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FTP upload fee

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greg lytle
FTP upload fee
on Jan 29, 2011 at 9:01:48 pm

I'm wondering what a fair rate is to charge clients for uploading
material to an FTP site. Specifically, my client is asking for
around 15 gigs of HD clips to be FTP'd to a third party.
I uploaded 6.5 gigs last night and it took over 8 hrs. I'm tying up my
email and web browsing laptop and also clogging my internet connection,
as well as the obvious...my time to set it up, make sure the clips transfer correctly etc. True, I can walk away, but I can't send email
or use the laptop while uploading. I've checked around and $50 p/hour
has come up. Does anyone have any advise? I don't want my client getting
upset over the charges and yet I feel it's fair to charge for this.


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Cory Petkovsek
Re: FTP upload fee
on Jan 29, 2011 at 10:02:50 pm

This is a one off for you, so talk with your client to come to a reasonable agreement.

If a vendor came back to me with an upload fee of (18.5x50) $925 charge to upload a couple files, depending on my relationship with them I'd either laugh or be pissed off; but certainly wouldn't pay that.

Your technical issues are not their problem, and frankly not being able to check your email is perceived as a personal problem. It's a low intensity job. If I were doing it for a client, I'd set it up on one of my older systems so my laptop can be free. If it was giving me problems connecting with other applications (because the upload channel is saturated, it's can't send any web page requests), I'd throttle it to 90% so I would have some bandwidth to continue working. There is hardware and software that do this, and your not using them is your choice, not your clients.

Some fee for your setup and management of the task is reasonable, but it's more like $200 or less.

Cory

--
Cory Petkovsek
Corporate Video


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Vince Becquiot
Re: FTP upload fee
on Jan 29, 2011 at 10:26:15 pm

Geg,

I guess you are on DSL and the upload is saturating your bandwidth. I would charge the same amount you would for tape transfer, that should take you roughly the same amount of time, but you can't expect them to pay for the connection troubles.

As for bandwidth usage, I usually bill that as part of a project, but never itemize it. They won't expect it, especially if they are from the corporate world; to them, bandwidth may seem free and unlimited.

On a side note, I have never been charged for FTP transfers, so while it may be common place in some markets, it's not in the SF bay area

Vince Becquiot

Kaptis Studios
San Francisco - Bay Area


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Rich Rubasch
Re: FTP upload fee
on Jan 30, 2011 at 1:43:37 am

15 gigs? I would have Fedexed a hard drive with a return label in the box and charged them about $50 to do the transfer. Would have taken about 10 minutes to copy to the drive, another 5 to create the labels and maybe 5 more to box it up. If I had done any post for them (like a $2000 post only job) I might not charge anything.

I would not have uploaded the files....not 15 gigs. For the reasons you are discovering.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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greg lytle
Re: FTP upload fee
on Jan 30, 2011 at 1:55:46 am

Thanks for the input. I was skeptical about charging an hourly rate
for this, and now more so. I will call the client and negotiate a
reasonable fee. I was putting this out there because I hadn't heard
much about this topic.
FYI, the third party needed files ASAP so physically sending a drive was
not an option.


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Rich Rubasch
Re: FTP upload fee
on Jan 30, 2011 at 2:19:05 pm

As you stated it took more than 8 hours to do less than half the upload...and you can run into errors. Sending files on a drive is the most reliable method and they can have the files before 10:00 the next morning.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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Zane Barker
Re: FTP upload fee
on Jan 30, 2011 at 5:23:57 am

[greg lytle] " I can't send emailor use the laptop while uploading"

There is NO reason that you cannot check email or use the web while uploading.

**Hindsight is always 1080p**


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Kai Cheong
Re: FTP upload fee
on Jan 30, 2011 at 1:52:48 pm

Hi Greg,

It sounds like a chargeable fee wasn't discussed with your client before you started on the uploading - I'm not sure how agreeable they'll be to any fee at this stage [even if it's lower than or very reasonable for the actual time/effort incurred]. So good luck on negotiating that. 15GB is a lot of data to send through the Internet!

There's this quote I've heard of and believe it applies sometimes: 'Lack of preparation on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part'. We all want to do our best and help our clients out - but sometimes, there's an opportunity cost to think about [eg. if you can't check email and conduct your other business]. Would overnighting through FedEx [though fairly expensive] be quick enough? Or perhaps they were assuming FedEx = Expensive; you sending = Free?

Kai
FCP Editor / Producer with Intuitive Films
http://kai-fcp-editor.blogspot.com
--
Now 'LIVE'! Check Out The Intuitive Films Blog @ http://intuitive-films.blogspot.com
At Intuitive Films, We Create: TV Commercials, Documentaries, Corporate Videos and Feature Films
Visit us @ http://www.intuitivefilms.com
--
MacBook Pro 2.4GHz | 4GB RAM | FCP 5.1.4 | Mac OS X 10.5.7

8-Core Intel Mac Pro 2.26GHz | 8GB RAM | FCP 6.0.6 | Mac OS X 10.5.6 | 3.0TB CalDigit VR | 2 x 24" Dell S2409W


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David Roth Weiss
Re: FTP upload fee
on Jan 30, 2011 at 10:42:36 pm

I too would most likely have sent a drive via Fedex as Rich mentioned. However, I disagree with most here who are suggesting that there's no compelling reason to slap a fairly hefty surcharge on your invoice for the service. I'd suggest that anytime a client demands that you expedite a service, especially such a behemoth as this one, you must put a price tag on it that discourages them from thinking their request is routine. Personally, I would most likely charge them half my day rate at a minimum.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Patrick Ortman
Re: FTP upload fee
on Feb 1, 2011 at 4:10:17 am

>> I'd suggest that anytime a client demands that you expedite a service, especially such a behemoth as this one, you must put a price tag on it <<

Agreed. I'd try to explain why it's a bad idea, first. But if they insist, you deserve to be paid for it.

---------------------
http://www.patrickortman.com
Web and Video Design


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greg lytle
Re: FTP upload fee
on Feb 1, 2011 at 4:31:06 am

appreciate all input. Seems like a situation which should have been clarified upfront with client. I will certainly consult with client before sending invoice.


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Mark Suszko
Re: FTP upload fee
on Feb 1, 2011 at 6:18:34 am

Patrick put it succinctly.

My addition is: if it wasn't mentioned in the agreement, likely you'd have to eat it, or bill them for it but then "discount" the bill "...because we hadn't really talked about this sudden emergency, and we want to be there for you anytime you need the help, so we put the cost of that aside in order to solve your immediate need. But if this is going to become a part of all the future transactions, of course we have to factor that into the costs, because it is tying up my machines to perform the FTP".

Everybody understands that tying up a machine for one specific client's process is part of business, and there will be an expectation of a cost. I would not bill the same rate as an edit, but maybe half-rate, especially if you sit up all night baby-sitting it to make sure it completes.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: FTP upload fee
on Feb 1, 2011 at 6:23:09 am

[Mark Suszko] "Patrick put it succinctly. "

Jeeze Mark, you know, I have feelings too...

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Mark Suszko
Re: FTP upload fee
on Feb 1, 2011 at 6:46:01 am

Sorry, left your credit out, let me re-phrase it:

Patrick put David's words more succinctly.

:-)


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Patrick Ortman
Re: FTP upload fee
on Feb 1, 2011 at 4:11:50 pm

David and I are like Butch and Sundance. But I'm hoping for a better ending.

---------------------
http://www.patrickortman.com
Web and Video Design


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David Roth Weiss
Re: FTP upload fee
on Feb 1, 2011 at 4:26:28 pm

Patrick,

There's one thing I can tell you about Mark... He certainly knows succinct when he sees it.

He can't do it, but he does know what it looks like.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Mark Suszko
Re: FTP upload fee
on Feb 1, 2011 at 5:18:12 pm

*ouch!*

:-)


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Steve Kownacki
Re: FTP upload fee
on Feb 1, 2011 at 5:11:34 pm

Billable yes, but in what fashion? If your client is strictly time and materials, looking for bare-bones pricing, then they need to be made aware and you bill them a fair price (that's been covered). But what's the "cost" really? We have about 5 Rugged drives floating around at any given time. To stick a drive on the system and copy files is a simple background task, this is going to happen. Easiest way is to have the client buy the drive that you specify (500Gig Rugged at Best Buy is $130), copy the files, hand them the drive and let them FedEx it for $120 early AM delivery. Keep yourself out of the dollars as much as you can. Your fee is then around $50-75. If they want you to handle it all, then add in the other #s and bill them $350-400.

Steve






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Mark Suszko
Re: FTP upload fee
on Feb 1, 2011 at 5:21:31 pm

I really hate the idea of repeatedly shlepping drives. But then I come from a time when drives were as fragile and expensive as Fabrege' eggs. Still, I would put buying "taxi drives" on the client, otherwise, you have to find a place to stick that added expense into your billing.


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greg lytle
Re: FTP upload fee
on Feb 1, 2011 at 7:56:24 pm

To clarify. shipping a drive was not an option as the phone call came
Friday afternoon, missing that day's fedex deadline thus making the
earliest possible delivery time Monday morning, which was too late.

What I was looking for was a fair, "market rate" for FTPing material.
It seems that such a rate doesn't exist and we all negotiate price
based on the job, and the client.

Thanks again for all the input.


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Mark Suszko
Re: FTP upload fee
on Feb 1, 2011 at 8:27:55 pm

You could see what DGFastChannel charges for it.


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Patrick Ortman
Re: FTP upload fee
on Feb 1, 2011 at 8:45:49 pm

Economies of scale. The typical small post house probably doesn't have dedicated staff and resources (really fat Internet pipes, a few dedicated machines, etc) to do this at the same price as DG. For us, we end up doing this a LOT. So, I have a MacMini setup just for transfers. But we still charge something, depending on file size, etc.

Isn't it funny how this is one of the few businesses where there's a question about charging clients for a service? My dentist charges a lot for X-Rays, even though they only take about 5 minutes and use up about $5 worth of materials per X-Ray.

Yet, we wonder about charging for our time and resources when transferring huge files, or making safety backups of footage and client files, or if we should even charge anything for rendering these beautiful things we make for our clients. It may be my cold speaking today, but this is insane and has to stop.

You're in business to stay in business, and hopefully to make a profit. You have to somehow charge for overhead, like Internet, machine rooms, electricity, equipment & upgrades, etc. Constantly not charging for your overhead and services will put you out of business.

I know, we talk about this a lot. But we need to.

P

ps: $350-$450, depending on how much babysitting and setup you need to do, if it needs to be redone because it didn't go through the first time, etc. Hope that helps.

---------------------
http://www.patrickortman.com
Web and Video Design


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Neil Hurwitz
Re: FTP upload fee
on Feb 2, 2011 at 4:47:41 am

So a 18 hour job gets requested late on a Friday, Monday
morning delivery is no good and you ask if this is a billable service??
You just gotta love this business !!!
What you should have done was say the only way to get this on Saturday
morning would be for me to load this on a drive and buy a ticket
on the next flight and delivery it in person or I can bring the drive
over to you and you can figure out how to get it to the 3rd party.
This is a rediculous request if the client isn't willing to pay for it.
End of Story.

Neil Hurwitz


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Steve Kownacki
Re: FTP upload fee
on Feb 2, 2011 at 3:09:01 pm

Not to belabor the issue, I feel these discussions provide insight for all the readers for future situations.

I see you're in Alaska which could be an issue, but aside from price, we (all on the forum) are not just video people, but solution providers. If a client really needs it, I can get to the airport in 30 minutes by the 9:30PM cutoff and toss packages over the fence to FedEx and they'd have it Saturday. This costs a bundle. I will do what it takes.

But you are right in the negotiation of the price. Stuff like this is factored on the actual manhours needed, machine time, is the machine barred from making any other money, time of day the request is made, when they need it, but most importantly: what does that client mean to me in the future.

I think the numbers floating around now are a "5% client retention can mean 65-125% increase in profit." That's HUGE. Finding new work is tough. Keep 'em happy; if $100 of time now means $10K in 3 months... no brainer.

Steve






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Malcolm Matusky
Re: FTP upload fee
on Feb 1, 2011 at 11:07:04 pm

Send them a drive, let them pay for it, and they can upload the file themselves, or they can pay you per hour of "machine time"

Malcolm
http://www.malcolmproductions.com


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