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johnsabbath d'urzomoney
by on Oct 5, 2008 at 1:57:29 pm

i have a client that i have been working with for the past 4 years, he doesn't give deposits and takes forever to pay. the bill gets really high then back down again. he got into a jam his client went is in bank protection, and he said when he gets and offer he will offer me the same money. it's been a year and he should get his offer soon. in the mean time i said every job i do for you it is c.o.d. we have done a few jobs together this year and he paid c.o.d. know we finished up a job and he is ignoring me and i don't think he wants to do the c.o.d on credit card. the work load is not as much as before because of his lost of account, but he still has jobs for me from time to time. i don't know , if i go to court the lawyer would suck up all the money. what do i do? how do i get paid for the job that i just finished and how do i get all the money for outstanding debt? for new jobs he tells me the job is coming in tomorrow and they never come, all of a sudden i get the job and i only have a few days to pull it together. i always come through for the guy and then go through all this to get my money, he already has the final product. what is a good way to resolve this????

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Todd TerryRe: money
by on Oct 5, 2008 at 3:18:58 pm

[johnsabbath d'urzo] "i always come through for the guy and then go through all this to get my money, he already has the final product."

The client is repeatedly taking advantage of you. Because you are repeatedly letting him.


Not to be mean about it, but much of this is your own doing... he doesn't give you deposits because you don't require them. He is slow to pay because you let him... and continue to take jobs in spite of that. It probably wasn't your fault the first time, but your repeated acceptance of this practice established the ground rules for him and he's going to use them and abuse them.

No one can take advantage of you like that without your permission, and your practices in the past with him have clearly shown him that is pretty much prefectly fine for him to screw you over.


I don't know what your chances are of getting all your past invoices resolved, others here might chime in with suggestions.

If it were me when the next job comes up (which it apparently will) I would never ever do anything for this client or even consider taking a job from him until every penny of his overdue invoices were cleared. ALL of them. Then I would take no less than a 50% deposit on the future job's estimate, with the balance to be paid before he walks out with the finished product. Period.

He might not go for that, and you might lose a client. But to me, this sounds like a client you need to lose.

You might think that in these uncertain economic times that you "just can't afford to turn down any job." But you have to realize that this client is costing you money, not making it.

Personally, I'd cut him lose.


Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

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johnsabbath d'urzoRe: money
by on Oct 5, 2008 at 4:19:10 pm

i know your right . I trusted him because he always paid me for jobs he got paid for. he paid me cod on the rest of this years jobs and i did not thnk that there was going to be a problem. the tapes had to go to the station right away it was going to i trusted him a figured we would take care of this in the afternoon.. he gives me alot of work and how do i get my money know? and my past money? i don't have to much clients this is a small post house and the clients i have keep us what do i do? i stil have the invoices with me because i did not see him yet. i dont want to loose him but it is so hard to work like this and keep him. any suggestions?

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Bob ZelinRe: money
by on Oct 5, 2008 at 6:19:54 pm

this depends on how much you depend on him to earn your living. If he doesn't make his car loan, rent, insurance, or taxes, he will be screwed - but he can "push you off" - because you are not as important as his rent, insurance or TAXES !

People (like me) like talking like big shots, but if I had a MAJOR CLIENT that pushed me off for 9 months or a year, but was still paying, and I relied on this income, I would just suck it up. However, you cannot get "deeper into the hole". I had a client in NY that did this to me, and ultimately went out of business, and I got screwed.

I am all for not letting people take advantage of you, but if he DOES pay you, and you DO rely on his income to pay for your bills, you have to do what it takes. Sometimes this means waiting.

Ron Lindeboom should constantly have links to his fantastic "grinders" article, which is a bible for me.

Bob Zelin

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Mark SuszkoRe: money
by on Oct 5, 2008 at 9:56:51 pm

The only leverage you have is his broadcast deadline. It is amazing what miracles you will see performed when you demand payment before the tapes or whatever are released, as the deadline to air approaches.

What this guy has been doing, and will continue to do, is prioritize his crises. The priority is easy to figure out: what gets him paid first, gets his bills paid, then everything else. Then you. Because he can: as the man said, you've let him do it. The longer you allow him to do it, the more you're training in the bad behavior and legitimizing it. At this point, either sit there and take it, or go cold turkey.

Ask yourself this question: who's fault really is it, if the deadline gets blown? Answer; his, not yours. Put aside the Judeo-Christian Guilt. The job is done when it is paid for. Your responsibility was to produce the finished tape. His is to pay for it. Do the entire job, perfectly, and get it done in time for air.

Then hold it ransom.

Mechanic's lein. Cash on delivery. There are forms you can buy at local business supply stores like Staples, or download. Or you can just point at the invoice, which should say something like "materials are held until payment in full is received." You DO have something like that on the paperwork? If not, your position is even weaker. From this day on, all the jobs begin by signing a work order that lays out the payment requirements and a receipt at the end to sign off paid in full.

Remind yourself and him that you are not a bank, and if he's looking for an interest-free loan with variable duration, he can call what's left of Wachovia, but you need to have the money now. Today. Or the tape stays with you.

Of course he's going to extrude a ceramic rhomboid. That is not your problem. But now your bill is going to get re-prioritized to the top of this guy's list, and he's going to short someone else. Someone not as smart as you, someone who can be intimidated or bluffed or deceived. But it won't be you anymore.

You may not ever get paid the stuff he still owes, once you take the hard line this time. But truth be told, under his system, you were never going to get paid for that stuff anyhow, not in any meaningful time line. You are actually losing money with this guy, and he is making money on the interest from the amount he owes you.

So, you may be afraid he'll bad-mouth you? What's he going to say: "Don't take your work to Joe Doakes: he insists on getting paid for it."!?!?! What you want, really, is for this guy to go bother your worst rival competitor, tie up HIS suites with working for free. Make HIM go to small claims court. What you need is proof of a bill, proof he paid at least some of it, and then it is up to him to prove he paid you in full or not, with a canceled check.

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johnsabbath d'urzoRe: money
by on Oct 6, 2008 at 12:19:31 am

He sent the courier to pick up the tapes and get delivered to the station last week. I still have the invoices and usually i would drop them off with the tapes, it was so much of a rush and I trusted him that if i send it out we could take care of payment in the afternoon. I don't know if he is making excusses or he is busy for real. he paid me in the past everything that he got paid on, now he owns me money for the new jobs and they money from the past is pritty high and i'm willing to settle on something for that because he got stiffed on that work. is this right of me to settle on an offer, he did not offer anything yet, he is still waitng on the offer from the people who stiffed him....that offer should be coming in soon. how do i fix this problem about the new jobs for now? after that is fixed, we can talk about the old jobs. is this a right thing to do? i realy on this money and these jobs. it's good money. but a lot of bull. How do i fix this for this week? do i be paciant or be agressive? do i take on future work if he does't payme for the jobs compleated, or wait and he will pay me one day. in the past it used to be about 3 months for this guy to cut a check and now it's a liitle faster. what do i do about this? he does not have much work load as befor but it's still not bad. some people say that respect goes a long way if i respect him he will eventually take care of this? i dont know anymore, what are you guys doing? i don't want to loose him but i can't let this go higher than what his past dues are. some people say forget about the money that he ows me and keep the relationship good and continue working.

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Mark SuszkoRe: money
by on Oct 6, 2008 at 3:57:27 am

The tape.

Tell the courier the tape is being held for lack of payment. Give him a copy of the invoice to bring back with him.

If this client has a boss, forward all your bills outstanding to that person. Go over this guy's head to his client. I guarandarntee you he'll be on the phone right quick. Understand that this is never going to turn into a party, you will probably not be getting a Christmas card from this guy. Its okay. The fact is, if he really, REALLY needs you, he'll have to play ball and pay up. If he can find some other victim to string along like you, he will. Be happy if he does, because it may be he's already burned thru all the other suckers in town and been banned from their shops for it. Let him go. That's a small loss to you, even if you face some pain near-term. You have to look at the bigger picture, scary as it is.

Understand, this guy is a bad business situation for you, he always will be, and in the long run the best course is to cut him off until he pays up, or never deal with him again if he won't. You have no bargaining power to negotiate if you are not willing to walk away from a bad deal.

Three people in a row, two of them acknowledged experts, and one regular joe, have told you it is a bad idea to keep the status quo with this guy, and to instead take a hard line. But you don't accept the sought out advice. Maybe you have Stockholm Syndrome from working too long with this guy? Then interpose somebody to beard for you; have a buddy handle all communication for you.

Short of a burning bush, I don't know what else it will take to convince you. If you have a significant other, have you bounced this off of them and asked their opinion? I find that my wife is my Guiding Star whenever I am conflicted like this. She has never failed to know what is absolutely right, and I thank my maker for her counsel.

I think though that if you can't make this decision yourself, Hamle- um, John, you should probably be working for someone else and not trying to be a great editor and at the same time a poor manager. We're not all equally good at every task, we each have our special gifts. Consider letting someone else make these decisions for you and letting you do what you do best. Because I'm telling you, if you let this guy keep going, unopposed, you've made him your boss anyway, without a commensurate salary. And very little in the way of benefits.

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johnsabbath d'urzoRe: money
by on Oct 6, 2008 at 3:55:42 pm

I said he already has the tapes, he got them picked up last week and know i'm waiting to get paid. i faxed them out with a visa form. and know i wait. is there any certain terms i should put on invoice for the future. right know it says full payment must be received upon delivery of final product.

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johnsabbath d'urzoRe: money
by on Oct 16, 2008 at 3:28:17 am

i finally got paid for that job, it should have been c.o.d but at least i got it. i have another job on the go with this guy do i hold the product back if he doesn't pay c.o.d? he has been paying for all new jobs but the past big money that he owns me has not come in yet. he said just give him some time, he is still in courts with his client and will give me money when he gets it ...i hope...what should i do about this?

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