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  1. Sora

    Sora Entrepreneur

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    I took up an eBook writing job on Freelancer. The payment was to be made after completion of 6000 words. It's been nearly a month since I submitted the work with no sign of any payment. The guy keeps saying he will but never does.

    And this is not the first time. How can you know when applying for projects whether they will actually pay you as promised or not?

    Also I was wondering, can I sell the work off to another client or use it elsewhere, since I'm still the owner of the writing? And are there any legal steps that can be taken against such people?
     
    setupdisc likes this.

  2. setupdisc

    setupdisc Moderator Entrepreneur

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    If you have it in writing (which you always should), then you usually want to place on your contract that there is a certain period of time by which payment for services rendered are due. Any other terms for payment (consultancy fees) and late fees (if that happens) must be in print. That alone will be incentive for them to know you are serious about collections and that you will not simply let payment go or slide for extended periods of time.

    If they do not honor this, then remember that you have their address and contact information which can either be used for collection purposes (especially if you have written this into the contract, but even if you haven't, you can), and if it goes that far, for attorney subpoenas for small claims court. If you can do this through a paralegal rather than a full-fledged attorney, that is sometimes a lot less expensive. Make sure that the amount you collect is less than the amount that you would have to spend to get repaid, otherwise it would be a losing battle.

    If you are able to get a friend to call them, write them, or email them repeatedly for collection on the debt that they owe (and they must include that in the body, and that they are on a legal agreement with you to obtain restitution for the debt - be sure to get notarized and legal documentation for this with them if you go this route) then that may be another option to annoy them to the point that they are forced to do the right thing just to get your friend off their back to stop calling them. Under normal circumstances, it would be unwanted messages and contact which can be spam or illegal...but under these circumstances, it is communication for a legal debt that they owe and are refusing to pay or are avoiding, which helps to place debt collections in the clear. There are still some restrictions and rules that debt collectors have to abide by too, but they are able to do more if it's a legal debt than not.

    Rather than having a friend do this, you may want to hire a debt collection firm on contingency. The advantage of this is that you don't pay anything to them or very little, and they are only paid 40% to half if they are able to collect 80% to the full amount. You would still get half or over half then rather than nothing at all, and they would be able to place this as a negative mark upon the non-paying employer's credit and BBB rating (if applicable).

    You may also be able to report them to the IRS for this and use their non-payment as a tax write-off for losses on top of it which you can inform them (before you do this) could be a reason for your employer to be audited as a result of the write-off. If that doesn't light a fire under them to get you paid in-full, then nothing will. Nothing legal, that is. There are also those routes too...but I really can't recommend that as a professional resolve or restitution for non-payment.

    You may have another way that you can use together with one or more of these, though. If they have an established business or are a public figure, then they will be on yelp, facebook, twitter, or other places online. Social media can be the great equalizer when it comes to issues like this, because you can use them as reverse-publicity to make them wish they had paid you. It could cost them future business with others, or tarnish their name in various circles. It may even prevent them from funding if the right people see it. So this too is a powerful weapon against people who try to shaft you. It shouldn't ever be misused or abused for malicious purposes, but you have every right to use it this way if the person tried to do you wrongly or harm you financially by stealing your work away from you. People should know if that is the case, and it also documents the reality of it for other situations you might pursue.

    Carefully contemplate how you wish to approach it, form a plan, and give them a chance to rectify it before those plans are engaged. If they do not meet you halfway or do the right thing, then you have every right to pursue this to try and get the money that you are owed from them.
     
  3. Corazon

    Corazon Entrepreneur

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    My husband used to attend seminars of WIPO (World Intellectual Property Office). He said that as the author, you have all the rights to your article unless you are commissioned to write it and paid for your effort. But still, you have to be credited otherwise you are a ghost writer as per your agreement. Now, with the collection from that site? Just say goodbye and move on. You can post your articles to other sites anyway and that Freelancer cannot run after you albeit you can run after them.

    This is a lesson for those aspiring to write. I hope this serves as a caveat.
     
    setupdisc likes this.
  4. ruener79

    ruener79 Entrepreneur

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    In freelancing, there's no guarantee that you will get paid. It's a risk that independent contractors has to contend with. But that's not saying there's nothing you can do to protect yourself. A friend of mine had the same problem, and she was advised to write a final letter to the employer. Indicated in the letter, a set deadline on when you expect to be paid. Failure to do so, you are using the contents to sell to other parties. For people who are into contents-writing, it's major crime to have your work flagged as a plagiarized work. Thus, it will be to the X employer's disadvantage if his work is flagged as such. The publishing community is very big on Intellectual Property rights. If the Employer is serious, then He'll immediately pay you. But really it will depend on the employer's integrity. If the person has none, then consider it a bad experience and don't dwell on it. Learn from it and make necessary precautions in the future.
     
  5. remnant

    remnant Entrepreneur

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    You should lodge a complaint with Freelancer and see how it goes. You can also use the email address of the offending party and perform a Google deep search in such sites as Quora to get to their websites and other personal information and this will enable you to get to gain leverage and at them since you can write negative comments and reviews about them as well as locate better avenues closer to them to force their hand. The best thing is to sign up for sites which make their clients to deposit milestones and clients would not be able to withhold your payment illegally.
     
  6. saraedward

    saraedward Entrepreneur

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    You may also be able to report them to the IRS for this and use their non-payment as a tax write-off for losses on top of it which you can inform them (before you do this) could be a reason for your employer to be audited as a result of the write-off. If that doesn't light a fire under them to get you paid in-full, then nothing will. Nothing legal, that is. There are also those routes too...but I really can't recommend that as a professional resolve or restitution for non-payment.

    You may have another way that you can use together with one or more of these, though. If they have an established business or are a public figure, then they will be on yelp, facebook, twitter, or other places online. Social media can be the great equalizer when it comes to issues like this, because you can use them as reverse-publicity to make them wish they had paid you. It could cost them future business with others, or tarnish their name in various circles. It may even prevent them from funding if the right people see it. So this too is a powerful weapon against people who try to shaft you. It shouldn't ever be misused or abused for malicious purposes, but you have every right to use it this way if the person tried to do you wrongly or harm you financially by stealing your work away from you. People should know if that is the case, and it also documents the reality of it for other situations you might pursue.
     
  7. Suresh Perumal

    Suresh Perumal Entrepreneur

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    With their ratings and reviews you can come to know that. Make sure you receive the payment as you submit modules of your work to the employers. Don't be in a haste.
     

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