Slow payment from F&W Media-experience this?

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ConfidentDesigner Posted - 6/22/2013 6:24:36 PM | show profile | flag this post

I did a medium-size design job for F&W Media in April/early May. It didn't take that long and I invoiced them after I was finished with it for the sum of $1430. Sent the invoice on May 24. My payment terms are clearly stated at the bottom of the invoice: Payment due in 10 days or a 2% late charge will be added to the amount on a monthly basis. No other client has ever had issues with these terms and I have always been paid in a timely manner (well, mostly except for ones that just plain don't pay!).

The woman I did the work for received the invoice and claimed that she had planned to process it. The next day she went on maternity leave. Another woman took over her duties right away and I continued onto the next assignment from them with her. After 18 days had passed since I had sent the invoice, I sent her an email stating that I was yet to be paid. She wasn't even aware of the previous invoice!!! Then a couple of days later I heard back that she needed to have me fill out and send a W-9 which I had assumed they had on file since I did work for them previously when they were owned by someone else. I dutifully filled out the W-9, scanned and sent it about 2 1/2 weeks ago. She answered that she had sent them both in right then. It's been a month since I sent the first invoice and...crickets! No check has darkened my mailbox. When I asked her about it yesterday, I got the we'll pay you 'soon'.

My question for the forum is: Have you worked with F&W Media before? If they take 2-3 months to pay, I won't work with them again. Just wondering if anyone has had this issue with them. thanks!

Grateful Deadline Posted - 6/23/2013 2:16:10 PM | show profile | flag this post

Was the work you did for the Accounts Payable department? If not, then is there some reason why you've been dealing with the women who handled your work instead of the department that handles paperwork and payments?

dribbledrive1 Posted - 6/23/2013 5:54:41 PM | show profile | flag this post

First thing to keep in mind: You and the client need to agree what the payment terms are and any penalties together in advance, just as you agree to the fee. It's not enforceable for you to simply add " Payment due in 10 days or a 2% late charge will be added" to the invoice. The client is not bound to any penalties you unilaterally decide on after the fact. So ideally these are items that should be specified in the contract.

My main question is, when you "asked" the woman about this, did you ask in email or on the phone. This is really an issue that cries out for person-to-person contact. They might be screwing you, or there simply might be a lot of confusion with the first person going on maternity leave and the change in ownership.

ConfidentDesigner Posted - 6/23/2013 10:05:14 PM | show profile | flag this post

Grateful: I was doing design work for one of their magazines located in an entirely different part of the country.

Dribble: Their circumstances aren't my problem. If I have 'confusing circumstances' in my household and can't pay my cable bill, Comcast doesn't care.

In any event, I'm writing to see if anyone has had issues with F&W Media paying in a timely manner.

Grateful Deadline Posted - 6/24/2013 1:42:21 PM | show profile | flag this post

*** Grateful: I was doing design work for one of their magazines located in an entirely different part of the country. ***

Which explains -- what? You should still be dealing with Accounts Payable, wherever it is.

dribbledrive1 Posted - 6/24/2013 11:35:02 PM | show profile | flag this post

That's true. My point was I wouldn't necessarily fire them if they have historically been a good client and you feel this might be a temporary issue related to the change in systems/people.

--Dribble: Their circumstances aren't my problem. If I have 'confusing circumstances' in my household and can't pay my cable bill, Comcast doesn't care.==

ConfidentDesigner Posted - 6/27/2013 12:42:47 AM | show profile | flag this post

Dribble: Just found out that apparently they're notorious for this late payment business to freelancers/contributors. I didn't know this until now.

Just sent an email to someone tonight in what I think is accounts payable, although it's impossible to find out that contact info. Also copied the publisher on the same email--he who was supposed to 'expedite' the payment over two weeks ago... The invoice is now officially 25 days past due. Won't be doing any work for them again. Also see that they have an 'F' rating on the bbb.org website, if that means anything.

ConfidentDesigner Posted - 7/4/2013 1:10:01 PM | show profile | flag this post

STILL no payment...

Even though the publisher emailed me saying that the check was sent last Thursday, 6.27.13, I've yet to see the check darken my mailbox (today is July 4th). It's now been a full 6 weeks from date of invoice. This is what they call 'expediting payment'????

I emailed the publisher again last night telling him I've yet to receive payment. He replied that he'd 'check into it'. I replied to him saying that if I do not get the payment by Monday, July 8, I will impose the late fee and will seek legal counsel to get paid.

No more work for this company from me, I'm afraid. So disappointed in them!

ConfidentDesigner Posted - 7/6/2013 4:24:51 PM | show profile | flag this post

First check FINALLY came!

Woot! Yesterday...6 weeks from date of invoice.


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