So really, it's not a matter of keeping busy alone, but also one of getting paid.

I'm noticing a trend of agencies taking longer and longer to pay reporters, which is bad. So what's going on?

I know agencies are having a harder time collecting from their attorney clients, who in turn are having a challenge collecting from their clients. It's all very easy to say, but I'm working for the agency and they need to pay me on the O&1 when they say they're going to pay, which I fully agree with. And then the agency tells the attorney, but you owe me the money, not your litigant client. So where does it all end?

But if the agency doesn't have the money to make the payroll, what do you do? Do you not take any more jobs from them until you are paid up? But then who will they get to cover their jobs? Will they go out of business and never pay you? It's an endless, vicious cycle.

This is where you've got to make the touch decisions. I can't make those decisions for you. I can tell you how I make those decisions.

Do I feel the agency is honest? Do I feel I will eventually get paid, even if it's a couple more months than I was expecting to wait? Can I personally wait that long or will my mortgage end up going unpaid and I end up homeless?

I know an agency that is not paying me but is still returning my phone calls and keeping me in the loop is going to get a lot more slack than an agency who I have to continually chase down.

All the politicians and economists say the economy is getting better. I can't tell if that's wishful thinking or if they believe if they say it enough times, it will be true. All I know that sometimes I feel like I'm at the bottom of the food chain, and I'm getting squashed.

So what can I do? I guess I'll keep taking those jobs from the agencies that I believe and I trust and keep hoping that it will get better.

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Comment by Annette Shepherd on November 2, 2009 at 21:05
I am going through the same thing. I was at first getting paid for jobs taken three months prior, then it went five months back. The whole time the agency has been keeping us all posted about their situation ( being that attys weren't paying and getting IOUs) I believe that these are honest people and I hope that what they are telling me is true.

But like you guys, it leaves me to wonder how can I continue taking jobs when now we have been reduced to getting paid once a month and the last check was for ONE job taken seven months ago!

I am disappointed and, frankly, shocked that it has come to this. I can't use scopists because they also want to get paid now, not seven months down the road.

I'm hoping it gets better.....
Comment by Kelli Combs (admin) on October 27, 2009 at 10:11
Kyung, are they on the Nation? PM me please.
thanks
Comment by Kyung on October 27, 2009 at 10:08
Small Claims

I haven't had to go this route yet, and I hope not to. But it's getting ugly out there.
Comment by Kelli Combs (admin) on October 26, 2009 at 19:31
LOL, Lucas.. its someones birthday today :P
Maybe you get paid?

I am sorry, i dont mean to make light of the situation... her account is frozen so she cant do anything.
Has she contacted you yet?
Comment by Lucas Transcription Services on October 26, 2009 at 11:14
Thank you Monti!
Comment by Lisa Breiter on October 26, 2009 at 7:59
When I was doing work for many agencies, I had a credit limit based on how well I knew them. When they reached the limit, I didn't do work any more until I got paid. That way if I had to take a hit and write it off, it wasn't catastrophic. If I got to the limit and they were taking their time with paying, I would ask for at least a partial payment. If they wouldn't do that, then I'd know I'd have to cut them off until I got payment. In the days when things were so busy, it was good leverage because they would call and need me, but nowadays, I might give even more leeway just to get the work.
Comment by Jennie Ann on October 26, 2009 at 6:22
Janet, what sucks is that she was the one advertising in the Classified section of this forum for work. I give her work, and she does not do it. I guess I don't get it.

About getting paid, there is one company in my area that offers two payment options. If you want to get paid every two weeks, they pay a straight page rate, much lower than the 80/20 split. If you wait until they get paid by the law firm, then they pay an 80/20 split. This company has been providing court reporting services in my area for at least 40 years, and they enjoy a sterling reputation in the community. One never has to worry about getting paid by them.

There used to be a court reporting company in my area that told their client law firms that they did not have to pay them until the law firm got paid by their client. This company was getting all the deposition work for several years, making the other court reporting company owners irate. LOL

About a year ago, this court reporting company started bouncing checks to its subs, ICs, and employees. Today, they are no longer in existence. ;-)

When a company gets funny with the money, that ends my business relationship with them. I always need to have a DATE CERTAIN when I am going to get paid. That's how I roll.
Comment by Janet on October 26, 2009 at 6:13
One of the national agencies went from paying every two weeks to approximately every five weeks. Then months later they offered to pay reporters in two weeks, with a bigger chunk taken out of their pay. That bothers me. It's not a matter of meeting payroll. It's about profit.

Jennie, that's horrible. I make sure I meet every deadline and like to get work in early so that I have nothing hanging over my head. I feel the same way you do about deadlines.
Comment by Jennie Ann on October 26, 2009 at 4:05
I have experienced a problem on the opposite end of this.

I responded to a Classified Ad on this forum of somebody seeking work. I gave her a job and a deadline.

The deadline rolls around, and I don't hear from her. I e-mailed her and left her a message on her answering machine.

She finally responds to me by e-mail stating that she had started the job, but the audio was hard to hear, and so she stopped. She said she would finish it that day to keep a good relationship with me, if I wanted her to.

What, are you kidding me? I told her that I would do the job. I told her that I would pay her for any pages she did do, but, apparently, she did none.

She advertised on this forum for work, and when she got the work, she didn't do it. Meanwhile, I banged out the job myself, and it was CRYSTAL-CLEAR AUDIO. It was a professionally recorded meeting.

I understand the difficulties of not getting paid, but what about the opposite end of the spectrum? Why advertise on an industry forum like this, accept the job, and then not do it?
Comment by Kelli Combs (admin) on October 25, 2009 at 22:13
This last 3 months I have had 10 complaints, 1 of an under payment to a reporter (I emailed the agency, they are ignoring me)
5 transcriptionists also complained about a member for none payment (I banned her)
others were mediated successfully and everyone is happy.

NOTHING IS FREE, PAY THE PEOPLE THAT SPEND THEIR TIME TO PROVIDE YOU WITH A VALUABLE SERVICE!!
I am personally going through a similar matter.

Monti

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