Reasons Voice123 never used an escrow system

Posted on August 3, 2012 by

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We are sometimes asked this question….“Why don’t you have an escrow system at Voice123?”

Voice123 chose to not develop an escrow system nearly 5 years ago. The fact is you can spend all day reading horror stories online, but it does not mean what you are reading always happens. So, why did we never use an escrow system with all this social media pressure to do so?

Simply put:

  • Most voice talent we surveyed AND met in person did not want it!
  • It was explained to us, “Please don’t add something I will have to pay for with money I earn! I can handle my own business. Thanks.”

Five years later, and smarter, here are some statistics behind “no escrow”:

  • Over 90,000 private messages
  • Over 100,000 posted voice over jobs
  • Just over 300 voice seekers removed from Voice123 for non-payment  (LESS THAN 1%)
  • Average price for non-paying jobs: Under $50 USD
  • The majority of non-payment cases involved jobs Voice123 staff never saw. We don’t control who contacts you on Voice123.
  • The most common situation we saw when non-payments took place stemmed from talent accepting work when they knew in their gut it was a bad idea, and also did not confirm how payment would be made in an email, but delivered the file anyway.

Is escrow convenient? Yes, but it is a service and you pay for it. Seriously, no one needs it to be “secure”. Offline, you never needed escrow to decide what was safe to audition for and online your street-smarts, Google searches, and random web tools will serve you for security.

Some more facts about Voice123 to add to the reasons why we do not do it:

  • Privacy is a thing of the past. Scary, but true. You can find out anything about anyone.
  • There are hundreds of web tools out there to find out, if a client is one you wish to work with, or if you should be safe and ask for payment upfront.

More reasons…the Voice123 staff located in the US and Latin America:

  • David Lecinski – Voice talent
  • Tara Tyler – Voice talent
  • Felecia Angelle –  Voice talent
  • Michelle Rojas – Voice talent
  • Tara Kray – Voice talent
  • Carmen Tejeda – Voice123 employee for six years
  • Juan Suescún – Voice123 employee for six years
  • Tania Zapata – Voice talent/co-founder
  • Steven Lowell – Voice talent.

Aside from years of industry experience, we all have a vast business experience that is worthy of a book from up and coming voice talent to business owners, theatre actors, moms, dads, radio station staff, customer service managers, teachers, and former call center reps. Personally, my job before Voice123 involved fraud investigation and recovery. I help with non-payment issues, now, but I have only dealt with 2 this year. The staff right now is the most tech/business/street-smart/voice industry savvy, than ever before. For years, Voice123 stood firm in the belief that “voice talent do not want escrow, do not need it, and to have it would be an added expense talent do not need.”

In the midst of this reassuring…a concern or two:

The biggest concern in 2012 I have is that the tendency to assume the worst when someone is slow to respond via email about payment, or this strange belief that voice talent are helpless when working online, still exists. “Profit from fear” business tactics are meant for insurance companies; not voice talent. I have witnessed accusations lead to talent getting paid, and unintentionally insulting a client out of future work. If you are afraid something will happen to you, “it is cheaper to learn how to protect yourself than to pay others to promise you security or a faster payment method”. This is what you told Voice123, and that is why we never used escrow.

Stay smart and stay skeptical! If you like escrow or not, please share why!