Tip Contractor Agreements (Beware!)

ANMiami

New Member
Hey fellow VA's...

Just wanted to pass this along...

A 2007 survey of over 2,000 independent workers conducted found that 77% of respondents reported having trouble getting paid while working as freelancers or independent contractors. Of those, 85% were paid late, 42% were never paid at all, and 34% were paid less than the agreed‐upon amount. As these numbers show, independent workers are at considerable risk of not receiving agreed‐upon payments by clients.

Read the contracts very carefully,please!....I wanted to do pass that along because I recently did not get paid from a fellow VA for services rendered. She sent me a dispute of invoice from the online accounting/ invoicing website and added her contract that stated that if she terminated me, she could keep money owed and if I voluntarily left that she could keep money owed also. I did not notice this when I originally signed it. So she is basically now keeping all of my money owed.

BTW, it's not just me...there are other people that I found and have found me about this particular person.

So just be very careful what you sign cause if at least one person rereads their contract and is not taken advantage of, then it will have been worth me not getting paid.
 

willowadmin

New Member
Thanks for posting and making us aware. I am sorry to hear that you have had trouble getting paid from a fellow VA and disappointing to read that she has done this to you and others.

It is surprising as from what I have seen on here and in VA groups on Facebook, Virtual Assistants are so helpful and supportive to each other.
 

ChiVA

New Member
That's a shame that something this has happened to you.

Good reminder to always read over everything a few times - especially the "fine print"!
 

Tamara

New Member
Thank you so much for the heads up. I'm so sorry that this has happened to you. Hopefully, by spreading the word we can stop some of this from happening again.
 

ANMiami

New Member
Thanks guys....but if at least, one person does not taken advantage because of what happened to us...and I say "us" because it is more than one, luckily we found each other...but imagine how many more are out there.
 

StarrOldorffVA

New Member
I absolutely agree that it is critical to provide a client service agreement that specifically states the who, what, where, when, and how of the financial part of the relationship and how that relationship is affected by termination of services.

Even if the client draws up a contractor agreement, read it very carefully and negotiate any portion of that agreement that does not have your best interest at heart.

If the client wants your services and has "good" morals in a business sense, then the client shouldn't have any problem working the agreement to the satisfaction of both parties.

I have heard stories about VAs having difficulty getting paid for work.
 

JanieWilson

New Member
WOW! How does that VA outsource ANYTHING? In 7 years I've only had 1 person not pay me. It was only like 8 hours for a special project, but it was the principal of it all. There should be a warning page here for members to look up people that don't pay, are shady, etc. I don't know if that's legally possible, but, if they don't pay it should be.
 

ljadminsupport

New Member
Thank you for updating us. I was just thinking, when we receives any kind of contracts/legal documents, maybe we should have it thoroughly reviewed by a legal person before we sign off on it. As a business owner, this should be our next step in negotiating process. The legal rep helps in making the contract understandable which saves us a lot of headaches in the long run. I realize that this might be somewhat costly, however, 'no pay', doesn't help or protect our business. Just a thought, what do you think?

Linda
 
I'm sorry you had to go through this. I know the feeling all to well.

I've had some issues with non-payment, and slow payment. One non-payment was from another VA who's been in business for many years and does this repeatedly to other VA's and I hate it because I feel like I cannot say anything to anyone without worry of being sued when I probably should have been the one suing her. She was not nice about it all and when I tried to collect threatened me for trying to collect. Then all of sudden other VA's started contacting me that knew I was working with her saying they weren't getting paid either. Apparently, what she was doing at that time was hired several of us at once. Had us all do work for several hours each and then started to become unresponsive to our emails, and eventually just stopped responding to us all together. As far I know no one ever collected. I for sure didn't.

Another VA was very slow to pay and again other VA's that knew I was working with her started contacting me because I was working as her project manager. This situation though was a bit different and was eventually resolved.

That's when I started collecting payment upfront or at least a portion of the payment upfront. If they can't pay me upfront then there's a good chance that they can't pay me at all. I strongly suggest start doing retainers, prepaid packages, or something of that sort for your monthly clients and for one off projects I would collect at least 50% upfront and depending on the nature, cost, and length of the project do milestone payments until it is paid off and don't proceed to the next phase of the project until payment has been received.

It is more common place now days to accept payment in advance in some form. Lawyers have been doing so for years, and more and more freelancers and contractors are doing it because of this.

Another thing I recommend is using your own contracts whenever possible so you know what is is in them and have them reviewed yearly by a lawyer. If you must sign someone else's contract read it thoroughly, read it again, make any notes or questions you have and send to your lawyer with your questions. Ask for specific recommendations and legal ease from your lawyer if any changes need to me made. If the client is not willing to sign yours and not willing to make changes to theirs then don't work with them. It's simply not worth it to do all that hard work and not get paid. Remember, you're worth it.
 

DEBUTLER

New Member
I hate that there are people that take advantage of others, especially when we are all trying to maintain and/or grow our businesses as VA's. Thank you for the information.
 
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