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Company/Client owes me $2k.... what to do?

I'd like to kill the guy

12:11 am on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

... a company I sell leads to owes me $2k.... we have no signed contract, but I have a record of leads I sent them and they did cut me 2 checks... so some kind of agreement was reached... I have a million emails to them and only a few back referencing the second check being late ....but nothing that says they still owe me money. I doubt I'll see that cash... what would you do? it's not really enough to go crazy on them... they are the type of guys that wont cave under a simple note from a lawyer.... they will wait for something more. I thought about collection agencies, but I had one of those not work in the past either... anything to be done here to get money back, or do I just go underground and go midevil on them?
12:14 am on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


can't speak for US law,

> wont cave under a simple note from a lawyer.

surprising - if we get lawyers involved were taking a company to court - money owed, means there are the defendant and all costs are on them. Never failed for us, unless the company has gone bankrupt!

Also i would have thought that you knew the Aff network quite well, why not do a little destructive work!

12:23 am on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

can't speak for US law

Oddly enough - the reverse is true in the US - it is even refered to as "The American Rule"


If they are a real business - they are incorporated - and they probably aren't paying you because they are poor.

On the plus side - if you do so them - and you AREN'T a corporation - they have to hire an attorney while you don't. It costs about $15 dollars or so in mmost states to file an action and is pretty easy to do - you could do it in MD in about half an hour at the courthouse window.

However, all you would get is a default judgement when they didn't appear - and you'd never (most likely) - collect a dime.

Just think of the evil corporations out there - kind of like all run by little guys like - [cough cough] Mr. Burns......


12:40 am on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

>costs about $15 dollars or so in most states to file an action

yeah... the trick is to do it in their state (TX)... which means I have to show up, and then I dont know what would happen next... never got that far.

other problem is they wrote the checks to my DE frontend, so I would need a lawyer too.

...thats why I was thinking collection agency.... they take half, but at least I get, well, half

12:50 am on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Depends on the county, DB. Some states no, in other locations if "work" was done by a person living in that county they can do small claims in the county they live in.

Probably simplest to turn over to collections - life's easier when we get certain things done with and out of our hair.

1:01 am on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I think the answer you want is go midevil on them :)

If you are going to go the suing route - it is up to THEM raise venue as a defense. The idea behind it is to inconvenience them to put you at the front of the line.

I have sued companies that were out of state in my state with good results. If they do business in your state - that is usually good enough.

However, you are probably much better off following Marcia's advice and just getting rid of this. No need too let them take $2K and waste your energy as well.

Lawsuits - even tiny ones - can be very draining emotionally.

1:18 am on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

exactly... let a collection agency bang away at them... ironically, its a debt consolidation company I'm after, so they do know their rights as far as hassling goes, but still.

I would spend the money maybe just to walk into their office and put that guy on the floor... it really bothers me when people do and say things differently than when they know you can just walk in... ehheeheh and in TX, I hear you can walk in with a pistol on your belt as long as it is in plain view/not concealed... you know Dirty Hairy's gun? I got that gun (in a nickel finish) for moose and when I'm in bear country.... I just know I'd get in trouble though... one way or another I'd clock him.... probably after I thought about the consequences and figured that if I was going to do anything, might as well make sure it was worth it... better opt for the collection agency:)

1:42 am on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I'd like to kill the guy

Check my profile ;)

- Seriously, go the legal route while you are contemplating other avenues - build up the paperwork/trail for future reference...

2:05 am on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

ehheheeh... no, I just don't want the guy dead, I want to do it myself... so we all agree, then... collection agency it is.
8:40 pm on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I talked to my dad... he said have a lawyer file a complaint with Dun and Bradstreet... father's always do seem to know best. When I first called the guy to make the deal he was on the other line with Dun and Bradstreet and told me that he would have to call me back because they had been trying to get in touch with them forever/very important... I imagine that they wouldnt want to have a fresh complaint filed against them a month after they get approved... sounds like a good thing to leverage:)
8:50 pm on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ogletree is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

BBB as well.
12:54 am on Oct 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I called up Dun and Bradstreet and they said that they have a collection agency inhouse! So not only will I get a complaint on their record, but a collection notice as well... the only thing is that you have to have a DUNs # as well to use their service (which I got over the phone for a one time fee of $500 and supposedly the collection fee is minimal in comparison to a standard collection company... so I figured what the heck.)

anyway, I think this was a great direction for me to go in.... hopefully I'll get some payback

7:32 am on Oct 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

dogboy ... what did you do for them for that $2k, did they want it and can you undo it unless and until they have paid for it?

Obvious but : In future get a purchase order number at least in writing from them (email fax or post) before doing work for a company for which you intend to be paid.

The ideal is to get a full and authorised company purchase order against your quotation.

This means the company employee who wants you to do something has jumped through the hoops to get company authorisation (perhaps from his senior executives) to ask you to do something and that the company formally accepts it will pay for the service.

8:08 am on Oct 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Because I've been doing that kind of stuff for 20 years, I ALWAYS get 1/2 the cost up front. Then if they do not pay the other 1/2, I have the resource, theirs, to file suite.

In some states a verbal agreement can be as good as a written agreement. However, to cut down on court costs, ALWAYS get a written agreement. It seems to never fail, I give a quote, they agree, and then after we get close to being done, they think of something else to add based on what has already been done, and want it done for free. So be sure to lay out exactly what is covered and disclaim that anything NOT list _may_ cost additional money.

However, at your stage, there is not much you can do with out going to court to get your money. You could start a WEBRing or something about how they screwed you. Any kind of bad PR may make them cough the money.

12:04 pm on Oct 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

yeah, I know, I know.... first, they don't prepay in this business, that's just the way it is. Second, I had to jump ship on the previous company fast, as in immediately. the first check came fast so I thought it was ok.... the second one was slow but explained ahead of time... it was the third one that got me:)

...but yeah, I knew better

2:43 pm on Oct 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

>>first, they don't prepay in this business<<

Then it was NOT on their priority list to get the job done, and that in of itself may be a red flag. If you are the best, cheapest, etc. pre-paying 1/2 is not unreasonable, and they will change their mind, or they will hire your competitor and screw them instead of you.

3:06 pm on Oct 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

hey jim, I agree with you unquestionably about the contract... but as I said, it is the *industry* standard not to prepay... a purchase order would be a great idea, but trying to change a standard is usually not worth the effort or even doable sometimes because it requires legal time ...and they don't even know if you are going to make them any money, and therefore won't consider it.

In other words, if the only way I would do business is if I got prepaid, I would do very little business. As it stands, this was about 2.5 weeks of income from that site... still alot of money, but not in relative terms.... been in that biz for about 2 years, so overall it has been a good ride... I just don't like getting sucker punched.

1:51 am on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

well, I sent them to collections, so they should start getting calls right away.... but, since collections will take 30% of the cut if they get anything out of them at all, I decided to just go for broke and forget the money and just go for payback:) I wrote this to their bank's legal team... wasnt too professional but I was in a rush to walk out the door.... but I think it is enough to get their attention:




I would like someone from your legal department to call me regarding one of your banking clients: XXXXXXXXX This company owes me approximately $2000 and will not respond to emails or phone calls. After countless attempts at trying to contact them, I forwarded their information on to Dun and Bradstreet’s Collection Agency. We then tried to look up there DUNS number but were unsuccessful.... we then contacted the TX Secretary of State to find out more about their “corporation” but again were unsuccessful as there appears to be no xXXXXXXX or XXXXXXXXXXX, even though they do business under these names.... this led us to to do yet more research and found that they were doing business as multiple entities each claiming corporate status and doing business in XXXXXXXXX, but none of the names were registered, and some, like XXXXXXXXX, claim that it is an XXXXXXXXX subsidiary.

The company apparently has numerous 800 and 888 numbers but all appear to ring into cell phones. The one printed on the check: XXXXXXXXX is not in service. All addresses, including the one printed on their checks, appear to be physical but further investigation has proved these to be simply professional mail box service addresses. We have yet to find a single physical address which correlates to a real place of business, or a land line.

Their main website points to other websites, some of which work and some don't. The list is as follows:


these domain names are registered to the following entity, although I believe this may be an old mail box address:

   Administrative Contact, Technical Contact: 

however the person who signed the check was named XXXXXXXXX, and was mentioned a number of times by XXXXXXXXX

I was dealing with XXXXXXXXX although the check I got said XXXXXXXXX with an address of XXXXXXXXX, which again is nothing more than a drop box. I have a routing number of XXXXXXXXX and an account of XXXXXXXXX. I understand that you may be bound by privacy policies but I do know that banks need to confirm that their clients have actual businesses and proper DBA credentials in order to do business. I believe it is likely that they may have given you mail box drops in place of a real physical address and cell phone numbers instead of land lines. In any event they appear to be doing business under fictitious names and running the cash through your bank.

Thank you for your time,


......then I attached some screenshots of their sites which say soandso INC. and mailed it off... with my luck I'll get the check right after they get their account shut down... heeheheh but it was worth it I guess to really light this guy up... its a warning to all the jokers out there... you treat this dog bad and I'll bite:)

6:22 am on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I feel ya. What exactly did you do for the $2,000?

I can help you out with a better answer after I know precisely what your situation is.


7:58 am on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

>a company I sell leads to owes me $2k.... we have no signed contract

I guess you won't make that mistake again;)

I have run into this situation a couple of times (usually because the client claims they want to pay, but can't).....blah, blah, blah.

I say okay, until you can pay all traffic/leads will be sent to your competitors......that seems to get them off the fence and back into payment mode.

Most of my charges are made to credit card accounts, it is amazing how often they seem to come up with a good credit card after the previous 4+ have all been declined.

A word of warning - these types of clients are almost always heading for bankruptcy, it is really only a question of time and how much you can secure before you have to switch to their competitors!


1. Don't do anything without a signed contract!

2. Don't accept payment by check from any company but those who you know are going to be good for the cash.

3. They all have competitors, there is nothing wrong with passing your services by a few of them, just incase the primary client goes belly up. In most cases I like to deal with at least two competitors in the same segment, if one goes under the other gets the benefit!

4. Be in control. They need to know that you offer something they will badly miss. If they decide to upset you they should be in a suicidal state!

7:13 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

well, I agree with pretty much all the points here but I do think maybe there is a little too much emphasis on written agreements as if they were silver bullets. Written agreements are constructed to reflect the real life agreements between two entities so that what is agreed upon can be reviewed before the agreement is actually agreed upon.... if that makes any sense:) In my case, I don't think a written agreement would have helped me a bit... they are not disputing any part of the agreement, nor are they disputing that there was ever any agreement in the first place. They simply arent paying. They didn't say "we arent going to pay you because, by the terms of our agreement, you were supposed to deliver blue widgets and you gave us light blue widgits" .... in which case a written agreement would be useful in court so I could argue that it wasnt specified that I couldnt give them light blue widgits, because, after all, they are blue, etc. But in my case, I don't think would make any difference.... I would still have to travel, hire a lawyer, show up in court, etc. Once in court I dont think I would have any problem showing that there was in fact an agreement based upon our correspondence, the checks they sent me backing up the correspondence, etc.... so essentially its the same thing... you have to enforce the agreement for anything to happen... its not like they would have said,"we better pay him because we signed an agreement"... they would have waited for me to file suit to enforce it. Anyway, it might have been nice to have but if it isnt worth the paper its printed on, you still have to go to court. In this case, maybe it would have been better they just paid me.... if the bank takes a look at what I see, they are going to freeze all their accounts and effectively shut them down.... which is what payback is all about:)
9:42 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Are you purposely not wanting to answer what exactly you did for the $2,000? For whatever reason, that's fine, but if that's the case, then why whine about it here in the first place? If you want help, give specifics, then knowledgeable people can give you specific answers in what to do. If you're here to vent, that's cool too, just make sure you say so.


12:00 am on Oct 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I walk around in circles in my underwear and quack like a duck
10:38 am on Oct 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well then, you may have a future. I hear birds are good for business these days. Aaaaflac! Aaaaflac! =P