Should I Put Out a “Shame” List?

As you probably know by now, I put resumes together for people on the side. By and large, most of them pay me when the job is done and, if they have any issues, they let me know. But then there are some that don’t pay.

To let you know, I’m definitely not the kind who will start hounding a customer for payment as soon as the job is done!

I know that checks in the mail can be delayed, and computers do go down or come up with issues, as do websites, so a PayPal payment can also be delayed. And sometimes things come up and a client may not be able to pay in a timely manner.

I generally let them know, once they are satisfied with the resume, how to pay me, and a reminder of how much. I always tell them my prices before anything is done, so that they can decide if they still want me to proceed with their resume.

Once they know of how to pay me and how much, they usually acknowledge that they will send a check, or pay through PayPal, and so on. I then give them a full week (Though I don’t tell them this!) before I start inquiring, and no, I don’t angrily charge like a mad bull when I contact them. I usually send them an e-mail or call them, framing things so that it appears that I am more concerned that they may have had an issue or that their check could be lost in the mail. (I figure that, if they think I’m concerned about them, they will be less defensive.)

Some of the people I had to contact admitted that they got busy and forgot, and they quickly paid after my inquiry.

But others aren’t so honorable or innocent. They simply don’t want to pay. They’re thieves, plain and simple! On top of this, they run and hide when I try to contact them! One guy kept telling me that he was going to send a check, but never did after repeated calls. Oddly enough, one of the points he had me list on his resume was “Honest”. I should have changed it to “Dishonest”. Others were obviously screening my calls and so left their phones on voice mail and never called me back. One answered, then immediately hung up when he heard my voice. And of course they don’t answer my e-mails. I only wish I could foresee the employers they were going to send their resumes to, so I could forewarn those employers!

I’ve decided not to pursue future scofflaws beyond a certain point, but I have been thinking of creating a “Shame” list. This could be a Craigslist post, or a post on this blog, a separate page on this website, or even a new website, dedicated to this “List of Shame” Of course, I would have to be sure of what I can or cannot do legally, as I certainly don’t want to be in any kind of legal trouble, especially when it involves people like these thieves who clearly aren’t worth it! But it is nice to think about such a list, accessible to those who might employ or deal in business with these people. (I’d love to be there, in person, smiling as the interviewer tells “Joe Blow”, “Oh, no, we can’t hire you, Joe, you’re on the List of Shame! You never paid that person who did your resume! How do we know that you’ll even do the work we give you while still collecting a paycheck from us!?”)

I wonder if just the threat of putting someone on such a list but not actually doing it or even creating said list would be fine, legally, and if it would work. But all that aside, some advice. Many of these people who don’t pay may have it, or their tendency for dishonesty, come back to get them in ways neither they, nor I, could guess. I’ve told people in casual conversation at times (Without naming names!) about some of these scofflaws. Who knows that one of them may mention it to the person who is going to interview one of these scofflaws! Or the scofflaw will be stupid enough to brag about not paying me. And the people sitting at the next table may just hear him. Including the guy who will be interviewing him for a job the next day.

Who are these people who don’t pay, and run and hide like the cowards they are? They can be any age and gender and race. The latest one is an older man, well into his 60’s. Not exactly a punk wise guy kid!

Don’t be one of these types of people! If you agree to purchase something, pay your bill when you get the product or service! If you’re selling the product or service, deliver in full and on time! And, if you have an issue and have to delay payment or product or service, let the other party know, dammit!  Believe me, I would have a lot more respect for someone who, when they first inquire about my resume service, tells me up front that they cannot pay full price. I might even be willing to give them a break!

Now I know, I could ask for payment in advance, and I’ve been thinking of doing that. After all, if I don’t do any work or spend any time on something until I am paid, I won’t have expended any time or energy for those who don’t pay me! The only reason I haven’t is to create good will with customers, but sometimes measures like advance payment are necessary for one’s own protection.

I know this is a rant, but I hope you will still tell people of this blog and website, and will follow this blog. I promise not to always rant! (Just had to get this out of my system!)

Thanks for reading! 🙂

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