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(Complicated) Unpaid Invoice

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Chip01

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Hi everyone

Looking for a bit of advice from anyone who knows a lot about the legal side of things or has been in a similar situation to me. I’ll outline the details below

A few months back, my digital marketing company conducted a 2 month free trial for a local dental practice. In the initial meetings/discussions with the business manager he agreed to backdate the payments at the end of the free trial if he was happy with the results - I have this in writing via email.

The trial ended, we produced some results and increased sales in the practice, even though the were minimal. We generated £4500 guaranteed and another potentially £6000 (if customers who were undecided went through with the offer)

I met with the business manager (baring in mind he is not the owner, he oversees the development of the business as the owner has 2 other practices he travels between and is also the principal dentist, however I have met the owner in my initial sales meeting) after the trial ended where he told me they weren’t in a position to go ahead with our services as they just spent £10k on a website (I know). In the meeting he said he was happy for me to send him an invoice for the 2 months unpaid work we done.

A couple of days later I sent him an invoice for £3000 (£1500 for each month). He told me this was too high and the owner would never agree to pay that price. I explained these are our normal rates and we price our services based on the value we bring to the company we work for.

I decided to take 1 month off the price and charged him £1500. He still said this was too high and said he was thinking more along the lines of £500. I suggested meeting in the middle at £1000 and that’s when he said he needed to speak to the owner.

A few weeks went by and I contacted him again regarding the invoice which I had marked “due upon receipt). He asked me to send him the results from the trial and that their accounts department didn’t make payments until after the 5th of the month.

So I sent him the results and an updated invoice of £1000 as I was not going lower than this for 2 months of creating, managing and testing Facebook ads.

Now it’s been 4 months since the trial and 4 weeks since the meeting after the trial and I still have not received payment. I’ve contacted him several times asking for it to be paid and asking for updates but still nothing.

Can anyone suggest anything? Can I take this further?

Any questions let me know. Looking to get this sorted ASAP

Thanks in advance and apologies for the huge post
 

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Black_Dragon43

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Hi everyone

Looking for a bit of advice from anyone who knows a lot about the legal side of things or has been in a similar situation to me. I’ll outline the details below

A few months back, my digital marketing company conducted a 2 month free trial for a local dental practice. In the initial meetings/discussions with the business manager he agreed to backdate the payments at the end of the free trial if he was happy with the results - I have this in writing via email.

The trial ended, we produced some results and increased sales in the practice, even though the were minimal. We generated £4500 guaranteed and another potentially £6000 (if customers who were undecided went through with the offer)

I met with the business manager (baring in mind he is not the owner, he oversees the development of the business as the owner has 2 other practices he travels between and is also the principal dentist, however I have met the owner in my initial sales meeting) after the trial ended where he told me they weren’t in a position to go ahead with our services as they just spent £10k on a website (I know). In the meeting he said he was happy for me to send him an invoice for the 2 months unpaid work we done.

A couple of days later I sent him an invoice for £3000 (£1500 for each month). He told me this was too high and the owner would never agree to pay that price. I explained these are our normal rates and we price our services based on the value we bring to the company we work for.

I decided to take 1 month off the price and charged him £1500. He still said this was too high and said he was thinking more along the lines of £500. I suggested meeting in the middle at £1000 and that’s when he said he needed to speak to the owner.

A few weeks went by and I contacted him again regarding the invoice which I had marked “due upon receipt). He asked me to send him the results from the trial and that their accounts department didn’t make payments until after the 5th of the month.

So I sent him the results and an updated invoice of £1000 as I was not going lower than this for 2 months of creating, managing and testing Facebook ads.

Now it’s been 4 months since the trial and 4 weeks since the meeting after the trial and I still have not received payment. I’ve contacted him several times asking for it to be paid and asking for updates but still nothing.

Can anyone suggest anything? Can I take this further?

Any questions let me know. Looking to get this sorted ASAP

Thanks in advance and apologies for the huge post
Your first big mistake was making ANY concession to him. You were in the position of strength, and now he has brought you into a position of weakness. If you take him to court now, he will likely be able to weasel out by paying you just $1000 since you showed that you were happy to agree to that by issuing an invoice for $1000.

This is in no way advice, but if I were you here's what I'd do. I'd write a letter of demand (google it) requesting payment upon a certain date. I'd mention that if payment is NOT made by that date, I will be initiating legal action against his practice and seek to recover the full amount plus a penalty for every day the payment is delayed. I will also mention that upon a successful outcome in court, he will also very likely be responsible for paying my legal costs. I would end on a note to the effect that I hope this can be resolved amicably.

Next time don't give in and play hard ball. Take this as a lesson. No concessions... as the book says, NEVER SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE! (a book you should consider reading, by the way)
 

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Your best bet to get paid something close to the amount on the invoice, is the put the business manager in the position where he has to choose between explaining a high invoice and explaining a lawsuit to the company owners. You might even demand a little more, so he has something to "give" his boss when he asks for payment. "Bastard wanted $4500, but I got it down to $3k".

Have the lawyer send a demand letter, but don't have process service yet.

This has a decent chance of getting you want you want, at a lower cost.

Bonus points if you can get one of those skeezy lawyers that will put 10 pages of case precedent references on the letter. I got one of those sent to me a few months back. It has a psychological effect of making a baseless threat feel so official.
 
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Chip01

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Get a lawyer and send him a letter informing him that you'll be suing him for £3000. At this point he's not your customer anymore, just a collection.
I agree with @AgainstAllOdds. And spend as little time & energy with this as possible. Far better to focus on new prospects & clients who actually pay.
Thanks for replying guys. Do you think it's still possible to take it further even though it was originally a free trial and I don't have it in writing that he has agreed to backdate the payments?

Your first big mistake was making ANY concession to him. You were in the position of strength, and now he has brought you into a position of weakness. If you take him to court now, he will likely be able to weasel out by paying you just $1000 since you showed that you were happy to agree to that by issuing an invoice for $1000.

This is in no way advice, but if I were you here's what I'd do. I'd write a letter of demand (google it) requesting payment upon a certain date. I'd mention that if payment is NOT made by that date, I will be initiating legal action against his practice and seek to recover the full amount plus a penalty for every day the payment is delayed. I will also mention that upon a successful outcome in court, he will also very likely be responsible for paying my legal costs. I would end on a note to the effect that I hope this can be resolved amicably.

Next time don't give in and play hard ball. Take this as a lesson. No concessions... as the book says, NEVER SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE! (a book you should consider reading, by the way)
Yeah I did have it in the back of my mind that I shouldn't have reduced the invoice amount, I just wanted to get it over and done with asap. Thanks

Your best bet to get paid something close to the amount on the invoice, is the put the business manager in the position where he has to choose between explaining a high invoice and explaining a lawsuit to the company owners. You might even demand a little more, so he has something to "give" his boss when he asks for payment. "Bastard wanted $4500, but I got it down to $3k".

Have the lawyer send a demand letter, but don't have process service yet.

This has a decent chance of getting you want you want, at a lower cost.

Bonus points if you can get one of those skeezy lawyers that will put 10 pages of case precedent references on the letter. I got one of those sent to me a few months back. It has a psychological effect of making a baseless threat feel so official.
Thank you mate
 
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Chip01

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So I think my plan is going to be

- Send a demand letter myself stating payment to be made in 7 days, after that it will be sent to collections
- If no response or payment I'll look into collections agencies to get my money back

Should I state on the letter that the invoice will go back to it's original amount of £3000 if not paid within 7 days? Or should I state that it has already went back to £3000?

I'm also thinking of adding in that for every day after the 7 days there will be a penalty fee, although I'm not sure how much is reasonable

Just not sure about getting a lawyer involved, think it might be able to be resolved myself

Thanks again for everyone's help
 
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Chip01

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Your best bet to get paid something close to the amount on the invoice, is the put the business manager in the position where he has to choose between explaining a high invoice and explaining a lawsuit to the company owners. You might even demand a little more, so he has something to "give" his boss when he asks for payment. "Bastard wanted $4500, but I got it down to $3k".

Have the lawyer send a demand letter, but don't have process service yet.

This has a decent chance of getting you want you want, at a lower cost.

Bonus points if you can get one of those skeezy lawyers that will put 10 pages of case precedent references on the letter. I got one of those sent to me a few months back. It has a psychological effect of making a baseless threat feel so official.
Sorry I forgot to ask a few questions about this

Are you saying I should demand payment for more than my original amount? So he has to choose between paying a lot of money or going to court?

I think I answered my own question there. Thank you!
 

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In the initial meetings/discussions with the business manager he agreed to backdate the payments at the end of the free trial if he was happy with the results - I have this in writing via email.
Do you think it's still possible to take it further even though it was originally a free trial and I don't have it in writing that he has agreed to backdate the payments?
This is contradictory. What exactly do you have in writing? Him being “happy with the results” is subjective and by your own words:
The trial ended, we produced some results and increased sales in the practice, even though the were minimal.
He doesn’t sound like he’d be blown away.

Do you have anything from after the free trial in writing where he agrees to pay? If you don’t then it sounds like you’re just trying to get paid on what you advertised as a free trial period and chalk this up as a learning experience.

Not trying to be harsh here but if I was arguing his side it sounds like he was dishonest in person but legally owes you nothing. I’d try what @AgainstAllOdds mentioned and hope they have some integrity and/or just pay you the $1,000 to go away.
 
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Chip01

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This is contradictory. What exactly do you have in writing? Him being “happy with the results” is subjective and by your own words
I have in writing that he would be happy to backdate the payments IF he was happy with the results. At the meeting we had after the trial, he told me he was happy with the results. I do not have in writing him saying he is happy with happy with the results and WILL backdate payment. However, I do have him negotiating the price which shows he is keen to pay something.

The downside is that in an email he said: “I had said to you we will pay you a small fee as a gesture of goodwill”, which is not true. In the trial he said to me he was happy for me to invoice him for the 2 months unpaid work since he had seen results

Appreciate the advice. Thanks
 

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If you don't have anything in writing then you're out some time and energy and learned the lesson to get things in writing.

If you do have something in writing, send a demand letter then go to small claims.

In the meantime, if you're happy with the results you got for this dentist, call all his competitors and tell them about the great results you got for a dentist in their area. Turn this dud into new business and don't waste the trial you ran.

My two cents. I'm not a lawyer but learned the lesson of contracts after a client didn't pay me for services rendered.

Good luck!
 

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Black_Dragon43

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I have in writing that he would be happy to backdate the payments IF he was happy with the results. At the meeting we had after the trial, he told me he was happy with the results. I do not have in writing him saying he is happy with happy with the results and WILL backdate payment. However, I do have him negotiating the price which shows he is keen to pay something.

The downside is that in an email he said: “I had said to you we will pay you a small fee as a gesture of goodwill”, which is not true. In the trial he said to me he was happy for me to invoice him for the 2 months unpaid work since he had seen results

Appreciate the advice. Thanks
Having things in writing is preferable but NOT essential. A verbal agreement is still contractual. You either have witnesses, or it was over the phone, in which case your phone company has it recorded, and for the purposes of a court case could release it. If you don't have witnesses, and it wasn't over the phone, then there's little you can do. Although you sometimes do have to count on your opponent's lack of understanding of the law, or simple desire not to complicate things.

Also don't forget the argument that you've made him more money than he's paying you if he tries to claim he's not happy with the results.
 
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Thanks for replying guys. Do you think it's still possible to take it further even though it was originally a free trial and I don't have it in writing that he has agreed to backdate the payments?
I got from your first post that you've had communication in writing (emails) about him consenting to the payments for the services rendered and agreeing to you sending him the invoices.

I recommend that with future clients you use a simple but solid agreement or contract for services. That way you will have the freedom to rebate/forgive but the monetary relationship will be clear. Also would be clear what is a trial and what is not. Neither I did understand correctly what you meant about the first two months being a trial but the client agreeing to pay them anyway. Was he that happy with the service? If that is the case I don't get why he is not retaining you permanently. Is he a fool?

My recommendation and it ia just my opinion, is that you take this as the cost of acquiring knowledge and be wiser in the future. Get an attorney and make a solid but not frightening services agreement. Forget about this but keep the educational aspect of it.

Of course you are free to pursue it legally but with the few detailes I could get from the thread (agrement not clear- trial/paid trial- fees amounts getting cut and cut again while trying to collect - a little or nothing in writing) I feel that you would spend more on billable hours or legal expenses than the 1000 you were trying to collect at the end.

It is too late to actually give those months as a free teial and try to get him to really hire you if you really think you are providing value?

Good luck!
 
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Chip01

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If you don't have anything in writing then you're out some time and energy and learned the lesson to get things in writing.

If you do have something in writing, send a demand letter then go to small claims.

In the meantime, if you're happy with the results you got for this dentist, call all his competitors and tell them about the great results you got for a dentist in their area. Turn this dud into new business and don't waste the trial you ran.

My two cents. I'm not a lawyer but learned the lesson of contracts after a client didn't pay me for services rendered.

Good luck!
I have some of it in writing, although he’s lied on a couple of things. I’m not going to take it further legally but I have written my demand notice and will send it out today.

At the time I didn’t bother with a contract as it was just a free trial but as everyone is saying - it’s a learning curve
 
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Chip01

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Having things in writing is preferable but NOT essential. A verbal agreement is still contractual. You either have witnesses, or it was over the phone, in which case your phone company has it recorded, and for the purposes of a court case could release it. If you don't have witnesses, and it wasn't over the phone, then there's little you can do. Although you sometimes do have to count on your opponent's lack of understanding of the law, or simple desire not to complicate things.

Also don't forget the argument that you've made him more money than he's paying you if he tries to claim he's not happy with the results.
Thanks mate. I’ve got my letter ready and will send it his way today. That’s the frustrating part - we worked hard and got results!!
 
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Chip01

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I got from your first post that you've had communication in writing (emails) about him consenting to the payments for the services rendered and agreeing to you sending him the invoices.

I recommend that with future clients you use a simple but solid agreement or contract for services. That way you will have the freedom to rebate/forgive but the monetary relationship will be clear. Also would be clear what is a trial and what is not. Neither I did understand correctly what you meant about the first two months being a trial but the client agreeing to pay them anyway. Was he that happy with the service? If that is the case I don't get why he is not retaining you permanently. Is he a fool?

My recommendation and it ia just my opinion, is that you take this as the cost of acquiring knowledge and be wiser in the future. Get an attorney and make a solid but not frightening services agreement. Forget about this but keep the educational aspect of it.

Of course you are free to pursue it legally but with the few detailes I could get from the thread (agrement not clear- trial/paid trial- fees amounts getting cut and cut again while trying to collect - a little or nothing in writing) I feel that you would spend more on billable hours or legal expenses than the 1000 you were trying to collect at the end.

It is too late to actually give those months as a free teial and try to get him to really hire you if you really think you are providing value?

Good luck!
At the time I didn’t think a contract would be necessary considering it was just supposed to be a free trial but like I’ve said, it’s all a learning curve!

The deal was: free trial for 2 months, if client was happy with results achieved in those 2 months then payment will be backdated

They haven’t continued with our service as they’ve just spent £10,000 on a new website which they paid 6 months ago and have nothing to show for it. They said December would be a better time as he’ll have time to discuss with the owner.

I’m not going to pursue things legally as it’s too much time and effort, especially if it goes as far as court

I suppose it’s not too late to leave the 2 months as free trials and try take him on as a full time client but in all honesty I can see he would be a nightmare client anyway

During the trial, I called him regularly to update him on leads etc and explain how we were getting on. One time he didn’t answer so I sent an email with an image of the Ad we posted and a list of leads we generated to which he replied: “Where are you getting these offers from? Why would you offer £x off of that treatment?”, even though this was an offer that HE suggested in the our kick off meeting and I had written down as an offer to use!!
 

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Having things in writing is preferable but NOT essential. A verbal agreement is still contractual. You either have witnesses, or it was over the phone, in which case your phone company has it recorded, and for the purposes of a court case could release it.
Have you ever tried to prove a case this way? If that does not come from real experience could be a risky advise. At least in the jurisdictions I know well and in real life it would be a gamble with very high chances to be lost. Money would be spent and I would never advise to any client to pursue a weak case for 3000 pounds, even if it is convenient and profitable for me or the office.
Just my take on real facts and experience.

Regarding the law, you are correct. Many times and in many jurisdictions the writing part is a formality that does not constitute an unavoidable requisite if you can prove the contract any other way or it is an accustomed out of formality contract.

Great talking with a knowledgeable guy like you. Nice to meet you B Dragon. Can't wait to know more about you and your ventures.
 

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Have you ever tried to prove a case this way? If that does not come from real experience could be a risky advise. At least in the jurisdictions I know well and in real life it would be a gamble with very high chances to be lost. Money would be spent and I would never advise to any client to pursue a weak case for 3000 pounds, even if it is convenient and profitable for me or the office.
Just my take on real facts and experience.
I've only had one such situation once, and it didn't end up going to court in the end. As I said, most people don't want the hassle. The only people who will really fight you on it are those who feel that you're doing something unfair to them or a multinational corporation that has the resources and doesn't really care, since you're really just a statistic for them.

Also, many times it can be useful to BEGIN a court case... then the other party will see that you're serious and may be willing to settle. In any case, you always have the option of dropping the court case if things aren't moving your way. So pushing all the way is different from giving the appearance that you're willing to push all the way. Obviously it would be outright stupid to spend lots of $ trying to push a case forward that you know doesn't really stand a chance, nor do you see any viable route to make your opponent THINK that you do have a path forward.
 

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Hello Chip

For future, it pays to have a Lawyer and Accountant in your phone contacts. Especially if you are charging £1500 per month contracts. Or at least an Accountant as s/he would have legal contacts anyway.

Additionally, maybe you could look into joining something like FSB where you get some sort of helplines thrown in .


I am not a member but it does not seem a huge expense.

Dan
 
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Chip01

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UPDATE:

Literally minutes before I posted the demand letter, the practice manager called me. He apologised for the payment not being sorted, explained that the owner “isn’t playing ball” at the minute but he will get it sorted. He never gave me a timeline but said he will let me know when he manages to get it done

Also, he has recommended my company to another local business owner he knows who would be interested in our services

ALSO, he is working on a new project with a friend which will be launched in January and will need a website + social media created & marketed

So he’s just made this 10x harder for me but in such a good way. I want my money but he could also be a good contact to have and may have the potential to bring in more business for me without me having to do any cold outreach etc

I’ve held off from posting the letter as I don’t want to ruin any potential for future business. It seems as if it is the owner who is delaying this payment and not the practice manager himself
 

Black_Dragon43

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UPDATE:

Literally minutes before I posted the demand letter, the practice manager called me. He apologised for the payment not being sorted, explained that the owner “isn’t playing ball” at the minute but he will get it sorted. He never gave me a timeline but said he will let me know when he manages to get it done

Also, he has recommended my company to another local business owner he knows who would be interested in our services

ALSO, he is working on a new project with a friend which will be launched in January and will need a website + social media created & marketed

So he’s just made this 10x harder for me but in such a good way. I want my money but he could also be a good contact to have and may have the potential to bring in more business for me without me having to do any cold outreach etc

I’ve held off from posting the letter as I don’t want to ruin any potential for future business. It seems as if it is the owner who is delaying this payment and not the practice manager himself
Hold off, but set a deadline. In fact, you should have asked him straight up how soon he reckons he can get it sorted when you had him on the phone. If you don't get payment by that deadline, if I were you I'd send the letter. You can even mention in the letter that you've waited until such a date, but can wait no longer.

Otherwise you could fall prey to a tactic that is often used. People who say they'll get you more business often do so with a purpose - one such purpose is getting you to accept lower payment, worse conditions, etc. After all, it's not like they're doing it from the kindness of their hearts.

It's like on Upwork... "There will be more work for the winning freelancer who does a good job" = work like a slave for little money (and there never will be more work most likely, just a way to get you to accept working like a slave).
 

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A friendly and totally non legal opinion:
Just say to him that because of his loyal and commercial trustworthy behaviour you are going to take those 2 months as a free trial (you would have a hard time collecting those any way) and that you are happy about having been of help. Make a statement about that and let them know that if they want to retain your services you would be available. If they do, use a solid contract.
Keep the relationship with the manager and have him as a loyal client and leads provider.

I hope it works out.

Beat of luck!
 

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Also, he has recommended my company to another local business owner he knows who would be interested in our services

ALSO, he is working on a new project with a friend which will be launched in January and will need a website + social media created & marketed
Payment up front. For both.
 

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So he’s just made this 10x harder for me but in such a good way. I want my money but he could also be a good contact to have and may have the potential to bring in more business for me without me having to do any cold outreach etc

I’ve held off from posting the letter as I don’t want to ruin any potential for future business. It seems as if it is the owner who is delaying this payment and not the practice manager himself
A few things here:

1. The payment situation hasn't changed. Don't act or think like it has. You're still unpaid.
2. You and the manager have a shared problem, so by all means treat the manager with respect and appreciation, but continue to be hard on the problem. The problem is you are not paid.
3. Promises of future business are almost never worth the paper they are printed on. Besides, it's not relevant anyway - potential future business shouldn't be traded for presently owed money. You might as well admit you were happy to do the work "for exposure". Ask any artist how much that's worth.

So yeah, thank the manager - sounds like he's a good guy and on your side, but you need to remain vigilant and hard on the problem at hand, and that problem is getting paid for what you're owed.

Also - I would highly encourage you to throw out whatever demand letter you've come up with and go talk to a lawyer. Demand letters aren't expensive. My wife had one written up to go against a multi-national corporation who was denying her compensation during a layoff. I think it cost 1-200 bucks. Totally worth it.

If you send your own demand letter, their reaction will be "haha, look at hot shit over here trying to sound like a lawyer" and throw it in the trash. If you have it sent from a lawyer though, the reaction will be more like "Oh F*ck off, he's actually talking to a lawyer? Is he serious? Can we afford to get lawyers involved if he is? How much is that invoice again?"

Keep in mind you DO NOT have to hire a lawyer and go to court after sending a demand letter. It merely shows the other party that you're very, very serious and have taken the time and money to see a lawyer and get legal advice. MOST people don't do this so it separates you from the pack as a serious businessman willing to take your business seriously.

If you DO want to go to court, $3k would fall under small claims. Not super expensive to start that process and proceed if you need to. Hell, it would probably be good experience to go through the process and any cost could be considered "tuition" in learning another aspect of business.

I seriously wouldn't let them string you along by playing good cop, bad cop. Thank the manager but give him a timeline and proceed to a lawyer for a letter when that deadline elapses. See what happens.
 
OP
OP
C

Chip01

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Aug 4, 2019
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Hold off, but set a deadline. In fact, you should have asked him straight up how soon he reckons he can get it sorted when you had him on the phone. If you don't get payment by that deadline, if I were you I'd send the letter. You can even mention in the letter that you've waited until such a date, but can wait no longer.

Otherwise you could fall prey to a tactic that is often used. People who say they'll get you more business often do so with a purpose - one such purpose is getting you to accept lower payment, worse conditions, etc. After all, it's not like they're doing it from the kindness of their hearts.
If I were to ask him when he thinks he will get it sorted when we were on the phone I’m almost certain he would have said “I’m not sure”

I’ll get in touch with the business he’s recommend our services to and see what happens, the letter will be on standby until next week I think
 

Black_Dragon43

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Apr 28, 2017
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Eastern Europe
If I were to ask him when he thinks he will get it sorted when we were on the phone I’m almost certain he would have said “I’m not sure”

I’ll get in touch with the business he’s recommend our services to and see what happens, the letter will be on standby until next week I think
If he would have said I'm not sure and I was on the phone with him, I would have said something like:
"Okay I understand that, but I'm not in a good position either, and I want us to set some estimated deadline. Planning my cashflow is important for my businesses, and as a manager I'm sure you understand that. So what time would work for you?"

Just like in sales, you need to keep pushing and pushing in more and more creative ways when you get a no. If you back down, your opponent is winning.
 
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Chip01

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Aug 4, 2019
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A friendly and totally non legal opinion:
Just say to him that because of his loyal and commercial trustworthy behaviour you are going to take those 2 months as a free trial (you would have a hard time collecting those any way) and that you are happy about having been of help. Make a statement about that and let them know that if they want to retain your services you would be available. If they do, use a solid contract.
Keep the relationship with the manager and have him as a loyal client and leads provider.

I hope it works out.

Beat of luck!
Thanks. My gut is telling me that it will get sorted so I’m going to leave it as is for now. But like Black Dragon mentioned above I’m going to set a deadline before sending the letter out
 
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Chip01

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Aug 4, 2019
74
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23
Scotland, UK
A few things here:

1. The payment situation hasn't changed. Don't act or think like it has. You're still unpaid.
2. You and the manager have a shared problem, so by all means treat the manager with respect and appreciation, but continue to be hard on the problem. The problem is you are not paid.
3. Promises of future business are almost never worth the paper they are printed on. Besides, it's not relevant anyway - potential future business shouldn't be traded for presently owed money. You might as well admit you were happy to do the work "for exposure". Ask any artist how much that's worth.

So yeah, thank the manager - sounds like he's a good guy and on your side, but you need to remain vigilant and hard on the problem at hand, and that problem is getting paid for what you're owed.

Also - I would highly encourage you to throw out whatever demand letter you've come up with and go talk to a lawyer. Demand letters aren't expensive. My wife had one written up to go against a multi-national corporation who was denying her compensation during a layoff. I think it cost 1-200 bucks. Totally worth it.

If you send your own demand letter, their reaction will be "haha, look at hot shit over here trying to sound like a lawyer" and throw it in the trash. If you have it sent from a lawyer though, the reaction will be more like "Oh F*ck off, he's actually talking to a lawyer? Is he serious? Can we afford to get lawyers involved if he is? How much is that invoice again?"

Keep in mind you DO NOT have to hire a lawyer and go to court after sending a demand letter. It merely shows the other party that you're very, very serious and have taken the time and money to see a lawyer and get legal advice. MOST people don't do this so it separates you from the pack as a serious businessman willing to take your business seriously.

If you DO want to go to court, $3k would fall under small claims. Not super expensive to start that process and proceed if you need to. Hell, it would probably be good experience to go through the process and any cost could be considered "tuition" in learning another aspect of business.

I seriously wouldn't let them string you along by playing good cop, bad cop. Thank the manager but give him a timeline and proceed to a lawyer for a letter when that deadline elapses. See what happens.
Thanks for your advice, mate. You’ve given me a few things to thing about.

Right now I’m going to leave things, get in touch with the business he’s recommend our services to and see what happens from there. Don’t want to focus too much time or energy on this when I can be bringing money in through new clients
 

Johnny boy

Platinum Contributor
Speedway Pass
May 9, 2017
683
3,269
757
23
Washington State
Hi everyone

Looking for a bit of advice from anyone who knows a lot about the legal side of things or has been in a similar situation to me. I’ll outline the details below

A few months back, my digital marketing company conducted a 2 month free trial for a local dental practice. In the initial meetings/discussions with the business manager he agreed to backdate the payments at the end of the free trial if he was happy with the results - I have this in writing via email.

The trial ended, we produced some results and increased sales in the practice, even though the were minimal. We generated £4500 guaranteed and another potentially £6000 (if customers who were undecided went through with the offer)

I met with the business manager (baring in mind he is not the owner, he oversees the development of the business as the owner has 2 other practices he travels between and is also the principal dentist, however I have met the owner in my initial sales meeting) after the trial ended where he told me they weren’t in a position to go ahead with our services as they just spent £10k on a website (I know). In the meeting he said he was happy for me to send him an invoice for the 2 months unpaid work we done.

A couple of days later I sent him an invoice for £3000 (£1500 for each month). He told me this was too high and the owner would never agree to pay that price. I explained these are our normal rates and we price our services based on the value we bring to the company we work for.

I decided to take 1 month off the price and charged him £1500. He still said this was too high and said he was thinking more along the lines of £500. I suggested meeting in the middle at £1000 and that’s when he said he needed to speak to the owner.

A few weeks went by and I contacted him again regarding the invoice which I had marked “due upon receipt). He asked me to send him the results from the trial and that their accounts department didn’t make payments until after the 5th of the month.

So I sent him the results and an updated invoice of £1000 as I was not going lower than this for 2 months of creating, managing and testing Facebook ads.

Now it’s been 4 months since the trial and 4 weeks since the meeting after the trial and I still have not received payment. I’ve contacted him several times asking for it to be paid and asking for updates but still nothing.

Can anyone suggest anything? Can I take this further?

Any questions let me know. Looking to get this sorted ASAP

Thanks in advance and apologies for the huge post
If the number was made up after you did the work and they didn’t like it, you are only entitled for a fair market value of your services, which might not be too bad. Go file suit and see what you can get.

If the 3k you’re looking for was discussed before in emails, then go to the courthouse and file a small claims court case against the business immediately. That money should be in your pocket soon.

This is why I collect money upfront, and I collect credit cards or bank account info. You need to hold the cards and have the leverage. This is a good lesson on having control in business.
 

DaRK9

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
May 23, 2014
767
1,575
496
Contracts are your friend. Use them often.

In my experience, if a customer complains about signing a contract it's better to just cut them right then and there and save yourself legal fees later on unless it's something you are willing to lose.
 

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