I've been scoping for over three years now and obviously been lucky!!
How do you handle a reporter that you did work for who now won't answer emails or calls regarding when your check will arrive?

Does anyone use contract of sorts when initial arrangements are set up?

Thanks,
Lisa

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If it's a reporter from this site, you might want to check with Monti.
For the future, I'd suggest you set up a paypal account, with the requirement that you be paid within X days of the job; and don't do any more for that reporter until you get paid for what you have done.
The squeaky wheel gets greased.

If you get no reply after numerous attempts via phone and/or e-mail, send them a CERTIFIED MAIL RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED letter of intention that you are going to pursue legal action. You can also state that after 30 days, there will be 10 percent interest applied to the balance due. Put a "cc" in your letter to the various credit bureaus, letting them know that you are going to report them for non-payment. That is something that NOBODY wants to have happen to them, as it takes so long for a black mark to go away on one's credit report. Attach a copy of any e-mail correspondence you have had with this entity, showing the dates the job was given and completed.

Sometimes we are so grateful for work that we may not set the ground rules from the get-go. When I was a newbie, I never inquired about when I was getting paid, as I was so happy just to get a job to pay bills. This is a big no-no. Always establish a DATE CERTAIN as to when you will be paid when working with anybody. I don't care who they are. They want their work on time; you want to be paid on time. It's a given.

If it is a one-time gig, then I'd request a credit card to guarantee payment, explaining that you will not use the credit card if you are paid within the specified date certain. They may not like it, but, hey, it's better than getting ripped off. This is where PayPal comes into play as backup.

This might seem like an extreme measure to avoid getting ripped off, but I have been burned in the past, waiting nine months for 800 bucks from a court reporter when I was young and dumb. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER again.

I'd rather have no work than do a boatload of work and not get paid. Think about it.
Jennie,

If you ask for a credit card number and only use it when they don't pay, how do you then use the credit card with PayPal? If you have a PayPal account, can you enter somebody else's credit card info from your end of the transaction? I thought either they needed to enter their cc info, or you needed a special cc account from your bank, etc., which is a monthly fee (and horribly expensive).

Lisa,

How old are these invoices?
Judy, you are, of course, right. I had not thought of that.

I have a merchant account and hand-punch the credit card number myself. I had forgotten how PayPal works.

I shocked President Clinton's staff one time when he was opening up his office in Harlem after his presidency ended. I respectfully requested a credit card for payment, and his staff stated that this was PRESIDENT Clinton and they could send me a check. I still stuck to my guns about getting a credit card number, and I got paid.

I don't care if it's the Pope. I'm getting that credit card number. That's the way I do it.
Lisa,

I read this message yesterday and didn't notice it was you who had posted it until today. Oh, dear, please tell me it's not the reporter I referred to you! If that's the case, please e-mail me.

If it's a different reporter, some scopists have gotten good results by calling either the agency the reporter works for or the reporter's judge's chambers. Pretty embarrassing for the reporter, but if the money's been outstanding for a long time and there's been no contact, drastic measures are sometimes in order.

Karen
I was contacted by a couple representing themselves in a foreclosure case and they stated, we were referred to you by Atty XYZ. I showed up at the hearing told them in advance they need to pay me in cash before the proceedings started and if they wanted the transcript they needed to pay for it in full through pay pal before it is released.
They said, we don't know how to use papal (not my problem) you can represent yourselves in court but, never heard of pay pal?? Called yesterday wanting the transcript but, still no money. I was thinking if I had given these clowns my work I would not have gotten paid for it. At least I got the appearance the transcript is only 35 pages.

I have been working with a scopist for years and I pay her through pay pal. So, setup pay pal account ASAP.

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