16 Replies Latest reply on Jun 14, 2018 1:04 AM by M. B.

    Advice - Getting paid on a solid works contract job

    Teresa Avendano

      I have a client that I’ve never had a written contract with. Most of the time I wait till the completion of the project to submit an invoice, but if the project is really big I submit an invoice during the conceptual phase, fab drawing phase and assembly drawing phase.

      I’ve always trusted them, I submit the SolidWorks models and wait to get paid. This last project I submitted an invoice for the conceptual model because it was taking months and I wanted money! I sent it in eDrawings format (which I always do for the conceptual phase). They rejected my invoice and said they would pay me when the whole project was done.   I told them no way, it could take months. They said, ok they would pay me, but they needed the SolidWorks model as proof that I actually did the work. I told them I sent the eDrawings already. They said eDrawings is not enough proof! They said no SolidWorks Model, no money.

      They told me that it is their policy that all contractors get paid after a complete project is done and all the files are submitted. I doubt that all the contractors that work there would wait months and months to get paid and then give up all their files. I waited two months once for a check from them. I didn’t usually care because it’s a side job for me, but this time they owe me a lot. I don’t want to give them anything until I have a check.

      I think this is so shady because they’ve paid me before in the middle of a project. I know this is a long round and about way of asking you guys what is common?  Do people usually submit the files and then get paid or get paid and then submit? I guess I’m just asking if I’m just  wrong here.

        • Re: Advice - Getting paid on a solid works contract job
          Roland Schwarz

          Stop all work immediately. Do nothing for anyone without a written agreement.

          • Re: Advice - Getting paid on a solid works contract job
            Roland Schwarz

            Big projects should be broken down into smaller stages with tangible deliverables. There's a lot that can change along the way. as you are finding, you can get strung along for quite a ride.

             

            Anyone worth doing business with won't have trouble with a written agreement. Two words trustworthy people never say: "Trust me".

            • Re: Advice - Getting paid on a solid works contract job
              Dave Bear

              Hi Teresa,

              I totally agree with Roland, just stop right now and tell them that you are doing so!

              Also, since there is no written agreement, tell them that you want your eDrawings back or a written guarantee that they have been destroyed as they are your intellectual property.

              I think you'll get a part payment pretty quick then.

               

              Dave.

              • Re: Advice - Getting paid on a solid works contract job
                Chris Saller

                I agree with the others. I always go by, if something doesn't feel right...it probably isn't.

                • Re: Advice - Getting paid on a solid works contract job
                  Dave Bear

                  Hey Teresa, if you can, please keep us in the loop as to how this turns out. Just out of curiosity is all.

                   

                  Dave.

                  • Re: Advice - Getting paid on a solid works contract job
                    Duncan Gillis

                    Agree with Roland Schwarz, took me a while before I put agreements in place and paid the price.   Even agreements can be broken, but at least you have something to take to court. 

                     

                    Also when someone says 'trust me', run.  A trustworthy client does not need to ask you to trust them.

                     

                    They told me that it is their policy that all contractors get paid after a complete project is done and all the files are submitted. I doubt that all the contractors that work there would wait months and months to get paid and then give up all their files. I waited two months once for a check from them. I didn’t usually care because it’s a side job for me, but this time they owe me a lot. I don’t want to give them anything until I have a check.

                    This gives you no leverage to getting paid. If this is the case, ask for a considerable payment on completion of works, say 60% of total invoice before handing over the work, and add a premium to your price to offset their 'policy' requirements.

                     

                    I've had many of these clients over the years, and I have stopped working for a lot of them as they're painful to deal with and waste a lot of time and effort.  If they're changing the goal posts for payment terms, it indicates that they may not pay at all (not getting paid from their client for example). 

                     

                    There's plenty of work out there as a contractor, and lots of awesome clients that pay on time and pay well. Cut off the bad ones quickly even if its a ton of work. Better to lose a couple of days worth of work than months..

                    • Re: Advice - Getting paid on a solid works contract job
                      Paul Salvador

                      Hello Teresa,.. in my experience, this happens,.. something/whatever/whoever..  it doesn't matter...  you need call them up, set up a meeting (face to face) and go over what concerns they have and clarify. 

                      Good Luck! 

                      • Re: Advice - Getting paid on a solid works contract job
                        Rob Edwards

                        Hi Teresa

                        I'm happy this has worked out for you.  I don't do solidworks freelance, but unfortunately this is just way too common in all business.  Especially when small companies are dealing with large ones.  Over the years I have heard countless horror stories, that have resulted in whole companies going bump.

                        Now we're in the UK so things may be different but I would consider getting some professional advice on creating your payment terms.

                        Maybe another freelancer will share their terms with you.

                        Our terms are included with every quotation (for them to be valid) and we will typically have at least four scheduled payments.  An initial deposit, a manufacturing deposit, and a completion payment which must be paid before we release anything.  This is often 90 - 95% with just a small retainer as a final payment.

                        Having payment terms in place before commencing work is essential.. you can always give some leeway, for example with clients you know well, but they are there if you need them.  It does not give you a guarantee as you will probably be the underdog in any legal action.  But it gives you leverage along the way.  The best advice is to make sure you don't ever get in too deep.

                        My only personal experience with not being paid was when I was working by myself.  A local resident wanted a new front door making for his old house included reinstating some smoked glass.  It was a nice job which was a lot of work for myself and I wanted to help this young family.  He was an electrician and I offered some him the chance to 'work for work'.  His dayrate was twice that of mine, which I shrugged off.  He was a disaster!  He wired up a new meter for us incorrectly and broke it, then invoiced us for it's replacement and billed me twice for the time.  Then he complained about the job I had done... after splicing new bottoms into the bottom of his existing frame I had to board up his house as the fitting could not be completed in one day.  By the way this didn't affect the cost as I gave him a fixed price.  It makes me laugh thinking about it now.  I had bought a vinyl cutter from a retired signwriter... and while I never went through with my plans of revenge... I had a lot of fun fantasising about how I was going to re-brand his van.

                        But this is serious,, make sure you have your payment schedule included from the beginning and if they fail to keep up, you stop work.  Simple! It is the only leverage you have.