Not a big job, $975 plus taxes, and to sweeten the deal, a $200 discount if the new client took the go-between to lunch. (It's a long drive to Richmond Hill if you don't run a car, and I've known Andy for twenty years).
Turns out that the contact can't cut a cheque, the manager has to do that, but what with it being a budget term proposal (under $1,000 and expires in a week) it expired before the cheque was actually emailed to me.
I called, and re-issued the proposal, valid for another week, this time with an invoice which, with taxes, bloomed to $1,023.75 which is a long way from $775.00.
I heard nothing and had shrugged the deal off (although a follow-up call is planned), until yesterday, when a cheque for $813.75 appeared in my mail box.
Now that represents the original quote less the $200; in other words, the cheque is full payment for a deal which expired three weeks ago, and I have not heard back from Andy that he has been to lunch.
What to do?
I need the money, and I need the business; there's another 4 phases stretching down the highway, but my generous $200 discount was based on the premise that (a) Andy was taken to lunch that week and (b) the cheque was cut that week. Cash Flow, you might say.
1. I could sulk and return the cheque, but that behavior never did me much good, ever.
2. I could hold the cheque and wait until business opens its doors, telephone and have a business-like chat with the contact to sort things out. Could be acrimonious at this early stage; we do not have a long-term relationship as yet.
3. I could cash the cheque, say nothing (for now), and reflect that (a) I've got money that I wasn't going to have and (b) I operate independently and can get my $200 back in stages of $50 each added to each of the upcoming phases.