When Clients Don't Pay On Time

I think that advice is fair enough but I am not sure what to do where an invoice I am waiting on is pretty much 100 days overdue now. I don't want the relationship to go sour but theres been about 6 times where the payment has apparently been sent only for me to check 3 days later for it to not show up. I have lost count of the number of times I've made/tried to make contact. The client never answers his phone but he does get back to me by text so a lot of the communication is done in that way. I am being very polite and patient but its hard to keep my cool when I am waiting for something that has been dragging for so long!
I get 50% up front - and they get the final files when the final 50% is paid to my account, never before.

Any outstanding payments and I don't do any more work for them until the account is settled.
I get 50% up front - and they get the final files when the final 50% is paid to my account, never before.

Any outstanding payments and I don't do any more work for them until the account is settled.

Yeah I got 50% upfront but then made the mistake of supplying the files before getting the remaining payment which since extra work was done ended up being more than the first 50%. The client has been communicating back to me fairly promptly so its not like he's disappeared off the face of the earth. Its just I cant help feeling he's fobbing me off..!!

What I'll do in future is ensure everything is paid before supplying the final files. Seems obvious now but it was one of those situations where everything seemed cool and since he had already paid me the first payment I felt like I could trust him to pay up...
Yeah, you have pretty much found your own solution. I personally ask for 1/3 up front, as some people feel uncomfortable paying 1/2, especially if it is the first time job with a new client. My contract is also very clear, no overuse of fancy or confusing terminology. They know when they sign, that work will not be started until I have received the full deposit upfront and no files of the completed brief shall be sent until the remainder of the fee is sent and received in full. Any files sent in-between these occurrences; for reference purpose, design options etc, are low resolution and watermarked.

Once I get to know the client, build a relationship and feel that they are trustworthy, then I am a bit more lenient. But even then, no files of the completed work is ever sent out until everything is paid in full.
Obviously 50% is a flexible opening negotiation.

It just stops them thinking I'll design something for free, so they can pass it off to their own designer (or their son) to do the whole job in potatoshop.

If they pay the 50% (or in that region) up front, at least my initial designs/work done is paid for. If they don't come back, and I see a hacked up job by the son of a neighbour who knows a dog walkers cousin who has potatotshop did it in the end.

At least I have money in my pocket.
I have to say - I think we've all been caught out at some time - that's why we all have these standards for paying in place.

My horror story comes when I was very young and new to the field. I created a series of posters for a new cafe that was being opened. And I bought the owners story of being strapped for cash but really needed the posters for the cafe as he didn't have the cash right now he said he'd pay me at the end before being printed. I sent him some lo-res artwork of the initial designs. And I never heard from him again. I was walking through town one day and I noticed my artwork through an open door to a cafe. Low and behold it was the cafe that I had worked on. He had printed out lo-res a5 sized prints on a3 paper and stuck them up on the wall. They looked horrendous. He never paid me for the work.

Hence - now I take 50% up front and the other 50% when signed off - then I supply the print ready artwork.
Lol wow, can't say I have ever experienced a client like that. That is sad. He couldn't of been happy with those prints. They must of looked,"Good from far but far from good" lol. Did it have a warning next to them to Stand Way back from posters for optimal viewing experience lol. He may as well of just paid you. Utterly ridiculous.

I think the worst story I have had in this regards was when I was just starting out, I never asked for a deposit or anything, I was just too keen and overly excited to get any work and make a start asap. After doing the work and sending off some un-watermarked but low res jpegs, I realised my 'Client' was actually magician, as he totally disappeared. I'm still yet to learn that trick, but have never been put under that spell since.
Now if people refuse to pay I just name and shame them on social media.

It's pretty effective.

I think thats got to be the ultimate last resort, well actually the gunpoint suggestion perhaps would be more suitable for being a ultimate last resort..