They’re Not Pay Pals

, , , , | Right | May 26, 2016

(I’m a freelance web designer currently negotiating a job with someone who wants to give their website a complete overhaul.)

Site Owner: “So, I’m a big fan of [Popular Movie Franchise] and was wondering if you could do a template based on that.”

Me: “Sure thing! I love [Popular Movie Franchise], too! I could show you a few designs I whipped up previously.”

(Things proceed as normal, with me growing increasingly excited at finding a fellow fan who wants me to indulge one of my own geeky passions.)

Me: “Okay, and I just need your PayPal address to send the invoice.”

Site Owner: “Sure thing. I’ll send it right now.”

(He emails me his address, which I recognize as one that belongs to someone I dealt with a year ago. Specifically, this someone asked for a site design that he then never paid me for, and proceeded to vanish without a trace when I tried to follow up on his non-payment.)

Me: “Wait… is this [Name]?”

Site Owner: “Yes, is there a problem?”

Me: “You’re the guy who asked me to design a site for [Web Address] in June of last year?”

Site Owner: “Oh… wow, you remember that, huh? Yeah I had to put an end to that plan due to budget problems.”

Me: “Yes, I know. I’ve been trying to get you to pay your bill on that ever since! Did you not get any of my reminders that you had an outstanding invoice?”

Site Owner: “Uh… maybe? Is this going to be a problem?”

Me: “Heck, yes, it’s going to be a problem! You still owe me $400 for that last job and now you expect me to do more work for you?”

Site Owner: “Well… I mean it was such a long time ago. I thought if you remembered it’d be like ‘Oh, it’s you!’ And then we’d have a laugh about the craziness that went on.”

Me: “That ‘craziness’ is why I was late on several bills due to not having your payment to cover things! This isn’t a sitcom! People don’t just laugh it off when you refuse to uphold your end of a business agreement.”

Site Owner: “Seriously?”

Me: “Much as I really wanted to do this job, I’m going to have to decline now, given you’re too great of a risk.”

Site Owner: “What?! Well, what if I agree to pay up front for the new job?”

Me: “You’d still owe me the $400 for the last job.”

Site Owner: “Well, I don’t have that kind of money right now! I’m trying to run a business here! Can’t you cut a break for a fellow [Popular Movie Franchise] fan?”

Me: “Sorry, I’m trying to run a business here too. You’ll have to find someone else.”

(I blocked the guy on IM and posted warnings to every forum I know telling them not to do business with him if contacted. Blows my mind anyone could be so brazen or stupid as to change their name and contact details but still use the same PayPal address for someone they previously stiffed on a payment!)

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