The saga of the non-paying client…

June 28, 2013

or, ‘Never do business with pond scum’

In April, I was in Houston … Mommie was having surgery and I wanted to be there for her. So, I took my happy little laptop office with me and set up shop.

On Friday evening, April 19th, my company received a call from an NYC based ‘investment’ company on Wall Street – they had a very large, high-priority weekend project and wanted our assistance. I vetted the company while we were on the phone – my fingers furiously typing for as much information as I could glean in addition to the conversation.

I advised the ‘soon to be’ client that we will have to charge our rush fee rate; they accepted our terms and I sent them a contract.

* Client requested Net 30 instead of our usual Net 15.
* My team busted their collective tushies to meet the deadline – despite the fact that PACER was down for system-wide maintenance that weekend.
* Client was invoiced for just over $17K within days of project completion. (yeah fine, 20/20 hindsight, I should have required a retainer …).
* <crickets>
* Several days before payment was due, we were contacted by another vendor on the same project who had been unable to reach Client…
* <sick feeling in pit of my tummy>
* Called Client and reached a receptionist-in-a-box who directed us to email the invoice to “invoices@…..”, instead of the contact … hmmm. At no time during the project or in the 3+ weeks after sending the invoice to all 5 contacts, had anyone mentioned a ‘special’ email address.
* Resubmitted invoice to special addy, w/CCs to all principals.
* <crickets>
* Followed up the next day with faxes to all principals.
* 2 days later, received a response – to the ORIGINAL email & invoice from 4/29: “We have received your invoice for services provided. All services are paid by trade and the services you provided were for the first two trades with a new investor. We’re working to get the accounts set up with this new investor so we can then have the invoices processed and paid out of those accounts. We hope to have this resolved by the end of next week.”

Oh, HELL NO! Those were NOT the terms of our agreement!! Who waits a d*mn month to suggest that there will be a delay contingent upon the actions of a 3rd party?? Allow me to repeat, NO!!

* Informed Client that terms were unacceptable and that payment was due immediately + late charges.
* <crickets>
* 13 days later, Client emails to remind us that payment is pending contingent upon setting up the account with their 3rd party client.
* We responded with another demand for immediate payment and turned the file over to collections.
* <more crickets>
* On 6/25, I send a final demand to Client with a 48 hour drop dead … payment in full of original invoice + 2 months of late fees (~$19,500 now), in certified funds, via overnight carrier.
* Marked email for receipt & read notifications.
* Received confirmation that 2 principals received and read the email that same day.
* 6/27, Client responds that check has been cut for the original invoice only and will be delivered sometime after 7/2.
* We responded that those were not the terms and reiterated the demand for certified funds and that late fees are owed per the executed contract.
* Client responds:
…they ‘obtained expedited approval to pay the invoice even though the banking arrangements with the new fund are still being finalized’;
…they refuse to acknowledge or pay the contractual late charges; AND
…if I’m not happy with that arrangement, they will stop payment on the check.


I had legitimate (and apparently justifiable) reasons for requesting certified funds

They done messed with a redhead from the GSOT … THERE WILL BE HELL TO PAY!!

One Response to “The saga of the non-paying client…”

  1. Pamela the Paralegal

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