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aspekt

getting paid

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Like everything else in this life depends how much leverage you got. I generally don't work on consequent projects unless i get paid for all previous projects. Then again i don't really get flown in or put up...

 

What do you do?

 

Just assess it for yourself what you stand to loose and gain in each case. and then take the approach that meets you're needs. Can you afford to take a risk and continue working now with the chance of high rewards? Or tell them that you're not doing anything else until you get paid and go do another job that will pay you with a higher degree of certainty ( assuming you have that option).

 

But if they are nice guys and you enjoy the work you're doing and money isn't tight why not help them out, maybe they are on a tight budget, they'll appreciate it and might even give you a bonus ( only happened once to, but it means it does happen)

 

Just don't start a big argumnet with them unless you have given up on retrieving the money and just want to have a go at them. Be understanding and never make the impression that you think they are trying to screw you over, but always remember that that may be the case.

 

Hope that helps.

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So I recently went freelance, and took a contract with a company at the beginning of the month. I talked with their business manager who said they would have a check for me last Friday...needless to say it didn't come. I didn't get a call saying it would be late, and when I emailed them I didn't get a response. So I called on Monday & spoke with them and they said to me that the agency hadn't paid them yet, which is why I wasn't paid. So trying to work with them I said they could split the invoice pay half now & half when they get paid by the agency...and still haven't heard from them... Is that common place? Then on top of that they want me to continue working on another project when I haven't seen a dime from the first project. For all intents and purposes these guys are on the level. very nice / professional studio. flew me in, put me up, the works. I can understand waiting 2 weeks to get paid, sometimes a month....but to say you're going to deliver and then don't deliver and then ask me to keep working on other projects...WTF! Can you dictate a payment schedule to your client? If it was a small amount of money I wouldn't be crying about it, but that's not the case-

 

 

It's never good to hear "you'll get paid when we get paid". That's why businesses have lines of credit, to make payroll. That being said, lines of credit aren't as easy to come by these days. If they're flying you out and putting you up, it doesn't sound like they're the types that would stiff you (unless they're moments away from declaring bankruptcy -I've seen it happen before). I'd ride it out a little longer if they seem legit. Keep pushing the business manager -the one's that make the most noise get paid first.

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I definitely agree with the above regarding how to proceed.

All that being said though it is somewhat poor practice to hire on additional help that is ENTIRELY conditional on receiving full, timely, payment from the end client. A healthy business should not be so strapped that that's necessarily the situation, unless od course there's a long line in front of you waiting to get paid, maybe even from even older projects. In which case I suppose they aren't really that healthy financially. Where's the money coming from to pay their fulltime staff?

Would Apple be particularly understanding if you bought a new machine but couldn't pay them until you got paid? Your services shouldn't really be any different.

 

From personal experience; I was flown out and put up at a place for several months that was, unbeknownst to me, struggling financially the entire time. Their business was based on some pretty big risks on their part all pretty much centering around getting paid by one big client. Needless to say that client decided not to pay and everyone had to walk away. Fortunately I wasn't owed very much in back pay, but was pretty bummed about having just signed a 1 year lease on an apartment. After all the other expenses like office space, render farm, etc. there was no money left.

 

It's nice to give the benefit of the doubt and I hope that you get every cent you're owed. I suppose in general I take a somewhat cynical view regarding companies that, essentially, live paycheck to paycheck. It's not healthy in personal finance and so it shouldn't be in corporate finance.

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I could definitely be in a worse spot if I didn't have other gigs going on....but at the same time it's a huge invoice & it does suck. This is one of the reasons I didn't want to go freelance. I hate dealing with this type of stuff-

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I do 30 day billing, which I think is pretty standard(?). As a freelancer I have expenses and the people I owe money to (rent, hardware/software vendors etc.) and they expect to be paid in 30 days regardless of if I get paid or not so I don't see why it should be different on my end. I have been lucky that most of my clients respect this. Very rarely I have been asked by places if I can wait a bit longer until they get paid to pay me if there is a good relationship and I feel they are being honest I will maybe say OK but would never give them much more than an extra few weeks or a month at max, I would also make it clear that this is an exception and should not become the rule.

 

If a shop has such serious cash flow issues that they cannot make payroll within 60 days they are too much of a risk to work with as there are other clients out there that will pay.

 

At the end of the day I think you have to trust your gut. I personally would have to have an extremely good feeling about a new client to trust them to do more work when I hadn't seen dime one from a job with a past due invoice.

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So I called on Monday & spoke with them and they said to me that the agency hadn't paid them yet, which is why I wasn't paid. So trying to work with them I said they could split the invoice pay half now & half when they get paid by the agency...and still haven't heard from them... Is that common place? Then on top of that they want me to continue working on another project when I haven't seen a dime from the first project. For all intents and purposes these guys are on the level. very nice / professional studio. flew me in, put me up, the works. I can understand waiting

 

saying this is a nice/professional studio alongside your argument is a huge paradox. Part of being professional(a personal opinion) is being able to do things on time on the freelancer part and on the studio's side.

if somewhere along the ride things turn out differently, each part is obligated to inform the other about it.

did these "nice" guys call you and tell you your pay will be delayed due to the client?

did they respond to your email? do you think they would've contacted you if you would have waited for them to?

after all of that, did they have a tiny glimpse of shame asking you to do more work for them?

 

I could definitely be in a worse spot if I didn't have other gigs going on....but at the same time it's a huge invoice & it does suck. This is one of the reasons I didn't want to go freelance. I hate dealing with this type of stuff-

 

great, get your hands full with the other gigs until these guys pay you , there are too many "nice" people who get burnt in this industry.

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I would bail on the next project until they pay you for the first one. Business is business, is what I would tell them, and a non-paying jobs is not a priority... it's simply money out of your pocket. Don't play hardball, but don't don't be a sucker either. Tell them you got a hold job that you'll be forced to take unless the payment can get sorted out. In these economic times I'd be suspect of anyone making excuses for non-payment. Would a plumber or electrician work for free?

 

If they end up being on the level, you can always say that you farmed out your hold job to someone else and continue working for them. If they are not, then hire a collection agency pronto. If they are dire straights and end-up going belly up, you may be able get something from assets sold... but you need to be "in line" and early for it, as there are probably other vendors that they owe. I had some limited experience with this, but I was way late in-line, and the other vendors were owed a ton of cash... so I didn't get my $, but I didn't have to pay the collection agency either. It's a shit way to settle up, I know, but it's worse to be out the $.

 

or play this really loud for them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciOmlFLZNx0

Edited by jcrash

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There is a thread called 'Clients Who Don't Pay' - I suggest any extra info goes in there. The legal jeopardy is all yours. I tried starting a client blacklist on Blogspot but no-one wanted to come forward. It's sad, but likely because the clients who treat you like shit are the only ones who call when work is scarce.

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