Being freelancer myself, your post attracted my attention avidly. Nevertheless, before I give my reply, I would like to ask you one simple question. In your post, you have disclosed the name of your client however, you have withhold your name. Why this dichotomy?
While running business, you should understand intricacies of the business. Do you ask for the Purchase Order (PO) on the company's letterhead? While submitting your quote, do you mention the quality parameters on which your work should be assessed? If you do not do this, then is this not unprofessional behaviour on your part?
Yes there are bad apples everywhere. Possibly you might have come across with few bad elements of the society. However, "cheating self employed professionals has become rampant" is quite a sweeping statement. You cannot paint all the entrepreneurs with same brush. Yes, few training companies have cheated me but then that does not mean that all the training companies are bad.
If your clients cheat you as freelancer then in all its probability, you could get cheated even though you start your own company.
If you have been cheated by so many persons then it goes on to show that you are unable to segregate chaff from wheat. First learn to do that. That should be your priority!
Dinesh V Divekar
17th August 2014 From India, Bangalore
I have a habit of using my pen name for most purposes (brand building *wink). Thank you for your insight. The recent client in question does not have a company to his name, he is a blogger who I used to ghost write for. Your points are valid, I have not been unprofessional I had sent across an SOW to him stating all terms and conditions prior to working with him and always insisted on 50% advance payment for the weekly work. But since the arrangement was supposed to be long term I accepted that I would take advance before starting work and balance payment after delivering completed work. There has to be an element of trust when you going to work long term so when he said there will be a delay in payment I trusted him and waited. But the point is not only money but he made big promises, he used to agree on a certain amount for work then again start haggling and holding my previous payment till I succumbed to his demands. Yes the mistake is entirely mine, I trusted him again, the first time it happened I told him I would severe ties with him but he apologized profusely (you should see his messages) and I decided to give him another chance. Big mistake.
And I am not painting every company/ entrepreneurs with the same brush, I have had good experiences with many but wanted to highlight this particular person since he laughed it off when I said I will take action. I feel there is a need to identify and expose such people so that others do not fall prey to them and at least fearing defamation they will refrain from any further activities. Of course the system will have to be well thought over as there can be false complaints.
Freelance writer and IT Solution Consultant
17th August 2014 From India, Mumbai
You have written that you had sent him Statement of Works (SOW) before taking up assignments of writing blogs. However, what remains to be seen is whether this SOW stands scrutiny of Indian Contracts Act, 1872. Since you were dealing with freelancer at the other side, you could have made proper agreement on the bond paper. In the agreement, you could have mentioned clearly the process flow since initiation of the request for writing blog to the clearance of payment. This agreement would have lent credibility to your argument.
In the course of my business, I have hired several professionals for the training or training related activities. These included IITians as well. Nevertheless, I have never let down anyone any time. As you said about trust in your post is true. Somewhere we have to trust someone. If we start taking every thing with pinch of salt then we will never progress.
Anyway as of now take it as lesson and be cautious while dealing with other side. Secondly, I find discrepancy in your both the posts. In the first one, you had come down heavily on the entrepreneurs/employers. In the second post, you have clarified that the person with whom you had dealt was freelancer. Therefore, before writing posts in the public forums, you need do "accuracy-check" or "consistency-check" of what you write.
Dinesh V Divekar
18th August 2014 From India, Bangalore