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Designing Graphics help...somewhat legal matter, A client took a design without paying for it.
emarielayouts
post Nov 4 2010, 12:41 PM
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I've been working with a client for a few years doing myspace layouts and graphics. I amused we had a good ongoing relationship. We live at different ends of the US so I've never met him in person. About a year ago, after designing some shirts for his apparel line, I lost touch with him after asking for a payment. My old email address got hacked into and I had to change it, but I did let him know that I did change it as well.

I still had no contact with him so I went ahead and sent an email stating that I'm canceling the order for the graphics and I would keep the graphics created for him. After a few months I decide to check to make sure everything is alright so I visit his myspace page and I see him advertising his clothing line with MY GRAPHICS...I went through my statements and it does say he didn't pay any of the invoices I sent him. With the amount of graphics he used, he owes me $500 and that's cheep because I gave him a flat price of $20/graphics because he was such a good client. I had always given him the benefit of the doubt and since this is a lot of money for me, I would like to collect what I'm owed.

I've contacted him through myspace, asked him to contact me through twitter and facebook as well 2 days ago. I checked his twitter page (which I had ask to follow) and noticed that he wasn't someone I was following anymore, when I went to 'follow' him again, it notified me that I was being blocked. Well, no I'm feeling avoided.

I want to handle this in a civil matter, but I'm really inexperienced in this type of thing. If it was something like $50 he stiffed me on then I wouldn't feel as bad, but this is $500 and if he makes more then that on a design I created then it's even worse!
I really don't know what to do to get my payment or to even get him to contact me. All of our correspondence has been through email. I do have a phone number from his paypal information but I'm not sure if I should use this. I don't have money to sue him either or even ask a lawyer for advice, so I'm coming to you guys, fellow designers.

Please, I know it's long and it may be tiring but I need someone's help before I lose my mind on this matter. I want to keep my relationship with my clients on good terms but it seems like it might be a lost cause at the moment.

Thank you in advance to anyone who can help.
 
AbbeyMarie
post Nov 4 2010, 02:06 PM
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Did he sign a contract? This will make your life 100x easier. But you can read this for more steps:
http://advertising.about.com/od/freelancin...gettingpaid.htm

then this (if you don't have a contract written up)
http://freelanceswitch.com/clients/what-sh...esign-contract/

Since this is a very common issue among freelancers there are plenty of articles/guides that can help you avoid being stiffed again:
http://www.smashingmagazine.com/search-res...ingmagazine.com
 
butre
post Nov 4 2010, 03:40 PM
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call him up, threaten legal action. you probably aren't going to have to actually go through with it, most people get scared shitless when everything they own is on the line.
 
emarielayouts
post Nov 12 2010, 10:22 PM
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Thanks everyone for your help. The links will be useful, but thankfully I've been able to resolve the issue. It was really a misunderstanding since both of us had an email change/problems and in doing so we haven't been in contact with each other...but all is well. Thanks again. And I'll take up the tip about contracts, I may need to start doing so.
 
Mickey
post Nov 20 2010, 08:08 AM
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