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graymachine

Last Second Cancellations

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It happens to all freelancers, I'm sure.. but it still sucks.

 

You have a job booked with a client, and then at the last second (in this case 5:30pm the night before) the client says "Oooohh.. yeah... about that job that starts tomorrow."

 

Now, is this a case me totally sucking and them not want me back? I suppose it's possible, but 10 seconds prior to this I had just been speaking with the owner of the company and how amazingly happy he was with the work I was doing. So, I doubt that is the case.

 

What happened is that they had a major job happening, it was to be split into a DS room and an AE room. It turns out, the DS guy (through lack of communication) started doing the graphics on his own, and then the client was happy with it. Ultimately, I suppose it's what is best for the client. But, still, this was to be a 2 1/2 week job. That REALLY sucks for me. I turned down jobs to leave this block open. WTF.

 

Has anyone ever set a strict cancellation policy to protect against this? I'm not looking to collect 2 weeks.. but maybe a bill for 50% of my day rate for cancellations within 24 hours? I don't know.. I don't want to seem like a prissy little diva. I can find more work in a few days.. but having the carpet pulled out from under you like this ain't cool.

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i've been told by a few editors here to charge my full daily rate if they don't notify me at least 24 hours in advance that I won't be needed. They've been long term clients so I just charge a half day instead, no complaints yet.

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I am a Freelance Editor and if a job is pulled with less than 24hours notice I bill for the job anyway, but that is generally understood within my field so expected by the client. There may not be anything you can really do in this case unless you don't want any more work from this particular client. But next time I would stipulate that cancellation within say, 48 hours (because you are generally talking longer lead in times) would incur a cancellation fee (maybe 3 or 5 days at your daily 8hr rate)

 

It's shit when this kinda thing happens, only way to think is that next time you get a job last minute it cancels out the annoyance of having this one pulled. ;)

 

Best o' luck

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It happens to all freelancers, I'm sure.. but it still sucks.

 

You have a job booked with a client, and then at the last second (in this case 5:30pm the night before) the client says "Oooohh.. yeah... about that job that starts tomorrow."

 

Now, is this a case me totally sucking and them not want me back? I suppose it's possible, but 10 seconds prior to this I had just been speaking with the owner of the company and how amazingly happy he was with the work I was doing. So, I doubt that is the case.

 

What happened is that they had a major job happening, it was to be split into a DS room and an AE room. It turns out, the DS guy (through lack of communication) started doing the graphics on his own, and then the client was happy with it. Ultimately, I suppose it's what is best for the client. But, still, this was to be a 2 1/2 week job. That REALLY sucks for me. I turned down jobs to leave this block open. WTF.

 

Has anyone ever set a strict cancellation policy to protect against this? I'm not looking to collect 2 weeks.. but maybe a bill for 50% of my day rate for cancellations within 24 hours? I don't know.. I don't want to seem like a prissy little diva. I can find more work in a few days.. but having the carpet pulled out from under you like this ain't cool.

 

You are certainly justified in charging something; any post house would certainly do that, but if you didn't make your client aware of this policy ahead of time it might be an uphill battle getting paid. You might think about just telling them your situation; that you turned down other work to be there and now you're sort of hosed. They might just offer something up (probably not). If they don't, make your best case about a partial payment, but if there's potential for more work from them down the road, I wouldn't push them too hard.

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i can't see anyone paying more than one full day rate for late cancellations... think a full day rate is fair enough for both sides

 

 

I think a 48 hour cancellation is fair game. Anything within 48 hours gets billed a day rate. I'll talk with the company owner to establish this policy in the future.

 

Thanks for the input everyone.. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't being a whiny little bitch.

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I am a freelancer and I do it like this...

 

Everyone is on hold (first and several second holds) until the first hold firms me, or a second hold puts in a "buy".

 

When a second hold challenges or buys I know I am working those dates, because the first hold can either release or firm, and if I am released I will be at my second holds.

 

After this process, if someone cancels then I charge them a "kill fee" regardless of how long in advance it has been. I do this less for the money, and more to let them know that this behavior is unexceptable. I only charge 4 hours, because I know that its usually not the comanies fault, but rather the client they are dealing with.

 

This week I have gotten calls from 5-8 companies in need of freelancers and I have turned all but 1 down. If the company who firmed me cancels then that can really screw up my buisness.

 

BTW a certain company in Times Square is notoriously bad about this.

 

Just my 2 cents

 

-six

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i can't see anyone paying more than one full day rate for late cancellations... think a full day rate is fair enough for both sides

 

Agreed, thats all I generally charge. Although if it were a 2 1/2 week job I would definately charge more, my agent would insist on it (Agents are also useful at being the 'asshole' and leaving you still smelling of roses when you have any disagreements with your client) For cancelling 2 1/2 weeks work within 24 hours I wouldn't think 1 days wage should be enough that's like 5%!, I would say at least 10% would be fair, they booked your time, you made yourself exclusively available. they cant change their mind within 24 hours of kick off and expect you to swallow it for 5%

 

Really depends on future work prospects I suppose and what kind of relationship you have. I've had the same client for 7 years now and I wouldn't charge them in the same way as a new client...

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This week I have gotten calls from 5-8 companies in need of freelancers and I have turned all but 1 down.

 

Heh.. send em my email!

 

Out here in Detroit, there aren't even 5-8 companies to try and drum up business with. Yours is a good problem to have.

 

Ahh.. why do I live here again?

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I don't know about you guys, but I thought if someone books you for a week (for example) and you get cancelled only half-way thru that week you still can bill for the whole week as that was the booked time.

I personally have not been in this sort of situation but I thought once they book you, they are resposible to pay you for that whole time no matter what... Is that incorrect???

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I always thought if you get booked they will pay you for that time regardless if the project falls through; that's why they booked you instead of putting you on hold. They can either provide you with new work to jump on or just cut their losses and pay you for the booked time.

 

Some other discussion:

http://mograph.net/board/index.php?showtop...2&hl=booked

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Bitch alert!

Normally, you should still expect the full 2 and a half weeks worth of pay - since that is what they booked you for - just because they didn't use you, is their problem...They of course won't want to pay you, so you can say..."look, I'm going to have to charge you SOMETHING, since I lost other clients due to our verbal agreement that I would work for you. So I can cut it down to half, or I'd be more than happy to work on something else for the two and a half weeks."

 

This isn't about being nice..it's about doing business, and this is completely unprofessional on their part. If I was "booked" for a set amount of time, and turned other potential jobs away that I could have gotten, I would charge them the whole amount - it's called a flat rate... Unless they were a steady client who consistently sent work my way. Ask them this...Would THEY still charge for their services if someone booked them and then the day before the job started, cancelled? In the future you should DEFINITELY have a contract that states this.

 

Sorry, I'm peevish today.

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BTW a certain company in Times Square is notoriously bad about this.

 

 

 

 

oh man that certain company in Times Square can kiss my ass from years ago. I vowed never again to answer their phone calls.

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Does it begin with an "N" or an "M" perhaps?

Remembering experiences from the past.

oh man that certain company in Times Square can kiss my ass from years ago. I vowed never again to answer their phone calls.

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Does it begin with an "N" or an "M" perhaps?

Remembering experiences from the past.

 

Well, my experience has been with most of the ones that fall under the mega giant one that starts with a "V" which covers not only "N" and "M" but the other "V" as well. I know huh... cryptic.

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Well, my experience has been with most of the ones that fall under the mega giant one that starts with a "V" which covers not only "N" and "M" but the other "V" as well. I know huh... cryptic.

 

 

nybe, I'm going to up the ante on the cryptic meter because it will make me feel good to let it out! Although very few will figure out the code.

 

A recent experience in this certain place in Times Square, it goes something like this: TS at the V, to the V to the A.

 

Maybe I'll make it into an equation.

 

TS + V + V + A = CR^P

 

I guess I could have done V squared?

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okay this is classic, got this email over the weekend, the names have been changed to protect I don't know:

 

> Any chance we can get a demo project out of you? This will test

> your turn around time ability as we need it yesterday. If so, it's

> an opening credit sequence for a film coming to DVD in Dec. The

> film, XXXXXXXXXXX

> features XXXX XXXXXX from XXXX XXXXX'X XXXX and is being

> released to coincide with XXXX'X DVD release. Basic intro, pan and

> scan on actor photos and names but we want it to look nice and

> clean. We need it in a couple days, a freebee, but it's nice for

> the reel and there is more to come, if you come through for us.

> Please advise asap. Do you have an ftp site to upload the work

> files? Look forward to hearing from you.

 

So I'm curious, how would YOU respond to this email?

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I would explain in as few words as possible that I don't work for free, and I don't do favors for people I don't know.

 

Why would you want to work on a DVD menu for free? I guess I just don't see where that will get you in the long run.

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okay this is classic, got this email over the weekend, the names have been changed to protect I don't know:

 

 

So I'm curious, how would YOU respond to this email?

 

 

got that one too. perhaps they could comb the local campuses to find someone who will do it for a 6-pack!

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I had this kid a few months ago explain that I should work on his project for $100 because bigshot people at a certain entertainment company were going to see my work.. mind you the work was the most boring shite you could imagine and no exec would give a shit. It look a lot of editing to explain to him how I knew he was full of it and to stop wasting my time.

 

okay this is classic, got this email over the weekend, the names have been changed to protect I don't know:

 

> Any chance we can get a demo project out of you? This will test

> your turn around time ability as we need it yesterday. If so, it's

> an opening credit sequence for a film coming to DVD in Dec. The

> film, XXXXXXXXXXX

> features XXXX XXXXXX from XXXX XXXXX'X XXXX and is being

> released to coincide with XXXX'X DVD release. Basic intro, pan and

> scan on actor photos and names but we want it to look nice and

> clean. We need it in a couple days, a freebee, but it's nice for

> the reel and there is more to come, if you come through for us.

> Please advise asap. Do you have an ftp site to upload the work

> files? Look forward to hearing from you.

 

So I'm curious, how would YOU respond to this email?

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okay this is classic, got this email over the weekend, the names have been changed to protect I don't know:

 

> Any chance we can get a demo project out of you? This will test

> your turn around time ability as we need it yesterday. If so, it's

> an opening credit sequence for a film coming to DVD in Dec. The

> film, XXXXXXXXXXX

> features XXXX XXXXXX from XXXX XXXXX'X XXXX and is being

> released to coincide with XXXX'X DVD release. Basic intro, pan and

> scan on actor photos and names but we want it to look nice and

> clean. We need it in a couple days, a freebee, but it's nice for

> the reel and there is more to come, if you come through for us.

> Please advise asap. Do you have an ftp site to upload the work

> files? Look forward to hearing from you.

 

So I'm curious, how would YOU respond to this email?

 

The only reason to ever do such a project is when you get 100% creative freedom. Since there isn't any (considering the deadline) there is no reason on earth to undertake such a project. I think it's quite bold to ask someone this.

 

I don't go out to an architect saying: "look at this here plans, if you build this house exactly how i planned it, there is more work to come" "I can't pay you, but will dump the materials in your backyard."

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The only reason to ever do such a project is when you get 100% creative freedom. Since there isn't any (considering the deadline) there is no reason on earth to undertake such a project. I think it's quite bold to ask someone this.

 

I don't go out to an architect saying: "look at this here plans, if you build this house exactly how i planned it, there is more work to come" "I can't pay you, but will dump the materials in your backyard."

 

Agreed. It's important that designers, especially newbies, know to turn this stuff down. It's clear reading that message that this company is getting results from these messages. While it's certainly a lame approach on their part, they wouldn't be able to do this if there weren't enough eager designers ready to take the bait. We can bitch all day that our profession isn't respected, but by taking this sort of job we're the ones demeaning ourselves.

 

As far as responding to the message, I think you should tell them you'll do the job, and then on delivery day send them some nice clean pan and scan animations of your ass. :D

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