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I have a small problem with a customer... He seems a nice guy, but I'm doing for him a somewhat big project, and this is what happened: He made a requested initial payment of 20%. After a couple of weeks I reached a milestone, showed it to him, he was happy with it and said he would pay me in a couple of days from that day... Well, it's been 3 weeks now almost and payment never came. I think it's a lot of time for a big, time consuming project.

I really don't know what to do... I would like to just end it here, get at least a part of that milestone, send him the files and go separate ways... However I'm not sure if that would be possible without him getting mad or getting back at me by starting a paypal dispute or something. Another option could be to talk to him about this and request more money in order to continue? What would you do or what have you done on a similar situation?

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closed as off topic by paulmorriss, John Conde Mar 7 '12 at 12:33

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What does your contract say happens in this situation? – Su' Mar 7 '12 at 9:53

In a similar situation I sent a formal email to the client explaining the situation and outlining exactly what I wanted to happen going forward, they were very understanding and paid promptly afterwards - they simply didn't understand my situation.

Decide what you want to happen i.e. you want to be paid to date and will hand over the code as it stands with some documentation, or you want to be paid before continuing to work on the project.

It could just be a misunderstanding between you and the client. So set out your situation and reasoning in the email, fully explaining your concerns in plain language. Don't criticise the clients actions, or use incendiary language and be honest about the problems you're experiencing.

You might be surprised at the response, of course you may not be surprised in which case you will have cut your losses!

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