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Took a job for an agency out of Timonium, MD, back on January 2nd. Job was a doctor dep via videoconference, O&3, roughs and 2-day delivery, My standard is net 30. Well, just got back from vacation and lo and behold I finally got payment. Well, I'm floored. They sent me a third of the invoice with NO breakdown indicating what they paid (and I can't figure it out AT ALL) and, in ballpoint pen handwritten on the check is "Partial payment."
WHAT THE HECK??? I'm furious. I didn't send them a PARTIAL transcript!!!! So they have the nerve to pay late AND partially??? Has anyone else experienced this with anyone they've done work for? I promptly sent them an e-mail stating my disgust but of course it's late Friday night...Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Currently dealing with an agency that I turned in the job on time on July 27 (yes, almost 9 months ago). So far I've been paid about 60%. 3 partial checks, each check incorrect, each check missing any breakdown so I have no idea where they get their numbers. 1st check underpaid O&1. 2nd check corrected that by overpaying on O&1 and underpaying on 2 copy sales. 3rd check underpaid another copy sale. I am in email hell with these people. This is not the first such situation I've faced and I'm sick of it. And what ALWAYS happens is that no matter how polite I remain, these slow-pays never call again, so there's no reward for maintaining civility. Yes, as if I'd want to put myself through their BS again anyway. I know.
My way-too-extensive experience, Roberta, is that 90% of the time a late and incorrect check like you received means big trouble and will mean months and months of calls & emails until you finally get paid. It will take a lot of work on your part. They will hope you go away but of course you won't do that. If you don't initiate contact with them, they won't. The relationship is now broken and there'll be no further work ever with these creeps.
Good luck. You'll need it.
What could be a solution; as Reporters need a solution to this late-paying problem? Give an agency a "first time," to see how it pays. If payment is not in full within thirty days, is the solution: Every reporter obtain PayPal or ability to take credit cards, call the agency and say: Your job is completed. The total amount is XYZ. You may pay via PayPal or by credit card?
PayPal is a horrible option unless the agency agrees to pay you extra to make up for the commission. I work extremely hard for my money and I'm not willing to give any to PayPal. (Roberta seems to have dropped out of her thread!)
Wonder how much PayPal/credit cards charge? Because having guaranteed payment is preferred to the emotional turmoil involved with late-paying agencies. So maybe give an agency a "first time," to see how it pays. Most do pay within thirty days; at least, that's my experience. If one chose to work a second time with one of these poor-paying agencies, reporter could increase their rates to adjust for the PayPal/credit-card fees. So the poor-paying agencies would be guaranteed to pay in full, and have to pay the cost for the PayPal/credit-card fees. Because I can't imagine any reporter in their right mind working a second time for an agency that has a poor-paying history - and an agency's paying history is known not only from one reporter, but from the conversations reporters have with each other and from reading the forums, from meeting at conventions and hearing, "Stay away from ABC Agency."
Yes, the emotional turmoil of staying on top of late payers is huge. It's a huge nuisance and so time-consuming. I had an agency pay me in Paypal this year and they sent me, on my suggestion, an amazon gift card to make up for the Paypal fees. I forget how much it is. But whatever it is, I want it in my pocket. And then I had another round of email, way too much, looking to get a 1099. I had this with about 5 agencies, getting that damn 1099. I want one no matter how much I make. If I make, say, $300, how do I know that they haven't submitted to IRS that I made $3,000 and then I get audited. That was a big chore but I finally got them all.
And yes, to willingly put myself through that BS, I'd have to be nuts. If they called and said, "Look, I acknowledge the prior nonsense. Please cover this job for me and I swear to you it'll be different," I'd probably go for it. But that's never going to happen.
If those were agencies that solicited you from CSRNation, let Kelli know. She said that when she gets a couple of the same complaints, she will ban them from soliciting here on this site.
Marge, getting that 1099 for whatever reason--and your reason for wanting it for whatever reason--pretty smart gal, that Marge. ;-)
What about the third call going to their client--three strikes you're out? Just an idea. /(
Literally the day after I made that threat to one agency they wrote the check. I made the threat recently to a another agency and was told the check would be going out, so we'll see how I did on that one.
And yes, TY, re the 1099s, I'm a big believer in "Never mess with people who have the power to make your life miserable" as in the IRS, so I get my ducks in a row now and avoid potential misery later!
Happy to announce it was an oversight and they made good on it already. Sorry for you, Marge. Truly sorry. On another note, I'm in the process of completing several Small Claims forms for delinquent attorneys. Argh...never ends!
Here's hoping all your transcripts are paid for...promptly and fully!
Glad to hear it, Roberta. I like to give the benefit of the doubt, and this is an example of why!!