It's funny this should come up as on another design forum I slum it on the same topic came up there.
Do not work for this person/company.
I did a job for XXXXX at XXXXX last Summer.
I kaven't been paid.
Client not replying to calls/e-mails.
Taking them to Small Claims Court.
In contrast they've named and shamed the person and the company warning others not to work for them.
I searched the name of the company on Facebook and there were lots of the same warnings from other people that were in the same boat.
Not sure if the difference here is that it's a UK company on a UK forum/Facebook?
The forum admin's reaction was basically:
"If they read this post and request it be taken down then we will....after they pay you".
I'm not playing devils advocate here as my legal knowledge isn't that good but I agreed with the OP and the admin for warning other designers and I guess any of us would.
I also get what @DAVE is saying and urging caution about what you say on a social platform.
Thing is, is it wrong or illegal to name and shame if the content of a post is factual?
I've been ripped off in the same way once before and it stings.
It makes me re-affirm my mantra.
"50% up front. 50% before hand over"
::My take on it is that bad mouthing someone - as much as they deserve it - can make you look bad too.::
Outside of the legal aspect (which is real, even if smaller companies may not pursue it), once you start publicly "shaming" anyone online, apart from losing any "higher ground" you may have held, you also run the risk of having that happen to you in return, which could also be based on "facts" but exaggerated, such as the one time you were a day late delivering something, you get accused of delivering work late ..etc. Or maybe they just post that your work was sub-standard, which is subjective so would be very hard to try to sue them for them posting that.
::Thing is, is it wrong or illegal to name and shame if the content of a post is factual?::
This isn't the only factor legally. If your "shaming" of them has caused more damage to their business/higher loss of income to them than what was owed, you run the risk of being held liable for that outcome.
And with your UK example above, if the client being sued takes evidence of that guy posting their name publicly prior to going to court, that could very much have an impact on the outcome of that, if the judge believes that public comment has caused damage to the business being "shamed".
In the end, as with any client service business, the service provider has to put up with a lot of crap, it's part of the job. The options you do have without sinking into the mire is to invoice up front every time (if you have a client that repeatedly needs urgent stuff then tell them they need to have a "credit" with you to avoid delays), pursue any outstanding payments via legal means, or simply choose not to work with a particular client.
:: I once engaged a solicitor to write a stern letter and that worked for that case. ::
Good advice from @Dan. A letter on a solicitor/lawyers letterhead can let them see you are serious.
I wouldn't bad mouth, it's not professional and people who hear it only hear your side and will always wonder if your side is the whole story. I actually met a jeweller today to talk about getting the final ring in my wife's set and she had a go at her former jeweller and I straight away thought "was it really him or was it you, and you're just bad mouthing him to justify ending the relationship?".
I understand your hesitance to ask for money up front because of deadlines, client expectations, yada, yada. But my motto is: better to not get paid for doing nothing than not get paid for doing the work.
Just as an add on to Defamation, if you state the facts without adding your own opinion then you can be OK. Typically I'd keep business off public forums anyway, and there may be some confidentiality issues there.
However if you said something like XYZ was invoiced on this date and as of this date no payment has been received, and that is all completely factually correct, I don't see that there is much that can be done to prosecute.
That said I am not a lawyer, just someone that has had some run ins on the subject (in which I was in the right and able to defend my position).