The client did not pay for the project that was due a month ago

Hello, I am having some issues with my client.

We both signed my contract that was due to 31st of July 2022. The contract said that my client should pay 20% of the full price at the beginning and 80% of price at the end of the project.
The client did pay those 20%, after the project was finished I sent the client a final video of the project with a watermark over it.

The person working for that company told me this “They have been some changes happening in the office internally and I’m not able to get in touch to discuss on this matter with the management. Rest assured I will get this project completed as quickly as possible. Do bear with us. Thank you”

I also sent them an email to their company 5 days ago on which they didn’t respond.

Are they ever going to pay for that project and will the policy of penalty for unpaid invoices on time work good in these types of situations?

You both signed the contract? Great, that makes things simple. Email them and say “I understand and will be expecting payment by the end of the month.” If they haven’t paid you by then, you have a choice- do you want to work with them again, or do you want to get paid? I’d guess at that point you want to get paid, not work with a scammer, so at that point you email again and say “per my last email, I will require payment in the next 24 hours, or you will be considered in breach of contract.” Wait 24 hours and find a lawyer to send them a strongly worded notarized letter. If that doesn’t work, you can sue, or you can recognize they’re never going to pay you and cut your losses

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thank you very much for your help, I will first need them to reply on my last email I sent (which they probably won’t reply to). After they reply, I will give them a warning that they need to pay for it till the end of September. After that I will see what is going on.

Next time, you can try something closer to 50% upfront and the other 50% on delivery. Paying more upfront will strengthen the client’s commitment to the gig.


This is a classic case of spying or R&D theft. It has happened to me in some cases when I worked in a web design company. That we would do problem solving and design for two weeks and just before delivery they would take all of the ideas and go to someone else.

Most of the times is that since R&D costs ten times more than a streamlined solution. Because initially clients “don’t know what they want” so they kind going by guessing. With this mindset they just wanted to test the waters.

As for example if they had 4 alternative strategies with the project and they liked to explore them all. They would spend (25% x 4) of the budget and get all available options. However on the contrary if they went full-speed with all of the options they would spend 400%.

There are two chances, one is that they are the best people in the world and they have real problems in their company, or that they found a shady way of doing their business.

With the “silence” strategy they either breach or not breach the contract, so kinda they remain at a neutral stage and wait for you hopefully to quit. So the more you chase the issue the more loss accumulates on your side. Not only you lost an X amount of money - now you will need to invest even more time and effort to settle the thing - and even if you take legal action the more you get in debt…

I don’t know what is the best advice in this case. In terms of “SCRUM” project management. If you actually had spent REAL 20% of effort and paid for 20% it would be a win for you.


I agree with that. More percentage upfront.

Also should I make those 50% non-refundable?

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Ohh you messed me up with that answer, it makes soo much sense. I don’t know if they are smart enough for that because they were prone on telling me to add something in the video and then week later they wanted that to be removed.

They were unorganized. We were supposed to finish that project at the end of June, but they kept giving feedbacks once a week, they were very slow but they kept getting back at me. I am communicating with them over their marketing person and that dude told me that even he can barelly speak to them.

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I don’t know if it makes sense to write your worklog in a shareable document, so they will be able to see what is about in the TODO + DONE list.

As far as you are in a current phase (and got paid upfront) you can resist changing the plan. Once you complete a phase you can renegotiate again.

You kinda want to show them the way to completion and push them towards there without getting too much in their way, but doing it in a calm way.

As for example if you ordered pizza 20 years ago from the phone, there could be 30 minutes pass and you would start to get anxious or upset, whether or not something went wrong with the order. Now ordering a pizza online, with real time status update by the second, you are always at ease… :slight_smile:


I already gave them a finished animation with my watermark over it so that they can review the final product, In the contract it was mentioned that they will get 90 seconds long video in MP4 format. Their marketing person told me that they wanted some changes in animation clip lengths but he cannot be sure enough because they are not speaking to him.

It’s hard to progress with the team that I cant even reach out to, they are even barelly speaking to their employees too. That team already knows where I stand with them, all they gotta do is tell me what changes they want to see in the video and that’s it, I deliver them a video with final changes and if they agree then they pay 80% of the price and I deliver them the video without my watermark.