When Your Client Goes Bust Without Paying
A few months back I was contacted by a local design agency that I hadn’t worked for before. They needed help with some new visuals for a large project for one of their clients. We agreed a fee, I went to meet them and made a start on the project. The project went well (I always tend to go above and beyond the call of duty for new clients) and everyone was happy with the work I produced. Great. I sent my invoice over and got back to working on various other projects I had with other clients.
Show Me The Money!
30 days went by and no money was showing in my bank account. I contacted the client and told them the invoice was now due for payment, they informed me it was due to be paid shortly. No surprises when a couple more weeks went by and still no money. This dragged on for weeks and weeks. I sent solicitors letters, even contacted a debt collector to help out. Unfortunately it was all in vain and I found out on the grape vine that the agency had ceased trading without paying my invoice. Damn.
There are probably a few things I could have done that would have helped avoid this situation but we live and learn. I’ve always found it particularly difficult to enforce deposit payments for work with design agencies. It’s often very last minute and isn’t really the done thing.
The Plot Thickens
The situation I now find myself in is that the initial project that I produced the design work for is due to launch shortly. The design agency’s client continued on with the project and found another agency to take over the development work. The fact that my design work is about to be used without me ever having received a penny for it doesn’t sit well with me and has left a bad taste in my mouth and I’m now left considering my options. Assuming the end client paid the design agency that has since ceased trading they’re not exactly going to want to pay for the design work twice but something about the whole situation seems so wrong.
What would you do in my situation? Have you ever had a similar situation? I’d really like to know your opinions.