The correct response to the above title would be "Don't!"
Back in July, I was asked to do some work with someone who had appeared on a popular daytime show, which I duly did and then sent in my invoice as requested. That's where the problems started. To begin with, weeks went by and no money was forthcoming so I emailed the person I had dealt with originally and she asked me to send her my invoice, which I did.
First reply to that was from the Business Service Centre, to tell me that, since November, payment could only be made into an account and not by cheque and I would have to send my bank details, which I did.
Second reply was to tell me that the information I had sent, including the invoice, could only be accepted in pdf format or by post, so I duly used Open Office and converted said invoice into pdf format.
Third reply was to inform me that the invoice couldn't be accepted from my email address as they do not accept invoices from Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail addresses so I sent it again, by post, this time with a stiff letter pointing out that, had I been paid when I should have been, the new arrangements would not yet have been in place.
This time, it was returned, accompanied by a letter telling me that the invoice couldn't be dealt with as there was no purchase order and that the new arangements had been in place since July anyway. As I had not previously been told anything about a purchase order, I rang the Business Service Centre, from whence the letter had come and explained to a nice lady that I had now tried four times to get this invoice paid and was getting a little cheesed off at being constantly asked to jump through more hoops.
Nice lady asked me to send her the invoice by post, marked for her attention and she would sort it out, which I did,
That was last week. This morning I have received an identical copy of the letter I had last week and, guess what, my invoice (now looking a little battered) was returned again.
Another phone call, this time to speak to another nice lady who told me that first nice lady is off until Monday and she thinks that whoever opens the post, didn't notice that the letter was for her attention only and it had gone through the same system again.
"Could you email it to her?" she requested.
So I have.
"If you do any work for them again," she advised, "make sure you ask them for a purchase order number," she said.
"Don't worry," I said, "If they ever contact me again, I'll just say no!"