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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.