Apparently, Some People Don’t Understand Basic Contracts

I briefly wrote about issues I was having getting a client to pay for my contracted services as part of another blog article and the ensuing events have inspired me to write a full article about the issue.

First of all, I am not going to name the company involved as I have no wish to damage their reputation but the manager of the company clearly lacks business sense as she signed a contract (without reading it, possibly) and made claims against me which were not applicable according to the contract terms.

Under the service fees section of the contract it say the following:

[COMPANY NAME] agrees to pay a flat rate fee of $300 per calendar month for services as described above in the ‘Scope’ section. The standard design fee of $1000 will be pro-rated over the course of twelve (12) months at $83.33 per month which will be included in the $300 monthly flat rate fee. All monthly fees are payable in advance on the first working day of each month.

I believe this to be self explanatory, all necessary payment terms are there in black and white. So why on Earth does she think they have 30 days to pay me from the invoice date, which is a courtesy and not stipulated in the contract. I invoiced on the 20th of each month, so they had an average of 10 days to pay! The latest date I should receive payment is the 3rd day of the month according to the contract terms.

The reality of the situation is that on more than one occasion, it wasn’t until after the 10th of the month that payment was made. This is why I terminated the contract and took their website offline. The outstanding balance for the website creation was paid so I have now released the website to them.

The manager wanted me to continue working with them and suggested that I invoice earlier to get paid on time. Again, the invoice was a courtesy, not a contractual requirement. The manager went on to explain her company’s process for paying bills, which is irrelevant. A contract was signed stating payment is due on the first working day of the month, bottom line, don’t sign a contract you can not honor.

I am truly baffled why the contract was signed by the manager when they could not meet the terms of the contract, I would have been happy to renegotiate the contract to invoice 30 days in advance, but that was not mentioned once before all this blew up recently because of the regular delinquent payments.

The net result is that in all likelihood I will stop contracting altogether. If I can not rely on the income, then it’s not worth having, I can not live like that with a family to support. I’d rather have $300 less and know where I stand budget wise than have the extra cash! And frankly, I really don’t need the extra headaches.

Have Something To Say About This Post? Please Comment Below!