Another global agency who never pays

While I will not name a name I have been chasing an tiny amount of $1500 from a large well known global agency whom we have probably all worked for at least once for a project executed last November. I feel very fortunate to be able to cover my team on this, even if I were not my morals and principals would not have left my team unpaid. At this amount it is the principal. Knowing I will never work with this agency again I thought I would share my note to their CFO. I cannot stand large international brands taking advantage of small business suppliers. They do so all the time but through the pandemic this is beyond acceptable. It has to stop.

To the agency producer (who is lovely, committed and deeply embarrassed by this situation that is beyond her control and I feel awful for her employer placing her in this position also):

While I am extremely aware that XagencyX will never work with me again please do pass the following to their CFO: We worked diligently hard in support of the creative and campaign for this project and did so at discounted rate to support a team, a creative and a cause that we firmly believed in. We directed and created every visual effect in a seamless process for this campaign and it was a huge success. To avoid or refuse payment for such a small amount leaves only the principal of the matter at stake and to treat a small business in the way you have treated this is appalling. Large or small we are all only as good as our last delivery and we dedicate ourselves entirely to each an every project in the same way that your global team members do. In doing so we do not thinking it too much to expect our clients to do the same in their compensation for our time, skill and commitment to their company. We have been doing this work for a very a long time and for a wide ranging international client base and sadly we have faced this situation with clients before. So this comes based on active experience of similar events; To know that despite our commitment to your team you will very likely not work with us again because the embarrassment of this situation makes another supplier easier to approach is the most upsetting attribute of this cycle of emails. Our sole relief in marking this tiny owed amount as a bad debt is that, despite this time of the pandemic, where so many small business are struggling, we can afford to do so and we feel extremely fortunate that we are in a position to be able to cover the cost of the freelancer (their family’s sole income) associated with this project in full ourselves and maintain our moral principal of commitment and promise to those we work with. On a personal note, while I absolutely maintain my thanks and enthusiasm for the opportunity to collaborate with you on what was an absolutely brilliant project I maintain my overwhelming dismay and disappointment given the circumstances that have followed.

I’m guessing I am not making may friends but I can’t look my team in the eye if I don’t stand up for them.

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Why are they not paying? Have they said “not paying that” or are they just pretending to not get your emails? Is $1500 the whole budget or an overage they’re refusing to pay?

I’ve had various money problems in the past and by the time they rise up the relationship is broken. I remember writing an email stating I’d retroactively alter my rate this time to maintain the relationship only to never hear from them again.

If they ever do call you again (cos they will), get slightly more expensive and seep that $1500 out of them.

Nope - I’ve been through all that nonsense before also. This time everything is approved, payment is promised in many emails, I’ve even been forwarded the approvals. It just never ever arrives. This happens to me on average twice every 18 months, Fortunately this amount is tiny, it’s the principal of it. But I wanted to post here because I suspect this happens to a great many of us and I want people to know that it’s ok to stand up for themselves with clients who don’t pay and, 8 times out of 10 it is the large multinationals we face this with.