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Thread: Late Payments and Interest

  1. Default Late Payments and Interest

    Did a corporate gig for a multi-millionaire property developer 7 months ago and have yet to be paid for it despite invoices via post and email, and plentiful ignored phone-calls.

    In a recent phone-call where I actually managed to talk to them, I was told that they had applied for some kind of grant (?!?) to pay me, and that they are waiting to hear about it by the middle of December. So I knew then and there I was dealing with a bullshit-artist.

    December is pretty much gone.

    Of course the footage hasn't been handed over to them, but I was wondering if I was within my rights to send them a letter informing them that payment is due within 30 days, and interest or/and debt collection fees may apply if the debt is not settled before then. I have talked to people who say you can only send that kind of a letter if the goods have already been delivered - but obviously I can't do that!

    This is one of my two jobs from 2011 where, regrettably, no contract was signed.

  2. #2

    Default

    hmmm Difficult. I presume you have emails confirming their requirements and acknowledegements of work carried out so far?
    If so, send a confirmation letter by registered post outlining the costs so far and that payment is well behind schedule and a final deadline to make this payment.
    I'd also add "with regret, If payment is not received by xx xx I have been advised by my accountant to pass this debt on to 'Rottweiller & Savage' (yeah, it's a made up name, but not too far off the trading names of some of them) and they will be instructed to follow up this debt collection. You will be liable for any costs incurred by them"
    Hopefully this will jolt them into action. It has worked for us on a couple of occasions and takes the heat off you being the bad guy.
    My opinions are just that . . . Mine. It's not personal, but is based on my emotional and professional reaction to requested critique. If you choose to ignore constructive comments, I'll just assume you're a vanity poster and not posting to improve your filming and editing skills.

    Ex A.P.V Videomaker of the year - Ex M.M. IOV Come join my EXclusive club

  3. #3
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    Default

    Is your contract to produce a finished article for a fixed sum or were there supposed to be stage payments along the way for services/time spent filming editing etc?
    If the former, this might be tricky as if you don't deliver (or, presumably if he refuses to accept) the final product, I don't know where you'd stand as regards getting any of the payment.
    This would never have occurred to me. One to bear in mind for the future.
    Tim

  4. #4

    Default

    Tendering invoices must mean there's some work that was accepted as complete. A little more info would certainly help . . . My consultancy invoice is in the post
    My opinions are just that . . . Mine. It's not personal, but is based on my emotional and professional reaction to requested critique. If you choose to ignore constructive comments, I'll just assume you're a vanity poster and not posting to improve your filming and editing skills.

    Ex A.P.V Videomaker of the year - Ex M.M. IOV Come join my EXclusive club

  5. #5

    Default

    This is a nice thread. I've been figuring things about contracts, charging, and invoices too.
    Thanks.

    __
    Jeremiah
    Videographer NYC

  6. #6

    Default

    Just move into one of his nicer properties, change the locks and see how he likes it.

    Some kind of grant to pay you, ha, that's a new one on me and I've been around the block a few time with credit collection. That is of course non of your concern, were they get the money from is up to them, what is important is that, no matter what paper work or T&C, an agreement was made between you and them verbally for you to undertake a service for them and that you carried out your side of the deal. They now have to remunerate you for this service within a reasonable time. I would take them straight to a no win no fee debt collector and let them do the work for you, so you can carry on doing what you should be doing which is making videos.

    The collectors make their money from the costs that your client has to pay, so you will get 100% of your invoice value. If they don't pay, the debt collection agency can send them what is called a "winding up petition". This means you can wind up their company because they did not pay you what was agreed. I've never known a company to ignore one of these, so you will get your money.
    Last edited by Midnight Blue; 12-30-2011 at 01:47 PM.

  7. #7

    Default

    From my recollection 'winding up orders can only be applied if the debt is a min 750 - Plus it takes around 1200 to apply for one.
    Till more info is forthcoming, we're all just hissing into the wind on this one.
    My opinions are just that . . . Mine. It's not personal, but is based on my emotional and professional reaction to requested critique. If you choose to ignore constructive comments, I'll just assume you're a vanity poster and not posting to improve your filming and editing skills.

    Ex A.P.V Videomaker of the year - Ex M.M. IOV Come join my EXclusive club

  8. Default

    As I said, it was one of a few jobs from this year where no contract was signed. I wasn't too concerned about that, though, since there is evidence of work having been completed. The reason no contract was signed, is because it was a very short-notice job, and as a result NO emails were exchanged, just a few phone-calls - so I have nothing on record to say X work would be carried out for X amount.

    My bad.

    The day's filming amounted to 500. After four, five months went by without hearing anything - I telephoned to no avail, sent invoices via email and post, but heard nothing. When I managed to get a hold of the client (by ringing their business from a withheld number) they gave me a story about applying for money to pay me, and that by the end of December I should be paid. I realised this was complete bullshit, but waited until then to take any further action. The action I took (saying they have 30 days to pay or else I will be forced to hand it over to a debt collection agency) may not have been proper protocol, but regardless - I am hoping it will give them a little push.

    The footage is on my hard drive, taking up space, and I have politely informed them that the work is ready to be released to them.

    BTW, the job was a promo for luxurious seaside apartments.

  9. #9

    Default

    We take on many projects where there is no formal contract, but I always, always, leave either an email or text trail as reference for both our benefits. As you say, your bad and I'm sure you've learnt a very valuable lesson.
    The move you've made is probably the best and only option and I hope it works out for you. If not, you'll just have to put it down to experience.
    I'm pretty certain that if you do approach a debt collection agency they'll more than likely refuse it based on the details you supplied here.
    My opinions are just that . . . Mine. It's not personal, but is based on my emotional and professional reaction to requested critique. If you choose to ignore constructive comments, I'll just assume you're a vanity poster and not posting to improve your filming and editing skills.

    Ex A.P.V Videomaker of the year - Ex M.M. IOV Come join my EXclusive club

  10. Default

    I had a similar incident many many years ago when I took on a promo job from a referral from a client I had already done a few jobs for (and had been paid). The promo was for a training session the business was running. The session they wanted it based on was within a day or two of their contact with me so I went ahead without getting anything signed. The short story was that they never replied to any of my approaches; phone calls got either a machine or someone who was not in a position to deal with me. My polite threat of pursuing through the courts was ignored and when I contacted a solicitor/debt collector I was told that without any tangible evidence of the value of the work that was agreed on by both sides, such as letter or email or better still a signed contract, and that the work was carried out as agreed and to the satisfaction of both sides, then it would be too difficult to be sure that a court judgement would be in my favour. A verbal agreements, though technically enforceable, would be too thin without more tangible evidence to support it. I dropped it and put it down to a bad experience and made a vow to be very wary of peoples' character especially in business arrangements. Because of the bad atmosphere that developed I never had any further work from the client who referred me in the first place.
    Needless to say that I no longer start on any work without a signed agreement or as a minimum an email of acceptance that includes the limits of the work and the value of that work, how and when it will be delivered and when I expect payment sent from a named business email account.
    I'm not saying don't pursue this in the way you feel you should, just pointing out that even though the right may be with you the judgement of the law may not be easy to obtain. Maybe if you have a stronger will, or need of the money, or have better access to legal advice, you may have a better outcome.
    Last edited by ThomTom; 12-31-2011 at 11:11 AM.

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