Non - Payer



If she doesn’t pay up, give me a shout - I have a contact solicitor who does debt recovery for about £40 and will also claim interest and compensation for you.

Do you have her physical address? Helps when it comes to claiming.



I don’t think it will cost you as much as that for the online Small Claims Court.

The process is stressful but you have to weigh up if you can/want to let client get away with non-payment. I successfully took a client through this process and got all the money I was due plus the court fees etc, however it was only after the whole episode was over that I realised quite how stressed the whole business had made me.

Do you have the client’s postal address? One of the recommendations is that you send a letter by registered mail (sign for process) outlining what they owe and when it needs to be paid by, the court fees that they could be liable for plus interest on amount owed. I am now much more cautious about new clients and whenever possible get a deposit or payment upfront as this tends to weed out the time wasters.

Best of luck.



Thanks for all the replies, she sent me an email Saturday morning to say that she had sent the money by BACS Friday night!

I called the bank this morning and they said they won’t start processing it until today as she did it Friday night and I should have the money on Thursday.

Watch this space!

Many Thanks




It’s a tough situation, and no doubt you have already racked up a couple of weeks’ worth of work in October too.

How about charging her fortnightly for the time being so that you don’t go too far over on work / payment? This means that you’d be invoicing her now for the first part of October and again at the end of the month for the back two months, and so on. It may make things easier for her too?


What I’ve done in the past is raised all the paperwork for the Small Claims Court and sent it via post saying it will be lodged with them on X date… Funnily enough when they realise you intend to be tough about it, most people seem to cough up if they have the cash. Doing it that way means you’re only out of pocket another stamp rather than the court fees - of course if you take her to court and win, you’ll also be able to recover all your fees.

The thing is, it doesn’t sound like she is the sort of client you want to be working with long term anyway - you must have put so much energy into worrying about this bill, figuring out how to approach the situation, whether you should continue working etc. It would be so much nicer just to get a client who pays on time, no?


Indeed, she always promised so much and never delivered.

When she ended the contract she asked if her situation was to change would I consider working for her again, of course I put yes, but I think if she was to approach me again I would say no!

My other client is a complete joy to work for, the day I invoice him he pays instantly and the money is in my account that day, he constantly emails me to say what a reat job I am doing and you ca tell he really appreciates the work I do for him, he never demands work to be done at a certain time or by a certain date, where as she would email you in the morning and say that it needed to be done by midday, what did she think I sat there waiting for her work to come in, of course I would get it done by midday.

In a way once the payment is in my account on Thursday I will be a hugh weight lifted off me and I can continue and get some more nice clients!




Just to keep you all informed my bank informed me that as she did the payment late on Friday, it wouldn’t start being processed until Monday and would be in my account today.

Guess what, it isn’t in there!

I have emailed her and said that unless the payment is in there tomorrow I am taking things further to reclaim the money, so Dawn I might be contacting you for the details of that solicitor.

September’s payment is now 18 days late!!!

Amanda x


Hi Amanda

Are you part of the Prompt Payment Code? It is easy to join and you will find lots of useful advise on there about how to try and keep non/late payments to a minimum, what your rights are and how to make it easier for clients not to become late payers.

It also tells you about what you can charge late payers.

All my invoices go out with a large box on them telling clients that I am part of the Code, what action I will take if they pay late and what my interest charges are if they pay late.

Using Kashflow for my bookkeeping, I can easily send out reminder letters (can be automated too) and keep track of when payments are due/late etc.

Please do give me a call if you need to speak about a solicitor’s letter - James is a networking ‘mate’ and I have used him for a client with good effect cost about £40 I think - which he will also claim back plus interest on that owed.



Hi Dawn

No I am not a member of the Prompt Payment Code, I will google it and have a look.

Thanks Dawn, I will give you a call I notice that you are in Liskeard, I am near to Tavistock!

Many Thanks



Hi Amanda

Should get together sometime then and have a coffee.

Will be at the St Mellion Business show next Thursday if you fancy a meet up



Hi Dawn

I would love to but unfortunately one of my clients is on holiday then and they divert all the calls to me so I need to be in the office - it would have been nice to meet a fellow VA.

She has emailed me back to say that she has sent payment but not for the full amount as she reckons she has already sent me payment for these which she hasn’t and is going to emal me the remittances tomorrow!

I emailed back and attached a statement which shows what she owes me.



Gosh Amanda, what a saga. Do hang in there. Hope you can soon get all the money you are owed and sack her as a client!