Getting stiffed

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by tpter1, Jul 2, 2006.

  1. gregc

    gregc Mezzo Piano User

    Apr 5, 2004
    New York, U.S. of A.
    My guess is that the check REALLY is in the mail. Keep cool for a week or so.
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    Yeah, Glenn... it happens. It's rude, to tell the truth, but I think the guy'll come through. These folks stand to lose too much by not coming through with the cash. All you need is one solid internet post with the facts and whammo... end of reputation.

  3. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    REcording session...

    I played a recording session for a local blues act. The manager took over a YEART to pay me! I hounded him for a while, then let it go. Once I found he had released the CD with MY name on it and posted the CD files to his website,again with my name on it, I started emailing him again. I threatened to sue him. Since my name was on the CD's I was going to call for the recall of his CD as part of the suit. I suggested that it would be a lot cheaper to just pay me than it would be to litigate the suit, even if I lost. My wife is a lawyer, you see, so legal fees wouldn't be a hassle for me. I made this clear to him, too. I got paid within a week of the first email about this. He even added $20 for the wait. He then said I was being a hard guy on him. I told him, I didn't care whatr he thought.

    I had prepared to walk away from this, but I got lucky when he went ahead and released the CD. I have been stiffed before. You do the best you can, but sometimes you'll have to just let it go and move on making a note to not work for that guy again.

    Sorry about the problems. Hang in there.

  4. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    Thank you all so much for the thoughtful responses. I'll take the advice from Greg and sit on it for a week, then see what happens. I think Manny, Greg, Toots and B15 are probably right...I probably will get paid within the week. If not, I like the idea of a bill...

    Unfortunately, there was no contract involved, so whatever happens happens. Lessons learned. I did pick up some good references, so that's a plus, I guess.

    This area is so small up here that if I walk out due to non-payment, word will get out that I bagged and it might be difficult to get more work. I really want to build more, so doesn't seem that would work for me. (Although I understand what you're saying).

    Thanks again.
  5. brian moon

    brian moon Forte User

    An oral contract under a certain amount of money is a legal contract in my state. You should call him today and insist that he write you a promissory note. If he refuses to do that you know that you are going to get stiffed.

    Start calling this clown every day. You can also sue in small claims court.

    If I book a wedding myself I always make sure that I have all the money before I play a single note.

    It would be a good idea to talk to the bride or her father. Most don't like being looked at as cheapskates.. Do you know if the guy that hired you was paid by them? Maybe he just meant that he had to get the money from them before he could pay you. I personally think that is lame. I pay the people that I hire whether I get paid that day or not.

    The money must be worked out ahead of time unless you enjoy this kind of problem If you get a reputation for letting people stiff you it will just happen again. Do you want to do for free what everybody else gets paid to do?
  6. bandman

    bandman Forte User

    Oct 16, 2004
    Lafayette, LA, USA

    I ask for a 50% deposit before the job is considered booked. If they don't get me the deposit in a reasonable time (like a week) and I get another call I tell the second bride I will get back with her in one hour. I then call the first bride and tell her to have someone bring me the deposit as I have an offer for another booking.

    NEVER has the first bride told me to take the second booking, and never have I not had cash in hand within 60-minutes.

    I also call the bride, or a designated agent, 2 days prior to the wedding and ask if they have any last minute changes in the ceremony. I say, "I'm looking forward to playing for you", and wish them the best of luck. I also take that opportunity to remind them that I need the balance and suggest that the best man or the bride’s father deliver it.

    Something that has happened in my experience over the years is that almost every bride pays me the entire fee rather than paying me a 50% deposit. I have never not shown up for a gig of any type, and all the local organists know me. If they book me through the organist or vocalist they are assured that I will show, and that I will do a good job.


    PS – Maybe I do need to clarify that I did indeed not show up for a gig after one of my heart attacks, but I booked jophst to take my place at several jobs over a period of months. In booking Josh I booked a player who was as good or better than myself. I also took care of making certain that his fee was paid as a courtesy to him and the people who had booked me.

    I think it is important that if you ever become ill that your replacement be equal or better than yourself, and that it is YOUR responsibility to find the replacement, and also your responsibility to contact the bride that you have booked a replacement and explain why you did so.
  7. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York's the update. The guy came by personally the other day and paid cash. So, those optimists in the were right. But I also learned a valuable lesson, and thanks for the business tips.
  8. 40cal

    40cal Forte User

    Dec 13, 2005
    Glad to see it all worked out.
  9. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    I'm glad it worked out, as well. I would be careful about pre-nuptial strategies that involved showing your level of distrust. That sort of thing can be very offputting and maybe not your style. A simple "How do we get paid and when?" may be all you need.

    When I was a pup in this business I played a church service and was paired with another trumpeter. He was a couple of years older and took it upon himself to "educate" me about the business. I can still see him taking the envelope with the money and counting in front of the people who had just paid us. He warned to always do that when I was paid for a job.

    I've never done it and have never been stiffed but once. That was a for a Salvation Army job that had been procured through my trumpet teacher and it was to have been my first gig. Mr. Smith was very embarassed. He paid me out of his own pocket and dealt with the cheaters himself.

    For me, trust is prime unless you have a very bad feeling at the outset. In that case, you refuse the gig.

    Again, amigo, I'm glad it worked out in the end.

  10. Siegtrmpt

    Siegtrmpt Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 21, 2005
    Glad to see you got paid. In 25 years and over 1,000 weddings I've never been stiffed for a wedding ceremony. There have been a few situations where it took some time to get the check due to the usual confusion that can take place though. Most of the time it simply needs to be brought to their attention with a polite phone call or email. No need for fireworks over a couple hundred bucks.

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