One of my former clients took a while to pay my services.

It was an agony, honestly. The client did not update me every time the deadline payment past.

I am the type of person who ensures that my payments are due. On the other hand, I believe that if someone owes me, it is his or her responsibility to update me on the payments. I really do not like following up. In the first place, I was not the one who has a due.

So what do you do when this happens? A recent webinar with a Filipino lawyer gave these tip: PROTECT YOURSELF.


  1. First and foremost, make sure you have a signed agreement that specifies details about payment. Indicate in the agreement a full payment or partial payment upfront. This is to make sure that you will have your payment right away just in case a delay happens.
  2. If your client is within the Philippines, Philippines laws apply to those delayed or delinquent payors. If you have not heard anything from your client, it is best to consult a lawyer.
  3. If your client is outside the Philippines, they are not governed by our laws. Worst case scenario is filing a complaint against them in their country (let’s hope this does not happen to us).

On my end, I did the following to follow-up the pay for my services:

  1. I re-sent my email with the invoice attachment. After a few days, I re-sent it again. In my earlier 8-to-5 job, we adapt this follow-up type:
    Click Forward email.
    Above the message, type these:
    – after one day: Second send
    – after two days: Third send!
    – after three days: Fourth send! Please reply.
  2. I contacted the client through Skype on the deadline. When it was not met, I sent a message every other day. When I still did not get any news, I bombarded the client with messages every day.
  3. I contacted the client through other means [think Viber, WhatsApp, Telegram, other related messaging tools). I even sent the client an SMS. Same format with Skype – I sent messages to the client many times.
  4. When I did not get any reply, I unleashed my Hulk side (well, a bit). I told this to the client: “Hi. I would appreciate getting feedback or an update from you about the pay for my services because I have not heard anything from you. Please reply to me because I really don’t like following up on you every day; it is a waste of time for both of us. Besides, I am not the one who owes anything.”

In the tips that I gave, the underlying lesson is that you should have the contact details of your client. If worst had come, I would have called the client.

I saw in a Facebook post previously that says “Freelancer does not mean my services are free.” (I could find the post now, but this blog post say about it too). Well, I don’t mean to hurt anyone, but that’s the reason I call myself as a virtual assistant or a virtual professional.