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Old 09-23-2000, 10:46 AM   #1
sgeler
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: San Francisco, CA
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Question How to make a company pay? Please help.

One of the companies I worked with breached a contract I have signed with them and have not paid me.

The problem is that they are based outside of US (and Canada). Are there any ways to make them pay (short of suing: extremely expensive)? I know I could try to report them to the Better Business Bureau. What else can be done to make them pay?

Anyone has been in a similar situation?
Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.

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Old 09-23-2000, 12:17 PM   #2
sgeler
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Question

Thanks for letting me know. Another indication of how incompetent About.com can be... those Luna Community Tools are down just too often.

As far as this company being based overseas:
the jurisdiction of our written agreement is under "the competent courts of the Southern District of NY or the Federal court of the State of NY." We are based in California and our opponent is an Israeli corporation with offices in Georgia.

Since the contract is under the US jurisdiction and the company has some US presence do I have any means left of forcing them to honor the contract?

What a headache...

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Old 09-23-2000, 12:19 PM   #3
starluck
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If the amount is substantial, try a collection agency. You'll lose at least 50% of the money if they get it and the chance of getting any money will depend greatly on the country. If it's less than $500 you can probably kiss the money goodbye.
Check the yellow pages in your area for a collection agency that handles international collections.
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Old 09-23-2000, 12:27 PM   #4
sgeler
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it is much more than $500... that is the whole problem. too much money to just let go of.

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Old 09-23-2000, 12:39 PM   #5
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Well, since its out of the country, you are going to have a harder time getting it through any legal channels. First thing, make sure you send them a letter demanding payment. You may want to go find a lawyer, or use an online document such as the one at LegalDocs: https://www.legaldocs.com/docs/con_de_1.mv

You can try dealing with the Georgia office, but I'd highly recommend you get a lawyer to help you. They know all the rules, and what you can and can't do. If, like you say, its a substantial amount, then hiring a lawyer to help you would certainly be worth it. I know its not the simple solution you'd like to hear, but unfortunately, it may be your best option.

Hope this helps http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif



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Old 09-23-2000, 02:07 PM   #6
Tyme
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I had a case were I had an amount owed to me but it was one of those inbetween amounts - if I hired an attorney I would have nothing left but if I left it along, it was too much to lose.

So I hired a collection agency. It was a great arrangement because they took a portion of the amount if they collected anything and I was out almost nothing if they didn't. It was not a quick fix but I did get what was owed to me. They did nasty things like reporting them to the Better Business Bureau and the major credit reporting agencies. Of course, they have counsel so my legal rights were protected as well if they decided to take it to court.

If you decide to go the attorney route, make a quick call to the Better Business Bureau and see if other complaints were lodged against this company. If there were, you may want investigate a class-action suit instead of individually. I doubt you are the only one and if might end up being cheaper since again, they take a portion of the settlement. Companies tend to respond quicker when it is a group of people at them then one on one.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do!



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Old 09-23-2000, 11:57 PM   #7
regier
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I hate to say this, but I think you might as well write the money off. There is no economical way of forcing an overseas company to pay you.

As far as other people being in the same situation, I'm sure there are thousands of them. It is part of the risk that we take as webmasters.
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Old 09-23-2000, 11:59 PM   #8
regier
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By the way, I would suggest that you check the signup links on your page. I was getting nothing but internal server errors or server not found errors when I tested the signup process.
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Old 09-25-2000, 10:09 AM   #9
tymeracer
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How about small claims Court in Georgia. Not sure what their limits are, but in California, it is more than $500. However, if htey hire a lawyer and move it out of small claims court and into superior court, you are wasting your money.
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