’t pay the money owed and it can be the start of a long chase.

    I know that it’s a bit of a shit but do the letters etc and if they still don’t pay then reassess the situation.
    Good Luck!
  3. Katedesign

    Katedesign Well-Known Member

    Various options:

    1. Go to small claims court - as long as you have his address and he hasn't done a bunk. You can do it online. It will cost but your costs can be claimed also and interest. People always used to pay up on a court order but nowadays...?
    2. Go to a solicitor who specialises in debt recovery and get a letter. Again people used to pay on a solicitors letter.
    3. If you have his address - and especially if its a business go and ask for your money. I've known people to sit and wait in receptions until the cheque magically arrived. Perhaps it was to stop them asking everyone who came in if they were also there to collect missing payments.
    4. Boss will recommend a debt recovery firm... if you have a recommendation from someone reliable then you can use them.

    These are in no particular order. Hope they help!
  4. Katedesign

    Katedesign Well-Known Member

    If they don't pay after small claims court you can get a county court judgement against them (again more money) but satisfying to know that you've buggered up their credit rating!
  5. pcbranding

    pcbranding Member

    I've been in similar situation.

    Write a letter outlining what you've agreed, when you supplied it, whether any promises were made to pay you, when you've emailed/phone called etc.

    Include a copy of the invoice that you need paying and special delivery it all to the client together with words to the effect that you hope this can be settled amicably without needing to escalate the matter.
    Give some form of time scale (7 days etc.) to settle things and see what happens.

    Then it's either swallow it or go to a legal route. Often an official sounding letter is more than enough to solve things.

    One debt recovery service I'm aware of is this one:
    Business Debt Collection & Recovery Solicitors - The Thomas Higgins Partnership

    And a government-based one:
    HMCS -

    I've also got a useful PDF which is directly aimed at small businesses and debt recovery. Email me and I'll send it on.

    I find it quite offensive when things break down and that people think it's ok to get away with behaving like this.
  6. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Try the above first, highly recommended and their letter has worked for us many times. The small claims court isn't an easy process and even if you win there are no guarantees that you will ever get any money back.
  7. Minuteman Press

    Minuteman Press Moderator

    7 day letter before action from a Solicitors. Will cost circa £2 and often works.

    ARRIVALS Well-Known Member

    Cheers everyone, much appreciated. I've got the letter drafted and will be sent out today. I guess I have to be thankful this is the first time in 3 years.
  9. gprovan

    gprovan Member

    Keep us updated, as this is a route we may have to go down soon.


  10. squeezee

    squeezee Member

    Small Claims is £55 or so and can be done online.
    Turning up in person, or better still someone official looking often works.

    ARRIVALS Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone, figured I'd update you on what's happened with this.

    After re-sending every invoice for the monies owned, as well as a more official sounding letter stating I'd be going down the legal route if he failed to pay, the matter seems to be sorted. The letter on it's own seemed to scare him a little and think he realised he could lose a lot more than just the money he owed me if he didn't cough up.

    I've now received 80% of what he owes me with the rest due to be paid this week.

    Thanks everyone for the help and advice.
  12. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Glad it turned out ok in the end.
  13. Minuteman Press

    Minuteman Press Moderator

    Brilliant news. So pleased for you. Now... onwards and upwards!
  14. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    Just hope they pay that final amount!

    It's amazing how threats of legal action can suddenly help people 'remember' invoices, eh?

    ARRIVALS Well-Known Member

    Well they've paid £800 of the £1000 they owed me. So no reason they'd not pay the remaining balance I guess :/

    I don't think he forgot, just think he was taking the piss. Alls well that ends well I suppose.

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