Client evaporated
Thread poster: Mariam Osmann

Mariam Osmann
Egypt
Local time: 12:54
English to Arabic
+ ...
Sep 3

Hi,

What to do if a client I work for years just disappeared from the face of the earth, with a pended invoice?

I tried to check through someone and I was told she is alive and kicking.

Any advice?

Thank you for you help.

Regards,
Mariam


 

Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:54
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Not much you can do if you can't find her Sep 5

Ask the person who said she is "alive and kicking" how to find her. If you find her, you can sue her in court, if the amount of the invoice is worth it. Probably it's not. Probably she's either sick or bankrupt, since you say you've worked with her for a long time. I would just move on, and send her the invoice every so often in case she gets back on her feet.

Josephine Cassar
Thayenga
Adam Jarczyk
Inga Petkelyte
Teresa Borges
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Yolanda Broad
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:54
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
More info? Sep 5

Is this client a private individual, a professional (e.g. freelancer), or do they represent a company? Presumably you have a postal address? Individuals can move without trace but companies usually can't as the company address is registered and has to be kept up-to-date on the register - that you can check.

What have you done to try to contact them? In your shoes, and depending on the client, I might try to find alternative email addresses; contact them through sites such as this one, LinkedIn, Facebook; use their own website contact form; try the phone or Skype... plus I would certainly send a final demand by registered post, paying to receive proof/refusal of delivery.


Josephine Cassar
Teresa Borges
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
José Henrique Lamensdorf
Emanuele Vacca
Ra in Kim
 

Mariam Osmann
Egypt
Local time: 12:54
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
She is an individual Sep 6

Well, the invoice amount this time is equal to 75% of the work I have done to her during our 3 years of collaboration.

I told her even before starting, that I prefer this time that the amount is to be sent to my bank account not Paypal.com, she accepted.
She even sent more of the usual tiny assignments afterwards, that I included them all in this invoice.

I tried LinkedIn and Facebook, I even tried to check with other linguists whose email addresses were in a mass email sent last year. Asked them whether they have another email, phone number, but no replies so far.
The person, from Facebook, who said she knows she is OK, just told me she hasn't been in contact with her recently, but if something wrong happened to her she would know!!!

For the phone number I have, I get an answer machine, that ask me to provide my name, that's all.
I tried to sent the invoice through Proz.com, I don't know how this would help.

So as per your advice, I will keep sending from time to time via email, and I will also try to send by post, I don't know how this works internationally, but I will give it a try.

Thank you so much!


 

Mariam Osmann
Egypt
Local time: 12:54
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The client paid finally Oct 30

This client paid finally, I received the payment last week.

Here is what happened:
1. I sent an invoice to her email, one month no answer, no show;
2. I made another invoice using Proz.com, She finally answered;
3. She sent a payment a week later, using only my last name, so payment got suspended for another month. I didn't know about that, and I made a Proz.com rating to the BB 1/5
then everything got resolved, new payment made after lot of discussions with her and my bank;
4. She asked whether I will work with her again, and I told her not sure, because this experience made be rethink collaborating with one person business.

Question: I want to change my BB entry, as she finally paid, but still she didn't show up before using your Proz.com system.
Could you please advise what rating would be fair in this case?

Thank you in advance
Mariam


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:54
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Great that you got paid Nov 10

Mariam Osmann wrote:
Here is what happened:
1. I sent an invoice to her email, one month no answer, no show;
2. I made another invoice using Proz.com, She finally answered

That sounds as though maybe the email address was compromised - but we don't know whether that was indeed the case.

3. She sent a payment a week later, using only my last name, so payment got suspended for another month. I didn't know about that, and I made a Proz.com rating to the BB 1/5
then everything got resolved, new payment made after lot of discussions with her and my bank

It's unusual for a bank to reject a payment on that basis, but payment hiccups are a fact of life and they will happen from time to time.

4. She asked whether I will work with her again, and I told her not sure, because this experience made be rethink collaborating with one person business.

I can understand you losing faith in her as an individual to some extent. Things haven't gone well recently so you're bound to be wary. But most of us on this site are sole traders, doing business under our own names, and I'm sure we aren't all untrustworthy. In fact, we bear any losses 100%, whereas a limited company that owes you money can more or less declare bankruptcy one day and set up again the next, owing you nothing. So I don't think there's a logical reason to reject everyone on that basis.

Question: I want to change my BB entry, as she finally paid, but still she didn't show up before using your Proz.com system.
Could you please advise what rating would be fair in this case?

The main BB rating is based on your willingness to work with a client again. It's unlikely to be "5" after such a bad experience, but only you can tell what's appropriate.

Great to hear that you got paid though icon_smile.gif .


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:54
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Question Nov 11

Mariam Osmann wrote:

Question: I want to change my BB entry, as she finally paid, but still she didn't show up before using your Proz.com system.
Could you please advise what rating would be fair in this case?

Thank you in advance
Mariam


Would you mind explaining what "but still she didn't show up before using your Proz.com system" means?


 

Mariam Osmann
Egypt
Local time: 12:54
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Proz.com invoicing worked Nov 11

Sheila: Thank you so much for responding in so much details.

@Jyuan: I sent her my quarterly invoice by the beginning of July and I was supposed to receive the payment by the beginning of August. Usually she doesn't confirm receipt, yet always pays on time, or following one reminder.

During the whole month of August, I sent several messages requesting payment, indicating it's overdue, asking about her, whether she is OK? no answer.
There were two assumptions to make: either something wrong happened to her, or because this is the first time the amount is big, may be she is not willing to pay.

Then, I sent another invoice using Proz.com invoice by the end of August, and only then she responded finally.


 


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