Unpaid Freelancer Uses a Burner Phone to Contact Clients

In a now-viral video, an unpaid freelancer calls her clients with a burner phone in order to ask about her invoices. We break down the video inside.

Allison Hunt - Author

Oct. 24 2023, Published 11:10 p.m. ET

As Rhianna says, "B---- better have my money." Ain't that the truth! But for one freelancer on TikTok, it's anything but the truth. And freelancers everywhere are relating to her tale.

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TikToker Roxy (@roxyfacer) is a director of photography, creative director, and freelancer who works for herself. She posted a video about the woes of being a freelancer. Roxy documents herself calling her clients from a burner phone to check on her unpaid invoices.

We break down the video below.

Roxy, an unpaid freelancer, calls her clients with a burner phone.

The video opens with text on the screen that reads, "Just another day of calling clients on my burner phone to try and get them to pay out standing invoices."

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In the video, Roxy had a child on her lap, clearly doing it all like the powerful woman that she is. A woman picks up her phone and goes, "Hello?" to which Roxy replies, "Hi this is Roxy!"

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The woman on the phone has a slight pause and responds, "Hi," with the text on the screen reading, "Lol, her realizing I cornered her." Roxy responds very kindly saying that she was just calling to make sure that her "emails were coming through" because her she hadn't received any emails back.

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The woman on the phone tells Roxy to hold as she checks her inbox and then says that she had to reset something on her computer recently because a bunch of things were going to trash including a whole conversation with another client. The text on the screen reads, "The classic: Emails have been going to spam/trash."

The video cuts to Roxy explaining that "the email was just following up and seeing an ETA on the invoice." The woman on the phone tells her that she will look at it and tells some story about how she has been "juggling s--- in the office" and had to fire two people. The words on the screen read, "Trying to guilt me for company having to fire people??"

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The video ends with Roxy saying, "I feel you," while clearly not buying the excuse. The caption reads, "Nothing more empowering than begging people to pay you what they owe you #freelanceproblems #smallclaims."

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Freelancers everywhere are banding with Roxy in her comments, relating to her, and giving her tips. Our personal favorite comment is, "I pretend I’m my accountant. Or Dave from invoicing," to which Roxy replied, "Hiring Dave immediately." The originally commenter wrote that they, "have Dave @ my website email. Hehe."

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A couple freelancers had great ideas. One said, "Add a late fee percentage. That helped me immensely and once they got the first late notice with the payment due increase they paid immediately." Another said that, "The struggles of freelance. Not always possible but I try to get 50 down then hold deliverables until remains balance is settled."

Any way you slice it, it's very frustrating, but to resort to having to call from a burner phone to get emails answered? That's a new level. If someone does work for you, then you pay them on time. It's as simple as that.

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