I'd just like to get some other people's perspective on a little situation I'm experiencing with a client for whom I do freelance editing work.
I've been working with this guy for about three months, and he's paid every week consistently, and for the first two months was very good at communication with me.
Now, for about the past month his communications have been vague and irritable; he's mentioned "issues" with my work, but will not specifically say what they are so that I can rectify the issues, although I have reassured him time and again that if he has some problem with my work all he has to do is point it out and I will fix it.
Now, he's saying he cannot pay me this week. According to HIM his PayPal account has always been directly connected to his bank account, and he has always paid me directly out of his bank account via PayPal. Now he's saying that I must have changed some settings in MY PayPal account to block HIM paying with his bank account.
I have checked my PayPal account settings, and besides the fact that I haven't changed any of the settings in over 6 months, I also cannot find any setting that would allow me to block a payer from paying through their checking account. Does anyone else know more about this??
I suspect that this guy has either found another editor that he'd prefer to go with OR that he is running out of money to pay me. I am almost certain that the reason he cannot pay me this week has nothing to do with my PayPal account, and everything to do with his lack of funds.
Does anyone else have any other thoughts or suggestions?
You can't find an option to block someone from paying because there ISN'T an option to block someone from paying. He's trying to "fire" you or "stiff" you, but doesn't know how to be human about it. That's one bad thing about working over the internet: People forget you're human and think they can just ignore you. I'd make it very clear to him that you expect your pay. If you have any evidence of an agreement, you can even threaten a law suit. Most people will get scared enough that they'll pay you. Sorry this is happening to you, some people suck. Good luck
Thanks, Pani...I suspect as much. What I find interesting (and what gave me pause initially) is that he's not saying I'm blocking him, but saying that I've blocked bank account payments (i.e., he's saying that his PayPal account is on $0 but that he's been paying through it with his bank account all this time and suddenly he can't)...but I'm pretty sure I can't do a block like that either. I've already told him that as well.
I have not yet threatened any legal action--he knows I have kept all our correspondences, and I do indeed have quite a bit of proof that we have an agreement. It's just really a shame--the amount of money is hardly worth suing for. Other than in principle, I guess.I would much prefer if he would do the adult thing and just tell me up front what's going on.
Thanks for the well wishes and taking the time to weigh in--I really appreciate it. I just wanted to double check on the Paypal thing--I don't know everything after all, and I prefer to give people enough to rope to hang themselves (as well as enough time to be honest).
I suppose everyone else agrees with the above assessment of the situation? Nothing to add?
I would suggest he may have had some bad luck, doesn't have the money and is afraid to say so. I would try a really soft approach suggesting if he has some current money problems you will understand and wait for payment if this is the case. Otherwise he doesn't have a leg to stand on!
Thanks, Earnest. I will have to remember to be soft--I have let him know that I don't mind waiting on payment...I know how embarrassing it can be when one gets to the checkout counter and finds out they're a bit short on funds. Been there, done that.
There is no way that this can happen, apart from maybe if your paypal is still set up as personal, not business, I am not clear if there are any limits on the personal account. You might need to get soemone to confirm that.
It does sound as though he is trying to do you over though, i would defiantely chase it up.
Thanks thisisoli. I'm glad to hear that about the PayPal. It seemed to me that what he was saying didn't make sense. His emails seem awfully uptight.
Blech. I will, of course, follow up with him. I just wish he'd come out and be honest about whatever's going on. I suppose I'll have to try to find a new client.
No matter how hard you work or how good the services you provide some clients will always think they can be better served elsewhere. If I were you I would send an email to the client with a view to terminating your business dealings as amicably as possible. There is no point in burning bridges. I often find clients come back once the find how misguided they have been.
Thank you, Peter. I really appreciate hearing that. I always try to provide excellent customer service and am always willing to listen to a client if they feel I haven't met their needs. This is how I pay my bills, and obviously I am loathe to "run a client off." I have other clients, though, who are very happy and loyal--I just need them to have more work for me
I like your suggestion about amicable termination. I may kindly give him a "way out" and suggest that if he needs my services again in the future, he knows how to contact me. Thank you for weighing in.
It would appear that you both have 'Issues' with eachother
It is likely excuses are attached to those issues to help justify poor decisions made.
I assume that your worries are also based on the fact that you don't hold a formal contract with this party?
Give him your itimised account and enforce it or cut your loses.
Well, I see what you're saying...but that's part of my confusion: I don't have any particular issues with this guy--he's had steady work, in the past he's been consistent with payments, and until recently, he's never complained of any problems. He's just begun to act differently and I'm confused about it.
He mentioned having "issues" with some work I turned in late Feb. I apologized for any issues and I told him I would be happy to rectify them at no charge if he would just tell me what the problem was. He did not respond; I inquired again and his response was to send more work to be edited. So, I did the work he asked me to do and asked him to please let me know if he had any problems.
This is the first time he's ever complained that he was having trouble paying me. He's not saying he WON'T pay me, but saying that I have somehow blocked him from being able to pay from his checking account and that I would have to wait for a fund transfer.
I wrote to him telling him that I understood if he was a late with his payment this week; stuff happens and it's never happened before. I asked what he wanted to do in terms of the MS I'm editing for him. His response was that he wanted to pay his bill before continuing. I wrote to him that that was fine, we could wait, and reported that I had checked on my PayPal settings and that I could not find one blocking payments from bank accounts. I REPEATED that I had no problem waiting a few days on a funds transfer.
The thing that I find most confusing is his vehemence and repetition that I have changed a setting in my PayPal account and that is causing this problem with funds--he's written me five emails to that effect and even called me at my home after business hours. It just seems strange to me.
As far as worries go... I have a contract with this guy, and when it comes down to it, I'm not overly concerned if he pays me or not (not that I don't need the money--I just don't really care about what he decides to do one way or the other, his karma). I do have plenty to prove that he owes me the money for work done--it's just a big pain in the butt, and I wanted other people's opinions on it. And I wanted to double check the PayPal thing.
GS i would have to say your thoughts may be right and i am sorry you are going through this ... i dont know much about paypal but i hope you get some answers from what sounds to me like a total bozo lol
Thanks, pinky. I appreciate it! I've never been through this with a client before, and I hope we can deal with the problem like adults.
GS I hate to hear this as I worked with you on one of your projects and know how fair you are. I hope you get the issue resolved soon and amicably as well.
Thanks, lynne; I have to say the same for you. Your work is wonderful and your integrity humbling. I only wish I had an overflow of work to share with you!
I highly doubt this is your issue but I remember hearing that PayPal had suspended services with India or some such nonsense and is now resuming. I don't know the full details of what the issue was or if the person is even from there. It's just something I remember hearing and may be worth checking into if relevant.
More than likely he does not have the funds or is looking for someone else to buy from.
Thanks! It's a good thought, but he says he's in California (I'm in WV), so I don't *think* that's our problem, but it might be worth checking into.
I'm leaning toward him being low on funds--it just seems a weird way to handle the situation to me. Thanks for weighing in
Personally, I would stop providing work until I received payment, push for payment and then end the partnership after I got it.
If he does it once, he'll do it again.
Sorry to hear of your troubles. I hope it ends well for you.
Nothing much I can add to this but I do concur with the above. Your client is in the proverbial Catch-22 situation where he has to get the work done but either doesn't have the funds to pay you, or he is forced to divert his funds in another direction. At least, this has happened to me. I would be extremely cautious about doing the work then expecting payment later. This is especially hazardous when working long-distance. Your client will just get in deeper. You could always write it off as a loss.
You have few options.
1. Be open and honest as you've been here and ask for an explanation. "I know it's tough times right now" etc., etc. Meet face-to-face if possible. Maybe work out some other arrangement that does not include money. Does he have a Rolex? Maybe vacation property in Bermuda you could use? Trade-offs like these are common.
2. State that you can no longer do the work but you can provide names of others who might. Be cordial and honest. His business could pick up again, or he might recommend somebody else to you in the future.
3. Maybe you can provide solutions to his problem. One client of mine had trouble getting customers. I was able to increase his foot traffic through guerilla marketing methods. We were both happy.
4. You could lower your rates a bit. But that, too, is dangerous and I wouldn't advise it but some people have done it.
Bottom line is: If he can no longer pay then the relationship is temporarily severed. Right now, it's getting tough to make a buck.
Just wanted to add another thought. Recently, a videographer received stock options in lieu of money. In these times those who are successful think out of that infernal box and find creative solutions that are win/win. It all depends on how badly the client wants his work done.
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