I got this call out of the blue. I’m not a freelancer, and never advertised as one, but this client found me via USENET.
He wanted me to help his people recover a system which had been set aside years earlier, as they decided they needed some data from it.
We negotiated a price over the phone. There was no written contract. He didn’t want me to bother coming to their location. I covered the issues they were having over the phone. He paid in full.
Everything went well, so what’s funny about the story? Well, the company’s auditors just contacted me to make sure I wasn’t some shady fraud funnel. I was able to reassure them.