I recently wrote an article for a regional magazine which was published towards the end of 2015. I've followed up with the company several times and they keep promising to get the check out as soon as possible. I'd like to continue to work for them in the future, so I don't want to be too aggressive.

I'm wondering what my next steps would be without threatening the company with any legal action (which wouldn't be worth it in this case).

  • How have you followed up (phone, email)? If you've only tried email, I would try to get someone one the phone and get a concrete date by which you can expect payment.
    – Angelique
    Apr 12, 2016 at 17:51
  • 1
    If your work was published in 2015 and you still haven't been paid more than 4 months later... it's doubtful they intend to pay at all. You need to be forceful. And why on earth would you want to work for a company that doesn't pay you?
    – Scott
    Apr 13, 2016 at 0:14

3 Answers 3


In similar situations, I have found it helpful to 'escalate' the reminder each time. Start with a friendly email, then one with a more 'professional' one - after which you'll need to get a human on the phone, preferably your contact a the client.

If the client has multiple departments, it could be that your client department is also annoyed that 'accounts' is stalling. If this is the case, your best bet is to get your client department to deal with the company-internal stuff, as that has a much higher success rate than you arbitrarily phoning people in the company.

However, it seems your only possible leverage is if they want further work done. If that happens, you must insist on prior payment in full. If you let them talk you out of it, they might actually be using you for free work. Whether you should also insist on payment up front or in stages depends on whether you believe in a long-term relationship with the client.

Collecting debt varies depending on your jurisdiction. In Denmark and Sweden, I would be able to hand a claim such as yours over to debt-collectors because he client has acknowledged receiving the invoice and has therefore accepted the charge.


What were the payment terms that you specified? Since you didn't mention, I'm assuming you didn't make any. If you're going to freelance, you'd better get hip, and fast. As-is, there is no "due" date!!!

Excerpt: "Accounting payment terms are the payment rules imposed by suppliers on their customers. Payment terms are imposed to ensure that payments are received by suppliers within a reasonable period of time."


If you don't specify -- in writing -- you end up where you're at now.


If there is a contract, contact them and tell them that you would like to keep working with them but it's not going to be possible if the situation doesn't change. Also say that you have contacted them many times and there is a contract and you are legally protected by it. You need to tell them this, that's not offensive as you are saying the reasons why you are right and they aren't. Also, you are being positive by telling them that you want to work in the future.

Anyway, I wouldn't work again for a company like that.

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