Money is definitely a topic that will never go away. Not having enough of it, always giving it to bills, needing it, wanting it, spending too much of it and not having enough of it haha. As a freelancer/contractor, there will always be a thought about "What if I don't get paid?" Cause lets face it, people are cheap. In my career, I've had two companies that didn't pay me for services I provided. Not that I'm in such need, but I still try getting the money every once in a while. It's solely the principal. I did a job, I should be paid.
10:22 Group was the worst out of anyone who has screwed me in my entrepreneurial career. The owner was all about telling me and showing me how connected he was. He knew all and could be all. At one point, I wasn't sure if he was courting me or offering the job. I wasn't interested in our lunches at the Princeton Club or his template website (hate those). I just wanted to finish his project and then move onto social media management for his company.
What ended up happening was no surprise. During my time on the project, he didn't respond to emails. He even decided to have his web developer call me looking for website writing. Yes, tried releasing his dog on me and I kindly said that the owner needed to call me himself. Over time, there was no communication but I did my part. I called about the outstanding balance which was under hundred bucks. And in the end, life lessons were learned. My favorite moment was when he pretended to be someone else when I texted him. The person informed me that he was in surgery. Coincidentally did this "......" just like he did and made the Creative Writing & Communications graduate in me suspicious. It's crazy the lengths people will go.
Lesson Learned: Always get a deposit. I can't say it enough. That way, you at least got something for your work, instead of nothing.
AlleyNYC, I was an Event Producer for. I organized and stressed to make an event happen. It went rather well and the attendees found it informative. Unfortunately afterward I was slightly dropped from communication. I kept trying to contact the Head of Event Production and he may have said they were really busy once or twice, then nothing. Here and there I still try emailing him to see if I will at least get a reason to why it's almost been a year and no payment from them has come through. Even so, I may still attend some of their events. Free ones of course, so I get my money worth.
Lesson Learned: A company is never too big to be cheap or avoid paying you. Once again its a payment under a hundred dollars.
Although I just named the two companies that skipped on their bill, I must add the place I interned as a lesson. I didn't have a formal agreement with the boutique graphic design haus about payment, but they verbally agreed that I would be full-time in their company in January 2012. I never saw a dime from them the whole time, even though after six months I was supposed to receive a stipend. Never saw anything, and I busted my butt for that company. On top of that, they ignore me when I message them on Facebook or LinkedIn. Like I did something to them! I'm very bitter about this. Especially when recently I came across a post on their Facebook saying "We take care of our interns." What a joke.
Lesson Learned: Get EVERYTHING in writing.
I say all this to say, make sure you get paid for your hard work. The Freelancers Union has great tools to help you make contractor agreements and more. There's always Small Claims Court if you want to. Low cost or subsidized attorneys that are passionate about these sort of issues. You deserve to get paid for your labor and don't let anyone else make you feel otherwise.