By Stephanie Ciccarelli
August 2, 2012
UPDATE: New post outlining changes to the Voices.com Terms of Service. Please read this as things have changed based upon customer feedback. Thank you - Stephanie Ciccarelli - August 3, 2012.
Ever wondered what happens to many of the jobs that appear not to progress at Voices.com? We have too. After following up with clients whose jobs were not completed on the site, we discovered that the work, although procured at Voices.com, was successfully completed offline.
While it is unreasonable to expect that we can account for every job posted at the site, we realize there are areas that we can improve upon that will help us to be more accountable to our customers and better serve those using the Voices.com.
After significant deliberation, we have made some changes to our Terms of Service. This article serves as our 30-days notice before the changes outlined in this post are implemented. The changes will go into effect on September 1st, 2012.
Be sure you read this post in its entirety because we have included some recommended next steps that will help you succeed!
Learn more in today's VOX Daily.
As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, the only constant is change. Recently, we made some changes to our Terms of Service at Voices.com. Key changes pertain to the following areas, being Voices.com's:
• Payment service
• Amendments to the Terms of Service
As noted earlier, be sure to read this post in its entirety so that you will have all of the information you need to best use the site.
Like any good business, we at Voices.com continuously seek ways to improve our service and thereby provide greater value to our customers. Our primary responsibility is to bring business to the website that results in jobs that can be auditioned for and completed at Voices.com.
As you may know, not all the jobs that are posted on the site are completed on the site. This has been a reality since we started and is an area that we recognize needs to be addressed more proactively on our part. With the knowledge that we can only do so much, we are determined to wisely do what we can and to do it well.
This being said, Voices.com will be enforcing our Terms of Service more effectively with the goal of keeping more business at the site. One of the ways we will be doing this is discouraging outbound links from the Voices.com site on voice talent profiles and in proposal templates. The same will also apply to telephone numbers and email addresses. In doing so, more jobs will be completed at Voices.com resulting in greater accountability for our customers.
Additionally, these measures will provide an even safer environment for voice talent members who desire guaranteed payment for their work by using Voices.com's payment service, SurePay.
UPDATE (August 2, several hours after initial post): We are reconsidering contact information being available on voice talent profiles.
Changes In Greater Detail
Previously, Voices.com's payment service, known as SurePay, was optional, meaning that clients could choose whether they hired you through the Voices.com website or via another method of payment.
Now, we require that clients using Voices.com pay for services rendered using the payment service built into the website. We require this so that we can better track the progress of jobs, better monitor the overall activity at the website and be more accountable to our customers.
Simply put, Voices.com has the right to remove links that do not align with our objectives or core values. So far as links go, any third party sites that are linked to the Voices.com website are not under Voices.com's control. We are not responsible for anything on the linked sites, including without limitation, any content, links to other sites, any changes to those sites, or any policies those sites may have. Voices.com provides outbound links as a convenience only and such links do not imply any endorsement by Voices.com of those sites or their owners. Voices.com has the right to remove such links at its sole discretion.
Amendments to the Agreement
When changes are made to the website, we have been consistent in disclosing those changes. Our preferred channel to communicate these changes, whether big or small, is the through blog, and if critical to the use of the site, included in an email newsletter. We strive to maintain new communication through the blog, and while most changes are covered there, note that the Terms of Service now says that Voices.com can make changes to the agreement from time to time without prior notice so we encourage you to check back often for updates.
A Gradual Transition
If you've been auditioning and have included contact information or a URL linking outside of Voices.com in your proposal, you will have been seeing a message that discourages you from including those details. Some concern has been raised over this message with many talent assuming that the changes were already in effect. Just so you know, you can still actually submit these details for the time being.
This will be a gradual transition (re: 30-day notice, changes to be implemented on September 1st) and it is our belief that our members will be better served by this decision and experience greater success at Voices.com.
Something that hasn't been revealed as of yet, but it seems to be the best time to bring it up, is that in the future you will be able to modify your auditions after the fact.
The most common complaint we've received about the future removal of contact details revolves around communication. Some talent submit stock demos as auditions and their contact information with the request that if a client likes what they hear, they'll cut a custom demo when they have more time (i.e. you are on vacation, you are sick, etc.) upon request. If these requests are made, they generally occur by email or over the phone.
Voice talent members will soon be able to modify their quotes, proposals and even swap out demos. These new features will empower you to easily make changes to audition submissions based upon new information and even substitute a voice sample (audition) if you've recorded a better take.
We know how important communication is and have provided some additional ways that you can express yourself in a professional manner when using Voices.com.
Update Proposal Templates
You may wish to update your proposal templates in your Voices.com account and remove any contact information or external links. This will help you to avoid seeing the warning message every time you audition with that template.
Add More Demos To Your Profile
Another reason talent feel that they need to link outside of Voices.com is because there is material on their websites that they feel makes an even greater case for hiring them. If you have voice samples on your own website that aren't at Voices.com, add them to your Voices.com profile! You will be able to include links to those particular demos if you so wish from within your proposals.
Similarly, if you have information that you feel would help, include that too! If you have testimonials or the like, feel free to add those details as well.
As always, we are open to hearing your thoughts and are happy to engage in an open dialogue about changes made to the Terms of Service. Thank you for reading this.
Stephanie, David and the Voices.com Team