I just ended a relationship with a client who was very good at SOUNDING professional without actually being professional. The following is an email I received from her that I’m going to annotate.
Client: I’m very disappointed in the way you handled the payroll situation this week. It was very unprofessional to leave an entire team hanging.
I had informed her that I was going on hiatus after not being paid for over a month. I asked what was happening with payment four times over that month and received no response. Also, I might note, that “the team” in question were her twin sister and her boyfriend, who she’d roped into running a business with her.
Client: Unfortunately this working relationship doesn’t work any longer. We’re dependent on flexibility from all the team members, and have been forced to find other designers to pick up the workload.
After I informed had informed her that I
would not do any further work until I’d received some payment for services I’d
already rendered, she stone walled me for a week and then wrote back to inform
me that she had found “other designers” to do the week. They were her twin
sister, her best friend, and her mother.
Not a single one of them was a designer.
Client: By not communicating with us on Slack and other channels, and failing to provide us with necessary files, you have put us in a sticky situation.
Again, she stopped communicating with me once I informed her that I was waiting for payment. The only communication I received was her asking me to create templates for her new “designers” to use (again, without any mention of paying me for the work I’d already done). I presume this is what she meant by “necessary files,” i.e. “work that did not yet exist that she wanted me to do without pay so that she could replace me with untrained labour.”
Client: I ask that you please hand over any work that you might still have, as that belongs to the company.
I had already sent over all the final files in a folder named “Final Files” that I shared a week ago in anticipation that she would do something like this. Anything that was half finished I deleted.
Naturally, she still owes me money.