How do you tell a client "The final work will be sent to you after payment confirmation", without it sounding like I don't trust him?

This client has been late on payments in the past. I would send him finished work before payment, trusting his promises to pay on time, but when he didn't and I reminded him, he would just apologize and promise payment by another date but missed those dates too. He finally paid two weeks late.

I don't want to bring up this case with the client.

Two weeks is not a big deal but I don't have time to send reminders and who knows how late the next payment would be.


Communication with clients is online only.

The TOS on my site state that final work will be sent to the client after payment, but who reads TOS?

Client's message 2 days ago: “I’m transferring payment now, please send the work!”

Me: “Ok, thanks!” (but didn’t send)

Two days later: “I’m transferring money now. When will you send the work?”

Me: “Now” (didn’t send)

So when he asks about the work again, how do I answer politely that as per the TOS, I’ll only be sending the work after payment?

7 Answers

  • Amy
    Lv 7
    10 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    When he asks about sending the work, you say "I don't have a record of you having paid for it yet."

    When he points out that you've sent it before payment before, you say "Too many clients have been slow/late on payments when we delivered the product early, so now we're sticking closely to our TOS."

    These statements do not personally accuse this particular client of any wrongdoing. Your lack of records might be a slow bank transfer or a mistake on your end. The change in procedure is caused by clients in general, some of whom could have been much more than 2 weeks late.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • Erik
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    You're not being direct enough. He told you he sent the money, but you never received it. Just tell him that.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 10 months ago

    Forget his feelings. You have a right to be paid for work done.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    10 months ago

    Remind him that on two occasions he has claimed to be sending the money and failed to do so. His credibility is shot.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 10 months ago

    Who reads the TOS.... it doesn't matter if the guy reads it or not.

    As long as have proof that the guy agreed to it (not just listed on the website but something the buyer acknowledges like a checkbox) and you can prove the TOS has not been modified after the agreement, then the TOS states.

    It not, then it's meaningless.

    We have no idea what business you are in but it would likely benefit you to begin using formal contracts (signed/counter signed). The contract would include late penalties.

    Again, I don't know what industry you are in, but it would be very rare that I am going to send a final payment before I have seen and approved the final work. The only time that I can think that this would occur is if I'm purchasing a custom product (jewelry, craft, etc) and I really don't have a say in the final product (I agree to buy it whether I like it or not).

    • ...Show all comments
    • A Hunch
      Lv 7
      10 months agoReport

      My standard contract is net 14 days. But when working with multi-billion dollar companies it's not unusual for them to request longer, one is net 45 days.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • Judy
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    You don't have to bring it upl He knows he's made promises before to pay and broken them. He can read between the lines.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 10 months ago


    Yeah, I'm an old fuddy duddy. My first option would have been to call the customer, nurture the relationship, deliver quality, and know when to expect payment.

    If your first option is asking a bunch of clueless anonymous Yahoos on an internet message board, well, um, yeah, never mind.

    • Rescue_Friend10 months agoReport

      My previous "yahoo" was 3 weeks ago and the one before that was 3 years ago, so I'm not sending a bunch of "yahoos." I updated my question to explain further. Thank you

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.