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Ellen Grauer Reporting in NY -- Received a rate schedule, wasn't thrilled with it (no copies!) Is that the new norm? Just wondering if anyone has experience if the work is completely awesome to make up for other deficiencies in the rates -- even dailies -- not thrilling. I'm at email@example.com. Thanks!!
You're saying that this agency pays the certified shorthand reporter zero on copy sales? Why would any agency do that I wonder? Who would take work where we don't share in the bounty with the agency? The rate schedule they sent you, it's got to be one that someone prepared in error and rather than throw it in the garbage, they're still erroneously sending it out. I'd call and check. No one who values the professional would pay zero on copy sales. And I'd think that no one with any experience and credentials would be willing to work under this arrangement.
I played dumb in my post to make a point. I know there are NYC agencies who get away with this BS. I would never and have never taken a job under those circumstances. One of the above-mentioned agencies called me a few years ago in a panic at 8 a.m. to cover their job and I did and they paid me to the penny what I billed them, including all the copy sales, of course. The called me several times after that to cover work for them but I was always booked. They haven't called in a long while. This might mean that they have a giant pool of dummies who are willing to work for no copy sales.
Ah...Ellen Grauer...I took a job for them and waited and waited and waited. And waited and waited and waited. And waited and waited and waited to get paid. I don't do this to my reporters and don't expect it from agencies I work for. Not nice. We wait long enough for attys to pay us, but other agencies??? No thanks. RUN. Don't walk. RUN from them.
Thank you for the comments. I just really needed to get the pulse from other working reporters. I'm pretty new to the "freelance" field in its truest sense of the word even though I've been at this for 18 years. Times are certainly a changing, but I couldn't imagine that they were a changing THAT MUCH!! I have gotten rate schedules from agencies that really are all over the map. The no copies was something that I hadn't seen before though. Just as an FYI, I did send them my rate schedule first -- to which they sent back theirs -- and at the bottom it said NO COPIES! Trying to weed out the dogs!!
"The no copies was something that I hadn't seen before though" Sadly the 'no copies' is beginning to become a regular feature. We've actually refused to take on quite a number of jobs because we wouldn't accept the 'no copy' policy.
One previously named company even said "surely taking the job and the money on offer is better than not earning at all?" To which we replied that just because we weren't accepting the job they wanted us to cover, didn't in fact mean we weren't working at all. And, just because they don't charge for copies does not mean they have a monopoly on all work, well at least not yet anyway :)
I fear the race to the bottom is well and truly on!
Excellent comments, Christina! You mentioned "just because they don't charge for copies." That was probably a misstatement, or I read it wrong. Don't get it in your mind that reporting agencies aren't charging for copy sales. They absolutely are! They're just not paying the reporters for those copy sales. Another form of offer I've gotten in the past few years has been along the lines of $1 for the first realtime hookup, 75 cents for the second, 50 cents for the third, 25 cents per page for all hookups after that third one. So ... do we really think that reporting agencies are charging the client that way? No. And not even "no," but HELL no. If so, attys would be knocking each other over like penguins on the edge of a cliff so that someone ELSE would go first and they could get in on the 25-cent realtime. (pause) 25-cent realtime. (another pause) I don't know whether I want to laugh out loud, or just throw up.