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View Full Version : What to do - Customer from US isn't paying


ClickRight
06-23-2009, 01:18 AM
I got a call on June 4th from a person in the USA (I'm in Canada) asking me to go out and check his dad's internet connection in my city. He was concerned as his dad hadn't been on Yahoo messenger and wanted me to find out if the problem was with the ISP or computer. He agreed to pay me through PayPal. I went on-site to his dad's house and determined the problem was on the ISP's end. I gave him all the information he needed to report to the ISP, and checked over his computer. I also updated his AVG anti-virus to the latest version as he was complaining about the warning it was giving him to upgrade.

When finished, I phoned the person in the US, let him know the situation, and sent him an invoice via email. A week went by and no payment was received, so I sent a reminder email. Another week went by, so I called him up to ask what the deal was. He said he was sorry and would pay right away in the morning, and to forward him another invoice, which I did. Still I have yet to receive payment. Do you have any experience with this? What should I do?

Jory
06-23-2009, 01:42 AM
I'd try talking to the Dad and letting him know what happened. You could possibly shame the son into paying.

MHCG
06-23-2009, 02:09 AM
I don't see how there's much you can do other than hope he pays. He's in the US and you're in Canada and I doubt the cost of the job is worth any kind of court resolution.

Send another invoice and/or call his dad.

abe
06-23-2009, 02:41 AM
call and ask him if he recived the emails they may be going to spam

kremo5le
06-23-2009, 02:46 AM
I got a call on June 4th from a person in the USA (I'm in Canada) asking me to go out and check his dad's internet connection in my city. He was concerned as his dad hadn't been on Yahoo messenger and wanted me to find out if the problem was with the ISP or computer. He agreed to pay me through PayPal. I went on-site to his dad's house and determined the problem was on the ISP's end. I gave him all the information he needed to report to the ISP, and checked over his computer. I also updated his AVG anti-virus to the latest version as he was complaining about the warning it was giving him to upgrade.

When finished, I phoned the person in the US, let him know the situation, and sent him an invoice via email. A week went by and no payment was received, so I sent a reminder email. Another week went by, so I called him up to ask what the deal was. He said he was sorry and would pay right away in the morning, and to forward him another invoice, which I did. Still I have yet to receive payment. Do you have any experience with this? What should I do?

Hi there,

This is meant to happen I think in a situation like the one you describe. However, I believe that you should approach the client a bit slowly. Have you find out why isn't the payment in your hands yet? Has the client "disappeared"? Or can you call and they answer to you? I would not play games with anybody. Just approach the client as a reputable company you have, and send a paper bill too. If the amount is not too big, and you never get the payment back, this will serve you as a lesson (believe me, you will change after this). Clients should be treated well, but we as providers should be treated well too...

Good luck brother,

k.

eggy53
06-23-2009, 04:02 AM
This haven't ever happened to me, but a good idea would be to ask for a X amount for deposit. If you work in hourly rate, maybe charge the first hour up front.

But anyway I which you luck, hopes this is only a "bad memory" customer, hahaha and not a bad paying customer.

bagellad
06-23-2009, 04:16 AM
Well I guess this is a good lesson of getting money up front from a 3rd party... I never really thought of it before.. I would call his dad and check to see if his internet is working and also if he was been able to get intouch with his son. Eventually you will be so annoying they will crack down!!

ClickRight
06-23-2009, 04:22 AM
call and ask him if he recived the emails they may be going to spam

Yeah, I called again today, no answer, and no return call, sigh :rolleyes:

I don't have his dad's phone number, but I'm sure I can reverse look it up, or just show up at his house. He was quite old so hopefully he'll remember me.

jbutler9
06-23-2009, 06:37 AM
Not sure how you do business there with your company, but I would have gotten the dad to sign an invoice and a work order before I touched his computer. That way when you do go to small claims court (and no matter if it was 1 dollar, I would still go to small claims court) you can show the signature offering the service and where the customer agreed that you completed the service. Case closed

seedubya
06-23-2009, 09:17 AM
Hound him. By phone. Email is too impersonal. Preferably call from different numbers all the time so that he doesn't block you. Call him every day until he pays. If, within a week or so, he doesn't pay go see his father in person with a printed invoice and ask him to forward it to his son.

cmonova
06-23-2009, 10:02 AM
Call and leave a message and say you would like him to contact you by "tell him a time"...then follow up with "becuase I am going by your Dad's tonight" to check on him and would like to mention that i've talked to you today"

pcmac
06-23-2009, 12:10 PM
How is small claims court in Canada going to enforce payment for a person in the USA?

Even if you get judgment,in your own country,it does not ensure you get paid,collection firms take 40% of what they collect.

Write it off

Fixedathome.com
06-23-2009, 12:27 PM
I'd be invoicing the Dad as that is where the work took place. Go round in person and explain to him what has happened.

jbutler9
06-23-2009, 02:30 PM
The good thing is that he provided the service for someone in Canada, his own state. I would assume that they have a legal system at least somewhat like ours, where if someone doesn't pay for services they can take them to a court and try to get their money back.

Call your local court house and ask them what you should do.

0gr3
06-23-2009, 02:45 PM
I believe up here you need proof of labour though. If the father never signed a work order he may be S.O.L as far as suing goes since the dad can just go "You didn't do anything and prove it" If there is a work order then for sure you can take him to court for the loses.

Canadian Tech
06-23-2009, 08:04 PM
Personally I would be invoicing the dad since it was his computer you worked on. I would send him a registered letter giving him x number of days to pay and see what happens. If he doesn't pay not much you can do about its not worth the cost to take him to court.

K007
06-23-2009, 10:25 PM
Don't act like you are hungry, no matter how much you need the money.
Get hold of the son and tell him in nice terms:" Look, I gave up on asking you for money. In the end is just peanuts, and not worth pursuing it. But I did not foreget you conned me. So I decided to tell your father what exactly happened, and next time hopefully you will not con somebody else".

At least you close it in your terms not his.

ClickRight
06-24-2009, 01:11 AM
Thanks for the input. I went to his dad's house today and explained the situation. He seemed to be under the impression that his son had payed me through paypal. I gave him a copy of the invoice and asked if he could please contact his son and forward him the information. We'll see what happens next.

kremo5le
06-25-2009, 06:18 AM
Thanks for the input. I went to his dad's house today and explained the situation. He seemed to be under the impression that his son had payed me through paypal. I gave him a copy of the invoice and asked if he could please contact his son and forward him the information. We'll see what happens next.

Hey there,

You did the right thing. Even when we need our clients to pay us promptly (if you work full time), we need to be as professional as possible. Sometimes people just have "life" happening to them.

The best for you and your business,

k. :D

ClickRight
06-25-2009, 02:40 PM
All sorted! They payment came in yesterday morning, following the conversation with his father. Thanks for your insight and assistance into this matter :)

kremo5le
06-25-2009, 04:27 PM
All sorted! They payment came in yesterday morning, following the conversation with his father. Thanks for your insight and assistance into this matter :)

Happy to hear that! :)