by GopalG
37 replies
closed for now
#client #scammed
  • Profile picture of the author Doug Wakefield
    Take full payment up front and refuse to work with anyone who doesn't agree.

    If your work is good, this will not be an issue.
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    • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
      How much was the full price for the Custom Video?

      How was he able to pay just half upfront?

      If you're going to do a half now, half later deal then
      make sure that you watermark the Custom Video so
      that you're less likely to get ripped-off.

      I don't know about payments via e-junkie, but with
      DLGuard, you can ban payments from specific e-mail
      and I.P. addresses.

      Make sure that you have clearly defined how you work
      with people and what your satisfaction and refund policy
      is, etc.

      Never accept work outside of your own policies. You
      should set the terms, not the client.

      Dedicated to mutual success,

      Shaun
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      • Profile picture of the author GopalG
        This was a job for which I quoted a price under $100 and I actually incorporated all the revisions he asked.

        I usually accept half upfront and the remaining will be paid after completion

        I usually watermark the Video, but in this case I didn't. I trusted this client and he comes back to me like this.

        Hi Gopal,

        Since I don't like the voice and I can't spend more on the same video, I would like to cancel the project. I won't pay the balance nor I will use the video, but you can keep the upfront paid already
        I dont feel good at all about this! Is there no way we can make these type of customers pay?




        Originally Posted by Shaun OReilly View Post

        How much was the full price for the Custom Video?

        How was he able to pay just half upfront?

        If you're going to do a half now, half later deal then
        make sure that you watermark the Custom Video so
        that you're less likely to get ripped-off.

        I don't know about payments via e-junkie, but with
        DLGuard, you can ban payments from specific e-mail
        and I.P. addresses.

        Make sure that you have clearly defined how you work
        with people and what your satisfaction and refund policy
        is, etc.

        Never accept work outside of your own policies. You
        should set the terms, not the client.

        Dedicated to mutual success,

        Shaun
        Signature

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        • Profile picture of the author Marketing Merit
          Originally Posted by GopalG View Post

          I usually watermark the Video, but in this case I didn't. I trusted this client and he comes back to me like this.
          I think you have to accept some of the responsibility for this Gopal as you didn't follow your own protocol which, I presume, you implemented to prevent situations such as this.

          I really wouldn't waste any more of your time on this, especially for the amount of money involved.

          Lesson learned and move on would be my advice.
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    • Profile picture of the author wangxiurong
      Originally Posted by Doug Wakefield View Post

      Take full payment up front and refuse to work with anyone who doesn't agree.

      If your work is good, this will not be an issue.
      quite agree with that
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  • Profile picture of the author Dmreed4311
    If the customer is not happy make him happy.
    I would fix what he is not happy with at no extra charge.
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    It is difficult at best to seek legal recourse from a party outside one's own country.
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  • Profile picture of the author premiumplr
    Originally Posted by GopalG View Post

    Should we have legal documents for each client? The client is from a different country

    Has anyone had any problems like this before? Sorry for the rant - But please enlighten me as this is the first time that I am not getting paid!
    This is a bad situation but the cost of pursuing legal action, especially internationally, is usually astronomical when measured against the actual loss.

    As angry as you are your only option may be to mark this as a learning experience and always get paid first. In the future, if you decide to offer 50% terms, protect yourself. As a previous poster mentioned watermark or encrypt any files that have not been fully paid for. Sorry I know that this does not help your current situation.

    Is your customer in the US? If yes US copyright laws may offer you some recourse if he tries to use the video you created. But for the most part you may have to bear this injustice.
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  • Profile picture of the author keyuria
    Atleast for now I would say, you need to forget about money. Coz your image and credibility is at stake. Finish his work and make him happy even if he is not paying you.
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    • Profile picture of the author aems
      Originally Posted by keyuria View Post

      Atleast for now I would say, you need to forget about money. Coz your image and credibility is at stake. Finish his work and make him happy even if he is not paying you.
      keyuria,

      Its true that we need to male our client happy and need to finish the work by our level best but there are some who do so that they take services and don't pay even if they are satisfied with the services.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stormchaser
    Not a proper definition of scam. By what you've said, I'm pretty sure he would have paid if the voice-over was okay. Just fix it without asking for more money.
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  • Profile picture of the author allenjohn
    Hi,

    Get a new voiceover done at fiverr.com for $5. Then get your $50... regards Allen
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    • Profile picture of the author GopalG
      We had a lengthy argument and he seem to be having the mentality of running away with the video. I didn't want to do any more business with this kind of person except for him paying me the owed amount.

      But still if I have to do what you want, he need to pay first. Only then, can I outsource it to fiverr and finish the video. Not the other way around as I don't trust him anymore. Have sent one last email to my client with that deal! Let me see what he replies

      Originally Posted by allenjohn View Post

      Hi,

      Get a new voiceover done at fiverr.com for $5. Then get your $50... regards Allen
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Sometimes you just have to move on. I did a lot of freelancing on Elance and occasionally got non-paying customers. I eventually learned never to deliver and un-watermarked product until final payment arrived. But I got taken for hundreds before I started doing that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brother Yasin
    GopalG - Brother, unfortunately there isn't really too much you can do except forgive and forget. Or rather; add this client to your own "blacklist" so that you know not to deal with him.

    When doing any kind of business there will come a time when you deal with a shady character, or a not-so-nice guy. eBook authors have the problem of "serial refunders" and "group buyers" who then "share" there products for free online in certain un-ethical forums.

    The best thing you can do to counter this behavior is, as others have mentioned in the thread already: focus on yourself and your business, ensuring you produce the best quality and value you can.

    Focus on building "you" and "your business/skills" - as for these chaps that don't play the game fairly and have low moral values: you can figure them out soon enough in business - add this one particular client to your Blacklist and don't deal with him/her again.

    Don't worry about losing a customer - your honor and dignity are more important. If you produce quality work then you will establish a name for yourself for doing good work and you will, God Willing, gain repeat customers who are satisfied with your quality work.

    If your really held up about the money, then a Paypal complaint and another complaint over at the place you met the customer (if you met him/her on a forum for example) should be more than enough. Paypal do tend to take a long time to sort things out, but it sounds like you have all the necessary evidence they would need to work with.

    That's my only advice to you brother, I hope I was helpful,

    Peace be with you,
    Yasin
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  • Profile picture of the author fwheaton
    Been in the same situation. It sucks for sure.

    However, there is some great advice here on this thread for you that you really should follow. Take 100% payment up front and always watermark any video that is not complete, even for those folks who pay 100% up front.

    I started doing both and it has made a huge difference. Asking for 100% up front didn't hurt sales at all and the watermark prevents folks from using the videos until they are completed and everyone is happy.

    I have seen your video work. It is great stuff and your sales shouldn't suffer by asking for full payment up front.

    Best of luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author GopalG
    I got the reply back from my client! Says he is not interested any more to do business with me.

    I learned a lot from the replies above and will be implementing them in future transactions.

    I am going to continue getting only half upfront, but will send out a detailed agreement before I start with the Video so that the client does not back out of the project for silly reasons like this!

    I owe all my success to this wonderful forum and seeing the feedback and advice again just shows how much help you can get for free! Allen, wherever you are "A BIG THANK YOU"

    Time to move on Guys!
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  • Profile picture of the author GMD
    Banned
    In your situation, I'm not sure you got scammed. Just because things didn't work out the way you thought they would, does not mean the other party had scandalous intentions.

    In your case, you and your client agreed on half now and half later. Half latter I'm assuming after the client was satisfied with your work. Based on what you wrote, you have a few options:

    1. Make nice with your client and do the voice over or whatever he wants and get the second half of your payment.
    2. Take the first half of your payment and end your business with the client.

    You can't lodge a dispute with PayPal on this UNLESS the buyer is trying to take away the first half of the payment. If your buyer did not file a dispute with you for the first half of payment, be thankful for that.

    Remember that when you do business for an intangible item like this, there is no buyer or seller protection. Whatever you heard doesn't matter. What matters is the PayPal Terms of Service Agreement and their very clear on this.

    Good luck with this.
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  • Profile picture of the author fanimal
    Exactly, sometimes the best thing to do is to cut your losses and move on. Time is the most precious asset we have and the more time you spend on this matter the more you lose.
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  • Profile picture of the author Benson P
    Watermark is your best protection.
    Also lowering the quality for a 'final Preview' and telling them the actual video will be much higher quality.
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  • Profile picture of the author armadillo
    Remove him from your customer list, remove him from your mailing list, wash your hands, and Move On. You've already wasted more than $100 worth of your time and energy fretting and fuming over a non-issue.
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  • Profile picture of the author KenFighter
    Rules number 1 : CUstomer always right

    Rules number 2 : If customer not right see rules number 1
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  • Profile picture of the author GopalG
    Can some moderator close this thread? Time to move on!
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  • Profile picture of the author Nick Brighton
    Sounds like you already answered your own question earlier, when you said you would be using detailed agreements prior to the work being carried out.

    Contracts, watermarks and GOOD clients are the safest pathway in freelancing, speaking from experience.

    Good luck, and don't let it drag you down.
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  • Profile picture of the author swilliams09
    Gopal. I had two clients, both long term that I created custom videos for, and they paid half up front and at the end both disappeared.

    One straight up stiffed me. I had no recourse. He refused to answer my emails. I charged that one to the game as a learning experience. The other, well my invoices went into his spam box and it was sorted out after a few emails.

    At this point in the game both you and I have reputations that are well established. We can totally ask for our money up front. And I think we should. Good luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author TylerRWS
    Echoing the rest...move on. Find more clients. Forget about this guy. Don't waste anymore efforts and resources on it.

    And from now on...set your own terms. If your clients don't agree, they're free to go somewhere else. You'll always have more clients as long as the work is quality.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    As another poster correctly pointed out, there is a reason why you only ask for half the money upfront. That is to ensure the customer is happy with the product before they have to pay the final amount. Clearly the customer was not happy with the final product.

    That doesn't mean they are trying to scam you. It means they were not happy with the final product and they also explained why. If you don't want to fix the problem then that's up to you but the customer isn't going to pay the final amount until they are happy.

    You can't offer a money back guarantee and then get annoyed when someone comes asking for their money back. This is the same thing. If you offer a half upfront and half on completion deal then the customer is able to hold off the payment until they are happy with the final product. If you aren't ok with this then ask customers for the full amount upfront. If you don't then you always run the risk of this same thing happening - regardless of any agreements you have in place.
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  • Profile picture of the author wrongnumber
    Originally Posted by GopalG View Post

    I had a very bad experience with a client for whom I have completed a
    Custom Video. He had paid 50% upfront to me via Paypal with a note - Half Upfront for the Video

    I have completed the Video for him. Now, he comes back and says he will not pay the remaining as he doesn't like the Voice Over. He has asked for a revision earlier and did not mention anything about Voice Over. He has seen samples of my Videos on my thread and only then ordered the Video.

    I told him that i can use an alternate Voice Over for an additional charge but he doesn't agree to pay more. I was even ready to do the change for free if he can give me an outsourced Voice Over from Fiverr but he didn't agree

    He is letting me have the half upfront payment and when I said that what he was doing is not fair, he comes back and says he let me have the upfront payment and did not ask for a refund as if he is doing a great favor

    I have the emails and the chats with me. Can I take any action against this guy? I also want to protect other service providers from being scammed. Is there a way I can block him from making paypal payments.

    Should we have legal documents for each client? The client is from a different country

    Has anyone had any problems like this before? Sorry for the rant - But please enlighten me as this is the first time that I am not getting paid!
    hi,

    working as a service provider is very difficult, with these risks, being a content writer, even we are not able to concince clients to pay upfront, so we take 50% advance submit half the work, half goes when the other 50% comes in, in case of video, you should have clipped it, or used a watermark, saying TEST VERSION, and asked for payments before submitting the original stuff.

    all the best!, i dun think much is left to be done now.
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  • Profile picture of the author rickjackson
    We run a business through our homes. We offer products that some might not like and some might love. If it is in your ability to throw him an hour of your time to make him happy, why not!
    The customer is always right. If he id being ridiculous and is asking for something you can't provide, just give him his money back and apoligize for the misunderstanding on what you do. Again this is a business.
    You could try to send him a script on the voice over and suggest he does the audio himself.
    ~Rick
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  • Profile picture of the author The_Archer
    Here's something that works... Start reporting. Contact the client and tell them if they don't pay for the work you done that they will be reported to authorities, hosting company, PayPal and be be arrested for cyber theft in his/her jurisdiction etc. Doesn't matter where they live, sometimes making threats is the only way to get what you deserve and the work you did.

    In the future, don't take half payments take it all and offer a pro-rated money back guarantee so if someone decided not get a refund, you don't lose all your time. You should share your client's name, in this case, he/she doesn't deserve privacy to be here and to protect the rest of us as well from this scammer.
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  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    I mean this the friendliest way possible,
    so don't misconstrue this to be mean or
    ugly in tone - it's not.

    Get over it. It's a <$100 video.

    Client walked and you kept half as a kill fee.

    Where's the problem?

    I checked out your demo reels and if your
    work on his video was commensurate
    - his loss for $50.

    Onward and upward!

    Best,

    Brian
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  • Profile picture of the author Gail Sober
    Unless you signed over copyrights then you may still have recourse.

    Let them know that you still own the copyrights and that they do not have your permission to use it and that you will file take down notices with their hosting company if necessary.

    You can offer to do the work to their satisfaction for additional costs, refer them to your refund policy or whatever but let them know that they are not free to use the video at this point until a resolution has been agreed upon and satisfied.

    I'm not an attorney so don't take this or any of the above as legal advice but I believe you are automatically assigned copyright and have not lost those rights unless you specifically transfer them to another party.

    Just something to keep in mind for future dealings for those involved in creative works such as video, audio, coding and graphics.

    Again, research it yourself or speak with an attorney if necessary but it may be one way to protect yourself when only getting 1/2 the money up front on projects.
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    • Profile picture of the author Lloyd Buchinski
      Originally Posted by Gail Sober View Post

      Unless you signed over copyrights then you may still have recourse.

      Let them know that you still own the copyrights and that they do not have your permission to use it and that you will file take down notices with their hosting company if necessary.
      This is completely true. If you created the work, you still have the copyright unless you signed it over. This gets neglected in most free lance and outsource deals. I just read about how a person who paid for work done was cheated by an outsourcer when they sold it to several people after. One of the people beat the original purchaser to marketing the product, and there was nothing she could do.

      It sounds like you might not know where the person is using the video, and that might be difficult. But an email letting him know about his little copyright problem might be a nice jolt to go along with his morning cuppa coffee.

      Also it might be better to wait until he can't dispute the Paypal charge. (Is there a time limit?)

      Then let him have it
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  • Profile picture of the author panamahomes
    This sucks for sure, but the best thing is to learn from all of this so it doesn't happen to you again. There's plenty of good advice here, the payment upfront sure is a good idea, and the watermark like some others suggested, couldn't hurt either.. In this process you help others so something like this doesn't happen to them.
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