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Old October 3rd, 2006, 12:53 AM   #1
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My favorite excuses from slow-to-pay clients

How many times have you done a job to the best of your ability given the resources at your disposal only to find out that your client expects you to bust your a$$ doing work for them, but can't be bothered to write you a check until six weeks have passed? Here are some of my favorite excuses:

1) "Oh, sorry... it's the end of our fiscal year and our bookkeeper is in the process of changing over the books." OK, fine. So you do another job for them six months later and hear: "Oh, sorry... it's the end of our fiscal year and our bookkeeper is in the process of changing over the books."

2) "Oh, sorry... our bookkeeper is on vacation for the next two months and apparently no one around here has the proper level of training to manipulate a pen in a fashion sufficient to write a check, much less to gather enough neurons to realize that we could do just that and then give an invoice marked 'paid' to the bookkeeper later. See you in September! I hope you like Ramen noodles!"

3a) "Oh, sorry... Mr. Whatshisname from our other office wants you to trim 3 seconds from the running time. Yes, I know we said the project was complete on the phone yesterday, but Mr. Whatshisname just now got this brilliant idea of trimming 3 seconds from the project. I'm sure the course of Western Cinema will be forever altered by the step of trimming three seconds from this marketing video. Anyway, I'm told that we'll pay you once you've done that. I'm sorry we didn't tell you this before you spent many otherwise unproductive hours rendering this edit and burning 5 now-wasted DVD's that we didn't budget for anyway, and then drove 45 minutes to get here in your gas-guzzling wreck of a car for no reason whatsoever. Oops!"

3b) (the next day) "Oh, sorry... Mr. Whatshisname wants you to move an apostrophe in the opening titles. Will that be hard to fix?" (note: this last query is invariably posed with the utmost in feigned concern, often constituting a performance worthy of an Oscar nod)

3c) (the third day) "Wow, it looks great! You can expect a check sometime in the next six weeks. No, it's hard to say exactly when it'll be ready, I'm sorry. We'll be sure never to call you and let you know when the check has been cut, so that you can feel like a groveling hobo when you call to beg for it every day beginning two months from now. Thanks! We love the video! I hope your landlord understands the unprofessional nature of our business dealings when you tell him you can't pay the rent!"
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Last edited by Jarrod Whaley; October 3rd, 2006 at 01:27 AM.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 10:53 AM   #2
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Anyone else have any funny/painful client excuses to add? I can't pay my rent right now because of some of these kinds of things, and I'm looking for a little comic relief.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 11:02 AM   #3
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"We lost the two DVDs you gave us. When you give us two more we will send out the check."
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Old October 4th, 2006, 01:37 PM   #4
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ooh! ooh! My turn, my turn!!!

1. We decided that the demo DVD you created for us will not be used for another 3-4 months, can we just pay you then?

2. You didn't get the check?!? Ok, no problem, we'll send out another one. (1 Week later) Oh you didn't get the check?!? Let me call you back and find out when that was sent. (1 Week later) Oh we had some issue with our printer and didn't send that out. We have it fixed now and will send that right out. (1 Week later) I am SO sorry! What was your address again...

3. Hey we want you to shoot another event for us in the Spring, can we just pay you then for that last event that you shot in the summer?

4. I'm out of town for a while, but hey, I have a bunch of more work for you! So when I get back into town we'll talk about that. (This guy never even lived in my town!) Never saw him again.

My Personal Favorite:
5. Pay? Oh, we thought that having access to stars was compensation enough! "Oh, so you mean that since I was around people that have money and fame, I should be paying you?" "Let me know when you want to pay for your footage."
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Old October 4th, 2006, 01:43 PM   #5
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You've got all of mine beat with that last one, Marco. :)

Keep 'em coming.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 02:12 PM   #6
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"Love the finished promo DVD! Guess what? We just bought a list of potential donors, so, we now instead of sending out 3000 DVDs we want you to send out 20,000... What do you mean that's going to cost more?... Actually, we decided that you could get paid a percentage of the money that is raised from the DVD you produced... Hello?"
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Old October 4th, 2006, 04:58 PM   #7
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There are companies that will buy that debt and collect on it for you :)...plus a fee for their time (where they make their money). Then the job ends up costing more for the client than had they just paid in the first place and they have the possibility of their company losing credit rating due to having collections against them.

It's mean, but if they aren't paying and it's the difference between eating or not...it is an option. These are legally binding contracts they signed (they did sign...right?).
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Old October 4th, 2006, 06:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarrod Whaley
You've got all of mine beat with that last one, Marco. :)

Keep 'em coming.

I couldn't believe it myself. They have still refused to pay and even cursed me and my associate out on the phone. I basically said, "I'm also associated with your primary sponsor and would've gotten the same access, exposure, and footage with or without you even in the deal." "So, if you want rights to the footage you will need to pay, like EVERYONE else." pfffft! They don't care, but I have gotten so many offers for more work and offers for pieces of that footage that I could care less at this point.

Just can't believe the nerve of some people, I grew up with pro athletes and some bigger name actors, fame and stars do not phase me one bit, they're just people like us.
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Old October 5th, 2006, 03:53 PM   #9
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"Oh yes check, well you see that promo video you produced and we approved with the script that we wrote, well the people touring the facility are giving us bad feedback so we'd like to discuss it before we pay you, we understand you are going to college two hours from here but you commute right? please give us some notice when you can come to discuss redoing the video at your cost, thank you."
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Old October 7th, 2006, 02:16 AM   #10
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Yes I know we said we wanted the lettering on the titles purple. But that's the wrong colour purple.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 04:31 PM   #11
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I've had someone actually tell me that he didn't budget enough for the last week of work on the Thursday of that week. Then he calls me a week later and tells me he has a problem with the brightness on his DVD and wants me to come in and re-author it, though naturally he's still overbudget so he can't pay me. I think we all know my response to that inquery!
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Old October 11th, 2006, 07:42 PM   #12
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"We're waiting to get paid for a job WE did."

"The boss went out of town and didn't leave any signed checks."

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Wedding video client/bride: "Daddy is paying, and he just left for a hunting trip in the bayous of Louisianna."
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Old October 11th, 2006, 08:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Goldberg
"We're waiting to get paid for a job WE did."
It's funny... That's what I'm having to tell my landlord right now because of one of these situations. And I'm sure it sounds every bit as lame to my landlord as it would to me. It's funny to think about how money and debts just get passed on infinitely without ever really being worth anything... OK, sorry for the two-cent philosophizing, let's get back to rolling our eyes at the deadbeats. :)
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