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Old Oct 27, 2004, 06:22 AM
Rip-N-Burn's Avatar
Chandler Williams, Arizona, United States
Joined Nov 2002
1,239 Posts
How to handle not getting paid for photo job??

I think the title says it all. I received a call to do a small photo shoot for a realtor in the area. We went out to do the job within 24 hours and provide editing along with additional photos that typically would not be included with the package purchased. We watermarked the photos and sent examples for the customer to review for satisfaction.

The customer liked all the photos and one nice shot in particular. After confirming they were satisfied, we uploaded the photos and provided methods of payment. The customer seemed a bit confused as to how to download the files so we offered the photos on cd and email. The customer then asked if we could up-load the one particular photo to there MLS listing were I replied that we did not have this ability but asked for more information about how to do this in order to be able to in the future.

That was the last communication we had and now itís been three weeks since we did the job. It appears she has vanished off the face of the earth.

Iím a little disappointed because the job consisted of driving over 80 miles and time spent on editing out unsightly objects such as a garbage can and some water covers.

Iíve decided to add a link to my website that list non-paying customers which will include a picture of them if I can find one along with there name and the company they work for.

Is that too harsh? Is there any other way to ensure getting paid? I donít think itís appropriate to ask for a deposit before doing a job. This is the first time something has happened like this so I donít want to over react and make a bad customer service move.
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Last edited by Rip-N-Burn; Oct 27, 2004 at 06:36 AM.
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Old Oct 27, 2004, 07:49 AM
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dreslism's Avatar
Rochester Hills, Michigan, United States
Joined Oct 2003
1,870 Posts
Kenny,

Just making sure I understand. They have the goods? i.e. You sent them the CD?

If so, seams like the realtor must be part of a company?
Can you contact the company she works for to find out what is going on? (Maybe she is out of business)

If they have used the photos and ignoring you, then File a complaint with the better business bureau, or perhaps call them out on violation of copyright? Not sure what your deliverable terms are, but mine is a non-exclusive license to use the pics, I retains the copyright.

At a minimum, learn something from this?

I have a policy in my mind that don't leave without the cash.

If it is a repeat customer I have a an ongoing relationship with, then I would potentially allow them to have something like net 30 payment terms.

When you receive a check, then they can download the images, or perhaps even have a paypal account so they can pay you instantly, and then you can let them download.

Good luck and keep us up to date.

--Scott
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Old Oct 27, 2004, 09:31 AM
err...see where it went?
crooser's Avatar
Qld, Australia
Joined Sep 2004
605 Posts
that really sucks to hear this happen

my take on "the non-paying customer list" ...

I think having that list will do you more harm than good. When the average honest client sees such a list on your site, alarm bells will go off in their heads. You have to remember that most honest people cant, and often wont understand how someone can ask someone else to do some work for them, get a good result and just not pay.

Having such a list allows your potential client the chance to wonder if YOU are the cause of the non-payments. Sad but true

good luck with the payment, and nice site!

my 2.2c
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Old Oct 27, 2004, 09:49 AM
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Yumastan RCAPA.NET
Joined Feb 2003
5,731 Posts
You have to salvage what you can. Link to her site or list her company as a client ie (REMAX). One of my businesses is construction and I could go on for days about people burning me getting cheap and disappearing after the job. What do you think your out, a couple of hundred bucks? How much aggravation can you stand? On another note it has been my experience that Real estate agents are for the most part cheap! Heck Iím working on a real estate agents house today and yes she groused about the price even after telling me she just sold two listings ($650,000 $750.000) My advice would be to forget it, all that negativity will be bad for business.
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Old Oct 27, 2004, 10:09 AM
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dklassen's Avatar
United States, TN
Joined Mar 2002
1,043 Posts
Collect a deposit up front. I do this for each and every job, especially when I shoot from full sized choppers or planes. They pay a non-refundable deposit up front that covers my expenses. Then they pay the rest on delivery of the photos.
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Old Oct 27, 2004, 10:13 AM
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Yumastan RCAPA.NET
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Bingo
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Old Oct 27, 2004, 10:13 AM
Registered User
Near Austin
Joined Dec 2001
5,238 Posts
You can also go down to your local Justice of the Peace and file a "Mechanic's Lien" on the property. I can guarantee you the owner of that property will light a fire under that agent. You will also be assured payment when the property actually sells.
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Old Oct 27, 2004, 11:50 AM
define("BEASTMODE", "1");
KeithLuneau's Avatar
United States, LA, Moreauville
Joined Jan 2002
4,314 Posts
All these are great suggestions, but one thing that hasn't been asked yet... Are you liscensed to do business where you took the shots? I don't know how it works where you are, but here you must pay for a liscense and file to pay taxes and all before you can legally get paid for doing any work with your own small business. Without that, it's hard to get help from any of the "big guys".
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Old Oct 27, 2004, 01:08 PM
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Herleman's Avatar
Daytona Beach, Florida, United States
Joined Nov 2003
1,524 Posts
I think you might jst have to write this one off to experience and require some sort of deposit in the future.

Too bad -- kinda dulls the edge on the hobby a bit.

If you want, you might try putting this sign up in front of all of her properties (just kidding) It may keep her busy for awhile.
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Old Oct 27, 2004, 01:12 PM
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matticulous's Avatar
Wellington, New Zealand
Joined Apr 2004
306 Posts
yeah but a sign like that would just help to sell her properties!

matt
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Old Oct 27, 2004, 01:21 PM
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Somerset, Pennsylvania, United States
Joined Jun 2004
545 Posts
herleman... that might be a great place for some AP!!!
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Old Oct 27, 2004, 01:39 PM
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Mattydiah's Avatar
Milwaukee, WI
Joined Dec 2002
394 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip-N-Burn
Iíve decided to add a link to my website that list non-paying customers which will include a picture of them if I can find one along with there name and the company they work for.

Is that too harsh?

I dont think its too harsh, its the same concept as when stores have those "Do not accept checks from these people" lists posted at their registers. Yes, you might offend someone on the list, but they earned their place there, and you need to protect your company and your assets.
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Old Oct 27, 2004, 01:59 PM
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pkrska's Avatar
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Joined Jan 2004
588 Posts
Was the reason the agent disappeared due to the fact that the property already sold. And since it sold, you unfortuneately got stuck with some amazing advertising pictures.

BUT!!!!

What about approaching the new owner whether they would like some nice poster sized shots of their place to hang on the walls? Framed could go for $200-300 Cdn!!! And this time get it in writting (bill of sale) and at least a depo$it should they want any.
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Old Oct 27, 2004, 02:45 PM
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bobbygee's Avatar
Round Rock, Texas
Joined Feb 2004
554 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip-N-Burn
That was the last communication we had and now itís been three weeks since we did the job. It appears she has vanished off the face of the earth.

Iím a little disappointed because the job consisted of driving over 80 miles and time spent on editing out unsightly objects such as a garbage can and some water covers.

Iíve decided to add a link to my website that list non-paying customers which will include a picture of them if I can find one along with there name and the company they work for.

Is that too harsh? Is there any other way to ensure getting paid? I donít think itís appropriate to ask for a deposit before doing a job. This is the first time something has happened like this so I donít want to over react and make a bad customer service move.

Call the broker for whom that agent works, the broker won't want to have to deal with a nuisance like an unpaid bill and will have the agent deal with it, unless the agent is a broker and owns her own business. In that case try this:

Look for the agent in the local Board (or Association) of Realtors directory and get her contact information from them. Ask the board how you might handle a non-payment issue and explain the problem is photos that have not been paid for that are being posted on their MLS. If nothing else, they may decide to remove the pictures so as to not have you pursuing them for unauthorized use.

That should work better than posting stuff on your website that makes you look like a bill collector instead of a photographer.

Hope this helps,

BobbyG
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Old Oct 27, 2004, 02:47 PM
De-Brushed user
Midland, Tx / W. Lafayette, Ind.
Joined Dec 2002
2,949 Posts
If she has the product, she is basically stealing from you. I dont know what to do about it, but good luck.
Jonathan
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