Dealing with Deadbeat Clients

Taking Care of Me and Mine in a Tough Industry

Michael D. Crawford, President
GoingWare Inc.
February 13, 2001

Copyright © 2001 Michael D. Crawford

The Importance of Taking Care of Yourself in the Consulting Business

I'll be adding some discussion here about my general experiences with companies that evade payments and some general ideas on how to make sure you get paid.

Specific Examples of Deadbeat Clients

I can only relate my own experiences with these clients here, you need to judge for yourself what your course of action should be should you encounter them in your own work.

WishClick Wire transfer received February 13, 2001
While WishClick does not owe me a great deal of money, they have been particularly vexing because of their evasiveness in avoiding payment. When payment is asked for they are always friendly, polite and promise it quickly, but the weeks and then the months pass by and still no payment comes. Following is an email I sent today to WishClick CEO Scot Sangster after he put me off yet again by saying he didn't know where to send the check, even though the address is clearly printed on the invoice (and I'd clearly explained to his employees why I used that particular address).

He also threatened legal action when I promised I'd endeavour to make WishClick's evasiveness known to other companies that might have an interest in timely payment from WishClick.

Scott, you were warned. This web page is a direct result of personal choices you have made. Accept responsibility for it.

From: crawford
Subject: Re: FW: How I Will Ensure WishClick's Debt is Paid
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2001 06:37:39 -0800 (PST)


That mail wasn't forwarded to you, I directly addressed it to you and CC'ed to everyone else. I'm BCC'ing this email to my attorney, attorney's name in Santa Cruz, and I'll send her your mail, my mail from yesterday and a note explaining the efforts you have made to avoid paying your invoices, so if you do take up the matters with your attorneys you claim to have then she'll be briefed on it.

I do not believe your assertion that you have my address confused. I have a P.O. box in Santa Cruz because that's where I lived before I went to Newfoundland to get married. I was in Newfoundland when I performed the contract work for you, and I gave you my parents' address in Washington State on the invoice in order to ensure that the common problem of slow mail to Newfoundland did not delay your payment.

You should know that another reason I gave you their address was that I expected the check to be waiting for me when I arrived at my parents' home for the thanksgiving holiday last year. When the check didn't arrive I left my mom some deposit slips for my corporate account so she could deposit it for me after your company fulfilled its responsibilities to me.

I also told Gary when I first took on your contract that I'd be moving to Maine soon, and I told you I was here when we spoke on the phone. Look on my web page and it says I live in Owl's Head Maine. I do not list my home address on my web page because my wife does not want strangers showing up at our door after reading our web page. The (831) 401-3790 number was established before I left for my wedding for the express purpose of making it convenient for Silicon Valley clients such as yourself to reach me at any time and place during my wide travels last year.

You know as well as I do that FedEx cannot deliver to P.O. boxes, as only the US Postal Service is authorized to do that.

Note that you also gave me your FedEx tracking number. I checked several times last night looking for the tracking number and it did not show up in FedEx' system. With that and the P.O. Box I have caught you in fraud. I'm not certain if you can be prosecuted for that but you can be sure I'll be checking it out.

Neither do I believe your assertion that your company is in any way established or respectable, or that you have the funds to retain legal advice. If you had such resources, you would have the resources also to update your toll-free number on your own web page so that it doesn't get a recording, and have a phone system that is actually answered by a human being. I believe WishClick is little more than a PC on a rackmount in a web hosting service, and you're working out of your garage because you got evicted from your office space.

While you can still FedEx the check, and if you do you should send it to the address on the original invoice, I advise you to wire transfer the funds to my account. That way you will head off my report of your company to a commercial collection agency, which I'll be doing later this afternoon.

I won't wait for FedEx to deliver to initiate collections, but if you send the wire transfer today I will be able to verify with my bank that the funds have been received by the wire office. So I'll wait until after noon your time to initiate the collection. (Even though wires don't show up in ones account balance until the next day, in the past I've been able to call my bank to ask if wires had been received and they were able to verify it in their system).

The address which you may FedEx the check too, if you should choose to take that option is:

My parent's address

Put my phone number on the FedEx envelope, it will reach me here in Maine, and I can answer any questions FedEx may have if there's delivery trouble.

(831) 401-3790.

If you choose to head off my report of your company to a commercial collection agency (which I will do whether or not you claim to FedEx the check, because I believe your claim you're sending it today is just another attempt to stall me) then you may use the following information to send a wire transfer to my bank:

Bank info

If you want to talk on the phone to my bank, their number is bank number, ask for the East Santa Cruz Branch. For the benefit of:

GoingWare Inc.
Account info

While I'm waiting, I'll be busy posting to the internet about how doesn't pay it's vendors. It's in your interest to ensure that I don't have time to send many emails.


Michael D. Crawford
GoingWare Inc. - Expert Software Development and Consulting

   Tilting at Windmills for a Better Tomorrow.