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Client refuses to pay, what would you do?

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by C-Martin, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. C-Martin

    C-Martin Member

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    It's not worth the expense nor the trouble to go to court for this small amount i think. Out of pure principle and to piss them off i should do it but i don't have time to waste on them anymore. I'm just going to take it as a learning experience like BLUELightCory said. The money is not setting me back or anything, it would be nice to have but its not a huge issue. It just disgusts me that they would do something like this when i was trying to help out their band. They've even showed these new mixes to some local label and other producers to try to get signed and they where told that i did a good job. All of a sudden because they're starting to get "big", and they get a little attention from the labels, they decide i'm not good enough for them. They're not even that good, i had to fucking slip edit the shit out of that album to make it sound halfway decently tight.

    ::XeS::
    That is very similar to what is going on here. They kept saying the sound was great then all of a sudden its not good, then they say they don't have the time or money to put on an old album anymore and they want to focus on the new material instead. Some of the funniest comments come from the signer. There is this one song that he told me was perfect, his exact words where "Spot on! sounds bad ass!" and i re-confirmed with him at least 3 or 4 times before "locking" the song as finished, even checked with the guitarist to be sure and he said not to touch anything. Then he sends me a message a couple of days later saying that he doesn't like it, drums don't sound good, i ask him wth he's talking about since he already said it was good and now he's changing his mind and he says "Well.. i hadn't really listened to the whole song, but now i did and i don't like it". All this was via email or sms, i tried calling the guy and he doesn't answer and then gives me a lame excuse about how he doesn't talk on the phone because he "doesn't like talking on the phone and he's not a phone person". Now he's saying he is all sorry and it was not his decision but a band decision.
     
  2. kdodson

    kdodson Cert. PT Operator - Music

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    Take it to litigation. File for "Theft Of Service"
     
  3. C-Martin

    C-Martin Member

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    This is actually rather interesting and i might start doing something like that. This option might be the best one for me. I originally planned on not sending anything out of the studio and that the client would have to come here to hear the final mixes but I realize it's not the most convenient way of going for a lot of people, especially those without a vehicle or when they live outside of town and have to travel 2 hours to get here.
     
  4. Revson

    Revson Member

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    Cut their faces? It may be harsh, but it will get a point across.
     
  5. Sloan

    Sloan Sounds like shit!

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    I'm starting to lean more towards the idea of not sending ANYTHING out at all until it's DONE. Then if they don't like it, they can get ONE mix revision and that's it unless they pay me hourly to do another mix.

    I just had some dude take some really, really, really rough shit and put it on a cd to hand out to people to promote his shit. They were basically quick renders from where we had just tracked some things and he wanted reference for some guests that were coming in to do some parts. It sounds absolutely atrocious. I will def use the fucking beeper.
     
  6. RedDog

    RedDog Humanoid typhoon

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    TBH I'm pretty down with the cutting of the faces.
     
  7. Sloan

    Sloan Sounds like shit!

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    That's better suited for club owners, most of the time.
     
  8. RedDog

    RedDog Humanoid typhoon

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    I have roadie'd and worked club shows in the past.

    We went through a lot of gaff tape.
     
  9. greyskull

    greyskull Member

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    No Money = No Mixes.

    Doesn't matter who it is.
     
  10. jeid

    jeid Terribad

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    Refuse to pay? Refuse to let them live.
     
  11. Dave1978

    Dave1978 Member

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    In Germany we call "russisch Inkasso" for intractable cases :D Google it and look for an equivalent in your location.
     
  12. Michiel

    Michiel New Metal Member

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    Good day, i'm a huge fan of the forum, sad to say but I've been prowling up and down the site for the last month too much of a pussy to join (You guys are brutally honest about mixes), enjoying some amazing conversations and tips. Something about this post just fuckin begged me to finally register. I run a studio here in SA, basic copyright law here states that 'copyright in the recording' belongs to the studio until all fees have been payed in full, until then you own the track and therefore their fuckin asses!! You can chop remix, parody, do whatever you want with the tracks and still collect on needletime. Exploit it make it your own, riffs and chord progressions cant be copyrighted, only lyrics and melodies (7 or more notes).

    Hope it helps
     
  13. Styvo

    Styvo Member

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    Just Let It Go.....seems to me you have learn't a very valuable lesson here ,and one I'm sure you will put measure's into place to avoid in the future.

    You have received a number of ideas from other members ....you decide which one's appeal to you most and whatever you do, don't go giving away the sessions files.
    Hold your head up and high and watch them(te band) slowly fuck themselves over.
     
  14. baalzebubba

    baalzebubba New Metal Member

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    50% upfront, agreement on paper, for short engagements.
    Multi week engagements require complete payment for prior week's period before next week period begins, also with 50% down for the week.

    Test mixes compressed in MP3 (~128kb/s) can leave, but all session materials that exist on my NLEs are not part of the final mix as a deliverable, unless the deliverable defines providing the tracks back to the client in cases of actual tracking not just the final mix. Uncompressed wavs furnished upon completion of payment terms. Honestly if they're not douchey, at the end of project, I'll offer to pass them the entire project asset folder on a harddrive for the cost of the drive. I want to set clear and reasonable expectation before delighting with extras.

    Seems rigid, but for those who followed thru, smooth sailing with focus maintained on the deliverable and not the drama and noise of pestering anyone for payment during the creative process.

    I tend to be very cautious as well about who actually gets to attend sessions here. Allowed: musician contributors, management, contributing techs/producers. Not Allowed: friends, GFs, wives, children, parents, junkie lookin fucks. I take full names of those entering my facility and prefer to take pictures of those attending, holding their ID. This is to protect both parties. I want to make sure that incursions and break-ins are thwarted by limiting visibility and access to expensive gear as well as having a more tighter focus IF something was to go wrong. I'd like to know who I'm going after if the cops are ineffective at resolution. The reason I bring this up is that some people tend to act badly when they don't get what they want... even if it's unreasonable.. in the case of partial payment and demands of delivery of bits/media assets. These guys usually aren't the sharpest tools in shed. My experience is that additional people in the studio are a distraction, a security risk, and generally never improve the process or experience.

    To avoid the backpedaling of communication as it relates to change management in the project, all feedback and confirmation of feedback in email from ONE person from the band/management with the expectation that any requested additional activity resulting from deviations from documented feedback is considered out of scope for the agreement and is addressed on a time and materials basis on top of existing fixed rate agreement for the week's period. I ask those attending to take notes with issues that they perceive so they can be reviewed and addressed with minimum thrash since they are on a tight budget.
     
  15. FearComplexMusic

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    Sounds like they had too much time to think about it. When my old bands used to record in the local studios we'd be shown the mixes and would be on the spot to immediately identify any problems and voice any complaints. Any issues could be resolved quickly and we'd be paying the man that night, happy with the product.

    After a day or two of listening to our songs on our shitty stereos and not blasted through the client pleasing monitors in the studio they'd being to sound not so great and we'd wish we could have heard those issues in the studio when we had a chance to speak up. Our tough shit, forensically examining the mixes for days gave us no right to have a change of heart, at one point we were happy to pay and so that was that.

    Running a construction business has also taught me the same lessons, the unwritten rule is get paid WHILE they're happy, affording a customer enough time to get used to that job you did, no matter how perfect it is and how happy they were with it initially, is dangerous business. Buyer's remorse is a bitch!
     
  16. ::XeS::

    ::XeS:: Member

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    The point is that sometimes they change idea about the album so they didn't pay and they don't want the album also :D
    A friend of mine that hate them, after listening the story asked the drummer about that and he said "there were no problems...someone didn't take the phone in time...the mix was sent too late (there were no deadlines at all....also because they are unsigned and they will always be unsigned....and HE listened the mix in July, when in November I was talking yet with the singer to fix things) and he was bored to be the "mediator" between me and the band (oh sorry...I've to talk with someone...) and (FINALLY) it wasn't an EP to be released....it was for them (so is this a justification to not pay a work?) but I HAVE IT if you want (unmastered and cutted)".
    Moreover in september (the mix was finished the 15th july and the drummer approved) the singer after 3 months of neglect said to me that he was not happy that I did another band before I finished their album....... I did a drum session before the 15th july and the rest of the "other" band after their ok to the mix so.......
    No words.
     
  17. C-Martin

    C-Martin Member

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    I told em i would take legal actions if they did not stop using the material they didn't pay for and they reacted immediately. They still refuse to pay because "it's not the results they want" even though they still have 2 revisions and they could fix whatever they don't like. They never gave me feedback on what needed to be changed or was was "bad", they just say it sucks and that i have no talent even after they had originally approved the work because i sent them 1 song fully mixed before i did the rest of it.

    Here's another funny thing, they just sent me a message saying "we'll pay you 100$ if you give us only the vocal tracks mixed because we think they sound bad ass" HAH! ...they're funny.
     
  18. DanLights

    DanLights Santa Hat Forever

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    what the hell? Dude, here in Spain you can take someone to court with no cost for you if it's a small amount (something like under 6000 Euros I think, but I might be totally off), I don't know if it's the same where you are, but if it is, GO FOR IT. These guys are clearly assholes and need to be taught a real life lesson
     
  19. C_F_H_13

    C_F_H_13 Protools Guru

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    Everythings been said already, but just to add my own points:

    1. get payment upfront. at lest 50%

    2. Whenever I work on a mixing project, I do 1 song. Before I move on to other songs, then band has to sign off on that track. By signing off on that track, the band agrees that the quality is there, and its all done to adjustments. I make this very very very clear, and explain to them that it's a commitment for the rest of the tracks. At that point I collect the remainder of the money.

    3. legal action is tough. Depends on where you live, and what small claims court costs in your country. As an example, a friend of mine was stiffed close to 8k and points on a record he worked on for a well known artist in Australia. Took them to court and WON....however he was awarded 5.5k, and no points. It also cost him close to 3.5k in legal fees due to some legal tricks from the other lawyer. now it could work for you...but be careful.

    4. my advice, delete all the files, and caulk it up to a life lesson. In fact, if i were you, just message the band and say "hey last chance to pay or I'm deleting everything." sometimes when bands know it's going to be gone they pay up.
     
  20. Scott Horner

    Scott Horner Scottimus Maximus

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    In addition to everything else said, and to reiterate a few posts, Voxengo beeper is your friend.
     

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