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Client contesting invoice

Discussion in 'Accounting and Legal' started by Aliceinwonderland, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. Aliceinwonderland

    Aliceinwonderland New Member

    Hello, I'm a digital video editor and recently took a freelance gig from a small production company. They revealed immediately to be unprofessional. The two producers gave me contrasting instruction for the same brief, made me do a lot of work for nothing, took very long time (up to half day) to check my work while putting pressure on me to do it urgently, sent me back home because they didn't have the right equipment / space in the office etc

    We did not discuss a rate for this specific job because they just wanted to see if they liked my work and we could establish a relationship for the future. I have never discussed rates with previous clients unless they specifically asked me to give them a quote, so I didn't think to have to spell it out. My daily rate has been the same for the last few years (£250 to £400 per day) in the last couple of years and never had problems before - I generally invoice my clients at the end.

    The job advert for this gig was stating "Starting from £200 depending on experience & skills" so I thought that would be in line with my rate and experience (I have 10+ experience as freelance, with public credits - a lot of long term contracting work). The job advert was also only for an easier type of editing, while they also left with me the more complex task of coming up with the story. Something they felt comfortable doing because of my extra skills.

    I kept on asking for feedback every day, I generally do this at the beginning of a relationship because I don't know the taste of the client and I want to make sure I am on the right track and they are happy. This feedback was always late. At times even a whole day later.

    I had mixed feedback from them, sometimes positive and sometimes negative, I tried to change the things they didn't like (Music tracks, graphics etc) which resulted in obvious delay and more work.

    Despite the told me they were happy with the final version, they are not willing to pay for the invoice I sent them. They claim that it took too long and in their opinion it wasn't up to other editors' standard and they they clearly stated the rate to be £200 (although the wording says it "STARTS" from and it relates to an easier type of work.
    I offered to meet them in the middle and cut my rate to £250 and detailing every single fault that it was their responsibility- but they say their position remains unchanged.

    I would like to take them to the small claims tribunal (the total is around £2000) because they should not get used to take advantage of freelancers - but I fear I might waste a lot of time and energy and they might win because I didn't spell everything out.

    Anybody here had a similar experience or any advise?

    thanks !
  2. Lupita

    Lupita Member

  3. Axmaticca

    Axmaticca New Member

    This is sad to read. I am choosy with the clients I work with, and I think that's very important. If a client raises alarm bells for me early, I'll be even more diligent in making sure everything it categorised and spelled out to the letter, regarding the terms of how we will work together.

    Also too late for you this time I know. But I really strongly advise not to do any work for free as a sample. If they want to see your work can show them a portfolio... If they want to 'test' your wirk in their setting, let them set up a small initial project.

    Sorry you had this experience.
  4. Robert Bruce

    Robert Bruce New Member

    The devil is in the paperwork!

    Any work you agree to undertake must be committed to an agreement which is signed by both parties. The 'contract' is your protectection against disputes resulting in late or no payment.

    There is no need to feel uneasy or nervous about insisting that a contract must be drawn up. This is a business transaction and if the other party gets jittery about signing an agreement, remind them that it will protect them too.

    No matter how small or big the job is or how long you are going to work on the project, you need to get the terms of payment, (i.e. 30 days from date of invoice) and an end date with all the work details you are required to do recorded in the contract to be signed by both parties.

    A contract will make your life easier and the bank manager happy!

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