Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

We Listened, We're Sorry, Here's What We're Willing To Do

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

August 3, 2012

Comments (18)

Young woman, smiling, holding a vibrant bouquet of flowers.If you ever want to hear from people, make a change or propose that you are going to make a change!

We have received many emails and participated in a number of conversations in response to the blog post from yesterday announcing upcoming changes to the Voices.com Terms of Service.

David and I have spoken at length about your concerns and wish to share what we have come up with. Learn more in today's VOX Daily.

Thank You

First off, I would like to say thank you to those of you who wrote to us with your questions and concerns regarding the Voices.com Terms of Service. We have heard you loud and clear and appreciate hearing from you.

We have already made a couple changes to the Terms of Service based upon your feedback such as allowing for talent to include their contact details on their Voices.com profile pages. We have also removed any requirement for clients to report solicitations from talent auditioning through the site. That entire section is gone!

What's At The Heart Of The Matter?

All we're asking is that a client who starts their job by posting at Voices.com also completes their job at the website.

When you stop to think about it, asking someone to finish what they have started isn't asking all that much.

Reality Check

Many people were concerned with SurePay being the only way they could start a business dialogue or relationship on the site.

Although we prefer clients use the site as it was designed, we recognize that our primary goal is to connect you two to get the job done. We want to stay true to our mission which is to be the trusted destination that connects businesses with professional voice talent, and that by doing so, sometimes just a connection is all that occurs and our platform is not used from start to finish.

That being said, we still hope that you will take advantage of all the benefits of using Voices.com fully including:

๏ Guaranteed payment (voice talent are paid weekly)
๏ Being listed on the Recently Hired section of the home page
๏ Gaining valuable feedback ratings and reviews

3 Scenarios That Benefit Voice Talent Using Voices.com

In the spirit of unity, here are three scenarios that allow for voice talent to use the site to communicate freely without engaging SurePay. Note that in all cases, it is the client who decides how they want to proceed.

Clients Can Contact You Directly On Your Profile

Let's say a client uses Google to search for a keyword like "voice overs" and finds themselves at Voices.com. That client might do a search through our global network of voice talent. Upon finding your profile, they listen to your demo, like what they hear and decide that they want to work with you. If you have your contact information in your profile, they are free to contact you. The best place to put this information is in your Studio details as they will mostly want to book your studio and expect that information to be present.

Clients Can Google Your Name

A Fortune 500 company comes to Voices.com and posts their job and you're invited to audition. You move ahead and submit a persuasive proposal, competitive price quote and sample read. While the client could easily award the job to you and pay through Voices.com, the could still Google your name and contact you to work outside of the site. Where there is a will, there is a way.

Clients Can Contact You Using The Ask A Question Feature

As you may know, clients are also able to Ask A Question of a voice talent when reviewing their audition. This feature could also be used to initiate a dialogue, whether it be to arrange for communication outside of the site to discuss the project in greater detail before awarding the job, or as you may have already guessed, to move the job offline.

We understand that in all of these situations it is unreasonable to expect that payment would be made through Voices.com. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to do business on the site rests with the client. We know this because we've seen it both ways. The choice is theirs.

Thank You

Thank you to those who were gracious to us and provided us with time to evaluate and consider all that was shared. I trust that our hearts have been made plain to you and that our desire is to make Voices.com an even better place to do business.

Best wishes,
Stephanie, David and the Voices.com Team

iStockphoto.com©Christopher Steer

Related Topics: Google, hired


Comments


    This is what makes Voices.com, and their leadership, the very best at what they do.

    The willingness of all of you to listen to the considered, and well-meaning input of your talent base, and to adapt your policies in a manner that serves everyone's interests equally, is rare in any industry.

    This has been a fascinating situation to watch unfold, as one has to account for the essential need for direct communication that forms the foundation of a good talent-client relationship, while balancing the fact that the existence of Voices.com is directly responsible for the creation of many of those very relationships. As such, talent have an interest in the success of Voices.com as a commercial entity, and are therefore well served by SurePay being used regularly, if not always.

    I commend the decision by the Voices.com decision makers to find a middle ground here. It makes perfect sense that a job posted on Voices.com should stay on Voices.com, and utilize the SurePay system. It also is only reasonable that once that business relationship has been established between talent and client, that they should have the option to continue that relationship as they see fit. In my opinion, this is fair to Voices.com, and it is fair to me as a talent.

    I applaud this balanced and decent compromise.

    All the best,
    J. Michael Collins

    Posted by:

      Much appreciated, Stephanie and David. Thanks for always listening to us when making these big decisions. We're all grateful to know you've got our backs.

      Posted by:

        Once again you listen and seek a balaced solution! Thank you.

        Posted by:

          Wow. This is why voices.com is so great. Thank you for listening to the concerns of the voiceover community, and for offering a compromise position that seems to work for everyone on the changes you had drafted to the TOS.

          There are still some implications regarding union talent that will need to be addressed, and the question of whether this means you are now legally acting as a paymaster service in the US remains unanswered (with all of the legal and taxation issues that implies). However, I am so happy that you were willing to listen to our valid concerns and meet us halfway.

          As a good voices.com talent, I promise to promote the use of SurePay when it makes sense in the future, and the line I had placed in my template that reminded the producers that Surepay was optional will be removed :)

          With my thanks,

          Graeme Spicer

          Posted by:
          • Graeme Spicer
          • August 3, 2012 4:22 PM

            Stephanie,

            Thank you for taking the time to listen to feedback from the voice over community. I for one appreciate your willingness to reconsider and come up with a more balanced approach to this issue. There are many companies that will hide behind a nameless faceless facade and fail to communicate clearly with their clientele. I'm happy that Voices.com is not one of those companies.

            Here's to continued success for all of us (the talent and Voices.com) as teammates in the industry,

            Andy Barnett


            Posted by:

              Stephanie et al.

              It takes a real pro to listen, admit the mistake, correct it QUICKLY and move forward. Kudos to you and voices.com for doing the right thing! This decision makes more sense for all concerned and it is a fair thing, which helps build goodwill all the way around. I applaud your actions and the efforts to make it right. Thank you.

              Continued success to all of us!
              Susan

              Posted by:
              • Susan Bernard
              • August 4, 2012 12:25 AM

                Stephanie,
                I have always been a big fan of the original concept of Voices.com and more importantly the nice people who own and operate the service. Voices.com has strayed from its original concept. At the start talent paid a fee and were provided with leads to many jobs and a convenient way to respond and compete. Producers were connected to many talents and given a great way to select just the right voice. Over the years, many innovative changes have been made to help match the two. When SurePay was introduced it was emphatically described as "only an option" and not mandatory. As time went by, the site was redesigned so that it became an integral part of the process and hard to avoid. This obviously gave Voices.com a piece of each job as opposed to just being a business that provided "connections". Although I don't blame anyone for looking for a more profitable bushiness model, this is entirely different from original concept. Talent agents use the same model and basically the same percentage, but they pitch talent exclusively (or relatively exclusively) and not en-mass by the thousands. That being said, I think SurePay is an excellent OPTION and I have benefited from it, especially with over-seas clients, but I resent new terms being instituted that forbid me from giving contact information directly to clients to whom I submit auditions. If they wish to use SurePay great....if they wish to contact me directly and negotiate my proposed rate or request 30 days net billing by check...great too. Demanding they only pass money through Voices.com seems very self-serving and not in keeping with the original business model I fell in love with and with a service to which I have referred dozens of talent.
                With all the best intentions, your friend,
                David K Jones

                Posted by:

                  THANK YOU for listening, being considerate with your decisions AND for having the fortitude to remain true to your mission.

                  Alan Baxter

                  Posted by:

                    This is why I love you. I have to admit, when I first saw the changes I thought "déjà VU! This is what that other site did and I feel they're more about bottom line than serving their talent who are paying for leads!"

                    But I've always found you to be more interested in serving your talent than padding the bottom line.

                    Thanks for being so responsive! I didn't write to complain, but I suspect others said what I would have.

                    I continue to recommend you to all my students.

                    Posted by:

                      I knew from the very start that if voice talents disagree, voices.com will listen. It takes a higher spirit. They've got it.

                      Posted by:

                        Hi David,

                        Thank you for your kind words and for choosing to comment here on the blog. I appreciate it.

                        While I understand that you are not in favour of the recent changes and respect your opinion, I find it difficult to identify with the statement that we have strayed from our original business model. David (our CEO for those who are unaware) has updated literally the same business plan for the same decade and views it as a living document, one that he works on continuously to guide the vision, develop a strategy and execute the plan.

                        To confirm, we continue to connect clients with voice talent for business opportunities as we have in the past. SurePay, although a means of payment we prefer clients use when completing projects at Voices.com, is not their only option. As many have noted and as is highlighted in this post, the decision on how to pay ultimately rests with the client.

                        Thank you for pointing out that our decisions make a lot of good business sense. We do have a brand to protect, relationships with our customers to nurture and business assets including the investment in the web platform and our patents to consider when making these decisions.

                        We look forward to ongoing collaboration with our customers to make the service the best that it can be for everyone who uses Voices.com.

                        Best wishes,
                        Stephanie

                        Posted by:

                          Firstly, thank you so much for listening to our concerns and reacting to them in such a positive way. Your customer service has always been a great strength of Voices.com and it's reassuring to know that hasn't changed.

                          I would like to suggest that, as more jobs are going to go through SurePay, it would really help if there were more currency options. As a UK resident, if I do a SurePay job for a UK client then we both lose money as the client changes pounds into dollars for SurePay and then I have to change them back into pounds again. When added to the SurePay fee, over 20% of the jobs budget can be lost on finance costs, which obviously makes it a very unappealing option.

                          Surely major currencies such as Pounds and Euros could be options for UK and European clients?

                          I have also seen your comments about how much of the SurePay money goes on card processing fees and the like. I hope that with the increase in funds coming through SurePay you will be able to shop around and find a better deal. 10% is the highest escrow fee I've seen anywhere, and if you're not seeing much of that money either then perhaps you can renegotiate and find a deal that is better for all of us.

                          Posted by:
                          • Simon Phillips
                          • August 5, 2012 7:53 AM

                            I would like to personally thank everyone who chimed in on the discussions going on online, in regards to the recent changes. I started working with Voices.com in December 2009 and have thoroughly respected the open lines of communication that goes on between the staff and our customers. I truly believe that, we aren't successful unless our customers are. We consistently welcome the constructive feedback and appreciate the effort involved with your suggestions. In business, you can't do today's job with yesterday's methods and be in business tomorrow so here's to growing and succeeding together!

                            Posted by:

                              Hey guys... here's a thought. What if you offer some kind of incentive to those who post jobs to use the surepay service? Or do you already do that?

                              Posted by:
                              • Tom Conklin
                              • August 7, 2012 1:53 PM

                                Hi Tom,

                                Thank you for your comment and question. It's nice to see you here! The incentive we offer to clients to use SurePay is our guarantee that they will achieve their goals at the site.

                                For those who might be curious about how we serve clients at Voices.com, the following details how clients use the site, what they receive and how we serve them. In general terms, this includes the client's abilities to:

                                - Post a job
                                - Receive auditions from matching talent
                                - Review submitted auditions
                                - Project management
                                - Customer service
                                - Make casting notes
                                - Award their job
                                - Receive finished audio
                                - Make their payment safely (whether online, over the phone, by fax or invoice)
                                - Arbitration/mediation if necessary
                                - The giving and receiving of a star rating and written review after the job has been completed

                                When a client uses Voices.com to post a job and commits to working with a talent by awarding their job on the site, we guarantee their success and ensure that the job is completed to their satisfaction. In short, we do a lot for the client and give them access to our talent, tools and the infrastructure they need to do business and get the job done.

                                If you have any other ideas for incentives, I'd love to hear them. We're always open to hearing from our customers.

                                Best wishes,
                                Stephanie

                                Posted by:

                                  Thank you for listening! This is one of the reasons I stated previously that Voices.com is the best P2P site I've worked with. While some talent may have issues with the SurePay system, I have continued to encourage first time clients to use it. It's a great way to build trust I think with a new Talent/Client relationship.

                                  Thanks again!

                                  Posted by:

                                    Once again, Voices.com demonstrates why it is far and away the best voice-overs site on the Web today. The management teams's willingness to listen to our concerns AND THEN ACT ON THEM is unprecedented in this industry.

                                    No, things are not perfect in the online auditioning world, and perhaps they never will be, but if anyone is going to get there, I suspect it will be you guys.

                                    Thank you, Stephanie, David and the rest of the team.

                                    Posted by:

                                      Trust me...I've used other P2P's - Voices.com is the overall BEST!

                                      Thanks for adding to my bank account!

                                      Posted by:
                                      • Drew Montgomery
                                      • August 17, 2012 8:55 AM

Leave a Comment



Recent Articles

Optimus Prime, Sheriff Woody & What Makes A Character Great

Should you Ello?

Do You Dread Public Speaking? Try These Exercises!

Vox Talk wants YOU!

How To Present Yourself As A Native Speaker

Should You Insure Your Voice?

Why Should Radio Stations Hire Freelance Voice Talent?

5 Steps To Building A Great App Preview Video

Bringing Your A-Game and Getting Involved

Vanishing Act: Movie Trailers Are Going Voiceless

   

Radio Advertising Center

Radio Advertising Solution Centre

Explore a new resource hub covering all aspects of planning, scheduling and launching successful radio advertising campaigns.

Radio Advertising Solution Center

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