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Just a heads up for slow payer

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Ty Ford
Just a heads up for slow payer
on Feb 15, 2012 at 2:24:31 am

For the record;

I had a difficult time getting paid from Leroy Morton Productions/Radical Media, NYC. Sonia Malfa was the contact person. Fairly easy gig. Audio for an NFL promo video shoot for the Baltimore Ravens.

I submitted the invoice the next day and Ms. Malfa said she received it and would handle it. Six weeks later, still no pay, so I called and emailed and called and emailed. Finally, I gave her a week to pay me and told her, "the wheels would come off" after that. Explaining that meant that I would put the word out there on social media, to my contact at the Ravens and to NFL Networks in Culver City. She finally responded saying I should talk to someone else within her organization. I responded telling her it was her job to get me paid because she was my only contact with the company. The money got here a few days after my deadline. The check cleared.

I think the new pay schedule is "pay them only after they scream real loud, otherwise screw 'em."


Regards,

Ty Ford


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Rich Rubasch
Re: Just a heads up for slow payer
on Feb 16, 2012 at 3:34:53 am

I'm seeing a bit more of that, but hoping an uptick in the economic outlook will speed things up a bit. It's getting especially important as we do more production with larger crews and they need to get paid too!

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


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Bob Cole
Re: Just a heads up for slow payer
on Feb 16, 2012 at 2:28:48 pm

This is a good warning. Thanks Ty. It seems totally unfair to spend more time and energy getting paid than it did to do the job.

How many of you folks accept credit card payments at the time of service? Is this a viable option - would it help to avoid situations such as Ty described? Have you found a good, inexpensive way of accepting cc payments?

Bob C


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Mark Suszko
Re: Just a heads up for slow payer
on Feb 16, 2012 at 3:19:31 pm

You can do that thru PayPal.


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Steve Martin
Re: Just a heads up for slow payer
on Feb 16, 2012 at 5:15:48 pm

Whenever we do work for a client that we deem to fall into the "danger zone" we always ask for a credit card in advance.

Just a few of our danger zone warning signs include:

  • Last minute projects from someone we've never heard of
  • Out of town "producers" who talk really fast
  • When we hear, "I'm so glad we found you, the last guy we hired was terrible..."
  • When it just "feels" like a scam


The more of the danger factors we smell, the harder we push to get paid. We don't get nasty or anything, just inform them of our policy and explain that it's a reasonable request. And the more they resist, the more we insist. Bottom line is that we try to trust our gut.

When in doubt, get it up front.

I hope this helps,
Steve

Production is fun - but lets not forget: Nobody ever died on the video table!


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Ty Ford
Re: Just a heads up for slow payer
on Feb 16, 2012 at 6:44:54 pm

Steve,

Yep. I don't usually have any trouble, but you do get the aperiodic abuser and I apply the "slow crush."

When it exceeds the proper time, slowly and methodically call, email and let them know that there will be repercussions at a specific deadline. That has worked very nicely for me in the past; especially when you stay calm and document each attempt to get paid. I also told them I would reach out to everyone on the "client list" on their site to let them know.

Do I care about working for them in the future, not so far. The British Museum was another of my infrequent offenders. They were quire surprised when I told them I would be sending messages to the local museum, The Walters, where I had done the work. I think it also helped that I contacted the British Museum's marketing and PR people to let them know where I was headed.

Regards,

Ty Ford


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Nick Griffin
Re: Just a heads up for slow payer
on Feb 16, 2012 at 9:19:49 pm

Ty-
We've been friends for more years than either of us is likely to admit, but I have to disagree or at least offer a threshold for when action becomes necessary.

On those occasions when I've been stiffed for a couple to a few grand I've gone through a few months of chasing the money, but much more than that it just becomes counter productive. It's time not being spent on new projects and new ways to make money which is easier to collect. Said another way, I'd rather dwell on the positive than wallow in the negative.

The last time I let several thousand go was because a PR firm's client had managed to make so many things so confusing with changes upon changes upon changes upon changes that there simply was no good way to determine who was at fault for the portion they refused to pay for. Ultimately it was my fault for not insisting on a written change order every time but by the time it had gotten that confused it was simpler to walk away than fight it. I learned to never work with either that PR firm or that client ever again AND I got to get back to more productive activities.


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Ty Ford
Re: Just a heads up for slow payer
on Feb 17, 2012 at 2:08:19 am

Nick,

Hello!!!!!

I did offer a threshold. After six weeks, I told them the wheels would come off if they didn't pay me by the following friday, which was a week later.

Pals forever,

Ty


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Nick Griffin
Re: Just a heads up for slow payer
on Feb 17, 2012 at 4:59:24 pm

[Ty Ford] "I told them the wheels would come off if they didn't pay me by the following friday"

Tyree-
This is kind of the opposite of what I was saying. Making "the wheels come off" sounds like a lot of negative effort to me. By threshold I mean $20k is worth a fight, $2k is not. It's up to each of us to decide where in the middle lies your individual transition point.


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Ty Ford
Re: Just a heads up for slow payer
on Feb 17, 2012 at 5:08:51 pm

Oh, OK, Nicholas, then we'll just disagree.

I think when they've strayed THAT far over the line by not paying correctly, they need a wake-up call with a deadline.

Ty


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Bob Cole
Re: Just a heads up for slow payer
on Feb 17, 2012 at 5:19:31 pm

[Nick Griffin] "$20k is worth a fight, $2k is not. It's up to each of us to decide where in the middle lies your individual transition point."

You just reminded me that somebody owes me $100. I'm writing a reminder as soon as I've finished admitting how low my transition point is!

Bob C


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Tom Sefton
Re: Just a heads up for slow payer
on Feb 27, 2012 at 10:09:10 am

Nick can I borrow $2k please? I'll be in Vegas if you need me.....

:)


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Ty Ford
Re: Just a heads up for slow payer
on Feb 27, 2012 at 1:20:01 pm

+1, Tom.

And thanks for my first chuckle of the week.

Regards,

Ty Ford


Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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Al Bergstein
Re: Just a heads up for slow payer
on Feb 18, 2012 at 4:01:35 pm

Very usual in the world of ad agencies, which it sounds like they might subcontract to. Good reminder that while they might accept two months the rest of us won't. We are often at the end of the pay chain of client>ad agency>sub1>you.

Al


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