I am a web developer who works for a company and next to it has "private clients" as a freelancer. One of my client is my co-worker's friend, who is a real estate rental salesman.

First I had to move his webpage to our server. The webpage used a lot of out-dated function what our webserver didn't treated well. I had even to rewrite the image uploading class to work like it used to be. He paid in time

After my co-worker said that the client need a new development: He needed a "flats to sale" "system" next to the "flats to rent" I shipped the code in-time under the "planned hours". My co-worker said that upload the code and the client will come the day after to pay. He didn't come and phoned that he will come next monday. We waited for him but again, he didn't come. Now the code is shipped three weeks ago and there was five or more scheduled meeting that he skipped. I thinking about deactivating the admin page and charge him higher amount for the delay.

3 Answers 3


Well... If your customer isn't paying, charging higher certainly won't help. You:

  • Find out where your customer is, in particular, why he isn't paying. Too expensive? Bad quality? Something else? Call him repeatedly.
  • Do you have a contract? If you do, you might be able to goto the court. But ... unless the amount is significant, you should probably just write it off.
  • Talk to your co-worker in a serious tone. Your customer is his friend, he is kind of responsible for the mess. Can he contact his friend? If you don't mind losing your co-worker, can you ask him to be responsible (at least pay partially).
  • The fact that your customer hasn't come for meetings might mean he doesn't need your service anymore, and you don't know that. This is a common scenario, in particular, if you don't have a contract.

We have lots of existing posts about not-paying clients. Give a search.


This is one reason why I like having a "dev server". I do development on a server that I own and control. When I get paid, the code gets uploaded to the customer's server.

So far, there have been no ill-effects from this setup, other than the possibility to lose time. I host the server in my home, on an Internet connection not made for business use. At any time, I can turn it off. At any time, I can remove all traces of it. At any time, I can allow more than just the business' IP address to connect to it.

One of my first projects involved a lengthy photo shoot with puppies, laying it out on the site, and creating a mailing script. This was straight out of college, so it took me a couple days to complete everything. Silly me, I paid for a hostname, a VPS in a server farm, and uploaded everything. My mistake? I paid.

Knowing then what I know now, I would have put it on my server that I already owned, given a long URL (i.e. https://client123.example.com) that clearly shows who the owner is (Me, from Example.com Industries), and let them know it's ready to be transferred to their provider once I get payment.


You can not arbitrarily add fees to an invoice.

In most instances, only disclosed fees can be invoiced. So, if your contract or invoice includes a notice of late fees then you can include those. If the contract includes services with understood on-going billing, then you can invoice for the period of those services.

But you really can't just add figures to an invoice because you are angry or annoyed. If that were legal, just imagine the invoices everyone could send.

Additional fees must be justified, not emotional.

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