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Collection of small amount on job with no PO
Thread poster: Caroline Moreno
Caroline Moreno  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:01
Chinese to English
+ ...
Sep 24, 2007

Yes, I know. Never take a job w/o a PO. But I did once and after submitting the project to the client I have not heard back. What I do have is that I clearly stated my rates via email and then the client sent me the specifications of the project. You would think this would be implied consent.

I sent the client an invoice with the project clearly stating that the payment is due in full when the project is received. I heard nothing. It has been more than two months now so I sent the client an updated invoice a week ago. Still nothing. The amount due is little over $100 USD but I would still like to collect it. I cannot file a complaint with the BBB since it would be considered a business-to-business collection complaint. I could do small claims court or the Internet Crime complaint. I'm not sure what to do though. The client is a direct clinet, not a language service provider/agency. Any suggestions or advice? Thanks in advance!


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:01
English to Spanish
+ ...
Forget It Sep 24, 2007

Write it off, collection efforts will not be worth it. Next time ask for the money up-front with unknown clients.

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Yolanda Broad  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:01
Member (2000)
French to English
+ ...
If the BBB is the wrong venue, file your complaint with the BB Sep 24, 2007

BB = ProZ.com Blue Board.

If you are sure you know who your client was, and have the contact information, please create a Blue Board record and post your experience. And please don't assume that your client is not likely to cheat anyone else: once people have figured out they can take advantage of service providers, they're likely to go on making more victims.


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Caroline Moreno  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:01
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Sep 24, 2007

Henry Hinds wrote:

Write it off, collection efforts will not be worth it. Next time ask for the money up-front with unknown clients.


Thanks Henry. That's good advice.


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Caroline Moreno  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:01
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good idea Sep 24, 2007

Yolanda Broad wrote:

BB = ProZ.com Blue Board.

If you are sure you know who your client was, and have the contact information, please create a Blue Board record and post your experience. And please don't assume that your client is not likely to cheat anyone else: once people have figured out they can take advantage of service providers, they're likely to go on making more victims.


Thanks Yolanda. I think I will do that.


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peiling  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:01
Partial member (2006)
Chinese to English
+ ...
I ran into that once Sep 24, 2007

... and I probably bugged the h*ll out of the person. The story is similar and the amount is even smaller. After months of non-payment nor replies to my (numerous) emails, I threatened to bring the person to court (he's in another country ). Anyway, that worked, and I got paid. Maybe even try calling that person up. Sometimes they just need to be made aware that there will be consequences for swindling.

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Caroline Moreno  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:01
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Peiling Sep 24, 2007

I'm still considering taking them to small claims court (in my town). I just don't know if it's worth the stress, but it sure aggrevates me! I'm glad you finally got your money

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Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:01
German to English
+ ...
Is the client a company? Sep 24, 2007

If so, have you checked them out on the Internet? Do you have their name, address, phone number? Call the company (or have someone elese call) and ask for the name of the president, CEO or whatever (without identifying yourself.) Then send a registered letter to that person, including copies of the pertinent e-mail stating rates, etc.

It may work, certainly worth a try.

Otherwise forget it and record it as bad debt for tax purposes.

Trudy


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Caroline Moreno  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:01
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Trudy Sep 24, 2007

What kind of registered letter would you send?

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Cristina Heraud-van Tol  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 00:01
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, please, do that! Sep 24, 2007

Hi, Caroline!

That is a very bad client. When you write a bad comment about him on Proz's Blue Board, then the record is there and we can all read it when he posts another job and will therefore try to avoid him. After 3 bad comments, Proz automatically eliminates his info from the records. It's also a kind of menace for him (the message is sent to his e-mail), so if he doesn't want to see his reputation ruined, perhaps he even pays you!



Caroline Moreno wrote:

Yolanda Broad wrote:

BB = ProZ.com Blue Board.

If you are sure you know who your client was, and have the contact information, please create a Blue Board record and post your experience. And please don't assume that your client is not likely to cheat anyone else: once people have figured out they can take advantage of service providers, they're likely to go on making more victims.


Thanks Yolanda. I think I will do that.


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Caroline Moreno  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:01
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Cristina! Sep 24, 2007

Thanks for your comments.

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Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:01
German to English
+ ...
Hi Caroline, Sep 24, 2007

I'm not sure I understand your question. Do you want to know how to phrase the letter or how to mail it?

I said "registered," because I never know the difference between registered and certified But you want to send it so that you receive a signed receipt back from the Post Office.

As far as content is concerned, just state the facts, whom you have been dealing with (I hope it wasn't the
president) and that you were never paid for your services nor have you received an answer to your e-mails.

Good luck,

Trudy


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Caroline Moreno  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:01
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Trudy Sep 25, 2007

I'm considering doing a 30-day demand letter and then going to small claims court but I just don't know yet.

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Marcelo Silveyra
United States
Local time: 22:01
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
Important warning! Oct 9, 2007

Trudy Peters wrote:

Otherwise forget it and record it as bad debt for tax purposes.

Trudy


If you're in the U.S., you can't record it as bad debt for tax purposes. If you get audited for any reason, that's the kind of thing that will definitely get you in trouble! (Self-employed people rendering services are not allowed to claim non-payment as bad debt...you can find more info online if you're interested)


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Caroline Moreno  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:01
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I'm interested! Oct 9, 2007

Marcelo,

I am interested in learning more about how to (and how not to!) write off this type of bad debt on my taxes in the US. I was thinking this has been the best idea so far since, even if I do take the client to small claims court and win, actually collecting the monies owed me could be much more difficult. Could someone please point me to the appropriate resource (other than just the irs.gov website) on this? Thanks in advance!


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