Jul 28 2014

Client goes bust

late payerEarlier this year I did a small media relations job for a North Wales recycling and manufacturing business. It wasn’t a huge project, just a few hours’ straightforward work and I priced it accordingly. I completed the work in April and sent my invoice to the client in early May; I thought little more about it until I noticed the due date for payment had passed and that emailed reminders were seemingly being ignored. Then, on Friday, I was contacted by someone who’d read the news release and thought I might be able to help them contact the firm’s directors.

It turned out he hadn’t been paid for provision of equipment to the same company. I got the strong impression his exposure was considerably greater than mine (£300), and that other creditors were also chasing payment.

I tried reaching the company. There was, of course, only an answering machine at the company’s office. When I rang my client contact’s mobile number, he said he was in Tunisia before he got cut off, later texting me to say:

“I am sorry that you have not been made aware that [company] has ceased to trade. We are seeking new investors for a new company and it may be that we can use your services again and perhaps find a way of compensating you. I am very sorry about this. Best regards….”

Checking Companies House, I can see that the company has racked up some adverse notices, but one of its directors had also been busy some months ago creating another company, named after one of the recycled products I’d written about, incorporated on 27 February 2014 and based at the same Abergele industrial estate address as the original company.

It would appear that the directors knew the main business was in trouble and started to set up a new one, while leaving suppliers of goods and services to the old one high and dry. Needless to say, I’m not holding my breath hoping they find new investors, and even if they do, I’m hardly motivated to offer my services again while I am still some £300 out of pocket. Moving on.

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