[APG Public List] client who ignores billing

LBoswell laboswell at rogers.com
Mon Feb 22 06:39:12 MST 2010

Small claims might not be an option if the client is out of state.  As for a 
lawyer, I wouldn't go that route unless the unpaid bill was substantial, 
otherwise you risk adding to your own loss.  I'd warn the client that I was 
going to make public his/her name as a bad faith client, one to avoid in 
future unless the debt was paid. Put the name openly on a blog (as long as 
you can prove that the debt is owed.  Even emails between you and the 
client, but hopefully some sort of written agreement.  It's a good argument 
as to why even a basic contract should be used).

Maybe we need a 'hit' list somewhere of such clients, because sooner or 
later they probably will want future research done.  Such a list would allow 
other researchers to avoid being cheated.

Larry Boswell BA, PLCGS
"Historical & Genealogical Research Services"
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
LaBoswell at rogers.com

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Rosalie Schack" <historyhunter at q.com>
To: <thehensons at aol.com>; <apgpubliclist at apgen.org>
Sent: Sunday, February 21, 2010 9:07 PM
Subject: RE: [APG Public List] client who ignores billing


I had a client who did not send her payment, due upon receipt of the bill I 
sent. Each month I sent another bill, saying it was past due. After six 
months, when I was trying to decide if it was worth pursuing, she sent 
payment, with no explanation as to why it was late. The next year she wanted 
me to do more work for her. I told her I required payment up front, and I 
did not hear from her again. But I would definitely suggest sending another 
bill and waiting a reasonable amount of time, say 30 days, for that to be 
paid before you decide if you want to consult a lawyer.


Rosalie Eben Schack, CG
Owatonna, Minnesota

From: Thehensons at aol.com
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 2010 15:02:05 -0500
To: apgpubliclist at apgen.org
Subject: [APG Public List] client who ignores billing


Any thoughts from your experiences with a client who has ignored my billing?

History:  I received a $100.00 retainer in late October after meeting with a 
client to do genealogical work.  After using up the retainer, I called the 
client to see how many hours he would allow.  He said "40 hours" to me over 
the phone.

I completed the work,spending 24 hours, plus copies and postage.  In late 
December I sent him a bill and two large priority packages.  I haven't 
received anything from him.

Should I call him or write him a letter?   Or, hire a lawyer!  By the way, I 
have two items that belong to him:  (1) a family history written in 1943 and 
(2) a master's thesis written by a family member in the 1970's.

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