Paid on the nail!

RECENTLY I found myself embroiled in a lengthy correspondence with a PR company who had failed to pay me the final instalment of a job that had lasted just over a month. Numerous letters, emails and phonecalls were met with either stony silence or the usual excuses, including: "The person needed to sign the cheque is on leave", "The accounts people are on holiday" and "I'm sure it is in the system and will go through at the end of the month."

After many weeks of increasingly pathetic excuses I lost patience and stopped being polite, having decided that working for this company was more trouble than it was worth.

There was just one problem. The final bit of work for which I had not been paid for was last-minute. So no contract had been signed. Had I taken the matter to the small claims court it would have been my word against theirs, leaving me at the mercy of the junior judge and the mood they were in.

So before litigating the matter I sent one last email explaining that I now how no choice but to take legal action. I also added that the former premiership footballer, who I had been commissioned by them to snap, would be called as a witness. I would have, reluctantly, to call his management to advise them to expect a summons. I also cc'd this to the PA of the company's managing director. With in 15 minutes I had an email to say that the cheque was being written immediately and it could be sent to me by bike if necessary. Other Freelance readers who find themselves in a similar situation with a troublesome PR company might also like to consider the option of suggesting PR disaster - and then wait for the courier to show up.

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