Well I told everyone about how the customer treated me and have had a ton of feedback. First of all I would like to thank everyone who commented. Some people had suggested a long term payment plan for the client. I would have considered that if the Dec. invoice was not larger then the Nov. invoice. And I was just calling about the Nov. Invoice.
As of Thursday the client wanted to set up a call with me so I could walk them through what they should do if there was a cluster failover. This was after I was told that I am the low priority to get paid. I let them know that I would be happy to go through the steps with them on what to check after a failover. However at the time we really needed to settle the payment issue. I asked if they could send me the check numbers and assure me that the check was in the mail and I received no response.
This morning I sent the client an e-mail and called them letting them know I would help with the transition away from SQL on Call and I would be happy to answer any questions as soon as we have the payment information. I also requested the payment information.
Well as you may have guessed. They did not answer any IM’s (I figure I am blocked now). They did not answer any phone calls, and they have not returned the emails. I am really surprised by this, seeing how this company wanted me to watch there system the weekend before Christmas. When I refer to watch I don’t mean be on call, I mean sit there all weekend and watch the performance monitor. From calls in the middle of the night to times when they would call 10 times in a row cycling though my contact numbers I think I have learned my lesson. I would like to share with you what I think I have learned.
- Have your work hours set. Yes there should be times when a client can call you outside work hours for emergencies however if the database is not down I believe you should go back and spend time with you family. I know that is what my wife wanted me to do.
- Never give out more then your office number and your cell number. This way if you are on vacation, you are on vacation. Have someone cover like I did and turn your phone off, I did not. I actually have 2 cell numbers and I released both to them. But from now on, one goes on me on vacation and the other is left with who is covering me while I am gone or at home. The only one that knows the personal number is my staff and they know when to get hold of me.
- I am so glad that I have an attorney. One of the smartest things I ever did.
- If you have not noticed, this has been a testament of what happened, I did not release the name of the company and I have no intention of doing so. I hope the next people that work with them develop better boundaries then I did.
I did like the suggestion of billing weekly, or even setting up a min. monthly retainer that needs to be paid before the work begins. I have a client that works like that and he is in the collection business. So I have a good idea what steps are coming up next. Thanks again everyone and I hope you have a great weekend.