Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

SurePay Payment Schedule 2011

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

February 17, 2011

Comments (14)

SurePay Payment Schedule

At the beginning of January 2011, we implemented a change to how long it takes for payment to be sent to voice over talent in order to continue offering you great service and guarantee timely payments.

Why did we do this?

Find out in today's VOX Daily.

Making SurePay Even More Secure (For Everybody)

For the past three years, we've been issuing payments to voice talent before their client's funds had even cleared the credit card and banking system. While a lightning fast turnaround on payment was of great benefit to voice over talent, this practice didn't allow sufficient time for funds to clear the banking system. Issuing funds before they clear makes Voices.com vulnerable to the potential of fraudulent client activity.

Here's an example of how fast some talent were being paid. Let's say someone was hired and had their payment released by the client on the 14th of the month. Another variable we can add to this is the talent's preference to receive payment by PayPal.

According to the previous SurePay payment schedule, that talent would have been paid the following day. Awesome for the voice talent but not so prudent on our end. The majority of clients are paying by credit card while the majority of talent wish to be paid by PayPal. Payment by PayPal is immediate as you know.

The money that the client paid would at that point still be in the midst of processing. Technically, the funds still need sufficient time to move through the banking system. In this scenario, a talent could technically be paid by Voices.com in advance of their client's payment clearing at the bank. As you can understand, we needed to correct this situation.

Lessons Learned The Hard Way

What happens if the client changes their mind and wants their money back? What if a payment turns out to be fraudulent? Voices.com assumed unnecessary risks to over deliver and send our talent payment with amazing speed, and in some instances years ago, paid the price in a number of situations involving a handful of clients who were committing credit card fraud. Yes, it's happened.

The decision to add two weeks for processing time was made to improve an already wonderful service while ensuring that we could in effect continue to offer SurePay as a safe payment option for all involved.

That Being Said, What Is The Schedule for 2011?

Payments released by clients during the 1st and the 14th of each month will now be issued on the 1st day of the following month.

Payments released between the 15th and the 30th/31st will be issued on the 15th day of the following month.

What Stayed The Same?

Clients can still pay you through Voices.com by VISA, Mastercard or PayPal. Voices.com continues to offer mediation and dispute resolution services at no charge to you. Talent who opt to receive payment by PayPal now have their funds "gifted" to them which means no PayPal fees are charged to the talent on the receiving end. Talent who have chosen to receive payment by check also receive the full amount of the fee they quoted for the work.

Is Voices.com Earning Interest By Holding Payments Longer?

The short answer is no. The escrow account that the funds are held in is a non-interest bearing account. Simply put, we aren't earning any extra money by extending the period of time between pay periods. What we are doing is making sure that the funds are all accounted for which protects Voices.com, and you, the voice talent.

From what was shared, I trust you see that the SurePay escrow service is more complex than may have been first perceived!

Good News

The good news is that a payment has never been missed, nor been late even if it's cost us significant sums in bank service fees. Our priority has always been to ensure voice talent like yourself are paid on a regular schedule in a safe, secure manner.

Thank you for your understanding.

Best wishes,

Stephanie

Related Topics: hired, payment, schedule, SurePay, voice overs, Voices.com


Comments


    The fact that you still have funds turning around in about 30 days is fantastic. As a voice talent, I don't mind waiting a little longer knowing that the escrow service is in place. Protecting yourself from credit card fraud is just good business practice.

    Posted by:

      I appreciate the Surepay system, But not really happy that I'll now have to wait up to a month to get paid. We pay; the client pays; and we lose interest on earnings now too.

      Posted by:
      • Carole
      • February 18, 2011 5:03 PM

        Hi Carole,

        Thank you for your comment and for sharing your concern.

        Waiting up to a month to get paid is normal for most things as many companies have a Net 30 invoicing system. Payments can often take longer than that depending on the size of the company you are working with.

        I can appreciate how this change might be an adjustment, but please know that interest is not being earned or lost on either end. The benefits are that payment is guaranteed and also that we can continue to offer this as a viable service to our customers. I think that's something to cheer about!

        Thank you again for commenting.

        Best wishes,

        Stephanie

        Posted by:

          Hi Dave,

          Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I'm glad you approve.

          Best wishes,

          Stephanie

          Posted by:
          • Stephanie Ciccarelli
          • February 18, 2011 5:21 PM

            Maybe I don't understand the escrow system. If a client pays into the SurePay system, and doesn't release the funds for, say, a week, haven't the funds cleared by that time? And if so, why would we talent have to wait an extra 15 days? And I don't understand why all funds are only distributed twice a month. I'd like to see a system where the funds are paid as soon as they have been released and have cleared.

            Posted by:
            • Alan
            • February 20, 2011 12:04 PM

              This disguises the bigger picture.

              1. The Escrow system offers no protection to the voice talent. If the payment is fraudulent, the talent waits two weeks to a month, and then gets nothing.

              2. There is a problem with fraudulent behavior on the part of job posters. We already know that most open auditions are never listened to and never awarded. And now there is this little issue of payment fraud.

              The prudent voice over actor will watermark everything and accept Paypal payment directly -- partial payment in advance, partial on delivery. That way you get something.

              Voices would be wise to start protecting the talent, since the talent is paying Voices bills.

              Posted by:
              • Phil
              • February 21, 2011 12:53 PM

                Hi Alan,

                Thank you for commenting and for your questions.

                We went over a number of the key reasons in this article, however something that was not mentioned in this particular post was that because Voices.com is a Canadian company dealing in US funds, there is a more complicated process for currency conversion and transferring funds. As you know, banking takes time and this accounts for why there appears to be more time than necessary allocated to holding the funds when in actual fact the time is required to successfully transfer between bank accounts.

                I trust that helps to explain why the schedule is the way it is. Thank you again for your question.

                Best wishes,

                Stephanie

                Posted by:

                  Phil,

                  I took a minute to review our customer files and it would appear that you have not used SurePay at Voices.com or experienced how it can benefit you as a voice talent.

                  That being said, let's review why SurePay is in place.

                  SurePay Escrow offers protection in the event a payment is fraudulent. First we will dispute the charge with the credit card company (administrative headaches you don't need to deal with) and secondly if we find that you've completed work and we believe it reasonable to do so, we will still pay the voice talent even though the payment was returned to Visa or Mastercard in an alleged fraud situation. While we hope that this never happens and certainly work towards preventing this unfortunate possibility, it has happened, and yes, we've still paid the voice talent.

                  To address your second point, I'm curious to learn of where you are getting your information about clients rarely reviewing auditions.

                  You said "2. There is a problem with fraudulent behavior on the part of job posters. We already know that most open auditions are never listened to and never awarded..."

                  This statement is simply not true.

                  We have surveyed our clients, monitor website activity in real-time and have published many statistics to conclusively show that most clients listen to nearly all their auditions, the vast majority of the time. I'm not sure if you've read our most recent client experience report, but if not, I encourage you to do so to gain more insight on how clients are using Voices.com.

                  Voices.com has always operated with integrity and in the spirit of protecting the voice talent. We are the first company that created an escrow service in the entire industry and have patented this technology. If we weren't trying to protect voice talent, we wouldn't have worked so closely with talent when developing this service to ensure that they were protected and also that clients they were doing business with were guaranteed satisfaction.

                  I apologize for the frankness of this answer, however sometimes a direct response is required to demonstrate our dedication to all voice talent, the industry and the integrity of Voices.com.

                  Respectfully yours,

                  David Ciccarelli
                  CEO
                  Voices.com

                  Posted by:

                    Thank you for explaining yourself David! The information is helpful and informative. I hope this has opened some eyes and has encouraged a better understanding of how the SurePay Escrow Service works. When the voice talent community is happy, we are happy!

                    Posted by:

                      Great answer David! As a voice talent on Voices.com, Dave and Stephanie have always made sure I was taken care of, paid on time and if I have to wait a few weeks for payment, at least I know that Voices.com is a reputable company with the highest standards, morals and ethics! THAT is worth waiting a little extra time for that payout. I love these people and totally trust Voices.com.

                      Sometimes, we need to put our egos aside and have a little patience.

                      With gratitude to Voices.com and all of my best,

                      Lauren Holladay
                      Platinum Member

                      Posted by:

                        I appreciate the openness and candid information provided. I also appreciate that talent can leave their responses and that they are addressed in detail by Voices.com. Its an open and apparently honest communication process. In addition, I know we would all like to be paid as quickly as we turn around our product but the SurePay process does work and it seems to be efficient and effective.

                        Posted by:

                          I don't know how many of the voice talents who've commented live in the UK. Here we are still battling under the 90 day grace period enjoyed by big companies sub-contracting smaller companies. Example; on 5th May this year I did a V/O for the new Lucas Film Star Wars interactive video game. The ad agency, who through my V/O agent hired me, won't release my fee until the 5th August! Add another couple of weeks for that payment to go through my agent's account and bingo, finger tapping time! Although I found the Surepay payment system a little confusing at first, I laud the fact that I get paid a lot faster than than I do in the UK. New Labour's 1997 manifesto promised to do away with the 90 grace period, the ruin of many small companies in this country. It is still in place. Nor is it likely to be scrapped by the Conservative government. I say to those whingers, thank goodness for Surepay.

                          Posted by:

                            I was just going through a manual check for my payments this month and came across something I hadn't really noticed before.

                            A client escrowed the fee on the 4th, it was released and completed on the 12th, no problems there.

                            But there is no reference to the fact that although it says everything is completed and "finished" The payment won't actually get to me until the following 1st.

                            It was only when I manually checked my records that I realised even though it's under "payments sent" it's not really been sent to me at all.

                            Maybe the payments tab could include a "pending release" or "due 1st" something like that? Just a thought. - Thanks

                            Posted by:
                            • Carole
                            • September 25, 2011 11:13 AM

                              Hi Carole,

                              Thank you for commenting and for sharing your idea! Perhaps it is the phrasing as you say that needs to be revised as well as a projected date for issue of payment. I have talked to David about this before and will inquire again to see where this development is at.

                              Best wishes,

                              Stephanie

                              Posted by:

Leave a Comment



Recent Articles

Apple App Store Video Preview Is A Gamechanger

Don't Ignore Your Vocal Health

Microsoft Buying Minecraft Creator Will Drive Mobile Voice

The 3 Things Voice Pros Can Learn From Sir Jony Ive

Don Pardo's Final Voice Lesson

iPhone 6, 6 Plus & Apple Watch: Studio On The Go for Voice Pros

Apple iWatch Could Drive Voice Over Market

How Localization Unlocks Business Growth Potential

Are You a Self-Made Voice Over Actor?

Slate In Character Or Don't Slate At All

   

Upcoming Webinar

Localization Webinar

Join us for a free webinar on how localization can help expand the use of all your voice-over work for new markets, new services and reach new heights with your business!

Register for the webinar

Subscribe by Email

About Vox Daily

Vox Daily offers a daily dose of voice acting news, articles, tutorials, interviews, intelligent conversation and business ideas for voice talent and voice actors.


Follow Us

   

Our feed & social options update you with special offers and news as it happens.

New YouTube Video

Watch videos on YouTube