As talent agents, one of our dirty jobs is following up on overdue invoices. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, it’s up to the agent (and the talent if you run your own VO business) to decide on a case by case basis, who is legitimately having issues and who is kind of jerking you around. We have a number of agency clients who are always predictably late in payment and on top of that, aren’t always the best at communicating why they are late or when we can expect payment. In some cases, you have to contact them 3 or 4 times before getting a response.
Here is an exchange hot off the press this morning with one of these types of clients. Always be prepared to fire a client (or annoy them into firing you!). This reminded me yet again of my agency motto: I work for talents, not clients!
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2014 18:06:28 -0400
Subject: OVERDUE Invoice 13818 from PN AGENCY
This one going back to April was never paid. Please advise.
(No response all week)
Sep 25, 2014, at 6:37 PM, Roger King wrote:
Paul – why do I have to spend so much time hounding you guys for these
payments? Every invoice there are like 20 follow-ups. It gets tiresome.
Would someone please give me an answer about this invoice from April???!
P.S. Leslie – this is probably why I didn’t jump to send you auditions today.
Why bother when it takes so long and so much effort to get paid?
On Sep 26, 2014, at 2:00 AM, Melanie Wright wrote:
Roger I apologize for the delay but there is no need to be nasty. I’m forwarding your email to our owner to let him know your concerns. I personally found you online years ago and have continually referred you to other staff members and clients. I’d like to continue to do so.
On Fri, Sep 26, 2014 at 7:01 AM, Roger King wrote:
I appreciate your referrals.
I don’t see where I am being nasty. Your company is often very late with their payments and I have to go through this routine several times with overdue invoices before I get a response and more importantly a payment. This is business, nothing personal.
I think we make a great effort to respond to your casting requests in a timely manner. My request is the same consideration be given to us when it comes to payment.
On Sep 26, 2014, at 8:17 AM, Melanie Wright wrote:
Roger as someone in the customer service industry, your tone came off nasty to me. I would never ever speak that way to a client or anyone for that matter- even if they were behind in billing. If you disagree and don’t see that it has come off very rude, I understand- it is a matter of opinion. As I said I will pass this on to our owner to be resolved and moving forward we can look at other avenues for voiceover needs that share the same ideals in customer service as we do. Thanks for your help over the years. I do appreciate it.
On Sep 26, 2014, at 8:42 AM, Roger King wrote:
Well Melanie, I am trying to make the point that this has been going on for years with your company. Payments are always late and I often have to follow up several times before I get anyone’s attention. So yes, if you are detecting that my tone isn’t all honey sweet and butterflies, that’s the reason. You say you would never talk to a client this way. Well I would never treat a supplier this way. So touché.
My job is to represent talents and to get them paid promptly. I am not trying to win a congeniality contest.
You have always been very pleasant to deal with and my beef of course is not with you. But just politely following up and asking when we will receive payment does not seem to do the job so yes, I am going to come on a little stronger until I see a change in the way your company does business.
And then I re-read her last email and realized she was telling us goodbye so I couldn’t resist this:
From: Roger King
Date: September 26, 2014 at 8:56:54 AM EDT
You wrote: “moving forward we can look at other avenues for voiceover needs that share the same ideals in customer service as we do. ”
You mean the ideals of paying your suppliers months and months late and then passively aggressively criticizing them when they complain? Good luck with that!
5 Responses to “I Work for Talents, not Clients encore”
Ingrid Schumacher Says:
September 26th, 2014 at 11:46 am
Go get ’em Roger. I thought your emails were entirely correct and spot on.
Jodi Krangle Says:
September 28th, 2014 at 7:25 am
Wow. Quite the exchange there. I’m really glad you’re in our corner, Roger. Thank you! 🙂
Michelle D'Alessandro Hatt Says:
October 5th, 2014 at 10:45 am
How dare you ask for money that is overdue to your talent? What kind of maniac are you? Our idea of customer service is being able to walk all over people without repercussions. We’re taking our business (which we prefer NOT to pay for) elsewhere so it’s YOUR loss (your loss in unpaid time and energy and aggravation, that is).
Tom Conklin Says:
October 9th, 2014 at 3:36 pm
Wow, wow, wow. I cannot believe how some people can be. It’s one thing to be frustrated…but that is certainly not the way to handle it. Leslie needs a raise 😉
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