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Posted by Dona on August 01, 1997 at 21:34:48:

Hi,

I was wondering if anyone could help me out with a problem I had doing work for an IC. I answered an ad in the paper, met with the lady and did some emergency work for her because someone had a baby. Well, I already had a full time job and this wa s a full time job itself, so I couldn't handle it for very long. Finally, when the job was done, she had me fax my bill to her and I have STILL not gotten paid! I finally mailed a letter asking where my pay was. The problem is, because it was an emerge ncy situation and she really needed help, I never signed a contract with her. Can anyone give feedback? Does anyone know if I have a legal leg to stand on? Any information would be most helpful. Thanks!


Posted by Maria on August 01, 1997 at 23:01:26:

In Reply to: All work and no pay posted by Dona on August 01, 1997 at 21:34:48:

How long has it been since you billed her? That's always a scary spot to be in. You did the right thing, sending a reminder notice. It's a shame that she is stringing you along when all you did was help her out of a tight situation.

Everybody's prayed f or me this week -- I'll pray for you next.


Posted by Gwen on August 04, 1997 at 10:13:10:

In Reply to: Dona posted by Maria on August 01, 1997 at 23:01:26:

Even though you did not sign a contract with this woman you were acting under an oral contract. An oral contract is as valid as a written contract. You are in the legal right to demand and receive your money. The first steps you need to take are to wri te her a letter demanding payment of the past due amount. You may include interest if you would like. Send the letter to you via regular and certified mail. You do not need to send the letter registered: you only want proof that she received the lette r. I would write her at least two times demanding payment. If that fails, you will need to file a claim with the small claims court. Do not send a bill to the clinic the work was for. They have no legal obligations to you. The clinic did not contract with you or vice versa. Good luck!


Posted by Dona on August 02, 1997 at 00:43:15:

In Reply to: Dona posted by Maria on August 01, 1997 at 23:01:26:

Hi Everyone!

Thank you for the responses! It is SO nice to know that you guys are out there for support. Thanks for the prayer Maria!
Actually I billed this lady on 6-26 for May and June work as this is when she said her billing was due for the c linic. In the reminder notice I sent to her, I offered to contact the clinic for my pay. I don't know if I can actually do that, but she is not a big transcription service, she just has subcontractors working under her. I'm hoping it won't go as far as a legal battle. I have tried to contact her by phone but with no response.


Posted by Toni Ann on August 02, 1997 at 12:29:00:

In Reply to: No phone response posted by Maria on August 02, 1997 at 10:50:45:

Agree with Maria here - only would add one thing. When you
do send her a "final notice" for payment of the bill, make sure
you send it registered!!! Good luck!


Posted by Dona on August 02, 1997 at 13:20:28:

In Reply to: Re: No phone response posted by Toni Ann on August 02, 1997 at 12:29:00:


Hi everyone!

I think you're right. I think I'll give this lady a few days since I just mailed here a notice on Tuesday. If I haven't heard from her in another week, I'll send her a registered letter. I live in OR and I'm not sure of the laws for small claims here. Also, I did save my work and I sent her a disk for proof.

Thanks!


Posted by Carol Reese on August 02, 1997 at 14:43:44:

In Reply to: Re: No phone response posted by Dona on August 02, 1997 at 13:20:28:

Good for you for saving your work on a disk. You may need that in court but even if you don't,the fact that you have it is significant. I save all my stuff until I am paid for it (and my service owner knows that--she saves it on disks also in case the c lient has a problem later on.)
Good luck.


Posted by Carol Reese on August 02, 1997 at 01:59:43:

In Reply to: All work and no pay posted by Dona on August 01, 1997 at 21:34:48:

I am soooooo thankful that I work for a good small service! When I tell people who work for large companies, etc, that it is 4-5 weeks after I do the work before I get paid, they think that is terrible. However, I realize that the service has to bill after I do and then get the money back from some places that for various bookkeeping reasons only want to pay once a month, so the service has to wait. However, I get a check every week. The only time I have not, it was lost in the mail and caused both of us a hassle what with stop payments, etc. Hope you get this resolved soon!


Posted by Diane Heath on August 05, 1997 at 12:23:09:

In Reply to: All work and no pay posted by Dona on August 01, 1997 at 21:34:48:

You've just learned one of the most valuable lessons that can come to an independent contractor: always have a written contract. Chances are this person is also awaiting payment and plans to deal honorably with you, but a written arrangement would have be en better protection for you. I'm saying all this as a hint to our many "newbies," since they are likely to encounter situations just like this. I know it doesn't help you at this point. I also would not suggest contacting the place where the dictation or iginated. That would only create a picture of squabbling MTs, which isn't a positive one for you or the other MT. Many people view us (ICs) as less than professionals already, and you have the opportunity to handle this in a professional manner. Take the legal steps suggested by others on the board if you don't get a response from this person.


6/97, From Shelby:

I would like some input as to whether any of you have made a conscious choice to downsize your business because the administrative headaches, workload, etc. got to be too much. I have a friend who is a business owner of a straight word processing service in Atlanta who is considering downsizing as she has gotten so big that she has lost many of the advantages of owning her own business. Any feedback for her?

6/97, from Judith Hinickle, judyhi@execpc.com:

This dilemma occurs often at about the $500,000 to $1,000,000 mark in sales for those with employees. At that point you have to look at some really big technology investments, personnel investments, organizational investments, and probably a nervous breakdown because you're wearing too many hats. For ICs it may occur at the point where there's too much for one person to do and should they associate with another IC. Or it may occur when they're trying to decide if 12 hours/day 7 days a week IS too much for one person to do and should they downsize to 40-50 hours per week. It can be an excellent decision to downsize to the sales and profit levels that gave the best combination of money and personal satisfaction. Bigger is not always better. If the money is, the life style may not be. If the life style is, the money may not be. Even one of the ten-million-dollar services recently told me they thought things would get easier at that level, (they purposely grew from 3 million to that level rather swiftly) and instead the problems were more of the same and/or new ones. I'd opt to have lots of personal satisfaction and just be able to afford to live the way I already do. That's guided me through lot of decisions about paths to take. So far the personal satisfaction is usually there (hate personnel problems and cash flow problems though), but I still can't spell the word "s-a-v-i-n-g-s".


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