Friday, 18 March 2011

Getting paid

It's long been a dilemma for freelancers to get paid in the UAE, here's one reader seeking advice:
What do you do when a UAE publishing company owes you more than Dhs40,000 (and has done so for the best part of a year)?

I have emails, text messages and paperwork to prove it. I have been promised the money on many, many occasions - and heard every BS excuse under the sun when it hasn't arrived.

Would those in the know recommend I sue the company, complain to someone or other...or write the money off and just tell as many people as possible?

Any wisdom gratefully received.

34 comments:

mediamonster said...

Just posting this over from the comments in an earlier thread, as it responded to the reader quoted:
-----------------------
anon at 19.18.
I think worthy of a permanent thread, given the number of queries about it on here.
In my (albeit limited) experience, if it is a small company, tell everyone you can. If they are not paying others, it will damage their reputation sooner or later. Don't be afraid to tell colleagues, mention on Facebook and name and shame them on here of course. I would also sue and report them to the Media Council.
If they are a big company, this will do little. What's another gripe about ITP going to do. In this case, report to the Media Council and/or sue.
Good luck with it. Too many charlatans have set up publishing companies here and choose to pay only those they need, until they no longer need them. Most of them get found out sooner or later of course.

18 March, 2011 12:30

Anonymous said...

To the person who started this thread: I think I know who you are and, no, they haven't paid me yet. Reviews 3&4 were done around one year ago. I assumed he had closed down. Your boss asked me if I wanted to work with him but I'm quite happy to continue with my own magazine thank you very much - and eat into his business. You going to name and shame, or shall I?
(NB check your inbox)

Anonymous said...

PS I'm owed a trifling amount and, while it's considerable to my company, I wouldn't consider hiring a lawyer unless pushed and it becomes and matter of principle for us. But I think you should write to the Media Council and let them act on your behalf.
Wish I'd read this earlier - was mingling with their sponsors at Stevie

Anonymous said...

has anyone in the UAE successful sued (or otherwise) an unpaying media company?

Anonymous said...

Yes, I know of at least two people who have sued for non-payment and won. The first case dragged on for about four months and the plaintiff won around Dhs70,000 plus expenses. The second won around Dhs20,000 plus expenses and the case was settled much faster.
Definitely worth pursuing.

Anonymous said...

Name them on here. If companies get a reputation for not paying then they will have to change or struggle to get freelancers.

And it will also help to warn other freelancers who might be thinking of taking work from them.

In my experience ITP pays fine.

The National can be slow and disorganised but it’s usually worth the agro as they pay almost double most other places.

Motivate are generally OK.

Pinpoint Media are fine.

Media Factory I did one piece for and it took 18 months and a lot of chasing to get paid the Dhs1,500.

Not sure about other places and on point of principle I would never write for The Antiemetic Times (aka Gulf News).

Anonymous said...

I'll back up some of that. I've never written for ITP, but I hear they pay you every penny on time.

The National (business dept) I have done 3/4 pieces for and have been paid promptly.

Motivate aI cannot praise highly enough in terms of payment, although some of the editing of my articles has left a lot to be desired.

Pinpoint Media haven't paid me for two articles dating back eight months, although I have been promised the money soon. We will see.

Media Factory have not paid me for five pieces dating back about 12 months. I've lost hope of ever seeing this money.

CPI have always paid me late, though I think this is their accounts department being clueless more than anything.

7 Days have paid me both early and late. I think it's purely a matter of editors filing invoices ahead of set dates in the month.

In the U, The Star and the Sun are my favourite clients. The Mail is a pain in the arse to get a reply from - although they always pay eventually.

Anonymous said...

Go to the compliance office at Media City (based in Knowledge Village Block 14) They contact your former employee on your behalf, invite them in for an arbitration meeting. Go down this route as it normally frightens Media Companies on a freezone licence as it can put it in jeopardy

Anonymous said...

I work in a slightly different field to you editors - and wake up a lot earlier too!
ITp use to pay me rubbish wages when i worked there. So I left. ENG paid me well but paid me late and then didn't pay me when I left. PinPoint paid me but not regularly and I have never been up-to date with them. There's always a reason isnt there!

Never worked for the Newspapers. Do they pay well?

Anonymous said...

The Nash STILL pay Dhs2/word for anything but lifestyle. Amazing. No wonder their accounts are negative.

Anonymous said...

Dhs2 still quite standard across magazines. But yes, your point remains - when it comes to magazines and newspapers not being able to pay, perhaps they should budget better?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps 7Days, CPI (still going?), Pin Point (are they new - never heard of them?), Motivate (should know better) and The Media Factory (doomed?) should have freelance embargoes placed on them until they can pay on time. On a serious note, it affects people's rent and livelihoods. Or - as a banking magazine ed - put them in administration and get them to pay 50fils in the Dhs rofl!

Anonymous said...

Love the site guys, but half of it is Greek to me (as a relative newcomer to these fair shores). Could someone tell me who CPi, Pin Point and Media Factory were? Any other legendary publishing houses I should brush up on?

Anonymous said...

Dont bother to brush up , get out !"

Anonymous said...

To the commenter who said 'Dhs2 still quite standard across magazines' - oh yeah?! you mean here in Dubai? Try halving that figure and that's more like it!

Anonymous said...

Quite standard across the titles I contribute to, indeed. I know people write for love, or take what rates they can get, but I won't turn away these rates when I can get them. And I often do get them.
Just sounded to me as though Pin Point, CPi, Media Factory (whoever else mentioned) can't keep up with - well - whatever they are paying. No point accepting dh5 or fils10/word if you aren't going to get it.
PS stick to the National is my tip.

Gillian said...

Hi guys, I'm new here and looking for a job. I'm a UK journalist, trained at Cardiff and really wanted to work at the National but it seems difficult to get in!!! 7Days is great too. Does anyone have any advice please? Anything would be appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps take in the above and avoid Media Factory, PP and the others like the plague!

Anonymous said...

So what's new at The National? How did the 3-yr anniversary party go?

Sarah said...

All the Brits got drunk at The National party, expectedly. The few practising Muslims were offended, I hear.

Anonymous said...

I'd get drunk too, if I worked there.

What about Koot? She take her top off or something?

Anonymous said...

Some guy called Alex (a new joiner) vomitted. Into a tray. That was about as exciting as it got, really. The speeches were good.

Anonymous said...

..."avoid Media Factory, PP"... and The National, then. Unless you are into not being paid, taking your top off or vomitting into a tray. It seems.

Anonymous said...

'PP is actually Pinpoint Media, and they just sent me their new 'lunch' magazine. As there was no menu to speak of, I can only assume they were meaning 'launch' magazine.
Who said journalistic standards in the UAE were on the decline?

Anonymous said...

So who else has left The National lately? Why is the paper looking for a "deputy review editor"?

Anonymous said...

It seems a new newspaper will soon be launched in Abu Dhabi. It's recruiting reporters - http://www.journalismjobs.com/Job_Listing.cfm?JobID=1250147
Are you surprised to hear this? Is there a market for more newspapers in the UAE? I thought the ad market was drying up.

Anonymous said...

With the once squeaky clean National hiring staff who vomit at events and flash their bits, 7days still struggling to replace Jabberwocky in its captions, and illiterates publishing 'lunch' issues, perhaps the superbly dire Abu Dhabi Week has seen a gap in the market for more amateur publishing?

Anonymous said...

What a strange media community. You work in a statelet where people with clout only use english when they bark orders to their bankers, bookies and Russian female guests. The majority of the population cant speak English and have no money anyway. You are writing and broadcasting and blogging for each other. No one else is listening.

The big question of the day is, what has happened to James Langtons wacky world column in the National. Bring back James!

Anonymous said...

@02:34 People to read/listen to English language media in the UAE. You just happened to be working at The National, which nobody reads. And the reason for that would be people like yourself.

Anonymous said...

Getting back to the original point, who is on the blacklist? From the above..

DON'T expect to be paid by:
Pinpoint
The Media Factory

DO expect to be paid by:
The National
7Days
ITP
Motivate

DO expect to be paid LATE by:
CPi

I'm about to send some (business-related) pitches out, so any guidance appreciated. And would anyone recommend Arabian Business over Gulf Business, or vice versa?

Anonymous said...

I've freelanced regularly for all of the above. With the exception of Media Factory (who have now gone bust), the others all pay eventually. Big companies like The National, ITP and Motivate pay within a month or two of getting invoices, the others can take longer. 7 Days sometimes took upwards of four months, and Pinpoint took a couple of months. Smaller companies have worse cash flow so your payment might depend on them getting paid from advertisers, so bear that in mind when freelancing here. No one wants to turn down work, but if you can't afford to wait several months to be paid, it's safer to just work for the bigger ones.

Anonymous said...

TMF didn't always pay even before they went bust. They didnt pay all redundancies for that matter either. I know of ex-employees with mortgages on villas and now cant find new jobs. trapped financially and trapped by TMF's bad reputation in a small city like dubai. then again, most have find alternative employment.

Richard Rawlinson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Does anyone have an email contact for the person/department at DMC who handles complaints re non-payment?
Needless to say, being going around in circles on the various gov't websites.
Money has been due for more than one year and been fobbed off, now being ignored. more than £3,000 - so going to take it as far as I can. All the while, said company is launching new titles. Shoddy.