A few months ago we brought you the story of Carlos “Storm” Martinez, just one of many non-paying clients commissioning work on the web. The woes of the freelancer are long. But worse than picky clients, schizophrenic clients, and clients with anger issues, are clients that don’t pay.
The World’s Longest Invoice, created by the Freelancer’s Union, debuted earlier today so freelancers can enter their unpaid invoices via a simple online form. The alleged unpaid bills amount to more than $4 million (though that includes one entry for a $2,012.00 “dildo polishing” which is possibly fake—though possibly not).
As of now, the list includes 114 entries for web and app design, web development, hosting and email templates, as well as many more entries for graphic design, including one entry for $52,000 of graphic design. For Rails development, Jesse C. said he was stiffed $1,848.00. For IT consulting, Eric reportedly missed out on $1,950. In addition, Businessweek found one Long Island developer who is still owed $45,000. The takeaway? These folks are giving their services away. Post a Craigslist ad, stet, and don’t pay.
Just kidding, you terrible people. Web-related services rendered some of the highest rates on the symbolic invoice, which the Union plans to take to state lawmakers on May 22 to lobby for a proposal, the Freelancer Payment Protection Act, that would let freelancers file complaints with the New York State Labor Department.
The Union claims 175,000 members nationwide and says 15,525 of those identify their profession as being in information technology or the Internet; however, 60 percent of members identify their industry as “other,” so that could include some web workers, a representative from the Union told Betabeat.
We have to wonder if the list might have a bit more bite if the Union required clients to name names, like the now-defunct Tumblr iwasntpaid.com. While waiting for justice, those who have been swindled can leave a review on the Union’s client scorecard.