Wednesday, 8 December 2010

An open letter to a dishonest client

I started this as 'an open letter to a scumbag client', but figured that was a little harsh ;)

Dear dishonest client,

I received with interest your defence to our small courts claim for the £775 you owe me, as well as with more than a little amusement.

You claim that the work we did and invoiced for was outside the contract we had - had you remembered that you read our terms and conditions and agreed to them , you would clearly remember that our contracts run on a rolling basis after the first 6 months, and despite receiving invoices for 9 months, at no point did you ask to cancel the work. In fact during this time you still sent us information on offers and things going on in the business.

You claim that we have a history of discounting invoices for you - you are indeed correct, we credited back many invoices as you did not give us the information we needed to do the work. However, as you are well aware, from our telephone conversations, the invoices we are chasing still stand.

You claim you are not happy with the work we did and that is why you are not paying. I find this the most amusing claim of all - I spent an hour on the telephone to you commiserating with your dire financial situation, during which you agreed to pay the outstanding amount in 3 instalments. I have emails from you confirming this. I have emails from you apologising for not sending the money as agreed, as the bailiffs had turned up at the pub the work is for, and promising payment. I do not, however, have any emails saying you are unhappy with the work, and note that during the time you are disputing our work, you also passed referrals to us and mentioned us in your Social Media profiles (remember, once it's on the web, it's there for good and findable!)

Therefore, dear dishonest client, despite you thinking that your ludicrous and hilarious defence would make me go away, it has achieved the exact opposite.

Ironically, had you just said 'I can't pay', and let the bailiffs do their 'thing', I would have had a lot more respect for you. But to take this route has removed all respect, and made me even more determined to recoup the money.

I hope that you manage to sell your pub, and that you sort out your financial situation, but I refuse to lie down and ignore the fact that you owe me money, and have agreed to pay it.

Therefore, I suggest that you watch your postbox for our proof of claim, and I would suggest that this is resolved soon; I'm not often moved to name and shame, and right now I won't, but believe me, should this situation not be resolved soon, and without lies, untruths and unfounded allegations, I will.


Nikki Pilkington


  1. Name and shame...! It is your money and it should be in your bank account.


  2. Oh sadly I know too well how this feels. For me, the clients aren't yet disputing the invoice, (I have two non payers right now), they are purely ignoring the calls and emails. The temptation to name and shame is huge, however I'm loving the open letter idea, good on you NP! (and good luck with it!).

  3. People are nice at times aren't they Nikki!

  4. I think there's a place for airing one's annoyance and sharing frustrations with clients, but I would not advise doing it in private.

    Its important for you to be able to vent your frustration and have your position confirmed.

    Its important for prospective clients to see that you can hold your emotional and business boundaries and not have them interfere with the service they want from you.

    It might be ok if society were ok with anger, but people are generally very uncomfortable with it and habitually choose the world of plastic smiles over frankness.

    At least you haven't named the client.That would be far worse in my opinion!