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View Full Version : not getting paid == inducing rage

12-12-2013, 03:53 PM
I have a client who has decided to not pay me, and I don't know what to do about this. I'm hoping to get some advice.

I did a two part project for him - the first was to convert some PDFs he had into JPGs, and that was cake; I ran them through an online converter and it took about 15 minutes tops. I told him at some point that it took less than an hour; this was never mentioned again so I don't know if he remembers or not.

The 2d part of the project was much more involved. He had a company logo in JPG format, in just one resolution, and thus didn't scale well. He wanted me to reset it so it would look good at whatever resolution he needed.

OK, so I reset the logo in Illustrator. I use his original logo as a template layer so as to set it exactly right. In so doing, I notice that the file I'm working from is offset strangely. I keep working on it, and when I am done I send it to him with a note indicating that I'm aware of the issue and what I think I can do about it.

Everything else - there was text as well - I matched perfectly.

I sent it to him in several formats; JPG, SVG and EPS so that he could play around with scaling it as needed. I put a big PROOF mark across it to protect myself, telling him that I would be happy to remove that for him once I got paid.

I don't hear from him for several days. I then politely inquire as to where we are, and I get this back:

For the logo, unfortunately what you sent me was not an improvement from what i sent you and the second format was in the wrong font. All in all the quality seemed to me a lower quality than what i sent to you originally. I had the job completed by someone else and they told me they completely rebuilt the logo from scratch in Illustrator in order to get the job done properly. Making the lines a lighter weight as you suggested is not what i am looking for and would have given me a lower quality. I didnt want to continue going back and forth on this when i would have expected you to suggest the best way to get a high quality result in the first place.

Im sorry this part of the project was not successful, but as i told you in the beginning i am not proficient in graphic arts and also dont have alot of spare time to spend on this. It was my hope that it would be completed correctly the first time like it was with the other contractor.

Your Previous email.

The straightness was a problem for me as well, but when I went back and checked against the original logo you gave me - your original is offset. The offset may be more apparent to you now that the graphic is sharper and more clear. I can make the lines a lighter weight and thus they will not be quite as noticeable. I used your original as a template, so please reference that - I can send yours back and highlight if you'd like.

The svg file was generated from the same file that made the jpg and the eps file - in other words I did not change the font in between saves. I just checked the file and it looks the same as the others - can you please tell me what makes you think the font is different?

what do I tell this guy? What do I do at this point? I did the work in good faith, trying to build a client base, and now he's punking me. Yeah, I guess I should have thought to collect half the payment up front, but I didn't think to, and I really had no idea how long this would take me to do.

Any advice would be helpful, thanks.

12-12-2013, 05:42 PM
To me at this point I would have to say chalk it off as a lesson learned. I will only do work without upfront payment for repeat customers. I do offer a full refund if the client though is not satisfactory with the final product. This does not mean they get the final product if they want/request a refund. Watermark those things like crazy.

I know getting payment upfront is hard in the beginning without having examples, you need to at least do half though as a down payment. Once you have examples and you can prove your work, then always request payment upfront.

The only way I would fight for it more is if it was quoted out as several thousand dollars, but if it's a couple hundred it's a hard lesson. However I don't think without a signed contract or a written form of agreement (email might work) I don't know how much leg you have to stand on if you took them to court or if it would be even worth it.

I know this is not probably what you wanted to hear. But this is a good reason for contracts and getting things signed so both parties know what to expect from each other.

There will always be customers like this that will be a real pain. Just move on from them, b/c you will end up spending way to much time otherwise. The only thing with fonts is sometimes if the clients computer does not have the same font packet when a file gets opened it might get changed. Especially with files that are not jpg or pdf.

12-18-2013, 01:48 PM
it's not a whole lot of money, to be honest. But at this point, every little bit counts for a lot. I'm practically indigent; disabled; bla bla bla. It's not a thousand bucks or anything, and it's my bad for "working in good faith" and starting on the project without collecting at least something up front. As you say, lesson learned.

Had this been a NEW customer, I might have done that, but this was a guy that contacted me out of the blue, that I did some work for on TaskRabbit last year. Whatever.

Also, I ought to have been a little more careful with the watermark - I'm not sure I covered the logo part. Ugh. That's what I get for working late and tired.

thank you for your reply.

01-20-2014, 08:58 PM
Never start working without being paid first! At least take a deposit.

01-23-2014, 05:47 PM
Ya, payment upfront, deposit for half, or signed contract showing amounts. You can always offer a refund if they are not satisfied. At least with a contract you can take them to court and have something in hand on what was expected to happen and how much was to be paid.

Only if it's a trusted customer you have experience with then you can be a little more flexible.

01-30-2014, 02:44 AM
So it would be a lesson to you not to start work without the upfront payment. If he denied to release the upfront payment and tell that I will pay when I will get result then at that time not to deliver the images, logos or banner until he/she will pay you.

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