My first no-pay

My first no-pay

Don't sweat the small stuff

When you're a freelance writer who does everything from blogging to website copy, you're bound to come across the occasional person that doesn't want to pay. I was lucky for many years and never had a problem, but then my first no-pay arrived.

He was a carpet salesman who had his own store on the coast and he was looking for some website copy. I found him through Craigslist, a common source for writing work, and after a few e-mails back and forth I took the job.

My first job with a client is always paid in advance. Once I know they pay and have the capability, I tend to simply bill them after the job. Everything started out fine and after my initial job wanted me to continue on doing a few others.

He was able to pay and I thought there wouldn't be a problem. The second job bounced, but after a few days of back and forth I ended up getting paid. He blamed it on a banking snafu. My third job, $60, was never paid.

I completed the work and send him the bill, but never received payment. He stopped responding to my e-mails and eventually his inbox got so full that my messages started getting returned. I was angry, but $60 wasn't that much money and the job itself took only a couple of hours. I knew there wasn't much I could do, so I let it slide.

I sent a final e-mail stating that I would not be working with him again and that I could have called his place of business, but instead choose to cut ties.