You see, I have this friend.

This friend of mine, well, he was screwed out of a lot of money for a client job he did. There’s a substantial email chain verifying that the work was requested, and the price was agreed upon, so he says. But unfortunately, when it came time to pay, the client became unresponsive and has since disappeared.

Normally my friend would be quite content to write off the amount owing, and chalk it up to bad debt. But in the process of trying to get a contact number for the client, he discovered someone else who was owed money by the client. And after talking to that person, he found another person owed money by that client. And then soon after, yet another person. In total, nearly $10k of money owed to various small businesses, all of which did the work in good faith.

In fact, the circumstances that led to my friend to doing the work happen yearly, and not only were several businesses left holding the financial bag this year, but also last year as well. In all likelihood, the same situation will occur next year, and even more people will be put out.

Normally my friend would never think about making a stink publicly about being owed money from a client, but given the wide trail of carnage that spans multiple businesses and multiple years, my friend is wondering what the best course of action is. Should this be kept a private matter, hoping that other companies will fare better in the future, or should some aspect of the situation be made public such that future companies can make an informed decision?

Moral dilemmas. Quite the pickle my friend is in I’d say.