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wow -- reply to "seeking advice about getting paid"

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Bob Colewow -- reply to "seeking advice about getting paid"
by on Jul 13, 2009 at 11:16:18 am

This post was meant to be applied as a reply to Walter Biscardi's post in the thread "Seeking advice on getting paid." I am using a new computer and the sign-in procedure kicked me out of the htread without my being aware.

[walter biscardi] "I hold by that statement. If it's a product that's being delivered via web, I have a big watermark right down the middle of the video. "

Good for you. I'm impressed. But I have to ask: does this apply even to a longtime, "key client" with a broadcast deadline - in a case where the client says the payment is "in the mail"? That would seem suicidal. If you're able to enforce this,and not lose that key client --- wow!

Bob C


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walter biscardiRe: wow -- reply to "seeking advice about getting paid"
by on Jul 13, 2009 at 12:26:11 pm

This contract line item applies to any client with 3 jobs or less or any other client I deem necessary to enforce this due to previous history. So if they are a client with some issues of making payments then that line goes into the contract and we hold by it.

For large corporate clients especially, that line stays in the contract for the very reasons brought up in the previous thread.

Can you walk out of a store with a product without paying for it first?

Can you take your car from the repair shop without paying for it first?

How many other services can you get without paying for them up front or making the final payment upon completion?

It's not suicidal, it's business. If I lose a client because of this particular clause, it's not hurting me at all. I don't end up with a grinder. So far it has worked and worked extremely well for our company.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author.
Credits include multiple Emmy, Telly, Aurora and Peabody Awards.
Biscardi Creative Media

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Bob ColeRe: wow -- reply to "seeking advice about getting paid"
by on Jul 13, 2009 at 1:45:16 pm

[walter biscardi] "How many other services can you get without paying for them up front or making the final payment upon completion? "

Your question points this discussion into a useful direction. There are other businesses where payment occurs after services are rendered (doctor visits, transcription services, delivery services, freelancers, landscapers, utility bills). What do they have in common? My first guesses: uncertainty as to the final charges until services are completed, and no convenient physical check-out at which to levy the fee.

What we don't have in common with utility companies: leverage. We can't cut off our customers' power for an unpaid bill. We can't "un-deliver" a video (though watermarking comes close).

I appreciate your point, though. I need to become much less trusting, especially with new clients. Luckily, my major, established clients and I have an unspoken agreement: prompt payment, unreasonably great ("you'll regret hiring anyone else") service.

When one of my sisters ran a bunch of retail stores, she learned that it is bad business to treat ALL your customers like the minority who are shoplifters. For me, demanding immediate payment from long-trusted clients would be similarly counterproductive.

Bob C


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walter biscardiRe: wow -- reply to "seeking advice about getting paid"
by on Jul 13, 2009 at 3:03:12 pm

[Bob Cole] "What we don't have in common with utility companies: leverage. We can't cut off our customers' power for an unpaid bill. We can't "un-deliver" a video (though watermarking comes close). "

If you're delivering a tape, DVD, BluRay or other hard media, yes you can. I don't turn that over until I get the final payment. Anything I give to the client prior to the final has either a watermark or burned-in TC on it. I position the TC so if the client cut it off, they're losing pertinent screen information too.

The watermark is placed right down the middle of the screen for online uploads.


[Bob Cole] "I appreciate your point, though. I need to become much less trusting, especially with new clients. Luckily, my major, established clients and I have an unspoken agreement: prompt payment, unreasonably great ("you'll regret hiring anyone else") service. "

I have become MUCH less trusting of people over the past year, both clients and long time collaborators. I'll have much more to say about this in the near future, but for now I have to let the situation run its course.


[Bob Cole] "For me, demanding immediate payment from long-trusted clients would be similarly counterproductive. "

That's the decision each person has to make based on who the clients are and your relationship with them. It's working well here and it's something I establish right away so the clients know what they are expected to do before we even get started.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author.
Credits include multiple Emmy, Telly, Aurora and Peabody Awards.
Biscardi Creative Media

Creative Cow Forum Host:
Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Motion, Apple Color, AJA Kona, Business & Marketing, Maxx Digital.

Read my Blog!


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Steve WargoRe: wow -- reply to "seeking advice about getting paid"
by on Jul 15, 2009 at 7:32:11 am

I had Albertson's Grocery stores for a client a few years ago. I did 2 $3500 jobs for them and they asked if I would wait 45 to 60 days for my money. I replied that my wife was going to be thrilled that we could now get groceries and not have to pay for two months, long after the food product turned to ----. They said "Oh no. We can't do that. When you shop at our store, you have to pay before you take the product home". I replied "Great! Let's do that. You set the policy and we'll go along with it. They paid me. I left. We haven't spoken since.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Mads Nybo JørgensenRe: wow -- reply to "seeking advice about getting paid"
by on Jul 15, 2009 at 11:41:34 pm

This is an interesting thread. As much as I agree with Bob, we've found in our company that the rule-book for getting payment by good clients has gone out of the window. Recently I had to "take the gloves off" after finding a large blue-chip agency suddenly wanting 90-180 days of credit instead of the usual 30 days of payment terms. The net result is that we can only do cash business with them, which means no business because their organisation can't handle that.

Despite looking at an autumn with the potential of getting a lot of work from that firm, I've decided that would rather starve than financing a big company's bottom line. A very difficult choice - but I know that we've stepped in last minute in the past to do the best, most flexible and very cost effective work that these guys can get...

So no; loyal customers maybe, but if they move the goal-post for payment without telling you then that might bring down your business too. So do watch out for behavioural changes with even your best clients - there is nothing worse than a (new) finance director who are out to prove himself and making your firm a victim in the process of doing so.





All the Best
Mads
London, UK

Mac Million Ltd. - HD Production & Editing
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Blog: http://blog.myspace.com/bigflopproductions


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Bob ColeRe: wow -- reply to "seeking advice about getting paid"
by on Jul 16, 2009 at 12:16:15 am

[Mads Nybo Jørgensen] "As much as I agree with Bob, we've found in our company that the rule-book for getting payment by good clients has gone out of the window."

The incessant news of huge corporations in bankruptcy has given license (even to quite prosperous firms) to act as if survival depends on stiffing suppliers. It's unconscionable, and we should not cooperate with cynical attempts to capitalize on the "fear, uncertainty, and doubt" from the Big Recession.

DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED.

And, be happy. You're alive. You may even be healthy. And for anyone in media, times have never been more interesting.

As one extremely bright person told me just yesterday, if you show a positive attitude when things are going great (and that's easy), you shouldn't act defeatist when things are not so good. The people who act with self-respect and good cheer will sail through this recession, and emerge stronger than ever.

I hope.


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