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Client refusing to pay

(12 Posts)
Albadross Tue 05-May-15 21:50:00

I'm a semi-pro musician.

Earlier in the year I was asked to do a recording session, over 2 hours away for someone I'd never met. The rep from the management company who booked me promised expenses were covered - I knew and trusted him so of course I agreed.

It cost me roughly 100 quid to travel up, and I had to take a day off work to do it. During the session receipts for travel were mentioned and the artist in referred several times to taxi costs which he said he'd be paying. I was also booked to attend a meeting a week later with a record label, where it transpired that what I'd been told about the project wasn't entirely true, and so a showcase we'd been preparing for was cancelled.

Of course I then asked the artist for the money to cover my expenses (he got the session for free) and he said that expenses would only paid once he'd signed the deal, and proceeded to claim that he'd never personally agreed that my costs would be covered.

Several months have passed and I've still not had my money or any contact from the artist

Kewcumber Tue 05-May-15 21:54:08

Well for a start you need to actually invoice someone - either the management company pr the artist. I would be inclined to invoice the management company as they're more likely to have the money than a recording artist without a contract.

Then tell the mgt company you expect them to pay as your agreement was with them. Tell them that you won't do any work for them in future without something in writing directly from the person who is going to pay you.

Albadross Wed 06-May-15 12:15:36

There's a slight issue there - the management company contact who booked me is a good friend who has been really stitched up by this guy, so it means having to basically go against what he wants. I don't want to endanger his job, but I can't just let it go.

Kewcumber Wed 06-May-15 14:17:24

I doubt anyones job would be at risk for your £100 expenses.

If he's a good friend then tell him you're going to do it in advance and let him manage it internally. He can always decide to pay you himself!

You didn't it seems have any direct agreement with the artist so I don;t see how you can pursue them for the money.

tribpot Wed 06-May-15 14:27:09

But who booked you for the session? It sounds like the management company did.

Albadross Wed 06-May-15 18:46:59

It was my friend doing a one-off management thing for the guy - it all went a bit wrong I think and what they thought would be a done deal never happened. I was promised travel costs covered on this basis, but it was sold to me as already booked, all they needed was a singer. I never do sessions for free anymore having been burned so many times in the past.

Whilst I was at the session the artist talked specifically about covering my taxi expenses and basically led me to believe that we'd do this showcase gig and then the project would be ready to go. Turns out he's just someone with an inflated ego.

The bit that annoys me the most is that he's obviously very well off, and doesn't seem to think there's any problem with making a stranger not only record for free, but then actually pay to do him a favour.

tribpot Wed 06-May-15 20:02:34

So there was no management company involved either? Your friend offered to put the session together as a favour, got you to do it without any clear idea of who was covering the costs, and it all would have been bundled up into the costs for the showcase if that had come off?

Whilst I can see why you think he ought to shell out, this all sounds chaotic and badly managed by your friend. Why can't your friend shell out for the costs?

Kewcumber Wed 06-May-15 22:40:24

Send them all an invoice for the cost and see if any of them pay then decide who to pursue for it!

pluCaChange Fri 08-May-15 19:07:37

Well, perhaps it's time your management company friend learned the lesson you already have done... It'll be a pity for your friend, but it was a pity for you, too, when it happened and taught you your lesson!

Albadross Sat 09-May-15 07:44:52

He's offered to do that now.

It's just one of those situations where it's a choice between taking the money from him personally (when I actually want the artist to cover it and then pay himself back later as he was the one who promised the earth and then doesn't seem to feel the least bit guilty that a stranger took a day off work to help him out when he got the studio and everything else for free) and just waiting it out.

There's another person involved who was asked directly by the artist to produce, he told her her costs would be covered but then said my friend would be handling that bit. He had the cheek to ask her to pay for a flight over from Boston, and the mime to someone else's production! She's really not amused either - we're both pro and she teaches at Berklee which is one of the world's most famous music schools. She used to teach where the artist now teaches.

Leaves me wondering whether the school know he's using their kit to make money and then not cutting them in...

I've paid musicians from my own pocket and made a loss on my own projects over the years, I'd not be able to look at myself in the mirror if I'd left anyone out of pocket.

LotusLight Sat 09-May-15 13:17:08

The legal issues as people are hinting about is who is your contract with - who is obliged to pay the fee? Was it your friend? Or was the friend "an agent" fixing all this up as a contract between you and the artist?

This is why one 3 line email which makes things clear (or even better a contract) is what lawyers like you to have. If you had emailed your friend or the artist in advance syaing - great, happy to do this for you (person you are contracting with who will pay you) and thanks for confirming my expenses of £100 will be covered and I will take this on on that basis then ti would have been easier.

pluCaChange Sat 09-May-15 17:42:09

It would be a shame if your friend/ decent contact had to cover it, but he enabled the artist to do this to you, so isn't perfect, so perhaps think of it as cutting off this "artist's" supply of freebies! While you're at it, maybe try to cut him off from abuse of the art school's stuff, too...?

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