"I recently started freelancing. A few months back, a girl I had worked with two years ago contacted me to have me help her design some wedding invitations. I told her my rates, she agreed, and because I personally knew her and had always considered her a nice person, I didn't make her sign a contract.
"Over the next few months, I let her know the prices for envelopes and other similar things that I had to purchase to make the invitations to spec. After finishing the design, I printed them, cut them, and added a few other final touches. I then sent her some pictures to make sure the end product was to her satisfaction. She 'absolutely loved them'.
"The next day, I mailed them to her, emailed an invoice and asked her to get in touch when they arrived. Two days after the invitations arrived (I had package tracking), I emailed to double-check she had received them. No response.
"For the next four months, I repeatedly emailed her, asking if she had received everything, if there was a reason for the lack of response, and most importantly, when I could expect to get paid. A month ago, I sent a less polite email inquiry."
Client: Stop emailing me. The way you're talking to me is incredibly disrespectful.
Me: I apologise for my lack of tact. I've been frustrated and it came out in a less than professional way. However, I would still like to know what's going on with my payment.
"She said she would pay me, but three weeks passed. Then she finally responded."
Client: Stop emailing me. The invitations never arrived, I owe you nothing, and I know you're just looking to take the pay cheque and run.
"I emailed a copy of the receipt from the post office and the tracking information, which included a copy of her signature."
Client: I don't want to feed into your negativity. I'll pray for you.
"I think that means, 'I'm not going to pay you'."
This article was originally published in issue 252 of net magazine. To read more stories of client nightmares, head over to Clients From Hell.
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