Not So Cosmic

by | May 22, 2016 | Compensation | 7 comments


When someone doesn’t pay…what CAN you really do? 

  1. Send nice reminders
  2. Sent stern reminders
  3. Demand payment
  4. Threaten lawsuit

That about exhausts my knowledge on the matter.

Thankfully, it almost never comes up.  Three times it’s happened to me in 8 years.  Twice with USA-based producers, and once from an outfit in India.

On one of the USA-based producers, the party in question came through — and then some — almost three years later, with profound apologies.  We’re now on good terms again. 

The other USA-based producer had used my voice numerous times, but on one occasion he neglected to pay when HIS end-client reneged, and so he defaulted on me too.  So, not only did I lose the compensation, but now he’s not calling ever again.

The company from India presents the biggest disappointment.  They would come to me with 5 or 10-word assignments, and want to pay  me 10-cents per word.  I said “no” to them a lot.  But once in a while, they would come through with good-paying legitimate eLearning courses from their translation services, and were not only polite, but fairly prompt in paying.  In fact, they had come to the point of transferring payments directly to my bank account, so there was little lag-time, and no onerous PayPal fees.

I’m going to name the company in question, and suggest you not use them…’cause they still owe me $400+ from over a year ago.  Instead of the usual painless bank transfer, they asked for the following out of nowhere:


They might as well have asked I provide them with the original Egyptian Hieroglyphics from King Tut’s Tomb. 

Then they made some apologies about their offices being flooded in a flood. I found out their service WAS located on the East Coast of India.  I waited some more.  I sent and re-sent the invoice.  Finally they stopped corresponding with me, and now I’ve lost that client too.  I mean…what am I going to do?…hire a legal team in India?  Claim international fraud?  I have no practical recourse.

So, please avoid:


Despite encouragement from others in our business, I NEVER use a contract to “seal the deal” unless the client insists.  99% of the time the verbal or email agreement works just fine.  This time it didn’t.




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  1. Marie hoffman

    Thanks for this, Dave. I had a similar situation when I did some telephony work for a US company. They used my audition for their actual welcome greeting and decided not to pay me. Luckily the person who recommended me to this company installed their telephone system and was able to take down my greeting until they paid, which they eventually did.

    • CourVO


      Outrageous! Thanks for letting me know…and thanks for reading!

      Dave Courvoisier

  2. Art Spencer

    Oh definitely sharing this one. Thanks for the heads-up.

  3. Peter Drew

    A former client of mine in Canada was many months delinquent on a small job. I sent the usual collection letters and emails. He finally paid, but in my research into ways I could collect from him from here in the US, I discovered that Canadian paralegals are licensed to represent clients in small claims court, which makes it more affordable to go to court to collect even relatively small amounts. So, just on principle, I was considering engaging a paralegal to take him to court, even if I had to turn over the few hundred dollars I’d collect to pay the paralegal. The client finally paid before I had to threaten legal action, but now I know that option is available when working with Canadian clients who try to stiff me.

    • CourVO


      Good to know… thanks for that!

      Dave Courvoisier

  4. Laura

    I’m sorry this has happened to you too, Dave, but it’s comforting to know other people have fallen victim as well.

    I have a repeat client in India who, for several years, was slow to pay but eventually made good. However, our most recent job was the largest amount and a fairly lengthy job (rush turnaround as well) and you guessed it…5 months and 3 reminders later, I’m still waiting.

    I’ve even seen this guy on Facebook, corresponding with prestigious and pricey VO coaches-which sort of makes me wonder if that’s why he doesn’t have $ to pay me!

    I hate to “out” anyone, but I’m contemplating it.

  5. Kay Dees

    Thanks for sharing this. I was contacted by Cosmic Global Ltd in India a couple of months ago. I felt wary of them, but they seemed to be legit. You have confirmed my suspicions and I will not accept any work from them. Thank you for saving me from a potential future headache.


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