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flute

Ripped off in NYC

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I spent three months working like a dog for a company owned by this big famous guy. If I told you his name

you wouldn't believe he ripped me off.

 

They liked the work, we had a good relationship, then as it was almost completed, they stopped answering emails. I sent them a bill a few weeks later, hoping they'd finish the job.

 

They said they wouldn't pay until the project was complete, but they were too busy to work on it now. They said to get back to them in a few weeks.

 

I won't go into any more detail, but they've been jacking me around for a year now.

 

I finally sent the famous dude a FEDEX and got no response.

 

I guess it's lawyer time, but I was also thinking about contacting the news, and maybe some bad publicity would shame him

into paying up, but I'm scared they'll sue.

 

Advice appreciated.

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Man, I've heard so many of the same stories lately, including working through a bind myself right now...

 

Without knowing the exact details of the transaction, I think spreading his name around forums like this might damage him enough... so...?

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Guest Sao_Bento

Unless the big name guy is Colin Farrell, McConahay, etc., the news isn't going to give a crap. How often do you see news stories about some guy no-one ever heard of being "allegedly" ripped off by another guy no-one ever heard of? Lawyer up and get down to business.

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You shouldn't have to worry about them suing if you go the press. It's not slander if it's true. However, I agree with Sao Bento here. I think you need the most direct way of grabbing the client's attention. Plus you may have the unintended consequence of making yourself look bad by alerting the press. Future clients may think twice about working with you.

 

The business I work for is plagued by "unfinished "projects that "will be paid upon completion." Is this getting more and more common?

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spreading his name around forums like this might damage him enough... so...?

 

I'd "RATHER" not. Then again, if it saves someone else from getting burned by this outfit . . .

 

Sorry to hear that all you guys are going through this same crap. Right after posting, I got a bounced check from another client. Argh!

Edited by flute

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I'd say you should consider filing a small claims against the company. Filing a small claims only costs about $20 bucks. At that

point they'd have to start taking you more seriously. But throwing the owner's name around won't help your cause. He/she can

just become more adamant on not paying you.

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I'm not sure how you match up to this guy physically, but I would not hesitate to insinuate or imply that you are willing to make life uncomfoartable for this fool if he tries to shaft you. Don't overtly threaten him, just imply it. People in high profile places usually want simpler lives, not ones filled with risk and headaches.

 

This is also a good technique if you sense a company is about to screw you. Show up to work, and when the opportunity presents itself, casually mention how "one time I smashed a guys fingers in a door, because he wasn't going to pay me." Of course the story is not true... but they don't know that! They won't fuck around with your paychecks - I promise it.

 

I know, I know - this is terrible advice. But it works....

Edited by Nick_With_Stick

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I would lawyer up immediately. This douchebag probably doesn't want to go to court either, so the mere threat of legal action should spur them along. If they've jerked you around this long, they are probably hoping that you'll just give up. Who knows, this guy could be on the verge of bankruptcy, and if that happens, you can kiss that money goodbye.

 

Forget trying to shame them into paying you, go right for the jugular and make them cough it up.

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Will do. Monday morning, first thing. I've been having nightmares about bankruptcy.

 

I would lawyer up immediately. This douchebag probably doesn't want to go to court either, so the mere threat of legal action should spur them along. If they've jerked you around this long, they are probably hoping that you'll just give up. Who knows, this guy could be on the verge of bankruptcy, and if that happens, you can kiss that money goodbye.

 

Forget trying to shame them into paying you, go right for the jugular and make them cough it up.

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Will do. Monday morning, first thing. I've been having nightmares about bankruptcy.

 

One other thing you can do is contact the client the studio did the work for. It will take research and time on your part to retrieve that information though.

But contact the client informing them of the circumstance and imply that you may come after them too. Rest assured, the client will swiftly contact the owner

that's stiffing you on your money. And it does serious damage to his image in the eyes of the client. Clients do not want to hear this kind of thing and hear

how unprofessional the studio they were dealing with really is.

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I'm not sure how you match up to this guy physically, but I would not hesitate to insinuate or imply that you are willing to make life uncomfoartable for this fool if he tries to shaft you. Don't overtly threaten him, just imply it. People in high profile places usually want simpler lives, not ones filled with risk and headaches.

 

This is also a good technique if you sense a company is about to screw you. Show up to work, and when the opportunity presents itself, casually mention how "one time I smashed a guys fingers in a door, because he wasn't going to pay me." Of course the story is not true... but they don't know that! They won't fuck around with your paychecks - I promise it.

 

I know, I know - this is terrible advice. But it works....

 

lol - this is great advice. though, from what I can tell, not a lot mographers seem to hit the gym. of course, there are exceptions, and paying someone with the necessary physical presence [eh hem] might be cheaper and quicker than resorting to the courts. ;)

 

seriously though, Solo's advice is really good, and if you've worked all other formal options with him, hit the courts immediately.

Edited by MHR

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A friend of mine once handled an unpaid invoice by calling to say she would stand outside the front door, and explain her situation to everyone that entered the building. When she arrived there was a check waiting for her.

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A friend of mine once handled an unpaid invoice by calling to say she would stand outside the front door, and explain her situation to everyone that entered the building. When she arrived there was a check waiting for her.

 

that is awesome!

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Good luck!

 

lol... actually I also like the standing in front of the door technique. I wonder if I'd ever have the guts to do something like that. Glad it worked tho.

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