The frustrations of being self-employed thread...

Discussion in 'education & employment' started by cupid_stunt, May 9, 2018.

  1. cupid_stunt

    cupid_stunt Dyslexic King Cnut the Great.

    A thread for the self-employed to have a rant about anything, I am starting off with a client that thinks he can get away without paying. :mad:

    I have a simple arrangement with my clients, I do the work, issue an invoice, they pay, that simple. In over 4 years, well over hundred clients have coped with that, until today I've only had to take one to court, that ended-up with The Sheriff Office (the trading name of the High Court Enforcement Officers featured in the BBC 1 programme) having to collect my £900, cost the idiot client about £1600 with all the extra costs added. :facepalm:

    Now, I have my second joker - three invoices - 29, 61 & 86 days overdue - totalling just £504! He ignored endless e-mails & phone messages left because he stopped answering my calls to his mobile & is never in his two shops.

    So, three weeks ago I re-issued the invoices, adding a late payment charge of £40 to each, in-accordance with the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998, and giving 7-days notice of County Court Action.

    Suddenly he wanted to play ball, or so it seemed. I got an e-mail offering to pay half the original amount last Monday & half Monday this week, if I dropped the £120 of late payment charges - this from a guy turning over £1500 a day. :mad:

    But, anyway, I accepted the offer, I don't like adding charges, I just want the money for the job done.

    Today, still no payment whatsoever, so I've issued a County Court summon for the £504 + £120 late payment charges + £60 court fee, the total is now £684, and sent him an e-mail confirming the new total outstanding.

    Within seconds my phone rings, and I thinking why the fuck should I answer it, when he doesn't pick-up when I call him, so he rings two more times, and I've ignored him, fuck him. :mad:

    As a side note, he told me he was a sole trader, but when I checked his website it features the name of a limited company, so I checked on the Companies House website, and no such company is registered. From my understanding he's committing an offence by claiming he's a limited company, when he's not.

    What I did find was two other limited companies, with similiar names & him listed as a director, both dissolved before the first job I did for him, thank fuck, so he can't claim the debt belongs to them.

    He's clearly a slippery prick, hopefully not too slippery to get out of this.
  2. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

  3. Bahnhof Strasse

    Bahnhof Strasse Free the Sepsis Six!

    Yeah good luck with the skuzbucket cupid_stunt . Shady fuckers like that really piss me off, you do decent work for them and they think they can just walk away. It's stealing and stealing from a small operator is just shitty behaviour.

    My biggest frustration is time off or lack of it.

    The last day that I didn't have an email to answer was 25th December 2014.

    Lucky ole' me.
  4. cupid_stunt

    cupid_stunt Dyslexic King Cnut the Great.


    He's just started ringing me again, three times again, I can't be arsed to answer, on the basic that one of two things is going to happen - (1) he going to have a rant at me for issuing court action, or (2) he going to try to get out of paying the late payment charges - too late on that front, he's been pissing me around for weeks, wasting enough of my time to justify collecting those charges now.

    As he spent weeks refusing to answer calls from me, or replying to e-mails & text messages, I see no reason for me to answer his calls now that it in the hands of the courts.

    In a way I hope he ignores the County Court, so I can escalate to the High Court & send The Sheriff Office in again, those guys don't mess around, and their fees are fucking high for the debtor. :thumbs:
  5. Vintage Paw

    Vintage Paw dead stare and computer glare

    Super minor quibble, but today got sent an off-payroll procurement form thing to fill out to be added to the system as a preferred supplier of services, but the damned thing is password protected and they didn't give me the password. And the woman I'm liaising with is only in-office until 1.30pm so that's another day's wait.

    Like I said, super minor quibble, but if you are going to start a frustrations thread... :D
    Bahnhof Strasse and cupid_stunt like this.
  6. cupid_stunt

    cupid_stunt Dyslexic King Cnut the Great.

    Yeah, I know that feeling, but I've taken control of it.

    This Bank Holiday weekend I switched off the office computer & mobile phone, totally resisted checking them until Tuesday morning, fuck me, the number of e-mails,voice-mails & text messages that came in on Sunday & Monday, fucking unbelievable.
  7. polly

    polly Well-Known Member

    Good luck with the weasel cupid_stunt

    Never being briefed properly really boils my piss. I know I was guilty of it when hiring freelancers in the past, but on the other side of the fence it just seems so easy to get right. I ask once now for clarification, then just go ahead with the shit brief if I have to. And then if I have to redo it, I get paid twice. But then I have a bad attitude.
  8. twentythreedom

    twentythreedom Patterdale Terrorist

    I used to enjoy paying tax by the medium of interpretive dance in my 100% cash SE days :thumbs::hmm:
    Limejuice and cupid_stunt like this.
  9. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    In my period of self employment I had a couple of bad payers, one a massive American company thought they could pay on 120 days and still need chasing for that.

    Mainly I found it frustrating having to do everything, the sales & marketing, the accounts, the actual production, the photography etc etc ... I tended to spend more time on things that I enjoyed but it was all essential so missing some things out always came back to bite me.
  10. Boudicca

    Boudicca Seaside Queen

    I take the initial sales calls for my (deaf) cabinet maker friend. The last call I got was at 8pm on Saturday night. What kind of selfish idiot thinks it's OK to call a business at that time?
    Bahnhof Strasse and cupid_stunt like this.
  11. cupid_stunt

    cupid_stunt Dyslexic King Cnut the Great.

    Report to the naughty step, at once. :mad:

    One thing that seriously bugs me is having to do VAT inclusive rates for small clients that want to do cash deals, because I am not going to take the risk & it goes against my morals, so I end-up paying loads in VAT out of what should be my own income, otherwise they will go to my non-VAT registered competitors, sticking 20% on top of the going rate, when your competitors* don't, is a fucking nightmare. :mad:

    *And, I am convinced at least some of those competitors should be VAT registered. :mad:

    /massive rant over. :D
  12. Supine

    Supine Rough Like Badger

    Getting emailed on Friday afternoon by my client informing me they are terminating my contract. And then asking me if I’ll accept a new contract the next week :facepalm:
    cupid_stunt likes this.
  13. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    Just people who don’t know what they want but have very strong opinions about exactly what you need to do.
    polly, crossthebreeze and cupid_stunt like this.
  14. cupid_stunt

    cupid_stunt Dyslexic King Cnut the Great.

    Oh, Mr Slippery Prick is not a happy bunny. :D

    Just got a long ranting e-mail, it would just about fit on a A4 sheet, filled with a whole load of false claims & outright lies, including the fact that no date had been agreed for payments to be made, despite his previous e-mail setting out his offer, which I accepted, but he failed to keep too. :facepalm:

    Long & short of it, he claims he's instructing his solicitor in the morning to counter-claim against me for £1500. :hmm:

    MY ONE LINE REPLY: "Okey dokey, I'll look forward to seeing you & your solicitor in court." < Short, sweet & to the point. :D

    Game on! :thumbs:

    ETA - And there was me thinking I wouldn't bother to report him for using a limited company name on his website, that isn't registered, I will fucking now. :D
    Lazy Llama, Idaho, polly and 6 others like this.
  15. StoneRoad

    StoneRoad heckling from the back!

    I'm not actually self-employed, but as part of my working at a very small business, I do the invoicing.
    We work on one, maybe two (or very exceptionally three) projects simultaneously and most last around a year to 18 months.
    So, at the month end, I issue the invoice (maybe two at most) and wait for the client to send a cheque.
    Then I wait, and wait.

    In the meantime, there are overheads, suppliers and wages to pay.
    Not to mention VAT, PAYE, pensions etc. and HMRC get very shirty if a deadline is missed with a very, very good explanation.

    I have tried to persuade several to use BACS, and one or two have done so in the past.
    (Most annoyingly, our bank is some 40 miles away, thanks to branch closure programmes, yes the PO is closer, but they've lost stuff in the past and it often takes longer to clear than having someone drive over to pay in)

    Some weeks ago I issued a substantial invoice for the deposit (to reserve workshop space and maybe materials / wages before the first "regular" invoice is issued). Normally, these are paid very quickly ... but this one hasn't been. It is probably shuttling around the client's financial system.
    At this rate, I might see the money by the time the project arrives ! I hope it isn't a portent for the future, as the client wants the work done somewhat faster than originally planned.
    cupid_stunt likes this.
  16. cupid_stunt

    cupid_stunt Dyslexic King Cnut the Great.

    StoneRoad, I am lucky out of 20 odd invoices a month, about 85% are paid by BACS, the rest are cheques & cash, which are a right pain in the arse.
  17. cupid_stunt

    cupid_stunt Dyslexic King Cnut the Great.

    Actually, it's worth mentioning, many moons ago I sold a local magazine that I had set-up to the regional arm of one of the big national newspaper groups, they screwed me over.

    So, I started court action for £25k, they counter-claimed for £50k, that was very stressful, but, guess who won £25k?

    That covered me for a year of not having full-time work, one happy bunny.

    This cunt is just a little play thing in comparison.
    polly and crossthebreeze like this.
  18. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    On the positive side, my customers were not very price conscious. In the first year I undercharged so in the second year I doubled my prices but still I didn't make a reasonable profit so in the third year I doubled my second year's prices - and even in my fourth year I was upping my prices - no one complained.
    cupid_stunt likes this.
  19. Supine

    Supine Rough Like Badger

    Keep going! That must be an unusual situation.
    cupid_stunt likes this.
  20. Bahnhof Strasse

    Bahnhof Strasse Free the Sepsis Six!

    You do often find that the price isn’t always that high a priority for people, so long as they get a good job done at a rate they feel comfortable with they tend not to care if it is £1000 or £1500...
    cupid_stunt likes this.
  21. Idaho

    Idaho blah blah blah

    It's a classic last gasp of a scoundrel. Trying to frighten you into thinking that it's all too much trouble. You are doing exactly the right thing in documenting and escalating. Any compromise or deal he offers will only be to stall for time - presumably until he had accrued enough liabilities to once again claim bankruptcy.
    cupid_stunt likes this.

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