Checkaco Consumer News: freelancers wait more than a year to be paid by Rolling Stone Magazine as late payment (or no payment) continues to be a problem


Checkaco Consumer News: freelancers wait more than a year to be paid by Rolling Stone Magazine as late payment (or no payment) continues to be a problem

By Rupert Bridgwater: Freelancers such as graphic designers, illustrators, photographers, models and journalists amongst many others are often hostages to fortune when working for new clients. They take on the work in good faith pleased to be able to look forward to working with the new client and of course of being paid.

Many freelancers will be aware that some clients are slower at paying than others, but as long as they pay – even if it is a few days late – then all is well. But many freelancers have known clients who spin out paying for work into weeks and months knowing they are unlikely to take legal action. So, a news item in the 12th April 2024 edition of Private Eye will have chimed with many of the 2.5 million workforce of UK freelancers.

In an eye-opening article it reported: “As Eye 1612 reported last year, many writers were excited when Rolling Stone, a British offshoot of the legendary US title launched here two years ago. But one journalist still hadn’t been reimbursed a year after writing a cover feature, and a freelancer told the Eye it was the ‘the worst experience they’d ever had’ getting remuneration. Things don’t seem to have improved. Last month Simon Bland wrote online that he’d still not been paid after invoicing Rolling Stone in early December for an interview with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.”

The image is from the Rolling Stone's news channel of Gervais at a previous event

He said he was forced to use the small claims court while other journalists working from the publication waited much longer when the standard wait is 30 days from date of invoice. Other contributors also complained of long waits with the publication’s accounts department ignoring emails and phone calls requesting invoices to be paid.

In the article the gay magazine Attitude appears to have the same failure when it comes to paying contributors what they are owed. Private Eye reported: “One journalist said she’d been chasing the title to pay her she wrote in 2022, and only got the cash out of the blue in mid-March after social media posts, legal letters, invoices with interest added, and threats of small claims court.”

Operations manager Pervis Chapel of Checkaco said hundreds of freelancers use Checkaco’s company reports every week to see if they should work for a new client. He said: “The classic example is where a company has failed to pay one or more freelancers who have put them on stop and they look around for a freelancer they haven’t used before. They contact them to offer large amounts of work with the promise of payment – and the offer for the new freelancer is too good to turn away. If that person does a Checkaco company check on the business then a series of red flags will show up. And they would be wise to turn down the work.”

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