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Contract money

 
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How can one proceed if he does not receive the remaining amount of contract money after he has given the final deliverable release? Esp in early stages when the client is not explicitly saying that he won't give the money, but just avoids replying to mails.
TIA,
- Manish
 
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You gotta get big Louie to go break an arm.
 
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Originally posted by Manish Hatwalne:
How can one proceed if he does not receive the remaining amount of contract money after he has given the final deliverable release? Esp in early stages when the client is not explicitly saying that he won't give the money, but just avoids replying to mails.
TIA,
- Manish


You never give out final devilerable product without payment unless you have a good invoice factoring company who has already apporved your client's credit..
I once found myself in a similar situation because I did not use invoice factoring at the time ..
What happen was client started being extremely slow with payments and lying about check goign out before the date of deleiverying final devlierable product..
So I locked the cod ein a bank safety deposit box and then pout liens on his corporate assest as per contract that he signed..
still nothing today almost two years later..
What you could do if the code with its copyright is displayed somewhere like the web front edn is petition the court to take back your copyright..basically foce him to stop using the code..
 
Manish Hatwalne
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Well,
I couldn't have stopped the final deliverable. The client paid 50% advance amount and remaining 50% was to be paid after the delivery. In any case, I don't think any client would pay 100% money before the product is delivered and accepted. I wouldn't do it myself...
In the past I didn't have any problem with these payment terms. Let's see what the client does this time.
Is there any other alternative before going to the court, like declaring it publically that payment is due from this client or sth. After all, the client also has to take care of his reputation in the market. Or is it "not recommended"?
TIA,
- Manish
 
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I recently ran into this problem. You send them a letter advising them that unless a reasonable payment schedule is set and kept to, you will pursue legal action to collect it. Send it by certified mail if you want it to have some impact. E-mail worked for me.
Where you and your client are located matters in what the local laws are.
usually a letter is enough.
Good luck -- I'm intersted in how this turns out...
[ November 22, 2002: Message edited by: John Fontana ]
 
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that sounds like good advice to me. i am currently looking at my first paid programming job. all i want is cash on delivery. im willing to write the program and not get a dime if they dont like it. my "strategy" for ensuring payment is to be in control of the laptop they are using. show them it works as advertised. delete the folder, empty the recycle bin then tell them i will burn it on CD for them. have the check ready when i return. does that seem reasonable? by the way...how am i going to get my program on their laptop in the first place? im a desktop guy.
 
John Fontana
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Randall -
perhaps worthy of a seperate non-job-related thread, but you could make a limited-use demo of your application...
Beware, though, if they are clever, they could crack it...Java can be easily decompiled...
 
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Randall, if you want to demo the code on a laptop for them, my first advice would be to buy a laptop. but since that is a large investment, here's a good alternative:
burn absolutely everything you need on a cd-rom. borrow a friend's if you need to. here are some ideas for what to put on it:
-> your code. do a google search for java obfuscators - they make java code harder to decompile.
-> the jdk you used to write the code
-> a hard drive wiper, like the one provided with the pgp tools. just in case they try to sneakily unerase the data after you leave.
-> powerpoint/html presentation of your stuff. since you are demoing your own code, you are your own salesman and need to put on a good presentation.
make sure they know what the deal is, and explain that you will install, demo, and delete so there is no confusion and they don't think you are trying to nuke their harddrive at the end.
good luck,
Jon
ps - let me know if you need help with any future projects. i'm always looking for freelance/ moonlighting work.
 
Fred Grott
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Originally posted by Manish Hatwalne:
Well,
I couldn't have stopped the final deliverable. The client paid 50% advance amount and remaining 50% was to be paid after the delivery. In any case, I don't think any client would pay 100% money before the product is delivered and accepted. I wouldn't do it myself...
In the past I didn't have any problem with these payment terms. Let's see what the client does this time.
Is there any other alternative before going to the court, like declaring it publically that payment is due from this client or sth. After all, the client also has to take care of his reputation in the market. Or is it "not recommended"?
TIA,
- Manish



I do not know if thsi wil lwork in your situation..
But FastCash through Aquent offers to factor the invoice when the project starts so you get your money every week instead of at proejct end..
The only disadvantages is that Aquent checks out your client's credit to qualify the client and that you need to make an annual revenue of $65,000 before you qualify for the program..
Its a program I intend to qualify for late next year and use..

They also add felixbile terms so that you can offer yoru client the 50% upfront 50% on delivery terms and still get your weekly advance..
you can get the details at:
www.aquent.com
 
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I don't mean to hijack the thread (so please tell me if I am), but I have a related question. I'm in a similar position, but the hold up isn't as much the money as it is the contract. Friend A asked if I could help him write a small server app and said he would pay me for it. I wrote it "on spec" or whatever you'd call it, with no contract, just his assurance that they needed it and I'd be compensated. I worked on the code, then passed it on to Friend B, who has a production Tomcat server, for testing.
At this point I go on a business trip for three weeks and in the meantime, Friend A's company starts using the software without my signing a contract or receiving a check.
Since I've been home, I've been on Friend A's back to get me the contract and the money. He brought me the contract, but it wasn't at all what I discussed with him - for a mere $200, his company would own my software and be free to patent and sell it.
I could use some advice on how to get my money without giving up all rights to my code. Those of you who've done contracting work, what would you do in this situation?
Thanks!
g.
 
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For starters, I agree with John F. I've had to do far more collecting work than I would like. What works is persistence, and clear language that describes what steps you will take.
Project managers rarely worry about accounting payables. It's their job to get a budget and allocate funds, not write checks. Even in small companies, the trend is to separate most project management from the process of disbursing funds.
So when you've got to give the deliverable, it's usually not the case that a company is trying to cheat you; rather, they've simply lost all motivation for urgency, and if they have other money-flow issues, or even a controller who just doesn't give a damn about small accounts, you get stalled.
Every accountant I've talk to during a collection says the same thing: thequeaky wheel gets the grease. Call, as much as twice a week on really late payments. Be polite, and be assertive. Make it clear you're not going away and anything is better than legal action, but if they can't do the right thing, legal action it will be.
The only company I've never been able to collect on went bankrupt and switched all their phones to an answering machine. From which I learned the lesson, never do business with an out-of-state company on faith without projection a loss risk.
 
Michael Ernest
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Garann -
That's not a friend in Friend A. I can think of three options. One, if you kept a copy of the code, copyright it, then claim infringement. It's more complicated, but the liability payoff is far more dangerous to a small company than a bad dabt claim. Two, sign nothing. Have a lawyer call your "friend's" manager and start a conversation about intellectual property theft. That can be fun. Three, negotiate something between what you expected and the $200, and see if you can't appeal to the company's sense of fair play.
My guess is friend A sold you out a long time ago. Take your matters up a level or two and don't deal with him again.
 
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