I am a freelance Graphic designer and unfortunately decided to start doing business with a company that produced business cards. Maybe I should say is a middle man for producing cards. How it worked is that I did all the design work, they were the sales team, and some company in another state did all the printing.
Anyhow after several months of stressful work (my on the side job) with these people I started to get frustrated that I was not being paid in a timely or complete manner. I started to worry that I would never be paid in full. In fact before I ever received payment from the I had to send an e-mail stating that I had not been paid and that I found their pratices to be unprofessional. I in turn receieved a portion of my payment and reluctantly continued doing work with them.
After several month of going back and forth and never being completely paid up I sent them this e-mail.
“I am reluctant to start on any new projects as I have a sizable invoice that is outstanding. I was told on 10/13 that I would be getting a portion of that invoice in the middle of the next week(10/20). That invoice has since grown and I’m now being told that it will be yet a couple of more days. This kind of business is becoming a problem to me as I feel that no company or person would continue doing work when they are not being paid for it in a timely manner. I am also under the assumption that all of these cards are paid for in advance of me working on them or them being printed. This leaves me wondering why it is always a problem to come up with the money for graphic design?
It seems to me that the method of invoicing and waiting to be paid is no longer going to be a transaction that is acceptable. If we are to continue this business relationship it will be required that $10.00 per job will be paid prior to the work being started an any subsequent time spent will be sent in an invoice. Also all invoices will need to be cleared up by the end of any given month before any new work will be started.
I have been working with your company since May 14th, 2004 and have never had any of my invoices paid in full. I feel that I have been very patient and cooperative, and have taken into consideration your circumstances and situations. I have been paid $510.00 out of $1162.40 in charges. I feel that any business would not continue producing work for a customer with this kind of track record. I am going to require that the latest invoice of $541.96 be brought up to date before these new projects will be started. ( Including anything sent in today) If this work is time sensitive, as I am sure it is, I will be happy to pass it along to (name withheld).”
In response to this the in turn told me several things.. some of which being “I understand completely. Not all jobs get paid in advance but most do. The past few weeks I have invested over 1500.00 in the business plan for Office depot to have it done by a professional. Also the past week or so have been very tough due to me being ill and not out hitting the streets the way I normally do. This combined with a 554.00 print bill that I paid for and the client went out of business before I got the money has truly got me backed up. All of these things aside I do understand where you are coming from.” So they just gave me excusses telling me who they gave the money I already worked for to other people!!!
Further more they complained about my daytime job being a problem for them. Why should I dedicate time over a salaried job for someone who doesn’t pay!?!??!
Since then I have discontinued working with them because I was told I would only be paid anything that was past due more than 30 days. Everything on my invoice is now past due and I haven’t seen one dime of the over $500 they owe me. In all this mess they have also managed to rip-off another designer, whom they paid with a bad check. They owe this person over $200.
All in all I want everyone to know that when your ordering cards from this company there is some poor designer being ripped off behind it all that they they are pocketing the design set up fee. I also want all freelancers to beware not to work with them because you will not get paid! If you like their prices I know where they order the cards and can get you the same rate!!