Is there a thread or database where we can name shitty or good clients?

Hey gals and guys,

I was just wondering if there was a way we could keep each other safe by creating a database of crappy clients with shitty practices that we could refer to and just be wary of and jump on good clients that don’t screw their artists.

I blame myself for giving too much leeway in dry patches but there comes a certain point where enough is enough.

This client in question has a tactic where they lowball you for a fixed cost which is already at a discounted rate. After you start the online, additional things keep getting added, but the budget does not change proportionally or at all, to accommodate these additional requests. On top of that, they take up to 90 days to pay you.

I’ve worked with them for a year now, and I was warned prior by other artist but since I was just starting out as a freelance I thought I’d take it in my stride. It was not that bad in the beginning, where everything extra was still feasible, but as of the last 3 projects, they’ve taken it to a whole new level of assholery.

My biggest saving grace is that I’ve had several good client’s that have helped me even thing out a bit.

This client has turned what would’ve been a good year in tough times into a tough year in tough times.

I’ve told myself I will not do another project for them unless I get 50% upfront first and I would love to tell other people don’t even consider taking work from them under any other circumstances.



I’m in a battle with a large post house in Sydney trying to get some invoices paid. They’re saying my work from three months ago wasn’t up to scratch, and so they’re offering to only pay half.

Wow, that is a super sleazy thing to do.


Yep, extraordinary behaviour.

fuck those people.


I had that happen once.

Turns out the agency just threw me under the bus. The client was enarmoured with a bit of b-roll that would have ruined the polished concept the agency had come up with. So they told the client that my work was not usable, even though I had emails to the contrary and it was factually untrue.

Sometimes you are collateral damage in a higher stakes gamble. May not have anything to do with your work.

That client only paid me half the invoiced rate, and I made sure to never work with either again. Not that it mattered, but made me feel better.


The idea that you can book someone and have some clause of “if we don’t think your work is up to some arbitrary standard that we’ve established, but that can in no way be quantified, because this an unbelievably subjective field, then we will only pay you half what we said we would initially,” is hot garbage. What an absolute joke. If they aren’t happy, don’t hire you again, but man, to mess around with pay like that.

First of all, this really sucks and is an absolute nightmare and one of my biggest fears ever. I’d love to find a way to help this and make it so that none of us ever get screwed over by this malarkey ever again.

The trouble is, any kind of thread of database that names facilities is likely to open us up to a legal nightmare. I don’t know enough about this to say anything specific, but, anything public and run by a business would instantly be a target and would definitely but a problem.

With that being said, maybe there’s a way to do it that avoids all of this, but at this point I’m not clever enough to know how to do that.

Wait, so if I was to say “X company sucks, you shouldn’t work for them,” that causes legal issues for the forum? Or do you mean if there was a specific Logik sanctioned database? I think the most prolific reasons people don’t call out B.S. from companies is they don’t want to burn bridges/ be labelled an agitator. And that’s a shame, and also a reality. I don’t even live in Australia but I would love to know the name of that lame company mentioned above to try to avoid them at all costs.

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I agree. Most organizations / forums stay away from this for that exact reason.

What we can do is help each other understand what is acceptable and what to do to protect yourself. This comes down to solid business practices that don’t always come easy to artists and freelancers.

A good case of teaching how to fish, rather than handing out food.

It’s not handing out food… it’s saying, “Hey, don’t walk down that alley, you’ll get mugged”…

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Sorry, this saying didn’t translate well I’m afraid.

What I meant was, it’s more valuable to help each other how to spot abusive practices and how to handle them quickly before the pain builds up, rather than calling out specific actors. It wouldn’t scale, and cause more issues than it solves.

If the OP had asked this question earlier, we might have been able to suggest how he can extract more quickly without it turning into a miserable year.

In this case it may come down to contracts that specify scope, limits, change orders, payment terms. And if performance is missing to trigger consequences more quickly. Of course it does require a solid pipeline so you have a stronger hand in walking away.

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I’m an advocate for calling out specific actors. We don’t have a union. That is what it is. But we do have each other, and we can speak from anecdotal standpoints, and solicit outside opinions. But a lot of that is rendered moot if we feel a need to speak in euphemistic terms; you’re just venting at that point.

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I’ve thought about this in the past.
I kind of looked this as a trip advisor for artists. So not only showing the bad but the good. You could have different catogories, one of which being “pay on time” each category ranges from good, excellent, bad, terrible. Also no names of the artists would need to be added.

It would be great to go to a site and see other peoples experneinces like on trip advisor .
Theres a few horrors i’d lik le to add for sure. Interesting idea.

Yeah I mean this. I wonder how Glassdoor handles it. I suppose it’s anonymous. But. I dunno. Scary.

Glassdoor is a two way street, as it also helps employers. They often highlight their positive rankings. I also am familiar with cases where employers force current workers to leave positive reviews to skew the rankings in their favor. Just like any review mechanism, it’s fraught with issues.

I forget what it was called, but there was even a short-lived effort to create a review site for other humans, so could look them up before going on a date :wink: Needless to say, it gets complicated very quick, and is full of opportunity of abuse and little recourse if you’re on the loosing side of a review that wasn’t objective, and someone wants to get even with you. Think of all our ex-spouses… Or people getting swatted. What if that client left a review about you saying your work sucked? You may disagree, but if you get fewer calls, what are you gonna do about it? How will you clear it up so it doesn’t haunt you for the next decade?

Another aspect is that reviews generally are not great without a large sample. Like a gmask tracker with too few points, or points too close together :slight_smile: You need a lot of them before you have statistical significance (which in any small industry is hard to overcome). Add to that, that most people are prone to leave a review when they’re upset about something, but usually can’t be bothered about a neutral or positive review, unless someone reminds them or bribes them.

Lastly, in many cases both parties contribute to the issue at least to some extent. How do you know that the issue wasn’t miscommunication or incomplete expectations? Sometimes people are eager or need the job to pay the rent, so they’re reluctant to ask questions or put up conditions and boundaries in fear of losing the job. Or they don’t know yet what all to ask and clarify. And then they hope for the best or assume. Easy traps to find yourself in as solo operator, because you’re both the artist, the salesperson, and the business manager. You can’t play good cop/bad cop if there is just one of you. That’s where big post houses have an advantage - they have hard-nosed folks that make this stuff non-optional, and brands that allow them to play hardball more than most freelancers can.

Even a hard to work with client like the one this thread started with, can be fine to work with if you go in eyes wide open, have a good contract template, a lawyer on hand, and enough cash flow that Net 90 terms aren’t an issue, and you build that into your rate (just add 3 months standard interest rate to your quote, and they essentially borrowed that money from you instead of the bank). It can even be good business to service these tough nuts, that no one wants to work with, if you set it up right. Consider it combat pay.

Which by the way can be a way to get paid faster. Write your contract that states Net 90 payment terms and silently up your rate by 10%, and then offer a discount of 10% for faster payment. It’s essentially reverse interest rate. And some companies have rules that they must take advantage of such discounts. Make them the suckers.

With all that, it just seems like it would make you feel good, but not really be helpful in the big picture.

One thing that should always be possible in a forum like this, is that if you have a new client and make a big bet, go ask here if someone else had worked with them before and could share their experience privately. That’s easy and stays clear from trouble. In some cases you can even ask a client, if you can speak with someone else they worked with before for a reference. Now the cheap skates or those that know they have an issue, may refuse, and that can be a yellow flag in itself.

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I’m really sorry about that, that’s so shit.

Yeah as a minimum they’ll never see me again, but I’ve become philosophical about it. I suspect as you say this isn’t really about me or the guy who I handed over to who is getting the same treatment (even the same email more or less), it’s probably about how the budgets are closed, the production screwed them and now they need to claw back where they think they can.

At first I felt really sad and took a huge dent to my confidence but I’ve got emails telling me literally that my work is excellent and I was “killing it”.
I even gave them discounted nights on occasion because the deadlines were so intense and we needed to push hard.
So now I’m just angry. This is a large company on a big name project. They’ll see my wrath.


Reopen the Facebook group specifically to slag off shitty companies.


You have peaked.

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This wins the Internet today.

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