As more people turn to freelance work – including working as journalists – they are taking on an unexpected role: bill collector, reports the Wall Street Journal.
About 40 percent of freelancers had trouble getting paid in 2009, according to a survey by the Freelancers Union, a 135,000-member organization for independent contractors in fields such as media, technology, and advertising. Some freelancers are even owed tens of thousands of dollars.
How can a freelancer avoid problems? Before accepting a job, freelancers can search consumer complaint websites like RipoffReport.com and industry discussion boards to make sure the company they’re contracting with doesn’t have a history of late payments, says the paper.
Filing a complaint in a small-claims court should be a last resort, the paper advises.
“I don’t know how many times I’ve been told ‘The check is in the mail’ or ‘Your invoice went to my junk email inbox,’” bemoans one exasperated freelancer.