Payment for Freelance Work

I’ve been freelancing on & off for a designer who has always been prompt with his replies to emails and invoices until recently. On the most recent project, he was quick to reply to any design concerns, however, it’s been weeks with no reply to my invoices once the design phase was completed. I’ve sent a few followup emails & phone calls, but no response. Any recommendations? What’s the proper protocol on this?

Be nice at first. Try all the options you mentioned (call, in person, email, fax, handwritten letter,etc).

After that, in a message/email, mention you will be “forced to take legal action to recover your due payment”. Script it thoughtfully and without harshness. That statement alone says it all, no need to be bitter towards them in writing otherwise.

You don’t need to be any harsher than that. It is legit, it is professional. You can keep working together even after sending that.

Small claims court would be the next warning.
I actually got capitulation when I called the client and told him the designer hasn’t paid me.
This is going to his client and although pretty bold, works in getting everyone’s attention. Who knows you may end up just taking his client. Serves him right for being a deadbeat.

Don’t make an enemy. But it’s business so they shouldn’t take it personally anyway.

I make it a policy to take a deposit to start any work and take the remaining balance prior to delivery of the work. Since doing this I’ve had no more problems getting paid and no longer waste time chasing deadbeats.