Editor’s note: Jeff Allen has heard every employer excuse you can imagine for not paying up — and dozens more that defy imagination. A few years ago he began documenting them in a weekly collections column. Because of the importance of collections, Fordyce will periodically reprise the most common situations he addressed.
What Client Says:
If we’d agreed to the fee, we would have signed your fee schedule.
How Client Pays:
If you’re going to send a fee schedule with a signature line, don’t work the search until it is signed.
Okay, if you send it by email and you get back an unequivocal acceptance by email from the client, fine. But anything less than an unequivocal acceptance is technically (but very legally) an implied rejection of all the terms.
Implying acceptance of a fee schedule by acceptance of referrals can work, but you must prove receipt of the fee schedule.