A pretty lively discussion on the Yahoo VO forum brought several different responses on the subject of what to charge for re-cutting audio.
The original question was: "I have a potential client that asked me "If I need you to change a number in the spot in 3 months or the spot gets deleted by accident, would I be willing to re-cut it" I am guessing they want it free but not sure. What are some peoples policies here?"
One of the first voice-actors to respond said:
"Anytime you have another session, you charge, period.
-you made a mistake
-didn’t follow client direction
-digital glitch on your recording requires a re-record"
The next person to respond had pretty much the same perspective, with a caveat:
"Well, Policy #1 is to charge for everything and charge the most you can. 😉
Policy #2 is…..is this a client you want to keep happy? Is this a client you want to impress? Is this a cleint with limited resources?
If so, I would alter Policy #1 and accomodate the client as "customer service".
Another Voice-actor chimed in with a similar sentiment:
"If the spot gets "deleted by accident," I’m happy to just re-email them the same spot (You do keep backups, right 😉 at no charge (goood will & all)
If they are making a change, then it’s a whole new recording/productio
Next: another vote for maintaining that precedent of "compensation for any-new-work"
"You can charge them the full rate for a re-cut of the spot, or a discounted rate. If you have a copy of it, send it free if you want.
However if you are asked to do more work that is not because of anything you did, you should get paid."
There seems to be a certain portion of voice-actors who want to hang-onto the prerogative of "forgiving" a re-cut here or there to keep an important client happy, esp. if the re-do is not particularly time-consuming or taxing.
"Please consider how important this client is to you. Do you see doing more work for them? Or do you want to use them as a reference? If so, and you’ve kept a back up (I hope you have) then try to be as accommodating as possible. On the other hand if you feel in your gut, they’re trying to get something for nothing that’s a whole other ballpark."
Finally, this from a seasoned voice-actor who reminds us to keep straight what is a "new session."
"Change a number is a new session – the spot is now running again. Doesn’t matter if you are only re-doing a part of it. The client is buying new air time. Your voice is being heard again.
As far as losing the spot – keep a copy filed (I keep everything for years!) – and simply send it to them again. But the bottom line is that you need to know what the expected shelf life is of the spot so
that you can charge accordingly. A spot that lives forever should command you more dollars than one that airs for a weekend."